SIX WEEKS: LEARNING THAT NOTHING IS EVERYTHING (part twelve)
Success consists of simply getting up one more time than you fall. (From the movie Jerry Maguire, sign in locker room)
Journal Entry, February 26, outside the Dojo, Finca Tunduqueral, Uspallata, Argentina: early afternoon
It happened to Jerry Maguire. It happens to all of us some time or another… or rather to those of us who look beyond ‘normality’, the status quo, who we think we should be, what they tell us we should be doing – ideas that are hammered into us from every direction. And, for those of us who use a magnifying glass to examine ourselves and our lives, it happens more than once –
BREAKDOWN, BREAKTHROUGH …
that terrified look on Jerry Maquire’s face as he splashed water over his eyes and realized what he had done (I must have watched that scene a zillion times) – BOOM! – running through my mind during my own breakdown (which I like to remember more as a breakthrough)…
this morning… as I stood in the middle of the valley on a dirt road screaming on the top of my lungs, Andrea (my husband) in front of me. I was screaming at him, at myself… to anyone up there who would listen and relieve me of some of the frustration… my heart and soul oozing out of me, all my zen teachings worthless… lost and left to blow away in the wind.
During moments like these breathing and trying to remain calm just doesn’t cut it.
‘She lives in a fairytale… believes in the romantic dream… wants perfection… to always be Happy in this perfect home that she needs…
Life isn’t that’, he continued to rave on and on and on as I bit my tongue not to respond (as all the books on nonviolent communication have taught me)…
‘Don’t take anything personally’ is the Second Agreement in the book The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Miguel Ruiz*…
Last night I allowed him to speak and speak and speak and he did…
me biting my tongue, holding back the teardrops and controlling my head from moving from left to right to left.
Last night I didn’t sleep. I tossed and turned. A constant cramp in my right leg. The apple red blanket which had always perfectly covered my five foot two body seemed so much smaller, so completely insufficient… incapable of comforting me or keeping me warm… wrapping around my legs and then my waist, getting awkwardly stuck and moving around with a mind of its own. As the hours passed I looked out to the stars and fireflies; the silence of the night inviting all the fears, confusion and doubts to dance maliciously around in my mind… fears of never finding a tranquil ground – a breather… Confusion about this place and all the other places we have considered… Doubts about giving a room and a dog to our daughters, and doubts about not giving it to them by the end of 2016, as promised. Unclarity about us and all these choices, too much freedom that has a way of entrapping me at times like my apple red blanket in the middle of a sleepless night.
This morning, the girls still snug deeply in their dreams and sleeping bags, we dressed for the wind and chilly air and walked towards the Rock* before dawn. The sun was slowly rising before us. We were calm on the outside, close to boiling from within. We held hands, walked 10 minutes up the hill before saying a single word. Then we spoke, trying to remember all our past lessons about effective communication, kindness and compassion.
He spoke, then I.
Starting out peaceful, soft-spoken… the water was coming closer to a boil with every word… then…. BOOM!
My voice broke through the stillness of the mountains, the silence of the early morning air… tears began to flood my eyes and nose and cheeks. Andrea stood before me as I yelled. He knew that I wasn’t screaming at him.
And then I stopped… his arms suddenly around me telling me that he had heard, that he was listening, that he had finally understood: my need for a space – not necessarily a house, not a white picket fence – just a space: a shelf to put my books on… and a few cds, a closet for some clothes… a space to leave our photo albums, a favorite cup or quote… a photograph**, a place to safely leave pieces of our life that we can come back to and reliably find, each in their very own spot… a place that doesn’t involve boxes, packing and unpacking… that doesn’t involve his parents who have been kind enough to accept our total invasion of their basement for the past several years… a place we can call ours…
SPACE, privacy, not necessarily a home, but a home base… a somewhat sacred place…
I yelled all of this out into the open sky… only the birds and the insects and my husband and myself there to hear… to listen… to finally understand… it all came together… so clear… what had been buried in my subconscious for too long… essential needs that I finally verbalized and truly understood…
Breaking it down, Breaking it through… continuing to Breathe…
almost 6 weeks of purity and here we are together continuing to see… continuing to learn… here I am getting back up one more time.
Journal Entry, The Dojo, Finca Tunduqueral, Argentina, February 27, 2016… 3:00am
The ground vibrated tonight. The ceiling of the dojo tremored along with it. We were already in our sleeping bags when we felt it: those few shaky seconds. Perhaps I felt it most of all? My senses were extra sensitive… something inside me had been seriously shooken earlier that day. It felt like the Universe was telling me that I had been heard…. compassionately fluttering its eyelashes directly at me.
The earth shook and I felt grounded. Finally, something peacefully dwelling inside myself and humbly embracing all that I had revealed. Relieved by my breakdown… my Breakthrough.
The earthquake an eloquent and simple symbol of it all.
A test? A sign? A wonderful wink from someone – maybe some magical thing – confirming that this time I had been heard?
with love and appreciation here I AM winking right back at YOU,
*The Four Agreements (Miguel Ruiz)
1. Be impeccable with your word.
2. Don’t take anything personally.
3. Don’t make assumptions.
4. Always do your best. ”
**one of my favorite photographs.