Christmas has come and gone. My son is back in Boston. There are no presents under the tree. The anticipation and excitement of the holiday season are over. I’m in that sort of emotional “limbo” between the end of the old year and the beginning of the new, which of course is a state of my own creation because, as a friend of mine wisely said, life is circular and we are the ones who ascribe beginnings and ends to it. Humans are the creators of clocks and calendars; God has no time.
So here I am struggling against something of my own creation, trying to find my balance again. This is why I am skeptical of anyone who claims to have achieved perfect balance of body-mind-spirit – as I have said before; my balance is in constant ebb and flow that changes from day-to-day and sometimes hour to hour. As much as I look forward to seeing my son, the emotions I work so hard to keep under control – and foolishly think I have conquered – are inevitably released from their dark hiding place. Restlessness rears its ugly head as I long to live closer to him so that we could have a “normal” relationship instead of cramming 6 months or a year into one visit. I moved from the Northeast many years ago because I hated the cold, long winters but I’m not sure I would have moved to Florida if I had known that my son wouldn’t want to stay. Worry starts to nag me as I wonder how I would be able to afford to live there on my retirement income even if I made the decision to move back at some point. What if he has children and I’m 1,500 miles away? (He’s not even married yet) Jealousy nips at me when he tells me about meeting his father for dinner or a ballgame or going to his birthday party (he lives about 45 minutes away). I am truly happy that he has a relationship with his father after a lot of rocky years but it seems so unfair that he is the one who gets to enjoy an adult relationship with our son when I am the one who wanted that so much. Sadness clutches my heart as I drop him off at the airport and drive away – again. All these negative emotions created the emotional limbo in which I found myself.
This morning I read a section of “There is a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem” titled “Breaking Those Attachments to Gloom and Despair”. As usual, it felt like Dr. Dyer was speaking directly to me … “it is extremely common for people to build their lives on the mistaken notion that without certain things or certain people, they cannot be happy or free …these attachments are the source of despair because we justify gloom on the basis of what or who is missing.” I recognized myself in those words and I didn’t like it. I picked my gloomy self up and took Stella for a walk along the Intracoastal. It was a chilly, breezy 40 degrees, slightly overcast, and there was not another soul around. Stella was loving the cooler temperature and was trotting along like a much younger dog with no health problems! Just seeing her enjoy herself lifted my spirits and brought me back to the now instead of worrying about the future and other things over which I have no control.
As I was walking I said a prayer of thanks and practiced giving my “problem” up to God – something I definitely need to work on. It doesn’t come naturally to me to relinquish control, even though I know it is an illusion. I’m teaching myself how to acknowledge when I don’t know the answer and be willing to turn the entire problem over to the one, all-knowing power. I am trying to have faith that I will be guided in the right direction and to keep my mind open because I know the answer may come in a form I don’t expect. Kierkegaard said “Prayer does not change God, but it changes him who prays”.
For now, I just want to get my emotional balance back so I’ll sign up for a couple of community education classes, end my self-imposed holiday hiatus from writing and drawing, and put my focus back on all I have to be thankful for. Maybe Stella will be up for a road trip to Boston in the spring …