Tag Archive | heartache

my balanced life (me and lot’s wife)


I am Lot’s wife.

Frozen in place.  A pillar of salt.

Eye on the past, no thought for the future.

Carrie and Regina Mae

I haven’t written a word since my last post on my beautiful friend, Carrie.  Afraid to write, afraid to think or feel.

Afraid to lose my friend.

Not the kind of loss that can be overcome by a long talk and a foot soak over a favorite pastry from The Corner Perk.

My sweet friend who taught me how to listen to my body.  How to walk into a room full of stretchy-bendy yoginis and just do my best.  Not compare myself to their best.

My sweet friend who taught me how to recognize peace.  How to walk away from the toxicity in my life.

My friend who taught me as much about bravery as any sheepdog I know.

I keep looking back to when the studio was open.  My safe haven from the ugliness and pain in my life.

Always looking back.  Frozen in place, my own little pillar of salt.

After spending the evening with her, I realize the fear is mine.  The despair is ours.  She’s made her peace and is ready to move on.  It’s those of us who will be left behind who struggle and despair.

Holding my breath, holding my words, won’t change the outcome.

Maybe breathing again, sharing my pain, will provide the salve my soul needs to keep going forward.

Maybe sitting next to her, absorbing her peace, will crack away at my pillar of salt.  Allow me to break free and face forward again.

Carrie

I love you, my friend.

I’ll miss you.  Always.

Sweet dreams.

See you on the other side.

my balanced life (or my broken heart beats)


 

I’ve never understood how a heart can be broken and still keep beating.  And yet, here I sit once again, heart broken and still beating.

Carrie and Herman Wandall

Checking Facebook is mindless and automatic.   Glancing past the inanities of our every day life as a way to pass the time, fill an overactive mind always seeking new information.

Sometimes buried in the food porn and relationship updates, I stumble across life-changing, heart-breaking news.

Hello Family and Dear friends,

Our dear Carrie will not be with us as long as we would like. Please send your love, visit, call, send a note or what ever way you would like to show Carrie your Love. Thank you all again for all that you have done for Carrie and I. We are both eternally grateful for all your love and support. Love to all Herman and Carrie

Herman and Carrie, who personify Sufi poet Hafiz’s “A Love Like That”.  Carrie, who has fought so valiantly to beat ovarian cancer.  Carrie, who will not be with us as long as we would like.

Carrie standing in the surf

Last time my heart was broken, Carrie healed me. Saved me, really. I wish there were a way to return the gift she gave me.

Heal her, save her, the way she did for me.

I have a hard time imagining my world without Carrie.  Without yoga classes and healing Reiki sessions.  My world is different, I am different, for having met her, for having spent hours in her yoga studio.

Carrie’s love, her legacy, will live on. The lives she touched will touch others, passing on her legacy to all we touch.

Carrie had a way of blanketing people in love and peace.  In my darkest, most painfully heart-broken days, I knew if I could just make it to her yoga studio, I’d be okay.  I’d survive another hour, another day.  Even when I was too beaten to do anything but child’s pose, life was better if I could just get there.

Now it’s our turn to send a blanket of love and peace to cover Carrie as she finishes her journey on earth.

Our turn to cover Herman with a blanket of love and peace as he says goodbye to his love.

Heart broken but still beating.

adventures in dating (or there is none like you)


I struggle with the desire to find the perfect mate.  The perfect person to understand me, touch me, love me.

Dance with God and He will let the perfect man cut in.

A soul mate, if you will.  The one.

That perfect person to be by my side, through life’s ups and downs.

This is a struggle I share with many of my single friends.

As I was getting ready for church last Sunday morning, I turned Pandora on to the Praise and Worship Radio.  Before the music started playing, a song popped into my head.

“There is none like you.  No one else can touch my heart like you do.  I could search for all eternity Lord, and find there is none like you.”

A scant second later, Michael W. Smith sang the echoing refrain to my heart’s song.

“There is none like you.  No one else can touch my heart like you do.  I could search for all eternity Lord, and find there is none like you.”

They say the Holy Spirit speaks to you if you’re listening.  I haven’t had many of those moments in my life.  As soon as I heard those words surrounding me in perfect harmony, I felt God’s presence, heard God’s message.

I can search for all eternity, and there’s only one man who can touch my heart the way I need it to be touched.

Only one man who understands me.

Loves me unconditionally.

I stood in my shower that morning and sobbed.  Tears of grief for all the years I tried to make my husband that soul mate.  Tears of frustration for all the men I’ve cried for because they weren’t who I needed or wanted.

Sobbed with the realization that God is my soul mate.  Or at least, He wants to be.  If I’ll only let him.

Question:  Has God ever spoken to you?  How did His words come through to your heart?

adventures in dating (or am I ready yet)


hot pink daisy

I keep receiving the same piece of dating advice.  It comes in a few different forms.

