Friday, September 21, 2012

Clearing out the Cobwebs

This past weekend, while out running some errands, I happened to pass a “Great Harvest Bread Company”.   I paused from my busy day to reflect for a moment, as I realized that my heart had begun aching within me.  This restaurant marked the place where a close friend and I took respite from a cold, rainy December afternoon a few years ago and whiled away a few hours drinking coffee, eating cinnamon bread, and sharing good conversation.  That relationship has taken pretty rocky roads since then, and at the present moment we had grown pretty far apart. 
As I sat in my car, nursing my aching heart, feeling the grief of loss surrounding that relationship, something else showed up as well…love and even a little bit of joy, as I remembered that experience.  No matter what happened between us later, that day was special.  I sat in that feeling-state of joy for a moment, and then I felt my mind reprimand me for feeling happiness at something that has changed and is in a different state now.
I started backing out of that memory, and then I paused, and questioned my thinking.  Did I really need to stop myself from feeling happiness about a memory?  In that moment, I realized that sometimes I set expectations on my feelings.  I tend to associate grief or loss with a sad, or sometimes angry feeling, and I shy away or suppress the happy, joyful feelings associated with something I’ve lost.  But emotions are far too complicated to place in little compartments like that.    
So I sat there, and I honored the love and the joy of that moment in time.   Regardless of what that relationship had or had not become, that was a fantastic afternoon.   As I sat there and felt the fullness of that life experience, a beautiful shift occurred in my heart.  By letting go of what I expected the relationship and my feelings around the relationship to be, and honoring the feelings that actually existed, I opened up a space in my life that had been closed and dark  – I cleared out the cobwebs so to speak -  leaving an open, clean space where something new and restorative could have a place to grow.    


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