Archives for category: forgiveness

Sipping my coffee on Labor Day. I’m not in the office, and I have the day off; that’s nice. I take a few moments of time and consideration for the efforts of each subsequent wave of labor movements over human history that brought us here – to this place and time with 5 day (or fewer) work weeks, limited to 40 hours (in principle), with a minimum wage expectation (still, for some reason, a radical notion), regular weekends off, healthcare, bereavement pay and other benefits, and restrictions on who could be required to work, and at what age… wow. It was not always like this for working people. Powerful. There’s more work to be done, but today? Not the day to fight that fight. Today, we celebrate that fight. 😀

It hasn’t been quite so hot, and the cooler weather definitely limits the impact to our quality of life that the A/C is busted. It’s mostly fixed, and I expected it would be fully repaired yesterday afternoon. Apparently not a reasonable expectation, even after the repair person selected by the landlord assured me he just needed one more part, and would wrap things up between 1 pm and 2 pm; I never saw him again, yesterday. lol I am frustrated – but, and this is just real, I also think it is wholly shitty that he is spending much of his Labor Day weekend working. :-\ So, I feel inclined to be very patient about it, through the weekend, for sure.

Any time I feel subjectively “too hot”, I do have the option to change up the scenery. I can have a cooling cold(ish) shower. I can enjoy an Italian ice, or an icy cold beverage. I can run an errand in the car (it has A/C, and the A/C in the car works just fine) or go for a long drive. I can even, and this does work pretty well, dim the lighting in the apartment and “trick myself” into feeling cooler with a video of rain falling, or a snowy evening. All surprisingly effective, particularly if I don’t fight back with regular reminders of how hot I feel. LOL Thankfully, the weather has been cooler, more around 80 than above 90.

…I’m just saying; there is nearly always something I can do to improve an uncomfortable situation. This applies every bit as much to A/C failures as to relationships, jobs, working conditions, as well as a ridiculously wide variety of assorted miscellaneous other life experiences. 🙂 The answer to “what can I do about that?” is very rarely “nothing at all”.

It’s been a lovely weekend. I’ve gotten a few things done. I’ve enjoyed hours of entertainment with my Traveling Partner. This third day off feels “extra” in a wonderful way, although it is also that last day before I must return to work – I generally spend those more on preparing for the week ahead, and in service to hearth and home, than relaxing. Taking care of me does have some verbs involved. My desire to see a clean kitchen means I need to do the work to make it so. If I want clean clothes to wear, it’s a good day to do the laundry. Just the basic stuff, and plenty of time between tasks to chill with my partner, enjoying the day. It’s helpful that we are equals in this partnership; I often come home to an astonishing amount of housekeeping and care already handled. This week, the laundry is already sorted (and I didn’t have to do that), even started (and a bunch of stuff ready to fold or hang up). We work together to build the life we enjoy sharing. No slaves, no masters, no petty resentment, no servitude.

I listen to the sound of this snow storm playing in the background. I sip my coffee and grin at the subjective sensation of cold toes on a chilly morning. (It’s not actually cold this morning.) I think ahead to dinner, later, and wonder if it is too late (being Labor Day) to get a thick bone-in rib-eye to throw on the grill tonight… and laugh at my terrible planning; I was just at the store, literally at the butcher counter, yesterday. It’s not even necessary to go out; there is plenty to choose from here, already. lol My restless monkey mind wants to seek, to travel, to explore, to experience – and my ankle objects to the effort and distance, in advance. (It’s been a limiting concern all weekend.) I remind myself gently, that if the ankle were up to it, I’d just hit the trail this morning and walk 3 or 4 miles, enjoying the morning birdsong and breezes.

…This morning, sufficiency is enough. 😉 Tomorrow is soon enough to begin again. 😀

Well, last night the guy repairing our A/C came by, fixed a thing, and wryly admitted that doing so hadn’t fixed the A/C. Something entirely else is wrong, and there are parts to be ordered, and it’s fucking hot, in the middle of summer, and uncomfortable as hell, and…

…And my Traveling Partner enjoyed the stifling hot uncomfortable evening in good company, together. It was fine. Hot, sure. Summer, definitely. We drank plenty of water. We stayed comfortable. I enjoyed a cool leisurely shower at some point. Later, I went to bed. It was hot. I still slept. As soon as the outside temperature was equal to, or less than, the inside temperature, we opened the windows to the breezes, and let the house cool down with the night temperatures.

