Out of the Fog


My struggle seems to have taken a time-out this morning.

I went to a gong bath last night.  My hour long (or slightly longer) meditation spent in darkness, laying on the floor, blanket pulled up, and mask over my eyes, while 8 gongs vibrated, and crystal bowls sang, and drums beat and bells chimed in a wondrous cacophony of healing.  I set an intention last night going in.  It was to send love to all those in my life, love without strings, just send it to the universe and let the universe decide how to bring it to them.  I sent it to S, to my ex husband, to my son, to my friends.  To my mother, my sisters.  I visualized the pink energy threads spreading out from me, touching these people.

When the tsunami’s came (the tsunami is our name for when the gongs are played with such intensity that the vibrations wash over you like a tsunami, and you cannot hold a thought, whatever needs to bubble up for release is compelled then, there is no escape as the vibration of 8 gongs being wailed on reaches your very cellular level and finds what needs healing and opens the door) I sobbed.  For what, I didn’t know, but release is always good, and probably, at the gong bath, more common than not.

I had gone with a friend.  It’s nice to have a friend with me, I usually do, but last night I wished I was driving home alone, too many emotions, and none were coherent enough to put into words.  So, I let her talk, she is addicted to her phone, and I let her tell me all the funny memes that she was reading as I drove back to where we’d left her car.  (“I put $1 in an envelope every time my wife and I have sex, and what’s in there is all I’m spending on her for Christmas.  So far she’s getting a cup of coffee.”)  The time passed amicably.

Then I got stuck in traffic.  They are doing major major highway reconstruction at night, and it held me up a good half hour.  The emotions which the gongs shook to the surface began to appear, like a wound that won’t close.  I longed once more for what never would be, I couldn’t find a pathway between what I know I can accept and what I want more than anything.  I felt like all those pink threads that I sent out were pulling on me, painfully, 100 little threads pulling my heart apart. Struggle.

I sent out a text, to which there was no response.  Understandably, but still, painfully silent.

When I got home, late, because of the traffic, I wept as I wrote “Only You”.  More release.

I climbed into bed, and tried to read.  My book club is reading “The Sacred Year” by Michael Yankovich.  I wasn’t crazy about it at first, but I like it more and more as I read.  His year becomes a deeper and deeper search into his soul.  Finally, I shut the light out, it was late, I was exhausted.  But the struggle seems to like that time, when I am tired and it’s late, to make me think about it.

I have been trying to wean myself off of the Ambien to sleep.  Started with the carpal tunnel, because it helped me sleep through a lot of the pain.  Last weekend I made it through a night without it.  But not since.  I tried last night, but lay there, with a knot in my heart and the pit of my stomach, and finally got out of bed and took one more, so I wouldn’t be up all night, struggling.

I was thinking then, that I might ask for something today, that would probably not serve me well, except it would stop the pain, for a little while.  Not having any resolution but thanks to the Ambien, I fell soundly asleep for 6 hours.

This morning, it seems, the gongs work becomes evident.  What bubbled up last night, what was pulled out of me at the very cellular level, needed to come up, and I  needed to release it.  While I still feel the struggle, it is not so fresh, not like a new wound again.  More like one that is healing, a wound that brings bittersweet memories with it, but is healing, not bleeding anymore.

And really, who knows which wound causes the struggle?  There are many, we all have many.  I have chosen one, it seems, at which to direct my emotions.  I think, really, the struggle is multi-faceted, and not completely caused by present moment events.

I was surprised to walk out on my deck at 6 AM this morning and find the world shrouded in fog.  As if some greater power knew I needed this time alone, no distractions of bright golden sunrises, or even morning stars.  I know they are there, I know I will see them again, but I needed to focus on this this morning .

It is good to regain my focus, and to think I can move forward in letting go of things that have not served me, even if I love them.  I will always love them.  And that’s a good thing.  To love without attachment.  I’m trying, anyway.

Sitting With Our Sadness

Some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten in dealing with difficult emotions is to “just sit with it.”  This advice was given to a meditation group I used to go to once a week.  And honestly, that’s often what we would do for an hour or so there, just sit with whatever we were feeling, in the dark, with quiet music playing, or crystal bowls.  The same facilitator would also tell us, “We don’t need to go excavating.  If you don’t know what is making you sad, it doesn’t matter, just allow yourself to be sad, if you feel sad.  Honor that….”

So, I’ve done a lot of that. I’ve sat through my anger, I’ve sat through my sadness. Sitting with it, allowing it to surface, honoring what I feel, not denying any of it. There are no bad emotions, only bad reactions to them.

Those emotions that we don’t allow, and honor, and instead bury, don’t die. They fester, and rot, and make us sick, literally. I believe that years of unhappy living in a terrible marriage contributed far more to my diabetes than issues of genetics or weight. I don’t believe the body is separate from the mind. As the mind tries to hide from the unpleasant emotions, those emotions pop out somewhere physically. All illnesses have an emotional component. This is reason enough for me, to allow myself to sit with my sadness, anger, confusion, and honor that. Generally, when I have sat long enough with them, they bubble up, and then dissipate.

