Acceptance, Reality... and a Bittersweet November

November will forever have a different meaning to me. It has become a month (as of this year) that has forced me to face pain...to really experience (like the first time again) what it feels like to be alone. Not that I don't have family members and friends...but to not have a partner in which I can confide -- share my deepest fears, sorrows and triumphs.

Such a loss makes me think deeply about what I am made of. Sometimes what I find is very hard to stomach and other times I discover this bold creature who thinks she can take on the world.

I know I will live through this November -- and if God willing there will be another November in 2013 -- and a handful more to experience.

The process of healing from loss doesn't come with a guidebook or a manual. I am learning it is about putting one foot in front of the other and keeping on. It's about one day waking with dread that can only be washed away when you weep as the sun rises in the East. And another day finding yourself able to rise in peace - go the whole day without a tear - and when the sun sets in the West find your shoulders shaking as you bawl for what you have lost.

On Monday I was lucky enough to return to Marianne Williamson's lecture. She spoke a bit about the feelings that come along with losing someone that we love. She spoke of how powerful the union of two human beings is -- how a partner occupies the most sacred part of who we are. And when that is gone, the void usually inspires deep sadness, and even panic. Yet, she reminded the audience one must not forget that all over this planet are people in pain. Healing can be advanced by realizing the power of empathy and reaching out to others.

Williamson challenged the audience to recognize the "Big Game" from the "Small Game." She then defined the Big Game as a life dedicated to the service of others - of using our talents to provide love and goodness to others. The Small Game on the other hand is buying into limitation - to our pains - endlessly thinking of our past choices and the people who have "caused" our inability to move forward.

There are a few things I am sure of:

- I can and will pull through. You can too if faced with loss, I know ;-)

- We can choose to see the bigger game...or be a victim of the smaller one

- The future is unknown...the moment contains all the power we need

While I know that I will be okay, it still doesn't take away the fact that my November is a painful one. Still, everyday I must wake knowing that I may weep...that my body and mind may be weary...that I may miss the one I have loved for days, months, and maybe years to come. And that is okay -- for true love is eternal.

May we not turn love into hate for the sake of self preservation.

"Accept your situation," I was told by a friend. Accepting is painful...reality can be a bitch...but it is the only way to "new places cookin'" as my first yoga teacher continues to say to this day.

Make it a beautiful weekend -- oh you weary at heart...and fulfilled folks all the same.


Jen Engevik