More than any other time in my life I am navigating a place that feels deep, unknown and intentional. I am steering a course carefully as it changes daily. The predictability of yesterday has unfolded into the uncertainty of today. I’m alone for an extended period of time. Not a course I was expecting at this time of my life. I’ve been alone for a few weeks now and I am just starting to realize the provision that has been put in place for me before John left. I’ve taken much for granted over the course of years while raising children, traveling, and the good times that seemed endless. And today I long to give honor to my heart as one in a struggle to live this day in this moment in this breath…it is all I have.
In all fairness to you, my readers, John is away because he is giving honor to his heart as he is seeking care. It requires us to be apart. We are both rebooting for the goodness of our lives. We have recognized the moments we long for will be richer and the previous moments have been fraught with much angst.
Before John left (and he will be back) my heart was scrambling to be all, to do all and to get “it” right. I was driven by the words “should have, ought to, need to, have to.” Condemnation and judgments were my mantra as I lived out the exact intentionality those words are intended to convey to my fretful heart. When the condemnation and the judgements I delivered to my heart did not work I found myself being pulled back to the teenage girl who despised her body and hid her heart.
I desperately wanted to control something…anything…my body became the target as I began to withhold care.
It felt easy, as I had lost my appetite. It felt natural, as I was returning to the place where I could disappear.
But God…along with the counsel of family and friends, I began to realize that I am not alone. I began to see where John has given me honor by making sure I was financially taken care of before he left. He provided me with the passwords and numbers I may need during his absent. He was pouring the goodness of his own heart into mine. He was protecting me in the areas he knew would cause me anxiety. He was honoring my story and the aloneness that had started to creep slowly into our life.
“Are you taking care of yourself?” is a question I am asked frequently. Honestly, some days are better than others. My family and friends know my propensity to slam guilt, shame and scorn onto my body and into my heart. Likewise they know the kindness that resides there.
I miss my man…the outline of his body next to mine in bed…his sarcasm delivered with such accuracy…his spontaneity that catches me off guard…his creativity…his passion…his smile… We have a love story that continues to thrive even as we are apart.
For this moment I will give honor to my heart with rest, a novel, a warm bath and good food. I will sit in my aloneness and listen to the voice of God through the pounding waves and the wind scattering leaves around my house. I will settle into this moment with a soft blanket protecting me from the harsh reality of the “what ifs”. This is my moment given to me and I am alone. I will honor it knowing that the next moment will never be the same.
Mary Jane Hamilton has grown to love her sense of style and her peaceful lake living. Mother of 2 and grandmother of 6, she has a wonderful capacity to love and is still active as The Tooth Fairy. She is extremely fond of her dachshunds, who rarely venture from her lap, and enjoys biking with her husband of 44 years. She is rekindling her writing skills and finding it life giving.
Mary Jane, this post speaks to my heart in so many ways. The pressure of performing, the need to do all things “right”, the desire to control something, and the (for me) deep fear that I have to take care of myself — it is a lie I have lived from since I was a little girl. I hear your heart. I see your angst, and I rejoice that you (and John) are taking time away from one another to honor who God created you each to be. I will pray for God to come for you with songs of delight. Love to you, Christine
You have honored your heart well…with great beauty and kindness. Much love to you and John!
No place for “should, could, ought to, should not’s”. You did what was honoring to you, your heart and to John and his heart. And to the hearts of others who know the journey of broken hearts needing specialized care. Lovely, Mary Jane – lovely as you are lovely. Thank you my friend for your courage.
Mary Jane, your beautiful writing today touched my heart. Your words gave me a whole new perspective on self care. I am in a season of aloneness as well, but as I slow down and let go of the anxiety involved I find the sweetness of God as well. Thank you for sharing and blessing me today.
So beautiful and so brave. Many, many blessings to you.
Your words this morning come from the deep of your pain and your beauty ~ your past and your present. Bless you dear friend for embracing your reality and your feelings. i hear you longing to find comfort and peace in this season of change for you and John. Thank you for not hiding your heart from those who care.
Beautiful post dear one as you honor this season. Love you.