I woke to the sound of rain, very audible through open windows. Lovely. The smell of petrichor quickly dissipated the last of the smell of burning electrical components of the A/C. The house is comfortably cool. I make a cup of tea and sit by the open door to the deck for some minutes, listening to the rain fall. I am thinking about how often what feels catastrophic in life is, after all the fuss and bother, really not that big a deal after all. 🙂

I listen to thunder in the distance, and the shhhhh-shhhhh of the earliest commuters heading down the rain-slick hill beyond my window. I consider how often a moment of patience, of non-attachment, of perspective, have preventing me (lately) from over-reacting to what seems catastrophic in some moment. It’s rarely helpful to treat some circumstance as catastrophic; so few really are. It’s a trap. Stuck in some past or future moment, we let our fear, or our anxiety, or our baggage, call the shots. It’s generally a poor choice.

We could have treated a failed A/C as a catastrophe (it isn’t). We could have bitched endlessly and ruined our shared good time together. We could have been nasty to the repair guy who showed up very late, and then “couldn’t even fix it”. We could have been sour with our landlord, who lives far away, and chose the repair guy based on cost and convenience to himself. Doing those things would not have fixed the A/C faster, and most definitely would have created problems in those helpful relationships. And…seriously? Are there not much more important things to be stressed or angry about than the damned weather, and an A/C failure in summertime? lol The entire fucking planet definitely needs us each to be our best selves – but that’s also a journey, and “the best I can do” right now, in this moment, is likely not the best you can do, or the best some repair guy can do, or the best someone else, over there, can do… we’re each having our own experience. We do well to do our best with each other, because we’re also all in this together. Less a contradiction, than something to meditate on. 😉

…So, we did our best to simply deal with the A/C failure, as we do with so many things that go wrong in small ways (which is most things, when they go wrong in some way), and this morning? The rain falls softly. The air is cool and fresh, and the day unlikely to be quite so hot. Good enough.

I sip my cup of tea, thinking about a friend in recovery. Life took a pleasant turn toward success and security for him, and… he relapsed. Fuck. Recovery is already hard without that. I find myself wondering if he knows to forgive himself? If he will remember to begin again, and simply go forward, counting his recovery time from a new date, or hell, even simply acknowledging that we fail, we fall, we stumble, we struggle – and it’s okay; we can get back up and start over. It’s a hard mile to walk. I wish there were anything at all I could do to make it easier for him. I reached out and let him know I’m still here if he needs to talk. I wonder if he understands? He’s taking steps. Even this mess doesn’t have to be catastrophic, but he’s blinded by his regret and shame, and weighed down by guilt and a sense of “letting people down”. Fuck that’s hard. I want to tell him to let it go, to trust that the rain will come, the wheel keeps turning, and this, too, shall pass.

(I hope you’re reading this one, that you get what I’m trying to tell you, and that you are okay. You can begin again.)

My morning started a bit early; the clock tells me it is time to get up. Well… sure…? lol I sip my tea content to be where I am in life, and present in this moment. This morning, after years of practice, years of new beginnings, years of “resetting the clock” and walking my own hard mile, it feels pretty easy, and very natural. It wasn’t an overnight transformation, although there were many epiphanies and “light-bulb moments” along the way – mostly, there was a lot of practice. I see on the calendar that I’ve got an appointment scheduled with my therapist; I scheduled it during a stressful time, shortly before my Mom died (was that really only a couple months ago?). I had to reschedule it, and there it sits on my calendar, in the middle of a week I’ll be out of town for work. lol I smile; rescheduling it doesn’t feel like a catastrophe, either. I don’t actually recall quite why I wanted it, from the vantage point of this rainy morning over a hot cup of tea. Progress. Incremental change over time.

I send my therapist a request to reschedule our appointment, finish my tea, and begin again. 😀

 

A morning with some challenges. I sip my coffee, finding my center through music. Love Rollercoaster feels appropriate. I take another sip of coffee, clean up my subscriptions in YouTube… astonished that I ever subscribed to that. What was I thinking? For real? Life and love, as journeys go, aren’t a smooth, well-lit, comfortably paved, straight broad path from this moment to the next. Like a lot of journeys, sometimes it’s gravel, sometimes it’s grassy, sometimes it’s a steep climb, other times it is so effortless is passes nearly unnoticed, caught up in my own unrelated thinking about it in the abstract. Like a rollercoaster? Sure, near enough, I suppose.

I’m not cross or unhappy this morning, and eventually I settled into a comfortable groove, feeling good. This Love Rollercoaster has many twists and curves, and I’ve learned much about love. The morning just got off to a bumpy start. It happens, and it’s not always about love. 🙂 There are other things going on. Let’s start with aging – and pain. Aging sucks in one or two regards – pain being one of those. I’ve got mine, my Traveling Partner has his. I woke this morning, with him, we each had our reasons for wakefulness to do with physical pain. Feelings were briefly hurt over unintentionally harsh words, because… pain. We both let it go, quickly, because neither of us wants to add to the other’s hurting, and we both mean to treat each other well. Affectionate reassurances, and loving heartfelt apologies, and the moment is behind us.

