Post Title: The Gift of Desperation
Post Date: April 27, 2014
Out of desperation, I began meditating in early December of 2013. There I was: at a crisis house in Oceanside, broke, alone, nowhere to go, and out of ideas. Any fight that once lived inside of me was finished. The fight against alcohol, against mental and physical illness, against the ex-boyfriend, against my family, against my mortality, all of it — gone.
My counselor, Jim, invited me to a group he would be leading in guided meditation. I accepted the invite, knowing I’d never go. My only plan was to sleep into oblivion. Next thing I knew, I was in the group, settling into a chair while tears streamed down my face.
Jim stood and turned off the lights. He asked us to close our eyes and to begin to focus on our breath. He then asked us to visualize ourselves in a lush forest, sitting near a pile of leaves, next to a stream. He acknowledged that thoughts were still going to arise for us. When the thoughts arose, we were to place the thought upon a leaf (from the pile next to us), set it in the stream, and watch it sail away.
My thoughts assaulted me: What am I going to do? I’m never going to make it. He doesn’t love me anymore. I placed the thoughts on the leaves and watched them sail away.
It’s been over four months since I attended that meditation. My practice has grown to at least one 30-minute sitting a day. No longer in a crisis house, I am about to move into my own apartment again. I have newfound hope.
Post Title: Bearing the Beams of Love
Post Date: May 26, 2014
The statute of limitations regarding my ex-boyfriend-breakup-grief has not yet expired. Yes, I’m fully aware that it’s been nine months since I’ve seen him, AND that our “relationship” should have ended a year before that.
Due to my new position as a grant-writing associate, it has been suggested that I update my LinkedIn profile. When I logged in, I inhaled deeply and promised myself I would NOT stalk his page. But because I could not keep myself from stalking his page months ago, his face populated the right of my screen under “recently viewed profiles.” First, a 30-second struggle. Then I broke the flimsy pledge I had made and clicked on his page.
A hairball of grief rose from my stomach to the center of my throat. I have learned the only path to peace is through surrendering my desperate need to have him love me. One day at a time, I stopped contacting him. After some time, he no longer was the first thing I thought of when I woke up — where he was, when would I see him, whether he would ever hold me again. I’d wake up and think about my son. Foundations I was going to research. Meetings I was going to attend that day.
My meditation practice grew. I stayed sober and began writing again. I’ve been blessed with consecutive days of knowing I am okay without him. Suddenly, I was sent reeling. My defenses were leveled.
I emailed him. Congratulated him on his new job. Told him he looks great. Confessed that I still think of him; I still miss him. I still hope to run into him someday. Love, liz.
I breathed deeply, pressed send, and reminded myself, No expectations.
The next morning after church — an email from my ex. Breakfast remains uneaten.
He politely thanks me for the words of encouragement; congratulates me on having a boss, participating in an internship, and achieving a level of mental stability. He reassured me that I wasn’t wrong for still thinking about him. He, too, thinks about me sometimes. “BUT this DOES NOT mean there is any optimistic hope for our future.”
3000 miles away — he makes sure to remind me it’s over.
He hopes my son is okay. He then encourages me to “keep in touch!” and without salutation, he curtly ends with his name.
I called my best friend. She insisted on taking me to dinner that evening. Midday, a couple of friends who live in my building invited me to lunch. They refused to take no for an answer. These are the ones that love me. Always have; I think they always will.
[Posts edited for length]
Title: Flourish or Flounder | Address: flourishorflounder.blogspot.com
Author: Liz R. | From: Downtown | Blogging since: April 23, 2104