The Difficult Task Of Going With The Flow

April 9, 2012 by  
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Going with the flow, living in the moment, having no expectations could be the most difficult state of mind to reach as it means letting go of the outcome.

Somehow, somewhere we bought into the illusion that if we have a tight grip on our lives we will be spared from hurt and pain.  That is not so.  The effects are actually the opposite — the tighter the grip, the greater the confusion.

I have been a widow for almost four years now.   A couple of months ago I met someone who sparked my interest.  The first one in many years.  In my mind – and based in my past experiences – I was embarking into a committed relationship.  But, to my surprise my new partner saw things differently.  He truly enjoyed our time together when we were together, but wasn’t ready, didn’t want, or couldn’t commit to only being with me.

At that point, I was faced with a few choices: 1 – change the situation, 2 – leave it, 3 – change how I felt about it, 4 – accept it,  5- become miserable or 6 – make things worse.

My first choice was to leave the situation.  In my mind it was either you’re ready to give this a shot or you’re not.  And staying open to meeting other people did not seem to me to translate into really giving it a shot.   I think in my decision, I didn’t take into consideration my partner’s history, rhythm or way of living.  I actually don’t even know if he was seeing others or was more attached to the idea/possibility of it.

A couple of weeks after me telling this person, I was no longer interested in seeing him under the circumstances he was proposing, I realized I was unhappy.  I missed his company, what we had started building together, the feeling of being connected and the attention he offered me.  I realized being without him at that particular moment was harder than being with him.  So, I called, and we got together.  But, I had stipulations for the new situation.  If he wanted an open relationship then we couldn’t email, text, call as much as we had in the past and we were not to ask each other where we were and what we were doing.  My thinking was this way I would protect myself from knowing something that would undoubtedly upset me.

Well, a couple of more weeks went by and I had another realization.  I wasn’t being spontaneous and thus I wasn’t getting as much out of the experience as I could.  And I still worried about the outcome.

I again ran through the six possibilities I had run through only a few weeks back (see above) and finally realized the only sensible thing to do was to let go of the outcome.  If we will live together happily ever after or if we will stop seeing each other by tomorrow is a question mark, but enjoying each other as much as possible and being in the moment is a certain possibility.

We lose a lot when we don’t accept things as they are.  By doing that we actually get in the way of letting life sort itself out and possibly give us the outcome we wanted.

Arm wrestling a relationship to reflect our needs, fears and insecurities will just lead to pain and hurt.  While acceptance will lead to real experiences.

Of course, I’m discussing a situation that involves respect and mutual liking.  When that is not present then staying means opening oneself up to an abusive relationship.  You must know the difference.

This is a new experience for me, but I do know it is something I must go through now.  And so I check in with myself constantly and ask the same six questions.  When the answer changes, then it will be time to switch my behavior.  In the meantime, I’m laughing and enjoying my moment.





February 1, 2010 by  
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Forms that include marital status still make me cry. How do you re-program your perception of your identity? When do you accept that life has a new normal? I continue to base decisions around what my husband would have done if he was here. But he’s not here. Or is he?

Hospice offered quality of life for my husband to be at home without pain. Holding his hands, I watched him leave. I felt the energy in the room change. His presence in the room was gone.

A close friend sent me a card that read “Richard is now sitting with the Saints and Angels and if he had a choice he would not return. Richard is holding you now and loving you the same as when he was here.” Obviously meant to offer me comfort, yet that first sentence broke my heart. What on earth was she thinking? Why would she say that to me?? As a little girl I always thought of heaven as this magical place behind the clouds. Angels were playing harps and there were flowers everywhere. Heaven was up there in the sky, surrounded by the twinkling stars, in this galaxy far far away. So if he had the choice, he would not return? He would rather be in this magical place behind the clouds than be here with me?? That hit me hard.

My thoughts took me into a fog of confusion. Feeling powerless in dealing with my husband’s death, I shut down. There was a disconnect going on in my heart. My thoughts finally took me back to my core. What did I really believe about death, a chapter of life we will all face?

I finally realized that my little girl perception of heaven didn’t fit me anymore. I understood why the words written in that card upset me so much. That little girl believed that when my husband left with the Angels and Saints, he couldn’t be with me. He was gone. He would be in heaven, a place that was far far away.

So my perception of heaven had totally changed from that little girl. I believe in heaven on earth, Eternal Life. My husband lives in my heart now as he did when he walked beside me. He will always love me and hold me tight. He will always be with me. Four years ago, we walked a labyrinth out in the hill country of Texas. This past July, my daughter and I walked the labyrinth at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. Feeling his presence walking with me, emotions swirled… creating a peaceful comfort deep within my soul.

The thoughts we have as children are still there. They can make us question who we are now. They continually challenge us. We learn to stand strong, to ignore and eventually face our past insecurities and fears. Why does this seem to be a lesson we have to learn, over and over again?

Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.

Kahil Gibran


Finding Love After Loss

May 11, 2009 by  
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My husband died on August 15th 2008 at 2am.

We met 5 years ago and had the most incredible life together.  After kissing many frogs and frogets, Chris and I were kissing each other and marveling at our luck at having finally found one another.  We were full of hope for a life together. And full of love.

But then two years later that annoying saying “all good things come to an end” happened.  Chris was diagnosed with a very rare cancer and needed a liver transplant a.s.a.p or he wouldn’t make it.

From Los Angeles we flew in an air ambulance to Jacksonville, Florida where he would have a better chance for a transplant.  After many visits to the ER, and with only hours to spare, Chris received a new liver.

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