Sunday, November 29, 2015

Twists and Turns

“The road of life twists and turns and no two directions are ever the same. Yet our lessons come from the journey, not the destination.”
Don Williams, Jr.

The years, the decades pass swiftly, or so it seems, but there are days that time stands still. I am "pushing 70" as the expression goes and most days I feel years younger than that. Most days I don't recognize my own face in the mirror. (I know that face is mine but where did those wrinkles come from?)

Heartbreak at my age? Somehow this is embarrassing. But as a wise person once said "it is what it is" and so the acceptance of that is the truth, as piercing as that can be.

Out of the many lessons along this path, one of the most recent is this:

It is emotionally, spiritually, and hence physically healthy to have boundaries and to teach others how to treat me. I consider myself a kind and accepting person but when someone steps on my toes I set a boundary. If I don't respect myself then certainly no one else will.

In drawing this boundary I allow myself to experience and embrace the emotions that a separation from a life partner means: humiliation, anger, self-doubt, and disappointment. I can't pretend I don't feel these things. Divorce is like a death in the family, a death that must be mourned so that I can move on. Grieving must happen in order to cleanse and heal.

I can't say that I am completely "over it" but I can say that I have made some headway along this part of the journey.

Here's a great poem by Mary Oliver

The Journey 
One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
‘Mend my life!’
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognised as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.

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