Monday, April 16, 2012
Three weeks ago today, I began what was to be a full day of conference calls before my trip to California. Nothing seemed amiss, I had no premonitions of life altering forever, I just knew I needed to pace myself so as not to allow stress to overtake me during my busy day….
Were my nightmares of selling our house a premonition? Was my declaration that 2012 be the year to release attachments an invisible force? Was the resurgence of my depressive state in January and February a glimpse into my future? Does God hate me? Am I karmicly cursed? Did I not have enough character already? Do we live in a meaningless and random universe? I will never truly know. What I do know is I get to choose the meaning I assign to this – and as always, the crucial question is, does my interpretation empower me? Right now, the jury is still out.
Those who know me well are aware that March 22nd marks the day of the loss of our baby. I won’t go into that story except to say that every year on the anniversary, I reflect, mourn, cocoon, hibernate – and sometimes create.
Smack dab between David’s birthday and mine, it’s always a rich, yet heart aching time of year. Because of the loss of our baby in 2003, we decided to reinvent our life. No longer heading down the path of childrearing and unsure if we would return to that path, we chose to move further out in the mountains. We owned land in Fairplay and were beginning to break ground there until one day by chance we found our dream home. Being off-the-grid and off the beaten path – as well as smaller than our old house – we would never have made the move if our pregnancy had continued. The gift of the loss of our baby Zoey was finding our forever home.
In 2006, on the anniversary of Zoey, I spent 4 hours on my deck, writing a life Vision as outlined in Jack Canfield’s book The Success Principles. In this exercise materialized the first time I declared a desire to write books. Two years later, I caught myself “Waiting for Jack” and the rest is history regarding my emergence as a writer.
Every year, I go within on this anniversary so 2012 was no different. I looked at all my keepsakes from my pregnancy, which I memorialized in a beautiful wooden box I kept in my meditation room. Yet, this time, I considered releasing all of it – and actually had the thought of burning the box. Not ready for that, I gently placed the box back on the shelf. Two weeks prior, when Joleen helped us clean out our laundry room, we gingerly moved the wooden cradle David handmade for our baby. At some point, its leg had broken. As we carried the beautiful piece out from under the stairs, I studied my husband to see what he would say. Expecting to hear, “it’s time to pass this along.” He said, instead, “let’s move this to my shop and I will fix it.” He wasn’t quite ready to let go either. I breathed a sigh of relief.
The "controlled" burn started on March 22nd. All remnants of Zoey went up in flames on March 26th.
This morning, I found a piece I wrote on March 24th while still in my annual exploration and process:
If we had known, would we take this journey? If we had known we would forget who we are, spend much of our lives being our worst enemy, run ourselves into the ground only to one day realize that nothing really matters except love – would we have said yes to this adventure?
They say wisdom come with age – and we know that is not a guaranteed outcome. It takes a willingness to become self-aware which is distinct from being self-conscious. Self-awareness is having perspective on ourselves as well as our silly human foibles without making any of it wrong – or catching ourselves as soon as we begin to make it wrong. Self-consciousness is extreme self-absorption, which is not wrong either; it’s just a distraction from who we really are.
I celebrated arriving to my forties as I had heard that the forties are an age when one begins to be less concerned with all the things that seemed so important before. The hope was a mellowing of the need to be liked, a softening of my drivenenss, a deeper level of self-acceptance. I believe it has been. And now, as I turn the corner on my mid-forties, heading towards the next stretch toward my fifties (so as not to be cryptic, I turn 46 on April 2nd!), I take stock again of where I am and who I have become.
It remained an unfinished exploration, sitting on my Mac, waiting for a conclusion. I don’t have one now.
Instead, I wonder who I will become on the other side of this grand adventure. Having “released” all my material possessions to their fiery grave, I wonder what will emerge. Hanging in the unknown is what I need to do right now. One day, I will know again. Right now, I just need to let myself not know.
As my new friend and Four Mile Canyon survivor, Andi O’Conor said yesterday: "Just remember, you will be ok. But not right now." Much gratitude, Andi!