I had made coffee for us both, but we weren’t really up for coffee together; the morning started too early, and with too much discomfort. I sat down in my studio to chill with some music videos. I’d have gone back to bed, but had awakened feeling “triggered” and on edge by my own pain, and sleep wasn’t going to come easily (or, possibly, at all) – and I was near enough to “well-rested” to let that go, I just needed to restore that sense of balance, and begin again. 🙂 Eventually, my partner pops in to admit that he’s not really ready for coffee, after all, and shares his intention of attempting to go back to bed. Makes sense to me. I would, if I could. 🙂 He offers me his coffee, apologetically, appreciatively, and lovingly. I’m warmed by the gesture every bit as much as I would be by the coffee… sometime later, after I finished mine, I go get his – still warm. I smile, pleased to have a second cup of coffee without running the grinder and potentially disturbing my partner’s rest; I know he needs the rest.

I sit in the warmth of what an amazing weekend this has been for love and loving, without trying to analyze it – just enjoying it.

I think about our lovely evening the night before – dinner out with friends, hanging out at our place, afterward. It was nice. My smile deepens. Brunch with a friend at noontime – also quite delightful. Good weekend. I sip my coffee feeling content and satisfied. Fulfilled? Definitely. Happy? I think maybe, yeah. Feels good.

The difficult moments this morning weren’t personal, weren’t any sort of attack, really weren’t a big deal – just difficult, and actually, very very momentary. I can deal with that. I can also remember a time when a moment like that one this morning would not only have blown my day – it would have blotted out my recollections of this delightful weekend of love, affection, romance, and shared experiences with friends. I’d have drowned my heart in emotional “weather” – unable to enjoy the lovely “climate” in this period of my life, generally. I’m glad I have undertaken so many small practices that prevent me from becoming mired in a painful moment and unable to connect with a joyful life.

Quite a lot has gone into getting from “there” to “here”. 🙂

I sit quietly sipping my coffee, appreciative of how far my journey has taken me, how wonderful love is, and how pleasant it is to be so easily able to let go of the small stuff, and bounce back quickly. Basic mindfulness practices. Real actual practice. Verbs. Incremental change over time. Lots of books (have you seen my Reading List??). Lots of practice. My results have varied, and I’ve avoided taking that as a personal failure, beginning again thousands of times. What works, works; we become what we practice. 😀

…Well… It’s a lovely Sunday. Time to finish this coffee, and start the day. 😀

Well. That was a night of something other than rest. lol Nightmares woke me around 2 am. It was almost three before sleep caught up with me again. My dreams, thankfully, shifted gears, but… the content was strange (very) and fantastical… something about a church service breaking out into a raucous, violent, drunken party in the basement of a building in which corporate performance reviews were about to be given out under (for some reason) strict secrecy. There were Leprechauns in attendance (whether they were party-goers or work colleagues wasn’t at all clear), and for some reason, the professional folks were all wearing pajamas, and big screen tvs were showing Saturday morning cartoons. Very odd. Let’s never discuss it again. LOL

…Being awake, sipping a hot cup of coffee, seems a relief, and a clear return to normalcy. 🙂 It’s enough. I yawn through these first sips of coffee, tired after the 3rd (4th?) consecutive night of fairly bad sleep. These things often go in cycles, so I refrain from taking it at all personally, and figure, more than likely, the rough sleep is due to the injured shoulder; it is a pain that is disrupting my sleep. I feel it every time I try to turn over, every time I lay on my right side, and my sleep ends up interrupted, restless, and not very deep. Lots of opportunity for dreams, and yes, nightmares. I remind myself that I already have a doctor’s appointment scheduled, and look at my calendar. It’s not on my calendar, so I look it up online, and add it – and invite “my work self”, so it’ll be on my calendar in the office also. 🙂

Nothing to see here – all routine human stuff, the business of living life. 🙂 I’m okay with “average”, “routine”, and “normal”, and drama is not welcome here…so… yeah. I get back to sipping coffee, and feeling this shoulder ache. lol

My thoughts careen through memories and random stream-of-consciousness weirdness for a time.

I breathe, exhale, relax, and sit present with the pain in my shoulder, and the tinnitus in my ears. It’s some time before I realize some of what I’m hearing is traffic beyond the window, and some of it is the fan on my computer. Another sip of coffee, contemplating the day ahead, gently (work has been intense, lately). The cup returns to the stone coaster on the desk with an unexpectedly loud clunk, and I shoot a suspicious look at cup, coaster, and fingers still wrapped through and around the white porcelain handle, motionless – as though freezing for a brief instant somehow mitigates the loud noise in the quiet room. LOL

…I wonder, for the first time, why the hell I am using a stone coaster with a porcelain coffee mug, early in the mornings, in a very quiet environment, when I am specifically cultivating the quiet? This seems an inexplicably counter-productive choice. Shouldn’t I be using a soft, silent, coaster, perhaps of cork… or… fake fur…with googly eyes? I quake silently with mirth at the mental image of a fake fur coaster. (Omg, I need more sleep. lol)

