Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Separation Anxiety

I am a HUGE tennis fan.  Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love to watch the Grand Slams.  Wimbledon is my Opus.  This past year, I was scheduled to teach during The French Open and Wimbledon Finals.  Because I felt out of alignment with where I wanted to be, I used that energy and that message to teach what turned out to be powerful and I know my friend Madge won’t be shocked to hear this, “joyfully expressive” classes.
But this is not what I want to speak about.  
I want to talk about what happens for me when Wimbledon is over.  The very next day.  What happens is I always find myself feeling a little bit dim. 
Yes, I know at that point I still have one more championship to look forward to in the U.S. Open, but it’s real.
It’s a little bit like what the “after the holidays blues” are for some.  
I’m not a big fan of the holidays.  I put my attention towards expressing my love all year long to those who are in my life and to those who are far away, and even to those who have departed.  Always.  I guess I don’t like the inherent cultural pressure you are expected to plan on each holiday if in fact, you are in the category of “orphan” to which I noticed I was named this year at the Thanksgiving table.  
I’ve been wondering why my dog has such intense separation anxiety and I have been thinking it is because since my second surgery, he and I have been continually together and he has entrained with me so deeply, he just can no longer tolerate it when I leave.  But I am fooling myself if this is what I think to be so.  My dog Alfie is an intuitive.  And he reads my heart like no other.  He knows that I love to be alone.  But he also knows that I am much better at hello than goodbye.
My parents divorced when I was two years-old and I was an extremely independent child.  But when I loved someone, I loved them fiercely and I think I mustn’t kid myself.  I think what was ingrained in my psyche at that tender age of two, was the deep belief that everyone leaves.  
I began to trust that.  
I notice that I like to know when “my people” will be leaving for vacations.  I always ask this of them.  I like to know when the people I love will be “off the grid” so that I can do the work I need to do, to adjust my heart and prepare.  Internally say goodbye.
For the first few years of my relationship with Desiree, I would well up with tears on the first night that I’d see her because I would have to prepare myself for when I would have to say goodbye to her.  I now see how far I’ve come because she still does exactly what she does and the last time she was in town, I was just two days out of surgery and couldn’t even get to her.  And I was simply grateful to know she was close by.  And then she managed to pierce my heart in an even deeper way because she is someone who knows how to love me well and with the greatest clarity.
This is what I am learning.
So clearly, that kid became independent because she was hurt.  Clearly, my dog has separation anxiety because he learned it from me.
Love doesn’t have to hurt.  It doesn’t have to ache.  It doesn’t have to be filled with longing and missing.
If it does, someone is still wanting the tournament to be playing.
If it doesn’t, it’s because there is TRUST.
Trust in the thread of the relationship.  
Twenty-five years ago, when “Phantom of The Opera” hit Broadway, I thought that maybe I wanted the song “Think of Me” to be played after I died.  The first few lines say, “Think of me, think of me fondly when we’ve said goodbye.  Remember me once in a while or promise me you’ll try.”
I must have needed the reassurance back then.
I don’t any longer.
Because I trust in the love I feel.  I trust in the thread of my relationships.
Trust in the thread of your relationship.
Even if it is with someone who has passed on.  Know the tie is unbreakable.  Know it is ever-present.  Trust it.  
I pour my heart into the Championship at the All England Tennis Club that is Wimbledon every year and I am a bit crushed every year when it ends.  But only temporarily.  Because I am excited about the life that is lived through the game and I know deep down, that it will come around again a year later (if "god willing" I am around to watch it- give me a break, I was a Jewish grandmother in another life)!  
It’s quite exciting to watch a life being lived before you.  The life of a champion, the life of a heart, the life of a relationship.
Trust in the thread.
Whether you go to relationship that is “living” or not, something beautiful will always be revealed to you with no need for anxiety.  

I’m going to see how long my threads are!
Jill Bacharach

1 comment:

  1. Absolutely beautiful. I'm in therapy at the moment for the crash that came inevitably given my abandonment issues that I had thought I had dealt with. It's dreadfully painful but I will heal, and your insights are useful guiding lights along the way. Thank you.