Goodbye to You, The Death of Me

Why don’t I want to say goodbye? Send you a text and tell you sayonara.

Afraid I suppose, of your reaction, from 7,000 miles away.

Although honestly, I’m afraid of seeing you in person too.

I don’t want to see you.

I want to have a week free of you. Of your texts, of your phone calls, of your presence near me. Of wondering who you’re sleeping with tonight, of who’s touching you tomorrow.

While I hate to point fingers and label blame, the reality is that something about you, affects me more than nearly anyone else ever has. In such a repulsive way too.

I don’t just lie a little, about eating lunch here or liking that color shirt or .. whatever, perhaps even little lies are big lies, but.. the big lies, the really big lies, are all around me when you are here. And you don’t seem to care or notice.

How can you not care?

How can you be so disconnected from us all? That you don’t care if you lie with us, near us, to us, about us..

And why is it so hard to say goodbye to you in spite of this?! Am I really so frightened of what happens without? Without you? Without your support… without your hook into my life.

I guess that’s it, isn’t it. Am I ready to let go of all this space, all these things, to be free. If that is, indeed, what it takes. And will I be free, or will I just find your replacement, another you to teach lessons to another me.

I say I am ready; because living this way leaves me so pale, so… faded. Yet I can’t send you the text I want to, the email I think I should. Or find you where you are, and tell you the truth, my truth, a truth.

That I finally understand you will never, ever change, in this lifetime. That once burned shame on you, 25 times burned… holy shit, what am I doing with you?!

I am scared, of what your response will be more than anything. If I will have to watch my back, look over my shoulder, check my mail, watch every truck that goes by, just to see if it’s you lingering there.

Though perhaps our past should show me more of you and your behavior than anything else.

I thought I’d feel angrier at you right now, but maybe that’s having some space. Or maybe that’s me trying to protect myself. To shield myself from the truth of your lies.

That you would lie so much, that you would tell such things about me to others, to other women you sleep with, that you would treat me this way. A way that if you did it to my mother or my aunt, or my best friend, I would consider how to end you. But to me? To me.. I fail to defend myself.

Someday I will say goodbye, and the death of me now, will be the birth of me, then.

 

The fear driven life (Fear of Transformation)

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I needed, or wanted, or.. wanted and needed to write today, either, and, or I’m here, and lucky you!

I’ve been working through a lot of fear recently.

Fear that leaving my recent “occupation” to create my dream online and in the waking realm will be foolish. That I won’t be valuable outside of, well, the bedroom.

Fear that financially I should wait, or save up, or just suck it up (and ok, not entirely literally there) and sloooowly take one step at a time to get my new plan in motion.

Fear that if I don’t take steps on it now, it will fade away and be too late.

Fear that continuing down that other path would lead me to hate the world, or die of it, or both.

Fear that others will think this a silly idea of mine and won’t support it. (Though so far I’ve met amazing support)

Fear that I’m not taking care of others by taking care of myself.

I’ve been meditating, walking, talking (as my therapist can attest to, and my dear S.O.), thinking, pondering, letting go, waking up, moving on, and finally.. meeting myself in the place where I am truly terrified.

There is a crossroads within, in which several of me from the past are gathered, and they are afraid.

They are the me of my younger years, about 5-8 I’d say.

Afraid of speaking up, of making others uncomfortable with my truths.

Afraid of asking for more, never sure where food will come from or if the phone bill will be paid without my suffering.

Afraid because I feel unworthy.

Afraid that there may not even be a car, or a tent, to sleep in tomorrow.

Afraid that my stepfather will come back in our life, that she won’t be strong enough to say no.

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Though I’ve touched on it in other posts, I suppose the time has come within me, to say more.

When I was just a little girl (and actually I hear the song Que Sera start up in my head here.. oy), about 4 years old, and my mother married my stepfather, my life as a happy, cheery, upbeat child ended. Not only was he violent, and verbally abusive with a wicked alcohol problem, but somehow he found his way to know folks involved in child pornography and so this way, did I.

These are details I can’t go into, and perhaps I wouldn’t if I could, maybe, simply because I don’t recall much. I simply recall long car trips with him feeling so lost, so sad, wishing I could disappear or die. He’d tell my mom we were going to Disneyland, but we never made it that far.

