Tag Archives: solitude

Alone on a Saturday Night

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For a long time
it felt like something was missing.
I had been a Mrs. for so long,
and now he was gone.
There was an empty place in my bed,
a hole in my heart,
an vacant seat at the table,
a void of presence in my life.
But slowly, slowly,
as time went on,
I faced the one inside me
who believed I couldn’t make it on my own.
I worked hard.
Day after day, I recommitted to my healing.
I began to enjoy the company I kept
in the quiet moments of solitude
when I wasn’t working or mothering.
It’s Saturday night and I’m alone.
The highlight of my evening was a long soak in the tub.
I love this moment.
I love that nothing is missing.
I love that I can feel my wholeness now.
I love that I stayed alive for my healing.*

*If you’re reading this with a broken heart, having gone through a loss of a relationship or the loss of a loved one or the loss of something by which you formed your identity, please hang in there. It gets better. There were so many moments during my separation and divorce that the pain was so intense that I really thought I wanted to die. Thankfully I had Twelve Step Meetings, therapy and a few really good friends who helped me stay on this planet. On the other side of that terrible trial, I can look back and see what a gift it was. I am stronger now, and more capable of loving authentically. I have a clearer sense of who I am, and a much better idea of where I want to go and what I need to do to get there. There is hope, friend…hang in there.

The Beauty of My Aloneness

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Sometimes I wonder
how you could go from
I love you
to It’s over.
But that’s exactly what happened,
from one month to the next…
And yes,
nearly two years later,
I’m still wondering.
I’ve read another book,
The Way of the Superior Man,* by David Deida.
(You told me I read too many books,
but then I think you watch way too much TV.)
I flagged each sentence
that shed light on what went wrong
in our marriage.
I’ll go back and reread what I’ve flagged,
memorize the passages,
so that never again
will I share my heart
with a weak man,
a man who blames his woman
for his shortcomings,
a man who defends his mediocrity
by rescinding his responsibility.
I’ll read every book I can get my hands on
about cultivating a healthy relationship with myself
and healthy relationships with others.
I’m becoming quite an educated woman.
The beauty of my aloneness
is that I get to dream of being
with someone who deserves me,
and I get to cultivate the deep sense of worthiness
that will draw him to me.
I’m still healing from the wounds you inflicted
when you left our marriage in such a cowardly way.
Eventually, though,
when I’m with a beautiful, strong man
who loves and appreciates my deeply feminine core,
I’ll thank you for giving up,
because I know I was worth so much more.

*I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It resonated so deeply and clarified so much. I’ve never felt so vindicated, seen, heard and understood. Ladies, every one of you, please read this book. Gentlemen, every one of you, please read this book.

My Ordinary Life

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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.

Sanity and Connection

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We went to an amusement park today.
What feels like play to many
seems to suck the soul out of me at times.
I tried to breathe as we waited in lines,
applying the tonglen meditation technique…
breathing in the impatience
for myself and all beings,
breathing out relaxed presence.
Sometimes I was successful,
I’m pretty sure at others I wore a faint scowl
unconsciously…as I dreamed of silence.
It’s a head game being around so many;
The noise and the commotion
remind me of how much I love quiet,
how important solitude is to my wellbeing.
Looking back on the day I see
another opportunity for balance,
dancing that fine line between being with self
and being with others,
giving enough time to each
to keep sanity and connection both within reach.

Some Questions for You

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We seek out a conversation
because we are uncomfortable with the silence.
We want to bring more objects into our lives
because we are afraid of emptiness.
We seek companionship
because we are terrified of being alone.
Enough.
Enough.
Enough.
Can you be the brave one
who stops this madness?
Can you listen instead of speak?
Can you sit in the fire of silence
and be burned completely
and then rise from the ashes
pure and clean and clear?
Can you give away
what you are attached to?
Can you sit with your open heart and mind
and enjoy the simplest of gifts–
this breath in, this breath out?
For one moment,
could you stop surrounding yourself
with so many faces and voices
and thoughts
and noises,
could you sit quietly and be embraced
by the inner friend?

What if you were told
that the future of this planet
depends on you being okay
with yourself,
just as you are right now?

What would you do then?

Still Wishing for My Own Space

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It’s hard to adapt to life without a meditation room coming from three years of enjoying a space that was all mine, where I could close the door, and sit undisturbed. This past year I reclaimed my inner writer, and this manifested in part in my committing to this blog and posting every day.  Having my own quiet space to sit and write was of immeasurable help in keeping my commitment. All I had to do was show up, and I had the perfect quiet space to sit and write in peace and solitude.

And now it is different.  Now I sit and write at the dining room table, and already my mother and then my sister have shown up, puttering around getting their water for bed time.  A part of me resists forced interaction.  While I love them both, it is exceedingly difficult to maintain a steady stream of thought when it keeps being interrupted by people shuffling around, opening cabinets, turning on water, clearing their throat–every noise is as bad as someone banging a timpani right next to my ears, as far as distraction is concerned, it’s all the same.

Earlier this evening I tried to sit in my bedroom while my husband was downstairs watching The Walking Dead. I first showered and brushed my teeth, and organized my space a little, because a cluttered space just isn’t conducive to cultivating an uncluttered mind.  Just as I was preparing to sit, our old cat began meowing his head off. He is mostly blind and mostly deaf, and meows loudly in a feline echo location of sorts as he tries to get his bearings in our new house.

