Sitting With The Pain

Since I started seeing my therapist she has been urging me to just sit with things and honestly I thought I had been. But these past two weeks have been a real revelation to me as I finally understand what “sitting with things” really entails.


The first thing is that I am just sitting and observing my feelings in a detached sort of way. Not depressed, not numb, but just watching as if my feelings were a movie. Watching the shadows, the lighting, the words that come out of the actors mouths and the body language that accompanies these things. And I have to say that it is one of the most freeing things I have ever done for myself. No explosive reactions just observation and the time needed to think things through without a time line.

Another thing that has happened as a result of my sitting with things is that I have no need to determine the outcome or push for what I think the outcome ought to be. I realize that I have wasted so much of my energy over the years trying to bend things to my will. I have always tried throughout my entire life to produce the desired outcome I envisioned at all costs.  The result of letting this go: more energy, more happiness, less anxiety and frustration.

Sitting with things as I am doing it now is delightful. I feel no pressure to make immediate decisions. I feel that reflecting at my own pace instead of reacting instantaneously  is allowing me to have a deeper experience that is bringing greater understanding as to how we have gotten where we are. And even if we separate it is bringing a much needed peace to my heart in knowing that I am better off for this entire experience and can bring a whole person to the table when this is over; instead of just a shadow of my former self, as a result of taking time for deep self-reflection.

So although I will confess that ending a 30+ year relationship is not what I thought would be on my radar just a few short years ago, I find I am growing in ways I have not in a very long time. Important ways which my soul desperately needed and of which I was unaware. I have no idea what is ahead but I suspect there will be many tears which will water the flowers in my soul’s garden and bring forth the life hidden in seeds I am planting for the future. I know not whether we will walk this path together or if I will be journeying all alone but either way I now know that I am stronger than I was when this all began and that is a gift that I will always treasure.


P.S. My first biggest fear my entire life has been heights. I hate them. My second biggest fear has been divorce. But on Friday, February 17, I have decided to take on my biggest fear and jump out of an airplane. I have two notions about this:

  1. I figure if I can take on my biggest fear than anything my second biggest fear throws at me I will be able to handle.
  2. If the chute fails to open I just avoided a potentially messy divorce.
  3. Either way I win
  4. images-3
  5. If she can do it so can I


For the first time in about 30 years I am alone. I am by myself with absolutely no one near. For once I am completely and utterly alone. It feels strange and I am not really sure I like it. I wonder…is this what divorce feels like?

I thought being alone would feel wondrous…and it does. Walking around in my underwear has its perks. Sleeping alone naked in bed does too. Having a clean kitchen when I woke up just like I left it the night before seems analogous to some sort of religious experience. Eating when I want, if I want, brings new meaning and new tastes to food. I can sit and type all day or take a nap with no schedule to tether me to the world’s beck and call.

Yet, being alone feels uncomfortable too… like a woolen sweater meant to keep you warm but instead of the comfort it is suppose to provide it drives you crazy with an itchiness that you just cannot scratch. It feels raw like a Chicago wind in the middle of winter or that elusive pebble in your shoe.

The silence here is deafening. I hear the hum of the refrigerator and the click of the heater as it turns on. Every noise is amplified because of the stillness and as I sit outside sipping my coffee it sounds like I am on a school playground with the calls, caws, and swoops of the birds flying about.

The freedom to do anything I want is almost like a noose around my neck….so many things to do with so little time. I count the hours until I have to leave as I wait for the telephone repairman to show up so I can get on with my day. I have cliffs to climb, trails to follow and things to discover. I want to know if these things are as meaningful when discovered alone or is there a greater meaning when it is a shared experience with someone you love?

Alone is freeing. Alone is confining. Alone is amazing. Alone is lonely. Alone is what I want to be right now and I am thankful that I get to experience what it feels like to be alone. Just me, myself and I.


Later as I walk the cliffs I discover that I really am not so alone after all.IMG_6923