i didn't know how to reply to the text. i wanted to say something elegant; i wanted to process everything i was feeling; i wanted us to heal our wounds.
i replied "oh my god."
i did a two day teacher training with elena this weekend. upon arriving, elena had us draw cards from a deck. each card had a quote. mine was:
Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.
i like the quote; i like thinking that what we practice becomes us. i also like that we can create our destiny; and, that if we read deeper, we can change our destiny.
which is what i've been focusing on for the past 5 weeks. 37 days of no calorie counting, no drinking, no mood altering anything. each day has gotten easier. and now i feel better than normal about food and exercise. better than normal because i know what it is like to feel so undeniably obsessed with it. saturday i drank a juice without examining the calorie label. sunday i'm pretty sure i had four full meals. monday i ate some yogurt from a larger tub without measuring out a 1/2 cup serving so i'd know the calorie count. these things all seem like actual miracles to me.
sunday night, at the end of the yoga training, i approached elena in a panic about my 40 days being almost up. elena looked me in the eyes, grabbed my mala beads that were around my neck, pulled my face nose to nose with hers, and told me that she had an easy solution: she assigned me 40 more days. i instantly felt relieved and thus knew that she was right in her assignment.
and i started to think about what it really was that i was in recovery from. yes, the eating disorder; yes, i'm not using other substances right now... but was there a single addiction here?
i think it's that i was addicted to numbing feelings and avoiding feeling hard emotions. and i do need another 40 days to continue to find my way without returning to any of the number of avoidant crutches i've used.
it's that addiction which i will now openly credit with accelerating the dissolution of my past relationships.
processing the text tonight was surprisingly hard, despite the fact that the divorce was not at all sudden. friends questioned "is it because it's the end of a chapter?" "is it because you weren't expecting it?" "is it because of the way he told you?" i kept saying that i didn't know. lydia facetimed me from sydney, immediately upon receiving my text, and encouraged me to cry it out and try to determine what i was feeling. when i still couldn't understand it, she prescribed meditation.
i meditated. i sat. i followed my breath. i was present. all the attempted processing, the breathing, even the meditation didn't identify what felt so hard about that text. but, i did what i've almost never done: i sat with the hard feelings. instead of allowing myself to shrink inside a constricted breath, i was able to expand my breathing.
i would tell my best friend, who just soberly processed the death of her grandmother so beautifully: i'm proud of you. I'M SO PROUD OF YOU.
so i breathe a deep breath, an expanded breath, into that pride i try to direct back toward myself.
and i swear i can feel my next destiny inside that breath.