I remember old warehouses, an abandoned artichoke factory I believe, dirty mattresses and cameras. And that, is about it.

My behavior changed, of course. I no longer loved to run around naked as a jay bird, happy with the sun on my skin. I hated to see photos of myself, particularly partially undressed (as most babies and toddlers are in pictures now and then), even a bathing suit was too much skin, even years later.. I destroyed every picture I could find like that. I stopped singing. I felt completely alone even surrounded by others.

During this time my mother was in a deep depression and my family was afraid (there’s that fear again) of speaking up and saying something that would upset her. She didn’t always find herself able to work, and so the income of my stepfather was all there was for a while, and some of that came from what I did I know.

But in this lack I was afraid.

Afraid of eating too much, of not being able to afford more, of not being worthy of more.

Afraid of only being worth someone elses pleasure, and not my own.

Afraid of his temper. (You couldn’t even wake him up.. my mother would prod him awake with a broom handle, they didn’t even sleep in the same bed)
Afraid of speaking up and making my family uncomfortable, or sad.

When I was 7 I started taking food from other kids lunch bags at school, my mother was baffled because she packed me a full lunch, but I was always hungry for more.

Eventually I went to see my own therapist, as I’d started to tell my mother I wished I could die.

After she finally left him around 8 years old, we were homeless for about a year. Occasionally we’d stay at a friends for a week or a month or so, but usually there were limits on how long we could stay. We often stayed at motels down by the beach, due to a voucher program at the time; funny how staying in one of the most beautiful places in the world could really be so dark and frightening.

My 9th birthday we were “camping”, because some friends had a tent and sleeping bags we could borrow. My friends didn’t know those particular details, but they showed up and we had a camping party.

I remember after my mother went to the food bank around this time, finding some exceptionally nice treat in the bag, and feeling like I had to eat it slowly, carefully, because I might not get it again, ever.

So much of this was created by my mothers own fears. Of being alone, of not being worthy, of not being good enough that someone like my stepfather, so bruised and battered, would change, or heal for her, of not being enough, of being successful on her own, of being deemed an unfit mother (I didn’t often go to the doctor, and was treated for many things at home).

And here I am, at 35, finding that my fear now? Is centered there.

Afraid that without giving my body away, I won’t be liked.

Afraid that I won’t be worthy of another income, of making it on my own, with my own business.

Afraid that asking for more, more money, more health, more food, more support, more guidance; is asking too much, and that I’m … selfish, and bad for even thinking of it.

Afraid to share my story, my stories, be they pleasant or otherwise, for fear of not saying it perfectly the way they want to hear it.

Afraid to share my dreams, should they be too grand, too bright, too filled with joy and life.

Afraid to stand on my own and be capable, powerful, loved. That the only way to survive is by the grace and gifts of others, not my own.

Yet here we sit, at this crossroads, my younger selves and I. I’m ready to move on. I’m ready to create a new world. After all, there is a new way to see this world and I can see it, live it, and breathe it; if only I can release the fear that doesn’t just slow me down, it holds me back, it drags me down under the water, so fast, and so fierce, so that I’m drowning with no way up.

I’ve been taking baby steps forward, beyond the fear. Though I feel it still, sometimes overwhelmingly so. I’ve run from it my whole life, hidden from it, treated it like the black sheep in the room and done whatever I had to do to keep my head above water, so that I didn’t have to face it.

So I sit with it, with them, and I allow that fear, their fears, to be acknowledged, to be loved, to be acceptable and worthy. There is nothing more I can do for them, but offer them all I am now, the knowledge, the love, the hope I have here, in this moment, that everything will be ok. That they can walk away from the fear and in to light.

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And I leave with that, and lead with this, one of my favorite writings of all time:

Sometimes I feel that my life is a series of trapeze swings. I’m either hanging on to a trapeze bar or swinging along or, for a few moments in my life, I’m hurtling across space in between trapeze bars. Most of the time, I spend my life hanging on for dear life to my trapeze-bar- of-the-moment. It carries me along a certain steady rate of swing and I have the feeling that I’m in control of my life. I know most of the right questions and even some of the right answers.