Well, crap. I walked over to our master bathroom where we keep his litter box, his food, and his water.  I gave him a fresh bowl of water, made sure he had plenty of food, petted him, put him in our bed, and hoped that he would settle down and snooze.  He finally settled, but by that time my husband was done watching his show, which meant that he was going to head to our room to shower off and go to bed. I was disgruntled. I told him what happened with the cat, told him I hadn’t yet sat, and he said, “Well, what do you want me to do? You can’t sit with me up there?” Then I began grumbling about how hard it is to sit with someone shuffling around in the room, But, I said, it’s your bedroom, so come on up. Grumble grumble grumble.

I put earplugs in, pulled my fleece hat all the way over my eyes to block out two of my senses, hoping it would make it easier to go inwards. Sensory withdrawal is one of the eight limbs of yoga, and a crucial element of successful meditation. Withdrawal of the senses is easier, of course, when there isn’t so much sensory input in one’s space to begin with. Think about the quiet of a monastery or an ascetic’s cave dwelling–there isn’t much to disturb one’s journey inwards.

But a monastery or a cave dwelling this house is not. So even with the earplugs I heard my husband in the shower and my cat meowing a few more times.  I heard my husband slide the glass doors of the shower enclosure when he stepped out, I heard him toweling off and brushing his teeth.  I saw the light flick on and off, heard him  start to say something to me and then stop when he realized I was trying to sit against all odds.

Yep, feeling sorry for myself. Still mourning the loss of my room.  And there is a great battle being waged within, many parts vying for my attention, wanting to be validated. One of the loudest parts is the one saying, You don’t have anything to complain about.  Stop being so spoiled.  You have a bed, for God’s sake, a home, food, children, a husband, a family, a job. Stop being so goddamned self-centered. Well, that voice certainly isn’t helping me to feel any better.

Another part of me is hopeful.  It says, Maybe you’ll come out of this stronger in your ability to concentrate. Just keep trying.  Keep showing up for your practice. You’re doing fine.

Another voice that pipes up is that of my inner child.  She is just plain having a tantrum about all of this.  No fair no fair no fair! She shouts. What happened to my room? I want my room! No fair!
What do I say to such an angry little girl to help her feel better?

Anyway, that’s where I am tonight.  Wishing for a space all of my own, searching for meaning in all of this, trying to adapt, wanting to be good, wanting to let myself want what I want, wanting to grow up, wanting to be nurtured and coddled…wanting. Could this be about me releasing attachments and embracing reality, loving what is, regardless?

Friends, any thoughts you might offer will be much appreciated, even if it’s just to say, “I hear you.” Thanks for listening.  I hope you all are happy in this moment.

A Moment For Myself

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Everyone else is in bed.  I wiped off the table, lit a candle, opened up the laptop, rubbed a drop of frankincense essential oil between my palms, cupped my hands, inhaled deeply. Ahh, yes.  A moment of quiet for myself.  At the end of a long day, it is heaven to hear an airplane rumbling somewhere in the skies above, and inside, just the sound of the keyboard keys clicking, the house settling, the metal ducts of our heating system clicking and ticking as they cool.

It has been a while since I have devoted any time to my idea of incorporating the Twelve Steps into the twelve months that I have committed to daily writing in this blog.  This third month is drawing to a close; I might as well take some time to explore my work on the third step, lest this last week of March escape me without any mention of how I’ve been experiencing it.  Step three is about turning our life and affairs over to God as we understand God.  Nearly every session of meditation starts with me turning the thirty minutes over to God.  God, I turn this meditation over to you. I turn my focus over to you.  I turn my mind over to you.  Please do with it what you will.  Please help me to focus my mind, that I may experience the divine in me.

More often than not, I have been turning my commutes to the yoga studio over to God.  If there is a genetic predisposition for road rage, I have it.  Maybe it was just a learned behavior, but it feels a lot deeper than simple conditioned response.  It feels karmic.  I don’t want to be the person who mutters angrily while driving.  I don’t want to feel the adrenaline coursing through my body, my heart racing.  I have tried chanting, breathing, calling friends and family, and other tactics to distract me from jumping into my normal mode of tenseness behind the wheel, but results are slow to become apparent.  In my quest to transform into the calm person I want to be, I find myself becoming impatient, disheartened, doubtful that I will ever see results…but there is another way to handle this.  I can turn over my driving, my thoughts about my driving, and the experience of sharing the road with other people over to God.  It’s a relief to know that turning it over is an option.  I don’t have to be in control.  I don’t have to be pinched and anxious and angry as soon as I turn the key in the ignition.  I turn my driving over to you God.  I turn my anger and my mistrust of other drivers over to you.  Please help me to stay calm, alert.  Thank you.

I have “turned over” many other experiences and thoughts this month.  It surely requires practice, like any other skill we can develop.  I want to surrender fully to the flow of life.  Because I have become accustomed to struggling with the daily challenges of life and the illusion of control…there is a lot of resistance, and anxiety surrounding this work of surrendering.  I turn over this act of surrender to you God.  Take it and do with it what you will.

I would love to see what I could write–say at midday or early afternoon–when my mind is more alert and my body not so exhausted,  but here I am writing after eleven o’clock at night.  The reality is I’m growing drowsier with each passing minute…so I shall surrender to sweet sleep now.  I turn my dreams over to you God.  I turn over my deepest longings, my hopes and my fears, my sleep, my health, my body, my family–all over to you, God.

 

Bonne nuit!