Laughter into Sobs

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In my last blog I wrote about laughing.  Laughter somehow opens up my heart and mind, giving me a release from pent-up emotions.  For me these days, laughter is often followed by sobs.  I tamp down outward signs of my grief for my and others’ benefits, but that isn’t healthy.  When I let loose with one emotion I give my body permission to let go of others.  So it is all good.

Today is a teary day.  I look at photos of Rick and wish him back with me, happy and whole.

Gratitude and thanks-giving have been cropping up in my readings and conversations.  Recently I read this sentence in Katherine Woodward Thomas’ book Calling in ‘The One’,

“I even began saying prayers of thanks for everything . . . to see if I could alter my experience without altering my circumstances.”

What an amazing statement!

I often let my circumstances define me:  I am now a widow.  That leads to entrapment in all kinds of internal messages about how I must, ought and never-ever, followed by the inevitable poor me.  It is so easy to wallow in misery and not take responsibility for my life.

Reversing my view to gratitude, I was married to a fantastic man.  I have close friends and family.  New activities are underway, such as dragon boat paddling and mah jong.  My chronological experience has been good overall.  And yet, I know I became a better person than I ever could have on my own, simply because I was married to Rick.  Over twenty years ago our premarital counselor told me, “You lead without warmth,” yet with Rick I learned to be more extroverted and engaging.  Without him, I worry I am slipping back into self-centeredness, egocentricity and sloth – everything that is the antithesis of gratitude.

I need others.  Oh, how I hate making myself vulnerable enough to write that down!  The reality is that if I didn’t have others championing me on this new journey, I’d fail.  Thank God for them.

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