  • Are you ready yet?

 

  • Maybe you’re just not ready.

 

  • Don’t focus on finding the right one – focus on being the right one.

 

I appreciate the advice.  I really do.  But sometimes I wonder if my advisors really mean:

  • You’re not ready.

 

  • If you were better, you’d find someone.

 

  • There’s something wrong with you.

 

The people giving me this advice are friends who love me.  Because I know that’s true, I try to interpret their advice in the best light.

  • You aren’t strong enough yet to withstand the rejection inherent in dating.

 

  • You can’t control when the “Right One” will find you, but you can control yourself – spending time in ways that prepare yourself to be a great partner.

 

But honestly, even those interpretations sting a little.

For over twenty years, I read every self-help, marriage-saving book I could put my hands on.  The ones recommended by friends and the ones I found meandering through Barnes & Nobles.

The recurring theme in all these books was, “You can’t change anyone but yourself.  So quit trying to change your spouse.  Change yourself and save your marriage!”

I admit that is a simplification.  I agree that you can’t make anyone else change.

I took the message from these books to heart.  Did my best to be a better wife.  But none of it was enough to save my marriage.  That knowledge haunts me, even three years later.  Because whatever I did, it wasn’t enough.  I wasn’t enough.

After more than twenty years, I’m single.  Happily single, truthfully.  I have a good life filled with love, children of my flesh and of my heart, family who are friends and friends who are family.  A seemingly unending supply of Team A boys to date.

Just because he broke my heart doesn’t mean I’m broken.  I am whole and happy.  Funny and sweet.  I walk through life with my mind and my heart open, ready to love the people God and life sends to me.

Is it wrong to wish that one of those people would be a man who would love me beyond measure?  Someone to stand by me during life’s crises?  Someone to wake up next to at 3:00 a.m.?

Am I ready?  Do my friends see something in me I don’t?  I wish there were a test to take to see if you’re “ready” or not.  I’m an excellent test taker!  I wish there were a course to take to get “ready”.  I love courses!

When I am ready, will I stop feeling like a giant love failure?  When I am ready, will I open up like a daisy in full bloom?  My heart as wide open as the daisy’s petals?

Question:  If you’ve found The One, did you have an epiphany of readiness before you met them?

adventures in dating (or one brave heart)


“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.”

Jim Morrison

I’ve never considered myself to be brave.  But I’ve had an epiphany this week.  I am brave.  Brave enough to risk my heart.  Over and over again.

be brave banner

When I meet someone I feel a connection with, whatever you want to call that connection, I risk my heart.  Willingly.  Gladly.

Sometimes, like with Coach, that connection makes sense.  Coach has a master’s degree.  He’s a nationally known strength and conditioning coach.  Respected by his peers.  He’s smart and educated, an optimistic people-person.  On the surface, he was a perfect match for me.

Sometimes, like with Nature Boy, that connection makes no sense at all.  Educationally and professionally, Nature Boy and I are on completely different levels.  I’m a tried-and-true Type A.  He’s more Type Hawaii.  I plan my life five years in advance.  I’m not even sure he plans his life five hours in advance.  But the connection I felt when I was with him was so strong, I didn’t care about any of those things.

As opposite as they are, the one thing they have in common is the connection I felt when I was with them.

It is easier to go out with people I have no connection to.  You aren’t risking anything when you don’t care.  Your heart is safe when it has no connection to the person you’re seeing.

Maybe because my heart was thoroughly shattered when my marriage collapsed, I can’t imagine any other relationship destroying me.  I faced soul-crushing heartache.  And I came out on the other side.  Stronger and braver than I ever imagined I could be.

I love.  Freely.  Easily.  Without reservation.  That quality attracts people to me.  Children sense the unconditional love that flows through my heart to theirs.  They know I love them just the way they are.

Unfortunately, men sense that same quality and run away.  Nature Boy ran away, rather than acknowledging his feelings for me.  Rather than letting my heart heal his.

I don’t blame him.  He’s been hurt and doesn’t want to be hurt again.  His choice is to play it safe.  Protect his heart.  I might have made that same choice once upon a time, a long time ago.

I can’t play it safe anymore.  I would rather have a few months of something special than years of nothing special.  Even if that means I might get hurt.  Hurt doesn’t last forever.  Beautiful memories do.

swan soul mates

One day, my heart will find my soul mate.  He’ll be brave enough to risk loving me back.  My unconditional love will be met with unconditional love.  We will have a connection that lasts for an eternity.

Until then, I am brave enough to put myself out there, put my heart out there, as many times as it takes to find him.

adventures in dating (or miss independence)



lit sparklers

Three years ago this month I leapt madly toward independence.  It was like jumping out of a tenth floor window of a burning building.  Sometimes, it doesn’t matter if there is something waiting to break your fall.  Where you are is so bad, you have to take that leap of faith.

