Personal ads. They’re … personal! Very.
I am thinking about releasing and I am thinking about grief.
They go together sometimes.
I am deep in the process of releasing right now, and this is just the beginning.
I am drinking ginger tea and releasing. Rinsing out the mug in the sink and releasing. Curling up with a blanket and a hot water bottle. Releasing.
Here are some of the things I’m releasing:
Clothes, books, ideas, expectations, stories I tell myself, my sense of how long things “should” take, things that are traps, tears.
There is a lot of grief in this releasing.
What do we know about grief?
- Grief is always legitimate.
- I don’t need to know why I’m grieving it now, or even to know what exactly I’m grieving.
- Grieving is about identity. Change means letting things go, and even the most joyful letting go is still a goodbye to some aspect of who you were.
- Our culture does not have mechanisms for really interacting with grief.
- Our culture does not have rituals or containers for acknowledging the very real pain of loss. I’m not just talking about death, the big loss. Also loss of job, dream, relationship, friendship.
- And when there is acknowledgment, it’s someone trying to cheer you up and get you past it, instead of sitting with you and letting you feel what you’re feeling.
- Grief is natural and normal, and it hurts.
- Our lives are filled with busy-ness and streams of incoming information and input. Sometimes it seems like there isn’t even a moment to notice that we are avoiding the grief, never mind to say hello to it and offer it a chair.
What do I know about this.
Sometimes even when the releasing is the best possible releasing, there is pain.
When my beloved mentor broke up with me, I was in shock. It was very sudden, unexpected, public, painful.
Even from inside the deep fog of confusion, inside the slow ache of realizing that there was no way to repair the broken trust between us, I knew that one day I would say thank you for this.
I knew there was treasure in this goodbye, in this releasing, even if I couldn’t see it yet.
It’s been a couple years now, and it doesn’t hurt anywhere near the way it did. The agonizing pain of that day is a simple memory of what was, no longer charged with feeling.
I’ve come to realize that this ending was needed, this releasing was necessary. And since I never would have let go of that connection of my own accord, I needed to be helped out of it.
And: grief is legitimate.
There is no hallmark card for most of the painful things in life.
At least not that I know of.
I definitely didn’t get any cards, and now I kind of want some:
“Hey sorry the person you thought was your biggest supporter turned out to be the opposite of supportive! That sucks! You are AMAZING!”
“Whoa the thing you spent the last ten years working on is not in your life anymore, that has to hurt. I wish I had more than hugs, but here are some hugs! Your dream was special and so are you!”
“Hey, that is so hard that your giant project didn’t work out and you lost everything, just wanted to say that I love you and adore you, and I know you’ll be okay. P.S. You are a great adventuress!”
People tend not to mention the painful things.
They tiptoe around them.
Or they are confused about why you feel sad. Which is weird. Really? Why am I crying right now? I don’t know. Could be anything really. Look at all the things I have lost in the past few years. Look at all the broken pieces.
I’m glad for the releasing, for all the treasure of releasing, and sometimes it still hurts, and the thing that needs to be released is bucketloads of tears.
Or what needs to be released is the idea that I need to be over this.
What is my wish?
To find the joy in releasing. To be peaceful with the presence of grief.
To say thank you with a full heart to everything that is and everything that was.
To give myself endless permission to feel as sad as I happen to feel, for as long as I need to feel it.
To remember that everyone I encounter has also experienced deep losses, that we are all going through this all the time, the loss and the non-acknowledgment.
To do my own acknowledging.
What do I know about this wish?
This afternoon I was at my center, The Playground.
I’ve had this space for nearly five years, can you believe it. And now I am in the process of maybe-probably letting it go. Releasing. And it hurts.
It is right, and it hurts.
I descended to the floor as I have done so many times (thousands!) and closed my eyes and waited. For about ten minutes my thoughts went every which way, and I let them. And then, slowly, my breath became steadier. My thoughts quieted.
And then I heard a sentence, very clearly:
It is safe to love.
