December 31, 2014

Married to a Memory.


Just when I believe I have something sussed, the universe has a way of saying, “Not so fast, smarty pants.”

In the wake of the recent article I penned for elephant journal called, How To Leave Our Anger and Resentment In The Past, I had erroneously thought that I had actually put down once and for all, the metaphorical boulder to which I alluded.

It was comprised of unbearably cumbersome and heavy duty rock and residual gravel of longstanding addictive patterns. I had been feeling pretty proud of myself with the accompanying sense of lightness for having taken the metaphorical weight of the world from my shoulders.

You know that one, I imagine, when you make a decision and feel some {whew!} relief and wonder how you toted the burden around for so long. Then you may question why in the name of all that is sane, that you would ever hoist it back up.

Call it habit, pattern or addiction. I have heard two definitions of insanity. One is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. The other came from one of my clients who was a heroin addict in early recovery. He grinned at me as we sat in a therapy session and asked if I wanted to know the real definition as he lived it.

He told me that he knew exactly what the outcome would be and he would take the action anyway. No surprises there. I have laid down and hefted back up many stones that I would have been better off letting roll away. Some have been related to childhood experiences and others, adult interactions that played out differently than I wished. I have hauled metaphorical bags of them that have the remnants of relationships gone awry.

So here I sat with my own big let-go experience and still there was something missing. I had a phone session today with my friend, Randy Goldberg, who offers a modality called Family Constellation Therapy which relates to family patterns and their internalization, which may be so deeply buried that it might take a pick and shovel to pry them loose.

Fortunately, I had an inkling that by the end of our conversation, I would have some insight into what that might be. I found myself laughing with delight when I had two “Aha!” moments. I had been wallowing for years in frustration as if in mucky, muddy mire over what I had desired in my marriage and subsequent relationships that felt elusive. Wanting and not having can be soul searing and now with this insight, I felt soul-nourished instead.

I have been widowed for 16 years and at least a decade ago, I had declared that I no longer “felt” married. I thought I was available for relationship, but clearly I wasn’t. The words came to/through me today, “You are married to memory.”

Although I haven’t worn a wedding ring for ages, and have actually had wedding ceremonies in which I “married myself” and committed to be my own partner/lover/friend, regardless of what life may bring, I clearly still felt an attachment to the relationship with Michael. The steel cable of anger, sadness, loss, grief, fear, resentment and frustration kept us bound. Today, I cut that cord. After that, all that remained was love.

Another pivotal moment arrived when I took a look at my previous inability to view my relationship with him as my son saw it. I wanted Adam to see it my way, as a means of justifying my choices and “siding” with me as “the good parent.” What came to my awareness was that I no longer had a compelling need, even if still having a preference, to fit that image. I know I did the best I was willing to do at the time—the most I had the courage, awareness and insight to do.

What I have learned as well is that letting go lifts us up. I’m ready to soar.

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Author: Edie Weinstein

Editor: Travis May

Photo: Wikipedia


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