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.