“Now I know why dogs love sticking their heads out the window! This is fun!” Lilian laughed with the glee of a child, waving one hand out in the air, steering the wheels with the other, hair flying wildly in the wind.
It was a smooth cruise up the clear and winding road.
We were driving into clouds bursting into icy sprays all over our face. A delicious treat when we’re so used to heat, all year long. The thick, heavy mist all around was getting thicker and heavier by the minute. A sure promise we’ll be freezing our ass off, as soon as we make it to the top!
Luca, her Italian friend who’s down for the weekend for a visit is the reason why we’re making this special trip up. He is smiling brightly and enjoying the surprising coolness as much as we were. He’s been to Malaysia 2 years ago. It had always been warm and humid. He never knew it could get this cold, and we’re only halfway up Genting Highlands!
“I lean against the wind, pretend that I am weightless, and in this moment I am happy, happy, … I wish you were here!” – Incubus
It was in this moment that I was happy, that I fell into a state of misery. I was thinking of Mr.X and missing him so. As my mind drifted to the past, I was no longer in the car but a passenger in a dark train of thoughts. It was rushing through a tunnel of regrets, going deeper underground.
“What if I didn’t say goodbye? What if I waited for him to call? What if I tried to call again? Would it have turned out differently?” “Maybe if I did this, he would’ve responded positively.” “Maybe if I did that, he would’t be silent.” “Maybe if I kept silent, he would’ve called.” “We could still be together IF I was more patient, more understanding, more forgiving… right???”
This has happened before. In my journal dated 12.12.10, this was the morning Rinda, my Spiritual Director, asked me how I felt. It was our one-on-one session time, the only time we get to talk in the Silent Retreat.
“Up and down and up and down,” I replied.
“Mmmm. Let me introduce you to the 5 stages of grieving,” she said, referencing Elizabeth Kubler Ross. “Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance.”
“The last stage, Acceptance, takes the longest to arrive at.
Until you do, you will find yourself bouncing between one and four, for some time.”
That explains a lot. I didn’t know what stage I was in but I had a question for Rinda. I have been following all the rules in the retreat and I’ve tried as much as possible to focus on God, so I wanted to know something.
“Is it okay to hope? Hope that maybe I can still work things out with him?”
Rinda smiled. “You are bargaining. God, if I promise to be good in this retreat, and remember You when I’m needy, can I keep him?
You need to let that die…
In order to be opened to what God wants you to do.
Be in the Nowness. Seek God and what He wants,” she said. “His will, not my will.”
These days, I’ve been struggling with the concept of God and believing. Yet in the midst of unbelief, it is an agnostic that assures me there’s a Higher Love. It is the girl with the tattoos that stubbornly insists God is real, in between smoking and flicking ash into the tray. It is a celebrity with no specific religion that eagerly shares that he has now chosen to believe in God, and wants to have a relationship with God. As I continue vacillating between a place of Faith to a place of Doubt, and back and forth, I find that I am still Guided through life, in my darkest moments.
As my heart was sinking and my smile fading, Mr.Now appeared instead.
“Be in the Nowness,” he suggested.
“You can’t change the past. Worrying will not change a thing, right now. It is your attachment to what you had, that is making you miserable, right now.
It is your fear, of what you might not have in the days to come, that is making you miserable, right now. The future has not yet happened. So why worry, now?
He isn’t here right now. Being miserable won’t bring him here right now. But you are here, Right Now. You can choose to enjoy this moment, Right Now.
You can be happy. You are already happy. You just need to realize that, and realize you can stay happy, if you stay in the Now.”
Just like that, my mind sprung back to the present and I was back with my friends in the car, joining in the laughter and enjoying our journey up.
That was Saturday. Today it’s Monday Blues! I am back in Bargaining Mode, miserable over the What Ifs. So I found myself writing a letter addressed to the Universe, Life, God, J… I stated my wish to see X again.
But what are my reasons? I began thinking what it is I loved about him.
I love the way he supports me. “You’re on fire babe!!! Inspiring me!
Be proud of how strong you’re being right now. It’s always hard to touch such sensitive themes with people you have chaotic backgrounds with. You’re super tough and looking at the bear straight in the eye!” he said, when I shared my struggle for the day.
I love the way he sees me. “A little work of art (he sends me the image that came to mind. An original sculpture in marble of a lady in a veil, by Raffaelo Monti)… for the absolute beauty, meticulousness, purity and peace that comes out of it.” “Your laugh… I like it… it’s pure.”
I love the way he understands. “No problems are small, all problems are important, relevant and proportionate to each person’s reality.”
There are so many things I love about him. But there are reasons why we’re not together now. I needed to be honest and remember why.
I thought about the ways he frustrates me (be it unconsciously or subconsciously). I thought about how worried and insecure I became in the process. And through that, discovered how needy I could still be.
“If only we could reconnect again, try again and understand each other, we could help each other heal and grow, right?” I tried bargaining.
That’s when a stream of Bigger Questions flowed through my heart.
Could it be, our connection is meant to be short and sudden, For Now? Could it be, we have served our purpose in each of our lives and done our part for each other’s healing and growth, For Now?
Could it be, we are apart, For Now, in order for Life to flow the way it needs to flow, bringing us along the paths, persons, experiences and lessons we need to encounter before encountering each other again?
Could it be, the frustrations were meant to build up and explode, to blow through the wall of resistance we built towards our growth?
“This is the year I get myself together,” – X
“My theme this year is Wholehearted,” – M
We both have a great vision for our life. Can I trust that we can continue in our vision for our lives, even when apart? Can I trust that our daily work on ourselves, will lead us to a new level of wholesomeness? And because like attracts like, lead us back to each other–if not as lovers, then as friends? Could I be satisfied, with having him in my life, as a friend, if nothing more could be offered?
The answer to all of the above is Yes.
For Now, everything is as it should be.
For Now, I get to wish him happiness.
For Now, I get to wish me happiness.
For Now, I am grateful for all I had, all I have, and all I am yet to receive…
…Life is full of Surprises.
So allow yourself to be Surprised!
By the end of the letter / journal writing, I felt so much better, lighter and free. I felt Grateful. For the Awareness. And for the tools I’ve been equipped with to deal with the pain and misery whenever it sneaks in.
As always, my intention for sharing my story and journey here is in the hope that we can grow through this together–one day at a time.
Today is The Day, made and created for you, to enjoy and be glad in it.
It’s okay and healthy to grief, for a time, for the loss of a loved one–be it due to death, separation, divorce or break ups.
But right now, if you’re done being stuck in the past with the miserable “What Ifs” and you’re ready to move on and Enter-into-Joy (En-Joy), try being in the Nowness.
May living in the moment, bring you release.
“If this life is one act
Why do we lay all these traps
We put them right in our path
When we just wanna be free…
So I just let go
Of what I know I don’t know
And I know I only do this by
Living in the moment
Living my life
Easy and breezy
With peace in my mind
With peace in my heart
With peace in my soul…
I’m letting myself off the hook
For things I’ve done
I let my past go past
And now I’m having more fun
I’m letting go of the thoughts
That do not make me strong…” – Living In The Moment, Jason Mraz.
“Fear less, hope more; Eat less, chew more; Whine less, breathe more; Talk less, say more; Love more, and all good things will be yours.”- Swedish Proverb
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