Meditation is part of my daily routine. I meditate every morning, almost, for about 15 minutes. I find the quiet time generally re-centers me, prepares me to stay focused throughout my day. There are times I catch a quick 5 minute refresher during my lunch hour.

Last night I did it again. I have been told by some people that I talk to much, that I should maybe keep my thoughts to myself, and resist the temptation to tell people exactly what I think. Last night, I silenced my voice, and instead I sat with my angst, my sadness, my confusion. I allowed myself to feel it all, in the middle of the night. For 3 hours.

What happens, when you just sit with it, is that generally acceptance of what is comes to you. Last night was no exception. This morning I accept the reality of what was bothering me, I acknowledge that things are not what I want them to be, and I stop my efforts to make them so. I am reminded of Byron Katie, who says things like, “How do I know it’s supposed to be that way? Because it is….”

As water finds it’s way, I will try to go with the flow. It may seem to be taking me from what I want, but generally, it will get me where I need to be eventually. I may meander from the straight line I wanted to travel, but I may find something beautiful and unexpected in the bend in the river. I may end up where I originally wanted to be but with a richer, fuller appreciation of it. Or I may end up somewhere new and fabulous.

We need, I need, to trust that the universe knows our desires and is conspiring in our behalf to make them reality.

Just Let the Joy Be

It’s been a few days since I’ve written anything. I had to work late all week, not only to catch up from my few days off, but because I was covering someone else who was gone. I haven’t even unpacked yet from my trip.

I have been happy. Happy with my decision to be with S. His actions, his behavior, backs up what he told me he feels. Yeah, I’m vulnerable. Just thinking that to feel this happy….. and to stay in the moment with him…is not something I have done lightly, but I have followed my heart, my gut. It’s not like a trade off, I don’t think that eventually he’ll hurt me again and I’m not wondering will this current happiness be worth that pain. No…really, I think we are both evolving and presently our evolution is parallel. He learned something about himself, and I know he is truly sorry for the pain it caused me for him to learn that way.

The one thing that I’ve always appreciated about him is his honesty. He will tell me the truth, he will remain true to himself even if it hurts me. After living with someone for many years who was a pathological liar, I would so much rather have the brutal truth than a pretty lie. Any day. This he gives to me. He has now told me the whole truth….about the incident. While the thinking that led to it would be to most of us convoluted, I can understand, knowing him, how he arrived there, and for a few moments it seemed to be the only way for him to know what he wanted to find out. He realized within minutes it was wrong, and what the truth was, and he told it to me, and I believe him. I’m not going to explain him in this blog, because even as painful as it was, it is a gift to have him share himself so intimately and vulnerably with me, and so I will keep it in my heart.

I have heard from A a couple of times. He seems to be ok, it was a short relationship, only a few weeks, and it was going to end in a few months anyway. I think he had his place in my life, to remind me that I was desirable when I felt very much the opposite. I couldn’t drum up the same desire for him though, most likely because I was still in love with S. I think my place in his life was to renew his belief in his own spirit after his wife died, to help him to know again that death is only a transformation, not the end. It was good for both of us, but the once the purpose was accomplished it was destined to end.

I know now that my relationship with A was also hurtful to S, though he understands, it was still hurtful. I think we both will try harder to work within our relationship to resolve any issues, whether they be issues between us, or that we are having with ourselves. We both know we don’t want to be with anyone else. I know I am ready to do what needs to be done to build the relationship and not run at the first sign of trouble. Done running. Sick of running. I know that S did not tell me lightly that he didn’t want to be with anyone else, I trust that he also is in that place.

I went to a gong bath last night. I didn’t know what to expect, with all the emotions of the last couple of weeks. Not just S and A, but with my mom, my sis. As it turned out, harmony was the prevailing theme. The gongs seemed to be singing in harmony, as did the drums they play, and the bowls. S was not there physically, but I felt he was with me energetically, and that was very cool.

It was the vernal equinox last night, during the gong bath, which I think added to the energy. Thinking of all the unusual energy that was around yesterday, a solar eclipse, the equinox, the new moon. Of course, here in New England it snowed yet again, lol, and was cold.

I guess we just have to trust that spring will unfold as it should, even though it at times feels like it will never come. Kind of like being in a relationship. Sometimes, you just have to trust that it’s unfolding as it should. And let the joy be.

I’m in Charge Now

I do this thing, twice a month, known as a gong meditation. I have been going to them for about 5 years. They crossed my path in during my divorce, which was then in its third year. I was waiting for a date when the Supreme Court of my state would hear my case.

They used to hold the gong meditation at the gym I attended. My friend and I were leaving one Sunday afternoon and they were setting it up in the room where they hold classes like pilates and zumba. We wandered in and the group of people setting them up came over and greeted us. We asked about it.

