I have been spending a lot of time lately feeling sorry for myself. I tell people I am changing my first name to Malcontenta. Why is that? Partly it's just what I call the 5 year blues. I'm tired of missing my husband. I wish he was here. However, I know better. I know that I can change how I feel by changing what I think and how I act.
There is nothing wrong with paying attention to the part of me that is lonely and sad and tired. My granddaughter and daughter visited and I was very tired. Now I am sick with a boring miserable old cold. Whine whine whine. I like a good whine.
I will be happier if I pay attention to the part of me that is lucky and happy and grateful. I swing too easily to the dark than to the light. There. That very sentence. What if I said I swing or - I wing more easily to the light than to the dark. Our brains are in some ways like computers. Our language choices program them. The more I say I am sad the more sad I will be. The more I notice the times I am happy the more happy I can be. I'm not a robot but I can influence myself by the choices I make.
We take too often something and make it a box for us to climb in and close the lid. We define ourselves too narrowly. I am not suddenly an optimist. I do not believe we create our own reality. If I wanted to become an Olympic ice skating gold winner it would be impossible. However we can make changes in our reality and changes in how we see that reality.
Those sentences above. My granddaughter and daughter visited and I was very tired. I was. But what I could be writing is that my granddaughter and daughter visited and we did a lot of fun things. We went to see a children's group from Australia called the Wiggles and we danced and laughed. We did a photo shoot with a friend. It was mainly for my granddaughter but I was walking down the street and she was fixing my hair and taking pictures of me. I had paparazzi for a few minutes.
I am sick with a boring miserable old cold. What's pleasant about that? Well, I managed to do three loads of laundry yesterday and remake the bed. Now being sick gives me an excuse to cuddle in and write this in my clean and comfy sheets. Maybe having a cold is telling me to eat healthy and remember to take my vitamins.
Same event - different way of looking at it.
My husband is dead. I'm lonely. I miss him. What can I do with that? I am so lucky to have had a great love in my life. I read posts on my Facebook page about from people who deeply miss their parents. I wasn't lucky enough to have loving parents and I am glad other people have loving families. It is too late to have a happy childhood but it's not too late to have a happy now. It is love that leaves us with grief but I, for one, would not trade a minute of that love to avoid the grief. I am grateful too that I was there for my husband all the days of his life, and especially grateful that I was there to love him and support him in his dying time. I am grateful (if sometimes annoyed and scared) that I am the one that has to be strong.
It's human nature to focus on what hurts, what isn't right. I love to vent. I love to rage sometimes. You can look at the world and see all the truly horrific things and despair. You can look at the world and see all the beauty and all the people who are loving to each other and have hope. You can hold both.
I went out to dinner with my daughter and the service was genuinely terrible. I complained. I didn't have to complain so much - I could have enjoyed her company instead.
Every minute of every day I have a choice of how I see the world I live in. I don't have to fight fear, sadness, loneliness, pain. I can welcome them to my life. I can thank them for what they do to let me know that I am alive. I can ask them to make room for happiness, joy, silliness, smiles. I don't believe in being fake. However, if I practice noticing the things that make me smile instead of the things that bring tears to my eyes - I can shift the balance. I read that Yoko Ono did that when her great love and husband John Lennon was murdered. She consciously practiced smiling - not fake smiling - but genuine heart felt smiling.
I remember my husband's illness. I remember his body lying there with none of him left in it. I remember the times we fought. I remember the ways we failed each other. I remember my husband being athletic. I remember him full of life, his eyes so expressive with love and and laughter, his smile lighting up my world. I remember the journey we took together, how we took care of each other and helped each other. When it's written like that it seems easy to see which side I should spend most of my time looking at. When it's minute to minute life it is definitely a practice.
I am going to attempt to spend more of the life I have left thinking of the things I am grateful for rather than the things that I do not have. I am still sensitive and hurt and I will still need to express all of my emotions. However if I continue to act in ways that help other people; if I continue to show up for fun things with good people - I will have more of those happy moments.
Even my darling dead husband. I can be more sensitive to feeling his spirit comforting me. He has not let me go because I do not want him to. Some people want to be let go and that is fine. I always wanted us to hold on to each other and we still are. I always say that love triumphs over death. I should remember that.
As the round of holidays come closer, as his birthday comes closer - I must keep the music of the goodness of life playing in my mind. I feel like a heaving bulky elephant that has been pregnant for too long. I have given birth to some things since my husband died. What else is waiting to be born that I am holding back from because of those comfy sheets I talked about?
I am happy resting in memory and lingering for a while in sadness but I must spend more time valuing my days and nights here on earth. They are limited and if I am to truly honor my husband I must continue to live for both of us. If we get to be reunited - and so many people believe we will - I want to have a lot of stories to tell him.
I wish you all the practice of shifting your vision. When your pain is great do not lose the ability to notice the moments of joy. Do not inextricably tie pain and joy together. Let joy rise by itself like a helium balloon that lifts you higher. Don't fight the pain and loneliness - let them lighten knowing they are proof of love. Take a step down your path - if you don't know what it is - take a step down any path - eventually you will find yours. Today it leads you to your transformed self, some day it will lead you back into the same shape shifted form that your beloved dead already know. xo
Thank you for taking the time and thought it takes to put these wonderful harmonious words out to the many here who need them. I am grateful for you, every day, and your blog is something I use as one of my tools, to know that I am not alone in my grief and to help me try to see something positive.ReplyDelete
Tomorrow my Bob would be celebrating his 62nd birthday with me. He left this earthly plane just 4 days after his 60th birthday. Way too soon and completely unexpected, but I still feel total gratitude that I was able to share a great love and connection with him for as long as we did. I believe he is still near me, and that he sends messages to me when I am open to receiving them. Thank you Jan.
DITTO Scarlet...you said it well how Jan's blogs help us all. She has such a wonderful command of the language and expresses it so well. I am sorry for your loss.ReplyDelete
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