But once in a while, as I’m merrily (or not so merrily) swinging along, I look ahead of me into the distance, and what do I see? I see another trapeze bar swinging toward me. It’s empty, and I know, in that place in me that knows, that this new trapeze bar has my name on it. It is my next step, my growth, my aliveness coming to get me. In my heart- of-hearts, I know that for me to grow, I must release my grip on the present, well-know bar to move to the new one.

Each time it happens to me, I hope (no, I pray) that I won’t have to grab the new one. But in my knowing place, I know that I must totally release my grasp on my old bar, and for some moment in time, I must hurtle across space before I can grab onto the new bar. Each time I am filled with terror. It doesn’t matter that in all my previous hurtles across the void of unknowing, I have always made it. Each time I am afraid I will miss, that I will be crushed on unseen rocks in the bottomless chasm between the bars.

But I do it anyway.

Perhaps this is the essence of what the mystics call the faith experience. No guarantee, no net, no insurance policy, but you do it anyway because somehow, to keep hanging onto that old bar is no longer on the list of alternatives. And so for an eternity that can last a microsecond or a thousand lifetimes, I soar across the dark void of “the past is gone, the future is not yet here.”

Its called transition. I have come to believe that it is the only place that real change occurs. I mean real change, not the pseudo-change that only lasts until the next time my old buttons get punched.

I have noticed that, in our culture, this transition zone is looked upon as “nothing”, a no-place between places. Sure the old trapeze-bar was real, and that new coming towards me, I hope, that’s real, too.

But the void in between? That’s just a scary, confusing, disorienting “nowhere” that must be gotten through as fast and as unconsciously as possible.

What a waste! I have a sneaking suspicion that the transition zone is the only real thing, and the bars are illusions we dream up to avoid the void, where the real change, the real growth occurs for us. Whether or not my hunch is true, it remains that the transition zones in our lives are incredibly rich places. They should be honored, even savored. Yes, with all the pain and fear and feelings of being out-of-control that can (but necessarily) accompany transitions, they are still the most alive, most growth-filled, passionate, expansive moments in our lives.

And so, transformation of fear may have nothing to do with making fear go away, but rather with giving ourselves permission to “hang out” in the transition between the trapeze bars. Transforming our need to grab that new bar, any bar, is allowing ourselves to dwell in the only place where change really happens. It can be terrifying. It can be enlightening, in the true sense of the word.

Hurtling through the void, we just may learn how to fly.

Butterfly-Released

And then?

And then what? Stopping the Worry Demon

Lately I’ve had a few people ask me how I stopped the “What if” demon. She’s been in my family for generations and had a rather cozy spot in my life for so long, along with her brethren of friends.

Now I’ve read more positive thinking & self help books, articles, on line email threads, than I could count on all of my fingers and toes times.. 10. (Maybe more) And I’m not bashing them, they’ve all offered me something, in some way. Some, of course, far more so than others (“Feel the fear and do it anyway” – that title alone got me from 16-30).

However what has actually “cured” me, and saved the villagers of the small town living below the snowball that becomes an avalanche when I worry and get lost with the “what if” demon is this..

I simply take the fear and follow it through, quickly, simply, but honestly.

Example:

I’m out wearing a dark colored shirt, and I realize it’s covered in cat fur (white cat fur). I wonder what people think of me, what if they see it? what if they judge me for it? what if they don’t like me because I’m so untidy? What if I were out with a friend, how would they feel being seen with me? And … it begins.

So I take it from there. And then what?

They see it. And then what?

They judge it. And then what?

They care, or they don’t. And then what?

Do I care what they think? Possibly. And then what?

Well, why do I care? Will my friend be embarrassed? And then what?

Perhaps they won’t want to go out with me. And then what?

I’ll go out alone in the future. And then what?

I won’t mind who sees the fur, it’s my cat, I love her, I’m not harming anyone with a few cat hairs. And then what?

Ok, they judge me and give me a snide look or turn away. And then what?

I continue on my day, never to run in to this complete stranger again. And then what?

Now, this is how it goes with 90% of the worries I have, and 95% of the worries I hear from other people – so concerned with the approval of others, and their presentation to people they will never meet again that they get caught up in the what if game.

Even if it’s what if with people they know, co-workers, spouses, friends, lovers, parents..

So I’ll add in the positive way this event actually happened today, before going on.

