Journal Entry: June 28, 2014
Saturday morning I woke up in my big comfy bed and realized, only one more day until I get my partner back. I am happy that this thought actually feels so good. Wanting to be back in my husband’s arms brings feelings of warmth and comfort.
While waiting for breakfast, I decided to order that Sam Smith song from yesterday. First, I listened to the samples of all the songs on his album (it’s really new, no wonder I had never heard it before) and I could tell I would like a lot of them, so I ordered the album. While it was downloading, I went to wikipedia and read a little about Sam. Wow, he’s just a kid. Amazing that such a young man can write those beautiful words, but sad, that his words are already coming from such a painful place. As I listened to the full album, I realized there was another song that hit very close to home for me. How could this kid be singing the words that are running through the head of a 50 year old woman?
You and me, we made a vow, for better or for worse
I can’t believe you let me down, but the proof’s in the way it hurts
For months on end I’ve had my doubts, denying every tear
I wish this would be over now, but I know that I still need you here
You’ve been so unavailable, now sadly I know why
Your heart is unobtainable, even though Lord knows you kept mine
I have loved you for many years, maybe I am just not enough
You’ve made me realize my deepest fear, by lying and tearing us up
[Chorus:] You say I’m crazy, ‘Cause you don’t think I know what you’ve done
But when you call me baby, I know I’m not the only one
Well, Sam, I truly hope you have not actually had to live these words at the young age of 22, but I thank you for writing and singing such a beautiful song. Now it is time for me to bring the happy back and face my day.
One of the amazingly wonderful aspects of this great resort I am staying at, is their Mind & Body Studio. Every day they offer classes including Meditation, Yoga, Cardio, Walks around the property, Spinning, Stretching, Ball Training, Water Aerobics, and Water Movement classes, no additional fee required. Today I have signed up for Gentle Yoga in the morning, and Guided Meditation in the afternoon. Although I have done some mindful meditation in my various therapy sessions, I have never attended a group guided meditation class. I am really looking forward to it.
The Mind & Body Studio at the resort is clean and open and beautiful and quiet. There were a lot of attendees at the Guided Meditation Class this afternoon. We are all asked to grab a mat and blanket and find a comfortable place to lie down and follow the meditation (and try not to get so comfortable that we fall sleep). Although the instructor did give us a simple warning that if we are snoring, she will have to gently nudge us so as not to interfere with others’ peaceful experiences. A couple older men did actually fall asleep, and snore, but the instructor did not end up nudging them. It was kind of sweet and I managed to block it out. The instructor’s voice was smooth and soothing, and soft music played in the background. She started with breathing exercises and then she took us on this journey:
We started in a meadow, warmed by sunshine, with a cool breeze gently blowing the wildflowers and grasses. We stood in this spot for a little while and breathed in the fresh clean scents of an unfettered environment. In the near distance was a mountain and we started along a path up the mountain until we reached a flat area where we stopped to rest. Everything in this area, off the path, was red. The gravel on the ground was red, the flowers were red, the sky was tinged red, and there was a red bench where we sat down and took off a red backpack that we had been carrying. We were asked to pull everything out of our backpack. The items were separated into two sections. The first section was filled with things in our life that are causing us stress, or anger, or fear, or other negative emotions. We were asked to take all of those items out of our backpack, one by one and set them on the ground next to the bench. As we pulled each item out, we thought about it, what the item was, why it was there, and how long we had been carrying it. Then, we removed all the items in the other section of our backpack. In this section were the things in our life that gave us joy, helped us feel loved and content, and safe. Again, we took them out one by one and thought about them before we put them on the ground. We were to leave the backpack and all of the contents there, on the ground, next to the red bench.
We set out on the path again and we climbed and hiked until we reached a beautiful turquoise blue waterfall. We stood next to the waterfall and felt the cool mist tickle our faces. We looked at the beautiful blue color of the water and we watched the light from the sun bounce off the pure liquid as it spilled down over the side of the mountain and splashed into the dark pool below. We stepped into the pond and let the waterfall wash over us. As it ran over our bodies, the water awakened our senses and helped us feel alive. The water opened a beautiful energy within us that allowed us to express ourselves with confidence. We stood there in a state of feeling certain about the truth within ourselves and we voiced this truth in our minds. We embraced our own feelings of self-assurance, and we embraced our love for ourselves. We then gently and slowly climbed out of the water and headed back to the trail.
