July 2, 2012

Inmate holds the key

Oh the effin key is in my pocket!!!









Late last night I spoke with an old beloved friend.  He told me of his fear of leaving the woman he’s been with for 15 years.  They have no children, no marriage contract, no shared property yet he cannot find the strength to walk away.  Much like an investment he has been waiting for a return, a payoff for all the time, tears, love, and effort he has put into the relationship.  His light though, has dimmed. In many ways he has done time, not lived.

My advice was biased by what I have discovered after splitting up.  Beyond the pain, the loneliness, the guilt is true self discovery.  I shared that if my husband hadn’t left me for another woman I would still be there, angry and overwhelmed. In time, I told him, he too could find his bliss, his true joy in being him.

We laughed at how much easier it would be to just get caught in bed with another woman.  How all the talking, worrying, arguing, counseling could be circumvented by her walking in on him.  He could simply break it quickly like a bone and leave if he were caught in the ultimate act of betrayal.  I giggled maniacally and offered to be naked in his bed with him as long as she didn’t own a gun.

I realized it’s not only women who hold on and fear change. Men, too, feel this stagnant frustration in dead relationships that they can’t get out of.  I suggested counseling, a trip together, some sort of retreat where they try to rediscover what brought them together in the first place.  He sighed, defeated and said that all sounds like more work. No thank you.

Compassion flowed out of me as we cried together. I shared how important it is to see the other side of a hardship. Like if you’re afraid someone will die, you must see yourself going through the funeral, seeking grief therapy afterward, reinventing your life without that person.  Same with leaving someone, we need to see ourselves in that new little place that’s all our own, sitting and eating alone, sleeping alone, smiling in our independence.  Visualizing the day that we wake up and stretch and smile, glad in the knowledge that the day ahead is one we have consciously made, it is not a jail sentence to live out like the hundreds you lived before it.  The new day of the new life is full unexpected turns and your new reactions to them.

We admitted that this could be what everyone talks about when they say “midlife crisis insanity”.  This short life is here and now.  We are approaching 50 and we feel an urgency to live that’s stronger than yesterday but not as intense as it will feel tomorrow.

When I hung up the phone I closed my eyes and looked at my new life.  In my life now I have the freedom to do what and whoever I want, I have the time and money to live each day as I wish it, sitting with the bliss of my own company.  I wish for everyone in the world to be free, in this country we actually are free.  Therefore there is no excuse to sit in jail when we hold the key, terrified of the unknown.  Like a ride at Disneyland, the darkness can be thrilling, the dips and turns are scary but ultimately the deeper need in each of us is to NOT KNOW how it will end.  For this beautiful mystery I say thank you God.

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