It is safe to love.
What I love about this piece of wisdom, from inside me or from the Playground, is how it gets to the heart of grief.
When I’m in the grief, I am also in the fear of future loss, potential loss, what if I feel like this again, what if I lose again.
The reminder here is that nothing is wrong. I made choices from love. I took risks from love, for love. I tried things because of love. And there is more love. It is safe to love. Even if I lost things, people, money, friendships.
I built the Playground from love, with love. It emerged from love, it exists in love. I can let it go with love, from love. I can trust and love again. Love more, trust more.
Everything ends, everything dies, everything reconfigures, and still it is safe to love.
I can’t lose love, because love is inside of me and around me.
Love is not what has been lost. Love is still here.
What do I really want?
To choose from love. To trust love.
To take exquisite care of myself.
To let go of everything that is done, knowing that this is perfect: thank you for being done.
And I want ease-filled solutions, elegant solutions, clear pathways, signs and clues. I want to see with joy-eyes, to feel with my joy-heart.
To say thank you and release, and know that the releasing is treasure.
And, as always, to trust my instincts more. To trust my yes and trust my no, and act on that trust immediately.
Me: Hey, slightly-wiser me, what do you have for me?
She: I know you think this isn’t a super fun wish. It’s an important one. It’s going to help you carry your joy with you.
Me: I bring my own joy party! And sometimes my own grief party, apparently.
She: Remember when you worked in the orchards? How happy the trees were when they were pruned back? That was some joyful releasing.
Me: It’s true, they loved it. I liked giving them that attention, that sweetness. That was the best job I’ve ever had.
She: You know why you don’t think about the trees anymore.
Me: Because of [loss] and [other loss].
She: Yup, and yet remembering your relationship with the trees is important. It will take you back to the joy of climbing, the joy of pruning, the communing in quiet, trusting that it is okay to love. Just because the trees are gone now doesn’t mean their love for you is gone.
Love the horizons.
The superpower of calm steady trust is mine.
The quality for January on the 2015 Fluent Self calendar is ANCHOR.
With the superpower is Calm Steady Trust Is Mine.
Calm steady trust is exactly what I need for all this releasing. And actually an anchor is useful too. An anchor doesn’t hold things completely still, it allows them to drift slightly with the water.
That is important.
Do you want your calendar? You can still order one through the Plum Duff sale, assuming supplies last! Password: enter-with-roses
- Everything is easier than I thought, and look, miracles everywhere.
- I have the best time dancing in my ballroom.
- This doesn’t require my input!
- Ha, it’s so perfect that it turned out like this. Past me is a GENIUS
- I have what I need, and I appreciate it. There are resources to do this.
- Trust and steadiness. I can see why this moment is good.
- I am fearless and confident. I do the brave things, I state my preferences clearly, calmly and easily, and it is not even a big deal, yay.
- I am ready to come into my superpowers, including the superpowers of knowing that it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks, I Am Okay With Being Seen, receiving gifts that are winging their way to me. See also: The superpower of Everything Enhances My Superpowers. And adds panache.
Things I find helpful when it comes to wishes…
More sweet pauses, yes to the red lights, remember the purple pills, say thank you to the broken pots. Permission. Bright colors. Passion. Costume changes. Stone skipping with incoming me. Dance. Intensity. Writing. Lipstick. My body gets the deciding vote. And, as always, saying thank you in advance.
Give it to the compass: Eight directions, eight qualities, eight breaths.
Trust. Release. Love. Receive. Anchor. Crown. Glow. Boldly.
Progress report on past Very Personal Ads.
So. Last week, aka Let’s pretend this is about soup…
I’ve been doing pretty well with following my desires, and not hiding intel from myself.
On Wednesday I left a dance that wasn’t fun. On Saturday I was brave and tried something new even though it scared me because I heard the yes.
And I’ve been noticing when I act on intel about what I want, and when I try to hide this intel from myself or from people in my life.
