Greetings gentle readers,
I ran across an old song I haven’t heard in years that I wanted to share. I loved the song when it first came out in 1979 (for those of you born after that year, there is no need to point out how long ago that was, I was a senior in high school. Trust me, I know how long ago that was. 😀 ) but it speaks even more strongly to me today. It has been such a struggle to learn about how to handle the inevitable pain of life, in some other way than futilely attempting to avoid it. One of the best lessons taught to me by BN is that while pain is inevitable, the answer to pain is love. (See The relationship of love and pain and Love is the Answer for more detailed explanations of that truth). The love we find by connecting to other people, by sharing our burdens, by holding each other up. That is where we find the strength to face life challenges. Continue Reading
This is the second post in a two-part series on Grief and Abandonment, see Coping with Grief and Abandonment Part I.
I’m sure it will not surprise any regular reader of this blog to realize that BN was a huge part of how I coped, even between appointments. BN has a very generous contact policy, I am allowed to call him 24/7 including when he is on vacation. If I leave an emergency message with his service, he calls back within an hour. If he is on vacation and doesn’t answer the service in a certain amount f time, his backup (a wonderful, warm, empathic man) calls back, but always offers to have BN also call; it’s just a longer wait than usual. (I have higher standards for contacting him when he is on vacation but have done it. Earliest I have ever called is 8 AM and the latest is 10:30 PM although BN has made it clear that 2 in the morning is ok if I need). We very rarely do any processing during phone calls but when the grief threatened to overwhelm me, or the fears that BN would also abandon me, would rise up, then a short phone call would help to ground and reconnect me. Most of mine are under three minutes and it’s not unusual to keep it under one minute. BN once referred to my “patented one minute phone calls” when I was worried about calling too much. 🙂 Often it wasn’t what he said but just the sound of his voice and experiencing that he was there that would do the trick. Continue Reading
GE asked the question below on the Ask AG page:
im wondering if you are wiling to share some of the strategies you used to cope with grief and abandonment feelings when things got rough during your recovery.
As I said in reply over there, this is an excellent question. Since I see grieving our losses as being at the heart of our healing, we should probably learn how to grieve, right? I have been grieving, one way or another, for a large part of my time in therapy, so this might turn out to be a bit of a laundry list, but I am hoping that everyone might find something that they can use in their own journey. Continue Reading
It has been a very long, sucky, painful day, full of misunderstandings and hurts, some caused by me, to my regret and some inflicted on me. (Yay!! While I was working on this, someone did an amazing thing and was vulnerable and we’re repairing it. Great now I’m going to short out my keyboard!) So I am more grateful than I can say to come here to my blog to celebrate a very happy milestone for me, and hopefully for some of you. 🙂 Tales of a Boundary Ninja is one year old today. This is my first blog and I was both excited and terrified putting up those first posts, not quite believing anyone would actually want to read what I had to say. Continue Reading
This is a favorite quote of mine from CS Lewis, one of my favorite authors. Most people know him as the author of the Chronicles of Narnia, but he was a leading Christian intellectual of the 20th century with a number of excellent books on and in defense of the Christian faith. I am a very big fan of The Four Loves and the Great Divorce, although anything he has written is worth your time. He also has a wonderful adult novel based on the myth of Psyche called ‘Til We Have Faces, that I return to again and again.
The reason I love this quote is that it is a reminder that life and living will sometimes involve pain, but the price of not experiencing that pain is too high to pay. Besides, I tried it for a number of years and it really didn’t work out. This quote provides me with the necessary courage to risk that hurt in order to live more fully. I hope it can help you as well.
To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket–safe, dark, motionless, airless–it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to risk of tragedy, is damnation.
The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell.”