November is my least favorite month of the year, hands down. You can keep your leftover Halloween candy and hold the stuffing, turkey and pecan pie. Each year, October rolls in and each year I wish it would just keep on rolling, all the way to January. This year is no different. Except that it’s a little darker with compounding stuffthat just keeps piling up on me, like a stack of books on my head. Trying to balance it all before they all fall down and make a mess. The stack keeps growing and growing, getting heavier, and darn if I am not trying my hardest not to make a mess. But it eventually all falls around me and the mess comes. And it’s ok. The mess is how we learn that the stack was too tall and the mess is how we learn what we need to do to grow and create a better balance. The mess is also there to teach us what we are carrying that no longer serves us.
I have had quite a mess these past few months as my books tumbled. OK, that’s funny. I have had quite a mess these past several years. But the mess these past few months has been – messier than usual. And I have been carrying those books as best as I could, bobbing and weaving and trying to manage it all.
When I look around at the mess I see a lot of things. I see my amazing children that are the most important things in the world to me. They witness my mess, they watch as I handle it all, what I drop, what I don’t, what I choose to pick up and dust off and what I choose to no longer carry. They watch and learn from my mess so they know better how to balance their own loads as they grow up. In some ways, I have been a great example to them; other times, not so much. But they learn that life is hard and that there are always messes, and we have to deal with what is in front of us one way or another. We have to – or else it shows up somewhere, and usually not where you want it to and when you aren’t expecting it – and brings on a shit show.
I see in the mess right now a lot of heavy books – big, fat, deep, profound books. Some that I am tired of reading, and some that I have been precariously carrying but never wanted to open and dig in deep. But those are the ones that are the hardest to carry and keep making me trip and fall. So it’s time to really sort out those big suckers and read them cover to cover, back to front, front to back and sideways. This current mess is a beautiful one that contains the anniversary of my husband’s death, the memories of “the last time we..” which includes Halloween, as that’s last holiday we had with him, the breakup and aftermath of a relationship that was so good and so important to me, manifesting the perfect new job, diving deep into the intricacies of my youngest child’s learning disabilities and health issues, dealing with the holidays and the emotion and stress those bring. It all comes crashing down together and I just sit with it on the floor and look around and think, “How in the heck am I ever going to pick all this up? How can I do it? What do I let go of?”
Obviously, there is no letting go of the day my late husband died. And I wouldn’t want to. But it always does bring some heaviness with it and that’s ok. This far out, we have learned how to manage that and have developed our own traditions and love around it. It is a huge piece of our family story and history. It’s funny though how the cellular memory kicks in at this time of year and even if you don’t realize you are reacting to the season or the days, your body most definitely is, and all of a sudden you look at a calendar and think,”Oh, THAT’S why I am so emotional or angry or absent minded.” Your body remembers on such a deep level all that it went thru. It’s kind of amazing. I was telling Hope yesterday how amazing our bodies are and how they have a way of healing themselves – this was after she had blood taken for the first time at the doctor’s office. But in so many ways, our bodies and our minds are so good at healing themselves, sometimes in spite of our best efforts to the contrary.
I have been really holding on to a lot that no longer serves me in regards to much in my recent life – and it feels terrifying to let it go. It really does and I can’t pinpoint why it’s terrifying or why it’s so bloody hard. It is very difficult to let go of people and things that were so significant to me, made me so happy and feel so good. Even though I know for sure the holding on is bringing me pain – I haven’t wanted to let it go. Damn I don’t want to. But it is time to feel lighter and way past time to be really in tune with myself about knowing my value, knowing what I need, what the best is for me, what makes me happy and what makes for the best life for me. I want to search out how to do that instead of holding so tight on to something that is in the past. I need to learn how to accept the experiences of life for what they are, see the beauty and happiness that they provided and accept that for what it is, with no expectations of what it isn’t. The relationship that I was in for the past year had so much good in it; excitement, romance, security, fun, support, tremendous passion, generosity of spirit and lots of love. It ended. That ending devastated me – I was slayed by it. And being who I am, I held out hope that perhaps it was simply in a pause, not really at the end. Hope is a wonderful thing but man, sometimes it really is a jerk. I was full of so much emotion when it ended, and after I learned that he was seeing someone else a few months later, I realized how much I really was affected still. It is truly crazy what love does to you and even crazier what those demons you have hidden way down deep inside do to you when you are in that state of mind. And I’ll tell you what: after your spouse dies, it’s so hard to comprehend that you could so easily, quickly and joyfully see and feel this love that is a but a few miles away – he’s alive. He loves me. I could walk into his house, hear him playing guitar and hold him. He’s here. He’s just – not anymore. So weird – life is so short and true love and true happiness is hard to come by.
I get it now, though it may take my heart just a few beats longer than my mind to get it too. And that is ok. It was so good, one of the best experiences, best years of my life. It’s not time to dissect every action or word, not time to say what could have been or time to be angry. It’s time to be thrilled that I had that year in my life and value it for all that it was, not for all that it wasn’t or what it could have been. I am grateful for all of it and I am grateful for knowing him and knowing that kind of love, no matter how long it lasted. I learned a lot about myself in this relationship and he did too. We both learned that we have work to do on ourselves before we can fully give ourselves to someone else. We have a lot of work to do before we can stand in our own space and be really happy in that space, in that life, before inviting someone else in to share that space with us. If that work isn’t done, it’ll come out of the woodwork and poison what is important. We have to do the work and this experience has opened our eyes to that. How amazing is that.
God is teaching me lessons and I am paying attention – I have to be more in tuned with my own needs. I know I must stop being so accepting of what is given to me in relationship, if indeed what I need is more or different. I have to be strong enough to know, really know, that I am amazing on my own and be so happy with my life just the way it is. I need to work to manifest the life I want and then, at some point, if someone comes along and adds to that happiness, that’s fantastic.
I have nothing in life figured out, no grand wisdom but I am learning and open to all the universe has in store for me. I love that I have people in my life that I can trust and learn from. Today, I am especially grateful for those individuals that love me and want the best for me. They are the ones that tell me I am amazing and strong when I cannot see it in myself. They tell me that I deserve the best and that I am destined to have a life that is full of beauty and love. We all need those people. They support me when I am down; they call even when I say “I’m fine”. They help me to realize that this mess that I have doesn’t all need to be carried alone. And they tell me very directly to get rid of what no longer serves me. That’s hard, doing that. Because it takes a while to realize what no longer serves you. But if what you are hanging on to, what is weighing you down is hurtful and hard, you have to let it go. And that doesn’t mean you can’t look back at it every now and then and smile at it and walk through those memories. But you have to let it go. Otherwise you cannot rise. And we are all meant to rise, all meant to reach our highest potential and all meant to be loved beyond measure.