Now..

I run in to someone I know, the cashier at the grocery store. And then what?

We actually get in to a wonderful conversation about our cats, I find out he’s a cat person and is very concerned with how my cats vet visit went. And then what?

I actually fell like I connected with someone, they cared, and I cared, and we were better for it.

 

Ok, so lets take it even further into the demon realm, and say it is someone I know. And then what?

They judge me, dislike me for being so unkempt and unpolished. And then what?

I don’t talk to them again, they won’t return my calls. And then what?

Lets be honest, anyone that doesn’t get me and my love of my cats, isn’t someone I really want to be friends or close acquaintances with – they can’t understand me or appreciate me. So I decide to move on. And then what?

Well… and then I make friends that do get me, that love cats, and dogs, that don’t mind a few cat hairs on their clothes and we have great, relaxing times together. And then what?

Perhaps it doesn’t go so well. Now this is where the demon really sinks her teeth in.

Perhaps I can’t find any new friends, perhaps they all seem to hate animals or my cat hair shirt. And then what?

 

Do I die? Does anyone die? Is my cat hurt in any way? Is this event so catastrophic that life itself ceases to exist because of this event?

 

No? Well then.. I move on, I let go, and the crazy, neurotic snowball that was building steam has suddenly disappeared. Poof!

There is no fuel for the fire.

My best friend hasn’t called me back, my husband hasn’t texted me, my boss didn’t smile at me as they normally do each day. And then what?

Do I die? Does anyone die? Is someone going to end up in the hospital because of this moment? (perhaps if I don’t stop the snowball, yes.. mental hospitals count) No?

Well then, move on.

Life is beautiful, and this particular turn of ours, on this merry go round of nuttiness – this act we play out on the stage that is called life. It’s short in the scheme of things.

Too short to be caught up in worry, in fear, in letting snowballs bury the poor villagers of the cute mountain town below.

So there’s my secret. Something I haven’t found in any book so far.

And then what? What then? Can I live with what happens next? Literally.. Yes? Good. Let’s move on.

The whirlpool vortex of Depression

(Did you know Vortext is a “new” word? Typos CAN teach us lessons..)

As I sit here procrastinating on the creation of my dream site and all the content for it – and I was pondering the value of plagiarism in society and in the act of creation (more on that later), I was reminded of how easy it is to get sucked in to someone elses depression.

I’ve spent much, most?, of my life depressed. It’s only been the last 3, maybe 4ish, years that I can say I spend more of my time happy, upbeat and positive (or at least mildly neutral) than otherwise. From the time I was 6 or so, perhaps even younger if you listen to my family, I went from a happy outgoing little girl to a rather quiet, sometimes morose, ghost.

There are many.. explanations for that, of which I’ve talked about in some detail already.

But I came to realize fully recently how often my mental, emotional and even physical state of being is something I diminished for the sake, or seemingly so, of others.

I’ve read so many supportive quotes, texts, prose, wonderfully full vibrational thoughts on not doing so:

I will not die an unlived life.

I will not live in fear of falling or catching fire.

I choose to inhabit my days to allow my living to open me;

to make me less afraid, more accessible,

to loosen my heart until it becomes a wing, a torch,

a promise.

I choose to risk my significance;

to live so that which came to me as seed goes

to the next as blossom

and that which came to me as blossom,

goes on as fruit.

And I read it, and reread it, memorized it and held on to it as truth.

But I was an awful lot like the character on the dark road, alone, in the middle of the night, with but the barest of even a small pen light to guide the way, whistling in to the shadows, jumping at every twig that breaks and every leave that rustles in the trees. Repeating to myself that everything will be ok, just keep walking. And yet, deep inside, feeling terrified and wishing I could just run all the way home and never have to look any deeper in to that darkness.

Because I was depressed, and while I would read the words and know their truth, I could not live it.

As I was washing the dishes yesterday I grasped that I have, for the better part of 30 years, taken on so much from others – feeling I was sparing them somehow.

As a child it came out as being somewhat subdued, not demanding anything extra, anything more than my mother (who could barely crawl off the couch at times, much less even muster up food or sustenance of some sort) could possibly give. Which was next to nothing.