It is a meditation experience. It lasts from 1 to 2 hours. You lay on the floor, on something comfy, and they play gongs, crystal bowls, tibetan bowls, various drums, rainsticks, bells. The sound can become very intense, it can fill the room like a glass fills with water, and then it can become very quiet. The intense sound we call Tsunami’s. It is so loud that you can scream, or sob and no one will be the wiser. But it can’t hurt your ears. I don’t know why….I think because of the vibrations being so organic.

The point of it is this. The gongs vibrate at the same rate as the human body. They don’t go around you, like many vibrations. They go through you. And they do their magic, where it is needed. Any thought, or belief you are holding onto that is not based in reality has very little chance of holding on during a tsunami. It is the perfect, safe environment to let your emotions bubble up, and let things go. I have done more healing there than any other single place.

Sometimes they are profound experiences. One night, I found myself in front of a wall made of cinderblocks. In each hole in the cinderblock was a piece of paper. And on the paper was written a reason, explaining why that particular block was put in the wall. Every slight, every hurtful comment, every lie, and manipulation, very injustice ever laid upon me, had its place in the wall. It was a wall I had built, purposefully, during my marriage, and the divorce. The wall was meant to keep anyone from hurting me again.

And it worked. I was able to extract myself from that abusive marriage. I was able to keep my wits about me, and help my son to escape it also. I was able to testify during my trial for a day and a half, and keep my head, not be emotional, and tell my story. And to sit in the auspicious Supreme Court as the justices questioned my attorney and my ex’s. And to know, by the questions that were asked, that I would win.

But that night, I realized that the wall had served its purpose, and that now……instead of keeping hurt out, it was keeping me a prisoner behind it. No one could hurt me anymore,but no one could reach me either. It was time to take the wall down. I began to take it down, one block by one block. I don’t know that it is completely down today….but would have to say, by and large the anger and pain I was holding onto in that wall has been forgiven and put behind me.

Another night, I saw my ex and I flying around. I had been struggling with letting go, of him, and all the dreams, and plans of a 32 year marriage, a 40 year relationship. We flew around, we waved to each other. “Good luck, have a nice life! Maybe I’ll see you, and maybe I won’t”, we called to each other. And then I flew in one direction, he in another, and we were alone, without each other, and happy, and I had let him go.

Another night, I saw myself, lying on the floor. And four entities, I don’t know what they were, were hovering over me. Protecting me. From what I am not sure, but I’m sure they knew, and that I needed them. When it was over, as I lay there trying to work my way back to the room I was in, out of the meditative state, the facilitators who are good friends of mine by now, began to talk about how the gongs can thin the veil, and allow spirits into the room. They knew nothing of my experience but I knew that it was verification of what I saw hovering over me.

Tonight I went. I didn’t know what I wanted to work on. The man who hurt me so badly by having sex with the stranger was on my mind, a lot. I have been talking to him. I miss him, his funny intelligent self-deprecating nature. I have always enjoyed his company. But I am full of mixed emotions. First it was rage, then pain, and now, it’s mostly fear. He has been in the hospital the last 2 days, having surgery to repair a hernia operation. I have offered to do whatever he needs done. I try to remember that I don’t have to like someone to show compassion. Of course….I do like him. A lot. So that part is easy. But I am scared shitless of being hurt again. So, fear. I have lots of it.

I went into the gong bath, as we call it. Bathing in the vibrations of the gongs….There are 8 gongs. I had the intention just to try to get deep enough to sort out my emotions regarding this man, what he did, and our relationship, where it should go from here. Love. First of all. Love. I think I love him, in more than the unconditional way. But so what? If I am subject to being hurt like that again. Then I remembered the rage…I remembered it, but didn’t feel it. I have let that fire burn out. The hurt, well….I still feel it, though it is not nearly so raw these days.

But my solar plexus and my sacral chakras both felt like there was a ball of something unpleasant in them. Fear. My heart wants to love this man, my head tells me I’m a fool. I am much more inclined to follow my heart than my head. But my gut…well,not happy with any of it. Fear.

I heard Elizabeth Gilbert talk the other day, about how when she was in India on her Pray part of her Eat, Pray, Love journey, she went to an island by herself for 10 days, and battled with all the voices in her head. Crying, screaming. She told them all, guilt, shame, pain, anger, love, joy, “look, we all have to find a way to work together. So from now on….I’m in the drivers seat. I love you all, you are all a part of me. You all have a place in me. But I’m in charge now.”

And that’s where I was at the end of the meditation tonight. Fear, hurt, anger, love, shame, …listen you all. I’m in charge now. The fear will keep me cautious. The love will keep me compassionate. The hurt and anger and shame….will remind me not to become too vulnerable to someone who has not earned my trust. Maybe he can earn my trust back, maybe he doesn’t really want to. It remains to be seen. But……

I’m in charge now.