Attenzione! Attention, AGENTS.
We are running a giant sale where all the amazing new stuff is HALF OFF RIGHT NOW! Password: enter-with-roses
This was supposed to end tomorrow, except [life stuff] happened and I never got around to emailing the list and telling people about it, which is the nice thing to do. So we’re actually going to extend this. Reprieve!
Good for this next week, assuming supplies last!
Keep me company?
Consider this an open invitation to deposit wishes, gwishes, personal ads. In any size/form you like, there’s no right way. Updates on past experiments are welcome too, as is anything sparked for you.
Commenting culture: This is safe space for creative exploration. We are on permanent vacation from care-taking and advice-giving. We are here to play and throw things in the pot! With amnesty. Leave a wish any time you want.
Here’s how we meet each other’s wishes: Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes.
Oh, what beautiful wishes!
More love is good. More joy. More releasing.
With my own recent griefs, I would’ve loved receiving cards about them. Just knowing someone cared that I was hurting, would’ve been lovely.
Trying to release the idea that my life has to “go” somewhere. Trying to just enjoy being myself for myself seems to be the most radical idea I’ve ever had.
I would send you a card but I am not very good at sending cards because I roll my eyes at the pictures and find dirty doubles entendres in the verses, and then I have the wrong address and can’t find a stamp and then I forget to post them anyway. But I am sending you an imaginary one. It says: That stuff sucked. I’m sorry.
I am crying a little bit at the moment but it is only (only!) because there are three columns of very pale blue sky visible between the office blocks outside my window, and it was raining and now it isn’t, and things have suddenly become incredibly beautiful. I wish to keep seeing this.
I had to get up at a quarter to five yesterday morning, and I am counting the days until Saturday, when I have a whole week off. I wish for rest.
I have had a story published and now I am going now what now what now what. I spent most of my six and a half hours travelling yesterday fixing, or finding out how to fix, everything that’s wrong with my novel (thank you, Havi, for the magical procrastination-dissolving wonder dust!). I wish for trust.
I have so much love for you, and for your beautiful wishes.
I have been thinking lately about a sort of fearful, *anticipatory* grief that I have been experiencing lately, in which my enjoyment of some of the sweetest aspects of my life is negatively impacted by thoughts that they won’t last.
And okay, maybe they won’t. Everything changes, and maybe everything ends. So, what do I want? I think that I want to be able to give love and comfort to the fearful, pre-grieving parts of me — and at the same time, I want *so much* for my joys to be undiminished. I want to feel them and savor them in the present. I don’t want to lose them, and above all, I don’t want to be distracted and *miss* them. Please, please, may it be so.
May it be so!
Beautiful wishes. Beautiful thoughts.
I wish for everything to be simple and easy, and for things to work the way they are supposed to.
I need to get some special shoes for MrB and please please please I want them to be in stock and/or easily available so we can have them soon soon soon.
I need two dowel rods that are 1/2″ diameter by 8 feet long, and the home improvement store I went to didn’t have them. Please please let them be at the other store that I haven’t been to yet.
I need to make arrangements for a weekend at my sister’s and for the arrangements there to work or be easily adjusted so that the next time I won’t have to worry about whether they will work.
I need to arrange for ground transportation and travel insurance asap, and for them to be affordable.
In sum, I wish for these things — and any other things that I face this week — to be simple and easy and for things to work the way they are supposed to.
May it be so.
Things are still lost, and now MrB has lost something important too. I wish for them to be found. I wouldn’t mind if they turned out to be “hidden in plain sight” just so they are found.
May it be so.
“Our culture does not have mechanisms for really interacting with grief.”
This. This is so, so true and it is so, so hard. Thanks for writing this post.
Leaving a heart shaped pebble that changes colors when it’s wet so you can see all the beautiful flaws and inclusions that are hidden when it’s dry.
I love you; I adore you; I know you’ll be just fine.
Oh, wow, what beautiful wishes.
