Saturday, June 5, 2010

Tired of loss

It has been a year of loss for me, and I am tired of it.

Last year at this time, we had six weeks of rain. It wrecked my spring earning as a contractor with jobs to do painting houses and fixing outdoor things. Then the campaign for marriage equality took over my life, with its own disappointments and losses along the way, culminating in the Nov. 3 loss at the polls. Then the holidays, which were leaner than any I have experienced in my adult life, then Laura and I split, then my life changed when I got a call to ministry. I moved (another loss of a kind) lost my minister, got sick and behind on bills, and most recently my sponsor learned that she has a particularly nasty form of breast cancer that may abbreviate her time on this earth, I quit my church for the madness it contains, and I didn't get into the divinity program at seminary.

On the up side -- and I have to remember that there is an up side -- I have learned a great deal about myself, I have clarified my sense of purpose, I have developed a truly romantic relationship with a woman who makes my stomach drop in the most remarkable way, I am learning again, or perhaps for the first time, the fine arts of flirting and romance. I am learning how to play and how to be open to pleasure and how to flirt without the heavy strings of obligation attached. It is a remarkable time.

Oh, and I did get accepted into seminary, just not in the program that I wanted. Seems the ten years of on-again-off-again, up-again-down-again grades that it took me to get my B.A. in General Studies did not inspire confidence in the review board that I might be able to handle the rigors of graduate school, so they accepted me in the M.A. program with the recommendation that I reapply for the M.Div. program after I complete 18 credits. Really? That's very fair, even though the rejection (acceptance) letter at first put me in a dead panic. That shit ain't nice to do to someone. Just sayin'.

But the title of this post is "tired of loss" and truly, that's where I am right now. In the past year, I have lost a hard-fought battle, lost my relationship with my partner, lost my home, lost money, work and financial security, lost my minister, lost my church, and am facing the prospect of losing my sponsor. Now, to be fair, I chose to tend my relationship, and I chose to move, and I chose to leave my church, but that only mitigates slightly the impact those events have collectively had on my psyche. It has been a tough year.

I am struggling now to keep out of "victim mentality" that dangerous place where hope is lost and negative thoughts breed negative results and a downward spiral ensues. I have to be mindful and find the positive in each day. Today I am healthy and able to work. Today I will attend the college graduation of a dear friend and maybe take myself out to lunch in Bar Harbor. I have to find an appropriately inappropriate card at the local bookstore and stationer's too. Hopefully something to horrify and make a young man blush. My work is cut out for me.

Last night I did some meditation, or at least I tried. I found that my mind did not want to slow down and relax. I tried to focus on my breathing, but I was distracted every few seconds. This morning it went a little better. At first I tried to concentrate on my breathing, with similar results, then I focused my attention on a single droplet of water clinging to the outside of my kitchen window. That helped focus me for a little while, and then I was able to do steps 1, 2 and 3 and the associated prayers and meditation work that go with them. I did some affirmation work, too, because I find that if I've been away from my spiritual practice for a while, the first words that come to mind are "I am not worthy" and that is not where I want or need to be. I am worthy. I do deserve good things in my life. I am as worthy as any other person. I am as worthy of life and its pleasures as the birds and animals and the grass and trees and the moon and the stars. I am a part of this world, and that's fine. I don't need to grovel in life, and I need to remember that I need not grovel in prayer as well.

So there I am. A mixture of I don't know what. But glad for this day, even though I am tired of loss. The cycle of loss and gain will come around again and I will be showered with blessings to the point of befuddlement. It all evens out. I'll be OK. For today, I will be glad. I have happy events to attend, and I must find my umbrella so that I do not get soaked in the process.

4 comments:

Andy said...

Really, you need a card to make me blush? You can't just get me some stereotypical "congratulations, graduate!" card and leave it at that?

msladydeborah said...

Dawn,

I am so in this moment with you for different reasons. Recognizing that you're tired is the first step away from this space.

Right now I am working really hard to do some necessary renewal of my spirit/woman/self. It isn't easy but with God all things are possible.

I am sorry to hear about your sponsor. I am fully believing that one day breast cancer will not be a life-threatening illness.

Hang in there Dawn. Right now my favorite mantra is: If it doesn't kill me, it will only make me stronger.

Angel said...

Dawn,

Writing is a form of meditation. You inhale and exhale focus on one thing and let go of all distraction. Each blog you have written each article each word a tribute to the God who gave you the gift. Stop worrying about what you can not do. God made you perfectly there is nothing you can't do. Meditate with your words in the way you always have, the way that touches our souls.

Jen said...

Kee-RIST you scared me! I didn't know you didn't get into the masters program...sigh...I need to keep up better. I'm sorry, my friend. : ( But you GOT IN. You have fallen in love. You have so many things in your favor.
2010, for all that everyone looked forward to massive improvement, is shaping up to be harder than 2009. Hard to believe. But I think it's going to be a "rising from the ashes" improvement in the future. Just right now things are on fire. :(