Every morning, well after the initial alarm notes fill the room...and somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd hit of the snooze button, I look out my window and take inventory.
The ritual began when I was in the midst of the emotional pain of a break-up and subsequent betrayal and it was an essential way to remember. Sleep and dreams (even nightmares) had a wonderful way of altering my reality. When I awoke, sometimes my mind played tricks on me and I thought, for a brief moment, that this was not real. This could not possibly be happening.
Sleep was really the only reprieve from thinking and spinning and hurt and confusion and anger. It didn't always provide an escape - there were so many times in the first few months that sleep just allowed repressed memories to rise to the surface and I would awake in the middle of the night screaming or crying or even sweating. Other times, however, it was pure relief. Yet even in those blessed nights of utter blackness, it felt like during the night someone slipped the bill under the door leaving me to reconcile the final charges in the morning. Over and over. Forget. Remember. Forget. Remember. Until eventually it became the fabric of my being and not this crazy, unreal dark cloud hanging over my head.
From my bed I would look out the window at the treetops, the sky, and think...the days just keep coming. The sun just keeps rising. Night gives way to day, and with each day I took another step toward getting stronger.
Some things get easier. Some things haven't changed at all. Yet there is a strange comfort in keeping the ritual. In taking the moment before I start my day to just be in the moment, I breathe in a new form of peace.
In taking inventory, I do a quick checklist of what I've lost...him, a fierce yet simplistic belief in the notion of soulmates, blind trust, faith in an "all in" kind of love, and a somewhat innocent view of people and the world.
Today I consciously focus on doing a longer checklist of what I have, and what I've gained...rekindled trust in the power of friendships, love of my time just hanging out with my girlfriends, a growing comfort in my own skin, rediscovery of the parts of my life I neglected for a long time, a joy in the most basic of things like watching my dog's tail wag or breathing deeply, and an evolving self-forgiveness that I hope continues to unfold.
In other words, I am grateful for what I have because that list, for all of us, is so much longer than what we miss or lack or feel we have lost. So much is good and it is so easy to focus on the bad...
My window is my center. Do you have a window?