Eight years of pausing,
sitting still, closing my eyes
and going within.
I remember well the day
eight years ago, when,
pregnant, feeling sick,
overwhelmed by my responsibilities
as wife and mother,
I called out to the void
I’m going crazy! I’m losing it!
Help me! What should I do?
And the Voice said
You must meditate.
And I thought,
I had a regular practice
before I met my husband,
but (and maybe you can relate)
self-care always fell to the bottom of the list
when I was in a relationship with someone else.
The Voice said
and I remembered that this was an option,
and I sat.
I started small, just five minutes a session,
but I quickly worked my way up
to thirty minutes a day.
Eight years and I haven’t missed a day.
Eight years…I have shown up for myself.
My ex said
You meditate too much
when he gave me the list of reasons
he was leaving our marriage.
That was two years ago,
and he’s gone now,
but I’m still meditating.
Eight years I’ve said to myself
I matter. This matters.
I’m going to keep showing up.
And I will, for eight more years,
and eight more and eight more after that.
I’ll show up every single day,
rain or shine,
in sickness or in health,
for richer or for poorer,
until death closes my body’s eyes
and opens the eyes of my soul.
Then, there will be no surprises,
because in meditation I have seen it all.
I was married to a hairdresser,
and in June 2017
he told me he would no longer cut my hair.
(Or sleep in the same bed.
Or share our life, our finances, our time.)
I’ve been sleeping alone since then,
and have fought mightily
to stay committed to this plane of existence,
and I have progressed by leaps and bounds
since June 2017, when I was
a messy slobbering puddle on the floor
grieving my life before it was blown apart.
As time passed
I discovered that I enjoyed sleeping alone,
and I felt more committed to
staying on this plane of existence,
but I still hadn’t gotten my hair cut.
I had built up the importance
of finding a new hairdresser
to the point of feeling anxious
and overwhelmed at the prospect of choosing.
So I didn’t choose.
I did nothing.
My dear friend gifted me with a hair cut last July
when I visited her in Colorado,
and I was oh so grateful to be neatened up a bit…
but I still hadn’t found
someone else to cut my hair in this town where I live,
Today I picked up the phone,
dialed the salon nearest my house,
booked the next available appointment,
found my way into a chair just an hour later.
I got a haircut!
I got a haircut!
I got a haircut!
And I am free at last.
Oh my mind,
why so sour today?
You’d be sour, too,
if you were expected
to figure this mess out.
You don’t have to figure this out.
Who told you that you did?
Well, you aren’t figuring it out yourself,
and someone has to do it.
Oh, sweetheart, just breathe and rest.
There isn’t anything to be figured out.
Just breathe and rest.
Take a breath, now,
long, slow and deep—
how do you feel?
Just one breath,
just one breath,
long, slow and deep—
You are peace.
I got upset this morning,
lost it with my kids,
felt guilty and ashamed.
I interpreted this event as a setback.
I spent some time wallowing in shame,
depression, the belief that I haven’t made
any progress at all.
Then I breathed.
Then the wisdom came.
I remembered that I’m human,
I make mistakes,
and now it’s time for a reset.
So I chose for the day to go better
from that point on.
I’m going in to the kids’ classes
for Valentine’s Day;
I’m going to help the kids celebrate,
make crafts, have fun.
I tied up some loose ends at home,
finished some projects that had been waiting.
No more dwelling in upset, in setbacks.
I’ve reset…now it’s time to keep moving forward.
It could be said by many
that your past year
was so much better than mine,
what with all the
wining and dining,
the rock concerts,
the dinners with friends,
even a “romantic” trip to Paris.*
Yes, if you’re only concerned
with external matters
maybe your year was better…
But if you look a little deeper,
you would find
I made out far better than you.
This past year,
I learned about my Self.
I learned where my true power lies.
(Hint: Not with you!)
I learned about my responsibility,
my resiliency, my strength.
I went all the way down,
found the bottom,
and have chosen to come back up.
I touched my deepest sorrow,
reached out and held myself
through paralyzing grief,
searched for and found
a reason to keep going.
Long after your suitcases are unpacked,
the bottles of wine are empty,
the rockstars have left the stage,
and the weight of real life
(and maybe even
the weight of your next wife?)
has killed your libido,
I’ll be here, standing strong
in the beautiful world I’ve built…
*As romantic as Paris can be, in rainy cold January. Good luck with that.
Friends, some of you may have noticed in the past couple of months that I have periodically addressed Him…the one who shall not be named…the one who married me, had two children with me and then left the marriage, saying it was all my fault. If you’re wondering at all about my writing to him, permit me to explain. Once I realized that he was trolling my posts I decided to address him directly here on this blog…and I discovered as I did so that writing to him as if he were reading my words is quite cathartic. There were many words left unspoken between us, and while I’m still processing the major transition in my life that he initiated, I figured that anything that provides catharsis is a good idea! At some point this will all be a distant memory and I will no longer feel a need to speak to him, but for now, when the desire strikes as it did tonight, I’ll give him a piece of my mind. Who knows? Perhaps he’ll read my posts and learn something? We can only hope…
I woke up this morning with a lightness,
was able to get so much accomplished…
something had shifted,
and my mind wasn’t stuck in the same old thoughts.
I felt more like myself today
than I had felt in ages.
I took time to take care of my self,
celebrated the quietude,
seized the chance to tune in
and clear my space.
Now, freshly showered,
clean sheets on my bed,
and a warm mug of tea
steaming beside me,
I look back in gratitude.
It was an incredibly ordinary day
by mostly anyone’s standards,
but I’m feeling peaceful now.
God bless my ordinary life.