As a teenager it came out as being sick, caused I know by insane amounts of stress overloading every aspect of my being until I literally collapsed from exhaustion, and offering my mother a confidant, a .. kindred souls experience.

In my 20’s, under the weight of nearly two decades of chaos, I spiraled in to depression and often found myself in arguments, fights, full blown episodes of utter blackness, not often helped my a partners belief that life is hell on earth and nothing good comes of it. (It’s hard to see the bright side when no one else wants to even imagine it let alone hear about it)

My 30’s has been a parting of the clouds, a release of the need to provide others with support I .. well, I don’t believe in.

Yet standing at the kitchen sink I saw that I still do this, in small, twisted ways. And that it’s still killing me slowly, although that’s been picking up pace too.

When my husband is depressed I’m far more likely to watch a movie with him, or play a game, or just (ho hum) putz around online, rather than choose to put energy in to my dreams and my projects and plans – because I don’t want him to be alone, to feel so lost and depressed.

Not just because I know how it is, and oh boy do I. But because I have, since I was a little girl, tried to make everyone else feel better, to dim my light, to suffocate the fire, to crush the blossoming hope, so that they wouldn’t feel so.. alone.

Yet I’m now able to see how very little this actually benefits anyone. Them, or myself. And that I’m ready to be a bit more, well, selfish. And be happy, doing what I need to do, what my heart longs to do – from that state I am far better situated to offer a helping hand to others.

It’s a lot easier to lift someone up when you yourself aren’t drowning with them. Which is what depression really is, drowning in emotion, in sorrow, in loss, in anger, in apathy. And it’s so easy to get sucked in to that if you don’t secure the rope your throwing out at them first.

I wish my love, my hope, my happiness, my simple (awesome? sorry.. sarcasm) presence alone would be enough to light the way for someone lost in the darkness; however now I finally see, and know, how important it is to be the light for ones self, and to so be it for others.

It beats stumbling around in that darkness, alone or together, eternally lost and afraid.

If I should never come back…

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I’m going somewhere soon, moving on, and away.

To a land with high reaching mountains, with caps of snow, even here in the middle of these hot, sunny days.

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Without a ticket in hand, or a destination in mind, I will be on my way.

To a beach, with deep blue seas, as far as the eyes can imagine they see.

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I’m going somewhere soon, far, far away.

I will stare at the departure board, and wait for a flicker, for a sign. A light in the darkness.

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Then I will be off, on my own, with just this bag on my back and these words in my head.

To a meadow, vast and infinite, in it’s green beauty. Where purple flowers dance with blackberries.

 

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Where the softest sigh comes floating in, just a breeze to show the way.

Taking me down, down a hidden path, to the waters edge.

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And away, away I will go.

Over the land I call home, up, up and beyond the borders laid down by men, and women, to keep people out, to keep some of us in.

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I will wait in line to board that plane, not knowing if the way I am going is forward, or back.

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Off, on my own, I will go on – up, up and away.

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Soon, goodbye shall be on my lips.

 

I’m going somewhere, where there will be no looking back, no wondering at the choices I’ve made, no doubting if I should ever come back.

 

 

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What am I doing here?

Sitting here, tonight, scanning through my emails, old photos on my external drive, checking texts I don’t want to reply to, flipping through profiles on dating sites I don’t know why I belong to, listening to music as I haven’t in weeks… loving that.

And I have no idea, what I’m doing here.

I’m calm, but testy. I’ve meditated, and pondering some yoga or qi gong.. something to do.

Because I don’t know what I’m doing here, now.

I was waiting on a friend to come over, but work happened and they can’t;
but I wasn’t.. I wasn’t really waiting too much because, well, I knew they’d be too busy.

There was no holding my breath here.

I managed dishes today, and yard work.
I even knocked out several pages and adsense set up with Google on one of my other sites.

Yet somehow I feel as though I didn’t do what I needed to today. Whatever that may be.

And I still, have no clue, what I’m doing here, now.

I want to hear from someone, not sure I know who though.

I’d love to head out and travel the world, without a ticket in hand, or a destination in mind.

I’m lost, without a sense of why, I’m depressed, without a sense of where, I left off…

Normally with all this space, and free time, I’d rejoice in the chance to do.. something.
To become something more, in that time, in that free space.

