Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Ten advantages of going through a separation:

1) You stop eating chocolate: in fact some days you stop eating altogether, so suddenly that slim youthful body is within reach. My size 32 trousers now hang loosely around my knees.

2) The pain and suffering burns away many - if not all - vanities - and you get to query your beliefs about everything in a way that can be most liberatory.

3) If you haven't yet, you begin the process of falling in love with yourself.

4) Lots of petty addictions fall away. For example, in my case obsessive FB reading and posting went from 5-10 a day to 1 a week and now back up to 2-3 a day.

5) I got really focused about priorities and economic realities....stuff I've avoided for significant chunks of my adult life.

6)Because I've been so emotionally labile - lots of tears, weeping etc, I've connected with people I've known a while in much more profound, honest, deep (er) and authentic ways, learnt more about them, and become much closer.

My crying has been quite involuntary...I can be talking to Viv on the phone and suddenly burst into sobs, or a friend can tell me about the death of a parent and I'll start crying, or I'm retelling a moving Raymond Carver short story to that same friend, a story which isn't even "real", and my throat will choke up and tears come...on Monday I was cleaning out a 70 + woman's fridge and she asked about my poetry, (and shortly before received a cold and distant text from Viv about a technical parenting matter), and I sat down on a chair and started howling.

"What did I do, what did I say?" she rushed over to me, concerned and distressed. She hugged me, as best she could with her badly bent back, and made me tea and toast with vegemite and told me how she had wanted to leave her husband and hadn't had the strength to...

Then she gave me another  long long long hug - which i suspect was more her need than mine  - and kept on trying to feed me. It was nice to receive her kindness and concern, and how moved she was by my uncontained emotion, and to have one's defences suddenly down and see how that allows the other's to drop as well - and its liberating and special and comforting to have heart to hearts with relative strangers, andto to perhaps slowly realise that love can be found almost anywhere, with almost anyone, if we can allow it.

7)I am discovering a new kind of unconditional happiness and gratitude ( same thing?) in loving what is and in being forced, or guided by Life, to let go.

8) separation is like being on a raft with four people on a white water river. You fall out of the boat, which is anyway moving rapidly, in a state of constant flux. But you cling to the rope along the side of the raft, imagining that it offers some sort of safety, security, solidity, continuity, permanence. And all the while the raging water is tugging at you, pulling on your life, and your grip is getting weaker and weaker, but you're terrified, and so you cling. But you know you're going to have to let go, or be pulled off, and swept away. And then it happens and you're into whatever happens next, with terror or elation or peace, or all three.

9) Autonomy muscles that have long atrophied are suddenly rediscovered and flexed again.

10) Surrender happens....and happens again...and again. What Byron Katie calls dying into love.

11) Suddenly cupboard space is not a problem.

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