Something about the mirthful moment is a reminder of recent inspiration; my Traveling Partner shared something artistic (a painting technique), and I found it inspiring, fascinating, and potentially very suited to my artistic approach. I’m excited about the weekend to come; maybe I will spend some of it in the studio? The idea becomes a smile, another sip of coffee, and a moment – it almost becomes a plan. My eye roams the room… paint… glitter… glow in the dark… canvases… Yeah, I’m overdue to get some creative work done. I think I screwed myself attempted to exorcise the toxic demon that is an X of mine by way of paint on canvas; an individual so utterly vile, so irredeemably poisonous, that even finishing the representation was hard to approach, and the likeness sits unfinished on my easel, holding me back. Maybe I should “finish” it with some quick machete work, instead? The idea amuses me, maybe enough to finish it properly, let go, and really, finally, completely move on.

…It’s the forgiveness that’s hard, isn’t it? Once we have been wounded badly enough, deeply enough, damaged thoroughly enough, the forgiveness becomes… difficult. It’s hard to stay with the awareness that the forgiveness isn’t about the person who hurt us, not really, it’s about us, ourselves, letting go. Forgiveness doesn’t absolve someone of the wrongs they have done. It’s not an excuse, and does not condone bad behavior. From my perspective, the forgiveness simply allows us to move on, to admit to our pain, to refuse someone who has injured us any further opportunity to command our attention through their hurtful acts; we can walk on, and leave them to deal with their own pain, their own chaos and damage. Not my circus, not my monkeys. It’s a letting go that mitigates some of the damage, releases us from the powerful hold someone who has hurt us can maintain, and lets us get on with our own lives. There is no lasting requirement to see the forgiven one again, ever, or interact with them, or pretend we were not hurt, or to allow any further damage. I think what makes forgiveness hard is that it is clearly more kind, and more compassionate, than vengeance or punishment – but even though either of those (or both) may be entirely deserved, they do a lot of damage to the person needing to deliver them. It’s a bother, and a weird puzzle.

I can’t have vengeance, and I can’t punish that X, ever, enough to “make things right” – there is no amount of punishment available that could do that work. It is what it is. (Maybe we’re all someone’s villain?) Forgiveness tastes bitter in my mouth, like unripe fruit; I haven’t been ready. That portrait has mocked me, now, for months. That X does not “deserve” forgiveness… then I remember; my X may not “deserve” the relief that forgiveness may bring… but I do. 🙂 Forgiveness is for the one forgiving. Forgiveness allows us to walk on. I guess it’s time. After all, what are they to me, now? Nothing and no one; it’s time to let them go in a proper and final way. I’ll feel so much better – and I’ll finish that damned painting. LOL

I glance into my empty coffee mug. Obviously. It’s time to begin again. 🙂

Are you having a rough time of things, right now? Is life feeling more complicated than you’d like? Do you feel attacked on all sides? Trapped? Frustrated? Hung up on some detail that is not even a thing that has actually happened yet? Hung up on some detail already in the past? I’ve been there. I’m not there right now. I may, however, be there sometime again in the future, and I have thoughts on dealing with that. 🙂

Be present in this moment. Breathe. 

Yep. Take some deep breathes. Let go of the past; it’s behind you already, and you can move on from it. Let go of the future; it hasn’t happened yet, and it’s not predetermined. Consider new choices, and take the actions that allow you to continue to grow in the direction of becoming the person you most want to be. Who is that?

Read a book. Chill for awhile and let your mind be empty. Watch the clouds, the rustling leaves, the pigeons in a park, the rain falling on the other side of a window. Breathe, exhale, relax. Let go of clinging and attachment. Let go of assumptions and expectations. Be. Be present. Be aware. Be your own friend. Take steps. Take a step back, for perspective. Take a step forward, for growth. Live your journey with your eyes wide open. 🙂

Maybe a walk in the sunshine, considering the many options?

Sometimes the way ahead is difficult. Sometimes the difficulties are ones we’ve created for ourselves. Why that is, is probably less important than what we do about it. It’s your path to walk – you get to choose the route. 🙂

I sit here sipping my morning coffee; my Traveling Partner noted that it seems that the burr grinder needs to be given some care and maintenance. My coffee agrees with him. The next step would seem to be to do something about that. Sometimes the challenges are fairly simple. Sometimes the complications in life come from within us. I smile and listen to the traffic on the roadway.

My shoulder aches. A lurching bus in rush hour traffic yesterday evening provided notable additional pain, and set back my recovery time a bit. I remind myself to spend more time with that arm in a sling – and less time trying to use it. Still… it’s a new day. I have choices ahead of me that will determine what I make of it, and where my path will lead.

Time to take that next step, and begin again. 🙂