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Monday, April 18, 2011

Eat, Pray, Love for the less privileged

I have this title and entry in mind. It's something about how things, though they may seem ugly and crippling, work through to a glorious end--just like for Julia Roberts in the movie. You know? The one in which she plays the successful journalist who escapes to another continent and rides her pain away on the backs of elephants?

Hmm. I think about my friends. Ha! We aint riding no elephants any time soon! I know a couple of them who are in foreclosure. A few who are trying to figure out how to pay school loans and rent or a mortgage while not making enough or having too many furlough days. Yeah, I'm still driving my 97 Subaru, so yeah, we're not privileged in the same way...but doesn't mean the principles can't work.

I want to write, but I am blocked. I am blocked by complication, blocked by pain, blocked by anger. I am laying on my chaise (Fanny's favorite) at 3:30 in the morning. It's pouring rain, which is soothing to me--distant sirens remind me of city life I've always known. I'm curled up under a furry blanket, listening to Chico (my pug) snore--at least one of us is sleeping well tonight. I've been up for hours now. Good girlfriends were over, and we watched a "chick flick", which ended well for the love story. But though the protagonists had a beautiful ending, we all felt a little sick and sad.

We all wonder if someone will really love us like that--love us through the ugly days, love us through pain, keep our secrets, even be there through illness. I think we were all accutely aware of how much we HAVEN'T been loved by some of the men who have been in our lives.

Is a beautiful ending really in store for us? Will things really work out for us? Fear is crushing my heart right now, and my eyes are welling with tears...just welling though, not sobbing. This is good. I hide my tears from my dog like my mom tried to hide her tears from me--like this dog is a child. But dogs are so intuitive and sensitive to us. He'd wake up and come put his paw on me and breathe his smelly breath on me and sneeze in my face. Just don't need that right now.

Life is complicated, and to be a good one, it certainly does not have to be characterized by the presence of romantic love or a husband, wife, partner...whatever they're calling it these days (though MOST people would define a happy life as one with a partner). A full life is something like that which was portrayed in the book and movie (you know the Eat, Pray one). A full life is openness to belly laughs, learning from all kinds of people, being free of the emotional pain and drama of broken relationships (reconciling and making your "wrongs, rights"--this takes a lot of courage and a lot of humility), feeling loved and accepted, enjoying a cup of coffee or glass of wine with your mom and grandmother, loving your career, being connected to your community--the young and old, purposeful living.

I thought I was blocked, but writing in these wee hours, with wet eyes, is giving me some liberty and consolation. Sometimes, we look up and we don't have the life we wanted. My friends were over today are all in our 30s and CHILDLESS. Maybe you don't have the children you thought you would. Hell, maybe you have the children you thought you didn't want (woops!!! and maybe with the "wrong" person! woops!!), but in the end, what if we were all grateful for each day--whether we don't have babies or a parnter, or,have "baby mommas", "baby daddies". What if we didn't dwell on our broken promises, broken hearts, broken relationships, but INTENTIONALLY LEARNED FROM THEM, instead of running and avoiding, make ammends and move forward with new conviction to live life every day as if Jesus himself was depending upon you to make that Kingdom come--of love and justice--in our personal lives, communal lives, with our sons, daughters, those who have graciously and generously given and accepted our love.

What if we just started anew today...to eat, pray, and love. What if we savored, thought, pondered more? What if we stopped numbing ourselves with entertainment and other ways to "escape" reality? What if we started hoping and believing for the impossible in all areas of life? I know. I know. This is so hard because at the end of the day (haha..sound like my guy K), we still have responsibilities that keep us up at night and suck our energy. What if we found "Eat, Pray, Love" accountability partners? People who encouraged us to live for liberation and laughter and full, courageous, intentional lives...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Move on like a UHaul--the most painful thing.


Today, I am re-picturing a beautiful late summer afternoon at 31st street beach. N and I were talking about heartache and brokenness as we speed walked on the pavement just passed the Field House and toward the monument for fallen firemen.

I told her that part of me was afraid to STOP HURTING. I have only loved one person, and that person damaged my heart. Well, I've only loved one person who had the courage to tell me he loved me back and actually made a move on it. I loved someone else who played an interesting "c'mon, guess that I like you" game with me (Nothing came of that). I told her that the pain I felt almost suspended his memory and kept part of him with me. When I asked if something about that was weird and dysfunctional, she told me that she was actually reading a book in which the psychologist described the phenomenon of "nursing and guarding the pain" as a mechanism to still hold onto the person who has left your life or betrayed you or abused you, etc.

I understand why a person wants to cling to that last bit of pain now. When it vanishes, that person is gone. You think about them less. You don't wonder what he or she is doing. You don't care who they spend their time with. YOu don't wonder who they hug or see movies with or share dinners with. They seep out of your frontal lobe and amygdala very slowly and gradually, and then suddenly, "Poof! They're gone".

I never thought I'd see that day of fully "moving on". Partially, because I don't believe in "moving on". I will NEVER embrace our culture of "loving and leaving", rampant and careless coupling and uncoupling, divorcing because...well, just because. This doesn't mean that these things won't ever happen to me. Two of my favorite people have been divorced within the last few years--two of the most loyal and beautiful people you'd ever meet. They also rebel against this culture of casual coupling. They are commitmentphiles, but things happen to people that are beyond their control.

Back to my main point, "moving on". It's so sad. It leaves you wondering, "Then, what was that? What did I really feel? What did we really have?" Or maybe "moving on" is just amazing DIVINE GRACE to be open and ready for someone who wants to mutually and reciprically love.

To my sistergirls who are in that process of "moving on"--hold on, be ready, it'll come, you'll heal, and then you'll wonder how that person who didn't value your heart ever had your heart.