Yet here I sit, completely, and utterly, unsure as to what I’m doing, now,

or ever.

Dancing with the Ghosts

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I have been so angry, for so long, at so many people – including myself.

It wasn’t something that you’d see from just looking at me, it was something that was simmering, submerged deep within.

I remember when I was 12, and in Childrens Hospital for a while, I told them how angry I felt. They suggested I take it out on one of those large, exercise balls (you know the kind people can sit on), hit it and not hurt it.. and I was getting more and more frustrated with them as we discussed this, because taking out this rage, this anger, on a bouncy ball.. was not going to be enough.

I wanted to break something, I wanted to take a glass and throw it, watch it shatter in to a million tiny pieces – something you couldn’t fix. I wanted to do this over and over.

They looked at me, alarmed, as though somehow they saw someone much larger, much .. more, than a 12 year old girl, in front of them. I don’t think that I ever expressed the depth of my anger again to someone, anyone, for over 20 years. Somehow it was easier to add it all to the growing rock of anger held deep within.

And up until recently, that’s what I did. Even when my therapist/guide suggested we have a special session to address the anger, I held back.

My dreams were even, clearly, showing me a need to work on it, to let it go.
I’d be traveling somewhere, ready to go, going to move on, when someone or even something, would stop me and tell me that I needed to let go of the anger before I could go to the next place in my journey.
Of course, I’d feel a bit frustrated at that (in my dreams and in waking life), but… I got the messages.

Though I needed to let go of the anger, it felt as though it had taken on an almost super nova capability. And that if I dared to open the door to it, in any way, it would consume me and everyone around me.

As much as I had worked past a lot of anger, a lot of pain, sorrow, hate, hurt and abandonment – I could still feel this amazing ball of terrible energy within.

 

Pissed off at a family that stood by and did nothing, at a mom that was involved more than I’d like to admit, at a father that dissapeared, at all of the people that do nothing… at everyone and everything that wasn’t as my little girl self felt it should be..

I knew that all of these people were simply coming from a place of their own pain, their own fears, their own angers and hurts, but it didn’t matter – they didn’t take care of me, when I needed them most. When they knew I needed them.

I began reading Wishes Fulfilled by Wayne Dyer, and talks about how we hold on to energy (anger, joy, all of it) for so long and that after a while, who we were angry at (or whatever) is gone, even if it was at our self.
That every cell in the body has actually changed and been replaced.

I was feeling this resonate at some level deep within. In a way, it brought so many things together, so many thoughts and memories, so many emotions (energy).

And then something happened this past weekend.

I went in for my, now, regular acupuncture visit and I talked about how my legs were still experiencing so much discomfort and it started in my hips and lower back – it has been a sensation as though my legs are stuck in ice. And it had been getting worse. So he decided to work on my spine this time. My Qi has been out of sync for some time and I felt it.

I felt it there in my lower back. It wasn’t some injury done recently, or sitting poorly in my chair, or not doing enough Yoga… (all of which have some truth though)

I felt my anger, I found where it had been resting. Where it had been hiding, growing, consuming me from inside out.

Then it all came together. And apart.

I discovered I’ve been angry at ghosts. My own and others. That I had held on to them, and they to me. That I’ve been dancing with these ghosts of anger for most of my life, caught up in some sorrow filled angry melody.

I found that I was ready to let them go. Dancing with them as I have, has had it’s own beauty, but that I am ready to dance with the living spirits now.

Now, suddenly, when I try to touch on those ghosts of anger again – they have been my dancing partners for over 30 years after all, I don’t feel them as I once did. I feel them as they are, Ghosts. Wisps floating in the wind. I can’t even manage to conjure them up as I once could, as I once did, even mere days before.

And I can finally see my anger inside (I can SEE it), as a .. piece of darkness, like a lump of coal in my stomach and back. I see it dissolving, slowly, resisting even at times, but it is growing smaller and smaller.

I told my therapist I was afraid of this loss, yet also afraid of calling them back.

I have been dancing with these ghosts for so long, now I wonder if I’m dancing alone. Or who’s dancing with me at all?

Maybe that’s ok though. Maybe.. in dancing alone, I will discover my own dance, a dance of joy, of love, and hope. I know the ghosts are always waiting, but I’ve been waiting too.

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