We’re three weeks into 2022, the New Year’s celebrations now becoming faded memories. For some reason, it seems my old Big Blue Heron friend keeps showing up at the nearby ponds. He reminds me of this time last year and the post I wrote New Year, New Beginnings:
“I remember again the lone blue heron standing on the bank of the pond. His body appears like a question mark. In the silence of that scene, it’s as if the bird has been sent to ask, “What are you going to do for yourself this year?”
Looking back a year ago, I was thinking of playing in terms of my workout, not fretting that I didn’t jog that day but instead stopped to take in the heron. Now, I keep hearing from friends and family to “just have fun and enjoy dating.” One guy said on his Match site that he wanted to analyze less and instead have fun. Guess all these messages point to enjoying ourselves in the moment; don’t look too far into the future. For me, that was easier to do when I was dating at 22 than now, at 66; time has collapsed and there’s a tension with how to spend these precious hours that soon build into years.
I think about play and how it impacts our lives. As adults, we’ve been in such a goal-driven life for so long that it can be hard to truly let our guard down and play. For almost two years now, we’ve lived in the world of the pandemic and it’s altered our ability to play. But when we’ve finally been freed to return to the activities we love, we’ve experienced the renewal of play. That’s surely been true for me when I returned to dancing; that was when I realized how much it contributed to my health and well-being.
It occurs to me that one of the functions of play can be distraction; we’re so engrossed in the activity we love that we forget our pain and sorrows. There are so many ways people have been suffering and so much healing that needs to occur. Lately, I’ve been more aware of the suffering people are experiencing from relationships they’ve lost or are broken. Because I’ve gone through divorce recently, I’m surrounded by others who’ve lost their spouse.
I’ve been reading posts by a relationship coach, Jordan Gray who’s worked with many men and women over the years. I printed one email he posted because it resonated with me. He shared about his session with a woman who was struggling with projecting her unhealed stuff from her childhood relationship with her dad on to her husband. She complained to Jordan that she’d been working on that situation deeply for a year and there seemed to be so many more layers to unravel.
In Jordan’s email, he didn’t speak so much to the specifics of her situation but to the themes of “impatience and extraction.” He works from a framework of seeing that both men and women have a “masculine and a feminine side.” He’s referring to traits that we’re all familiar with including traditional male characteristics being independence, goal-directed, obstacle challenging and feminine being the nurturing of mind, body, spirit, need for closeness and relationships; we operate along a continuum of these characteristics
In the post, Jordan says:
“The realm of the immature, egoic masculine is extractive . . . it rushes . . . it wants results yesterday.”
I can relate to this with my attitude of “let’s just get this over with” whether it’s the pain of losing a marriage, working through things with a friend or family member who’s stuck in a bad situation, or any other less-than-pleasant circumstance; I want out.
Jordan goes on to present the approach of our feminine side:
“But the path of the mature, embodied feminine (the physical body . . . the emotional body . . . the spiritual body) is very different.
When it comes to walking the path of the feminine, one must go as slow as the slowest part wants to go.
That sentence is very important, so I want to make sure you registered that.
The path of the feminine requires that you go as slow as the slowest part wants to go.
That means no rushing.”
Ouch! Was that intended for me? Kind of like when a preacher is delivering the sermon, you’re sitting where he/she can see you, and then the message is like the preacher knows your life.
Jordan goes on to hold folks accountable for being “responsible with our stuff.” He gave the woman tools for working through her relationship with her father. Then he returns to the current message:
“But the main point of the email is to remind you that deep, true healing takes time.
Very few things are ever helped by rushing our way through them”
This email originally came to my inbox on October 15, 2021 and it feels just as spot-on now as it did then. I have to be reminded, so often, to slow down and allow for the time that healing takes. Today it felt like I needed to share this in a post because it helped me, and I hope it helps my readers.
Jordan challenges my feeling of time running out as I approach my 67th birthday, when he says even if you’re “78 years old and still searching for the man of your dreams . . .” (but then I respond, “Lord, please don’t make me wait that long!!! LOL!).
He says, “Give yourself some breathing room. Give yourself a more generous timeline on which to transform. The healing that you seek is also seeking you.”
“There is no rush. You have so much time. And it is all happening for you perfectly.
Your body wants to go slow. Your heart wants to go slow. Let it.
There is room for all of it. And everything you pray for will come true
I hope that we can all allow for this kind of healing– wherever our aches may be, however deep the injury goes. May we be able to wait, to have fun on the path, and to trust in where our journey is taking us. I hope that’s what we’ll do for ourselves in this New Year.
Blessings on you!