Last week I wanted intel on my gut. Since the New Year, I’ve completely lost my taste for coffee which was my morning ritual for years. My new morning ritual is chai tea. Then, since last week I’ve lost my taste for meat and have switched to tofu, bean chili’s, vegetables (which I never eat). It is very odd. I feel like one of those people who got knocked unconscious and woke up speaking another language. I will trust that my gut knows what it wants.
This week I would like clients who retain me. The right clients. Clews about whether what I am doing is working. Clews about what else might work.
Oh, wow. What beautiful wishes.
I… definitely need this right now. Interacting with grief is so hard and so necessary, and it could be so smooth and right, even though it’s still hard.
Another card for the pot!
“Wow, transitions are hard, aren’t they? If it makes it any easier, please remember that you get to take ALL THE TIME YOU NEED! You don’t have to push through just to make other people less anxious. I trust you!”
Such love for this. Roses and more roses for such beautiful wishes.
I have a bunch of clues lately:
-Best Practices are no longer optional
-the Solution is inherent in the problem
-‘are we going to the Outer banks?’ I dunno, are we?
-Operation marilyn? not sold on this yet, but Op Natasha appears to be morphing into this.
-Do not move the little iron filings. move the hidden magnet, and the filings move on theiw own.
Here’s an emergency Op. It had calamitous names, but I prefer
Operation Neutralizing Agents
WiW: There’s a loose cannon, it carries a timebomb. not my bomb, but i am affected. if for no otehr reason than the feeling of having this bullshit hanging over me. I want this threat neutralized, for good, this is the desired outcome.
WTCW: not sure. i do know this thing is freighted with so many feels and so much stupid baggage. Shame, frustration, dread, avoidance, ugh and more ugh. it’s going to reqire my time, attention and engagement, and discernment.
ICT: i took the first step today. there will be more tomorrow, and over th weekend.
Operation Orange Blossom:
WIW: i have a habit of craving a very bad snack in the evening (proxy). i only eat these snacks because better snacks are not readily avilable, alto i suspect this is a cop out. i want better snacks, and i want to for real stop heaving the bad snacks nbecase they are not good for me.
WTCW: I know what this is about, i have to make space for better snaks, i have to open myself to finding better snacks, to vibing better snakcs. avoiding the bad snacks is important.
ICT: i need to journal and sit with this, i also need to bring it forward as magickal work when things become more clear. I can be very sweet to myself, and give myself love and pleasure
That is so hard that you may be releasing your beloved Playground. It is such a special place. I’m sorry that you are hurting. I adore you. Your work is precious to me. Sending you love and hand on heart sighs that you will be ok.
I want to take exquisite care of myself and to fill my heart with love and joy.
Love to everyone’s wonderful wishes.
Oh wow, what beautiful wishes. So much resonance in this post for me. Come to find that all my procrastinating on 2015 gwishes and planning was for very good reason, as 2015 has just been drastically reconfigured by . However, I think my soul has been “secretly engineering” this outcome for years, to borrow a phrase and thought from David Whyte. So I too wish for presence with the grief, to allow myself the legitimacy of grief for this situation (and for all the old unfinished grieving it brings up). I too wish for joy-eyes, to maintain my ability to see everything as an adventure, and a huge helping of gratitude now and gratitude-in-advance for the treasure this adventure brings.
Big love and lush, fragrant roses from my grandmother’s garden to you Havi, for writing and sharing this. It is so incredibly comforting and helpful. Thank you.
Oops – drastically reconfigured by [decision-not-of-my-own-making]. (I guess I can’t use the < brackets…)
Mmmmm, beautiful beautiful wishes!!
I am tossing my gwishes into the swishy-gwish jar and stirring the pot because mmmmmmm.
+the key to open the Chocolate Door
+the dis(integration?) of the Flutterby
+R E S P E C T
+finding my peppermint bark!
+Op: 2 Nerownd
+hugging with yes
CQ: I love your incredible skill with code names, I read them like poems. 🙂