Being Here Now. Not Back There.


I have had a bouquet of silk sunflowers for maybe 25, even 30 years. They were on a small table on the staircase landing when I was married. They moved to my kitchen table when I moved out 13 years ago, and still now, sit on my kitchen table in Florida. They are my favorite flower, because I cannot help but feel happy when I look at them. They will brighten even the darkest days.

I tried to grow them once or twice, when I was married. We lived on a lake, and the lot was very wooded. There was not much sunlight, but still, I tried. I guess the birds ate the seeds, or something ate the sprouts. I found one growing across the street, in the woods, about 6’ tall and guessed that whatever took the seed, dropped it there. No fertilizer, not much sun there either, but the will to grow into a full sunflower must have been strong in that one.

And so it is with people too. Sometimes we get uprooted, and planted somewhere new, somewhere we don’t know, and have to learn to thrive again. Sometimes it’s emotional. We stay in the same place physically, but have to adjust to a new world inside ourselves as our circumstances change.

This is, I think, what has happened to me in the last month or so. The world I thought I lived in was brought crashing down, blindsiding me. And now, after taking many deep breaths, and regaining my balance, or at least beginning to, I have begun to adjust to my new life, and appreciate it, and like it. I’m standing, once more, though I am doing it with the help of my good friends, who allow me to use their shoulders to keep myself upright at times. Every day, I am stronger, thanks in big part to these friends.

I think they all know I’m strong, and will not ask them to forever hold me up. They know too that in difficult times in their lives, I will be there with a hand to help them up too, or a shoulder to lean on. We dry each others tears at times and turn the tears into sweet laughter.

Now I just need to be alone with myself for a while. I don’t know how long. But I need to dig deep inside of me, to rediscover myself, to find reasons to believe I have value. Or see if I do, actually, have value and determine what I need to change, and what I need to keep.

I still have a lot of anger and hurt in my heart, and I want neither one. I am trying to let the anger go, and the hurt is fading. I’m sick of throwing epithets at the man who did this to me, and of being on the receiving end of his. I don’t hate him, but I want to steer clear of him as much as possible, until I don’t have that visceral reaction when I see him, of anger, dislike, judgment. I know that he is not self-aware enough to have realized what he was doing when he did it. He let the anger take over his mental abilities. I cannot imagine spending 30 years of my life alone, and not coming out of it somewhat unbalanced.

Humans are social animals, we are not designed to be alone. We are designed to be, and indeed are, all connected to each other.. Trying to break that connection is so destructive to not only the isolated person but to all of us.  A chain’s strenth is only determined by its weakest link.  We all need and crave that connection, no matter how tough we think we are. That toughness is the ego talking, telling us we don’t need anyone. The ego has never really directed us in a positive way, except to keep us from running in front of a bus. So much better to listen to your soul, and do what you can to reconnect if you’ve broken the connections, to let go of the ridiculous idea that you don’t need anyone, and welcome all people into your life. At least, those that pose no hazard to you. You may have something to learn, there are lessons in everything.

The thing I struggle with at the moment is why I’ve been so willing to fall in love with someone without considering all the facts. I don’t want to do this again. I want to be able to stand back enough that even if I really like someone, I won’t try to make them happy at my expense ever again. It diminishes us both. I can be friends, but more intimacy than that has to grow slowly with me now. I am too old and have to few years left on this earth to be on an obsessively constant search for love. I’ve changed so much in the last 3 years, and now that I’m alone I can see it, and not always feel like I have to defend myself. We need to see clearly why we do what we do and not fool ourselves, like I have done way too many times. (Even once is too many….)

It’s a move forward. Yesterday I got a text from Dan who was continuing the text conversation we had two days before that got so ugly. I told him, I’m not going to do this. I’m not going backward, I’m not going to revisit an ugly conversation that is now past. The time for him to have read what I had to say (because he didn’t at the time) was not yesterday. It was the moment it happened. To stay with it, to let it lead where it was going to lead, and not be afraid of it.

One of my favorite sayings is, “Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.” That should be true for everyone. I mean yes, look back if you are trying to understand the lesson, but don’t move in back there and set up housekeeping. The house has been torn down, the road backward leads nowhere. I am here, right now, as Ram Dass titled his book, Be Here Now. Figure out where you want to go from here, not where you wished you’d gone from there.

So, that’s what I’m endeavoring to do. Be here now, not there, not wishing that things were different, but trying to figure out where I’m headed now.

Love and light to all.


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