Asking for a divorce was the scariest thing I’ve ever done.  I tortured myself with self-doubt.  What if I was wrong?  What if he was right, and we were supposed to stay together?  What if the separation destroyed our kids?

What if I went through all the pain of the separation and then ended up with someone else exactly like the one I left?

What if I ended up ALONE?  I couldn’t imagine a fate worse than being alone.

I found a dead Monarch butterfly on my back patio around that time.  I saved it, wrapped in tissue in a Premier Jewelry box.  Whenever I was tempted to call my ex, I’d pull the box out.  I’d remind myself that if I stayed in my marriage, my soul would be as dead as that little butterfly.

Three years later, I look back on the woman I was like she’s a character in a book I read. Her grief is a distant memory, more like something I’ve watched on TV than lived firsthand.

Her anger and bitterness a distasteful chapter in a book I never want to read again.

power to choose

I’m thankful for my beautiful children, who worried about me and took care of me as much as I took care of them.  We grieved together.  For a family lost.  A husband and father absent.  For what could have been.  And never was.

As I write these words, tears pour down my cheeks.  A reminder that maybe the pain isn’t as distant as I thought.

I’m thankful for my friends who remind me of Jeremiah 40:31.  But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. 
They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” 

My friends stood next to me.  They soared with me when I could.  They ran with me when I couldn’t.  They walked with me when that’s all I had left.

A couple of times in the last few months, I’ve thought to myself, I love being single.  Or, I like being single more than I ever liked being married.  It’s taken most of the three years to get to this point.

Being alone doesn’t scare me anymore.  I know there will always be people in my life.  Family to love.  Friends to lean on.  Boys to play with.

It takes time to get to this place.  And it’s a good place.

Maybe it’s because I’m in this place that Nature Boy finally found me.

Nature Boy is my biggest surprise.  He drifts in and out of my life like an unanchored boat.  When he’s around, he brings peace and stillness.  He soothes my soul.  As I soothe his.

Five years before I met him, I pointed out his sailboat to my photographer sister.  She snapped the pic and it’s been hanging in my office ever since.  From my desk, if I look left, there’s a picture of Sweetness.  If I look right, there’s a picture of Nature Boy’s sailboat.

Serendipity?  Fate?  Whatever brought Nature Boy to me now, I’m in a good place to enjoy it.  Enjoy him.

Question:  Have you declared your independence yet?  Or are you happily dependent?

my year of balance (or Regina Mae falls down a hill)


“To lose balance sometimes for love is part of living a balanced 
life.”

Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love

Twenty twelve is my year of balance.  At least it was until this past week. Seven months after my last fall, I fell again this weekend.

I wish, like Elizabeth Gilbert, I could say that I lost balance for love.  I don’t love any of the men I’ve dated this year.  None of them since Coach, anyway.

I enjoy spending time with them.  Listening to Tri-Guy tell me about his latest triathlon, which in retrospect may be me.  (Three dates and crickets chirping sounds a little like a triathlon, doesn’t it?)

I enjoy the peaceful, easy feeling I get sitting on the back patio, listening to Lady Antebellum sing, watching the sun set over the back fence, while Nature Boy tells me about his day.  I’ve never spent time with anyone who makes me feel that relaxed.  I don’t know how our story ends.  But I know it isn’t finished yet.

The other guys range from eh to nice but none of them rise to the level of love.

So, if it isn’t love that’s making me lose my balance, what is?

The feast or famine business I’m in?  I’m happy to be in the feast phase still.  Happy and tired from working too many hours the last three months. Business is definitely a frontrunner of my balance-stealing suspects.

Stress and Anxiety are running amok like evil twins.  Silent ninjas stealing my equilibrium.   I stood in the woods at the National Whitewater Center Saturday.  Instead of enjoying the peaceful feeling I normally experience surrounded by nature, all I felt was tight-chested anxiety.  I worried so much about falling down the hill, I didn’t enjoy the walk to the river.  Worried so much, I fell right as I got to the bottom of the hill.

I’ve been worried about my balance all week.  Worried about being too tired, too stressed, too anxious.  When I ended up flat on my butt, I wasn’t even surprised.  I didn’t spend any time trying to figure out how I fell.  The how isn’t relevant.  Balance is everything.  I just worked on getting back on my feet and cleaning up the aftermath.

Too much work, too many men, too much to do.  No wonder I went ass over teakettle again.

Time to pull back.  Find more help for the office.  Spend some time running, practicing yoga, meditating.  Sleeping.  Maybe putting some of the men on the back-burner.  Maybe all of them.

Or maybe not.

Question:  What do you do when you lose your balance?  Where do you find it?