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Today’s post is not what I normally write about.  But I read what I wrote to my husband, who said it was good writing. Of course, he was under the influence at the time, and may also be prejudiced, but I’m going with it...so here you go:

January 30, 2018, approximately 9 am

Confessions of a....well...at this point I don’t know what to call myself. I just thought I’d give fair warning of what I’m about to write. I’m sitting here in the VA hospital in San Francisco, waiting. Am I a wife? Spiritual counselor? Caregiver? Probably a bit of all of them, and more. I was thinking earlier that I didn’t sign up for this. “This” being accompanying my new husband to hospitals. I thought we’d get married and ride off into the sunset, him on his motorcycle and me on my horse. We’d enjoy this last portion of our lives exploring new territory and new levels of each other. We had a beautiful wedding a little over a month ago, and I honestly never thought it would happen, although I Ionged and hoped for it to happen. And in spite of working at weddings in one capacity or another for 30 years, I guess I never really deeply considered what getting married really means. But a dear friend reminded me. I did indeed sign up for this, when I said “I do.” This led to me wondering how many people consider what they are signing up for when they call me and say they want to get married. It’s a commitment. A big fat hairy huge commitment. For someone like me, who has never really known or experienced the more traditional trappings of family, and who has fiercely defended and fed her independence, getting married at 63 and making this commitment is a big deal.

So here I sit, in a hospital, wondering. I’m in and out of tears, and not quite sure why, as this procedure is not major. He’s got cancer, and they are doing what they call a “chemobilization” to zap just the affected area, not his entire body. But it feels like major surgery, complete with fasting, checking in to a hospital, hospital workers wandering around with those little hats and booties on. He’s already thoroughly pissed off a nurse by drinking coffee. They didn’t say fast from everything, they just said don’t eat after midnight. Geez. ...continue reading "Confessions of a….well….something…."

Today is a big anniversary day for me. On this day in 1996, three things happened: I closed escrow on my house and moved in, and my divorce was final. Two years later, in 1998, my mother made her transition.

I am reminded of this quote I recently found in a book I am reading: "when transcendence of our personal history takes precedence over intimacy with our personal history, spiritual bypassing is inevitable. To not be intimate with our past-to not be deeply and thoroughly acquainted with our conditioning and its originating factors-keeps it undigested and therefore very much present, regardless of our apparently capacity for rising above it. Instead of trying to get beyond our personal history, we need to learn to relate to it with as much clarity and compassion as possible, so that it serves rather than obstructs our healing and awakening." From the book Spiritual Bypassing, by Robert Augustus Masters.

What this means is that I can look back on all the events in my life, having achieved intimacy with them, and know that they were not something to move beyond, but something to relate to with compassion. In this way, they are the events in my life, but not present in a way that causes me grief or distress. I feel only gratitude for these events.

As a spiritual coach, I was originally taught that, unlike in traditional forms of counseling, the story is irrelevant. Now I know the story is important, but only as a beginning. We must become intimate with our stories in order to release the energy around them. And in order to become intimate with them, we need to explore them with compassion, not blame, shame or guilt. We simply hold a light to them and expose them, thus allowing the healing to begin. Denying them only gives them more power to continue to hurt us. Becoming intimate with them allows us to acknowledge them and then make informed choices: we can either base our current decisions and thought processes on what happened in the past (filtered through a very inaccurate memory bank) or we can base our current decisions and thought processes on who we are today.

I am grateful that today I have become intimate with my past, and that I base today's decisions and thought processes on today, not the past.

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