After a bit of walking, we entered a dense, green forest where the trees were sizable and their trunks were solid and firmly established. We stood in the cool woodland, sheltered by tall redwoods and sequoias, and leafy maples and quietly looked around at our surroundings. There were so many trees covered in emerald colored leaves and our path was blanketed with pine green needles. We inhaled deeply of the evergreen scent as we watched two deer scamper and play in a small clearing near where we stood. We sat on the lush forest floor and drank in the gentle energy of the forest, reminiscent of a silk blanket enveloping us in warmth & comfort. We felt safe. We stayed in this safe place for a bit before we ventured out of the forest and back to our path.
As we meandered on the mountain path, we came to a valley between two mountain peaks. The sun shined brightly in this spot and we were asked to sit and picture a time in our childhood, a happy time, filled with safety and love. Everything in this valley is yellow. I picture a field of yellow wildflowers in this meadow valley. I am four years old today. It is May. I am wearing a yellow sundress and my sandals are yellow with a white plastic flower on top. I have a yellow ribbon tied in my shoulder length brown hair. I am playing with my golden retriever puppy. My mother and father are sitting on a yellow and white checkered tablecloth nearby, having a picnic. My father is wearing a yellow golf shirt and my mother is wearing a yellow sundress that matches my own. She is happy, smiling, laughing. My father looks lovingly into her eyes. The sun shines down on all of us. I laugh at my puppy and we play and we run over to where my parents are chatting. I sit on my mom’s lap and look up into her eyes. She loves me with all her heart, I can feel it. I ask my dad to play with me and the puppy and he happily jumps up and we throw a little yellow ball for the puppy. He scoops me up and gives me a big kiss on my forehead and says, I love you. We laugh and play as a little family like this all afternoon. We are asked to leave this happy meadow valley and go back to our path, as we are today, adults. I do not want to leave my little yellow meadow. Please don’t make me go. Tears are streaming down my face, here, in the present, in this room in southern california, I open my eyes in panic and realize where I am. I force myself to close my eyes again. To finish my journey.
We are back on our path and we are heading up, higher and higher on the mountain, until we reach the crest. We are there at the top of the mountain, and in front of us is a large tree with its limbs in the shape of a canopy. The tree is covered in big, snow white blossoms. Beautiful, gorgeous, heavenly scented blossoms. Beneath the tree’s canopy are big, white fluffy chairs to sit on, relax, and rest our weary feet. As we sit in the chairs, we are given a choice. We can go back down the mountain the same way we have come, through the yellow valley, the green forest, the turquoise waterfall… or we can take another path, down the other side of the mountain. We do not know what that path holds, but we can take everything with us that we have learned so far on our journey. Do we want to go forward, or do we want to go back? We choose to go forward, to face the unknown with the skills we have learned along the way. As it turns out, the unknown path is much shorter, and easier. We are confident, and pain free, and we feel safe, and we are quickly back at the flat area just off the path, at the red bench, with our red backpack. We sit down on the bench, and we are asked to re-pack our backpack, but we are asked to only put back in our pack, those things that bring us joy, and happiness, and safety. To pack them gently and carefully, and head back to the path.
As we enter the meadow where we began our journey, we are asked to notice our breathing, to make sure it is slow and deep, to become aware of our body and its position, to become aware of our environment and gradually, in our own time, open our eyes.
I have never experienced anything like this guided meditation session. It was amazing, relaxing, and somehow frightening. I spent the rest of the afternoon in a daze. I sat out by the pool and thought about the experience. Although the meditation was enlightening, I was not sure exactly what to make of it. My experience in the yellow meadow valley was the part that confused me the most. The parents in the valley were my birth parents. I was four years old. I was loved. My sister was not born until I was 5 1/2 years old. My father cheated on my mother when I was five years old. My parents divorced when I was six years old. What do I make of it all? When I was four years old, I was content and happy, my parents were content and happy. I felt loved. I did not want to leave that valley, but I know I cannot go back. My confidence and self esteem come from the fact that I know my parents loved me and I felt safe with them at a time when every child needs to feel safe. This made me feel good…
And then, Blue Eyes called, and I lost it. Tears streamed down my face as I tried to be present and listen to my husband, listen to what he had to say about his day. The truth is, Blue Eyes never felt safe as a child, and he never felt loved. He does not feel loved now. I hope he can come to the realization that he is truly loved, but I know this is his journey. Why do things have to be this way. I can’t go back. I can only go forward with the tools I have learned in my life, along my own journey so far.
I can be strong. I can do this.