I bought myself flowers yesterday.
They weren’t my first pick, but those were too expensive.
I bought myself reasonably priced but still pretty flowers.
I was inspired to do this after I saw a man walking out of the store with a huge large bouquet of beautiful pink roses for someone he loves and cares about (or maybe they were for himself too, I don’t know.) And I burst into tears, right there in my car in the parking lot.
I never had anyone want to bring me flowers like that. That’s not to say that I didn’t receive flowers a few times in the 20 years of our marriage…but this man, it seemed to be just because. What an amazing feeling that must be, to have someone bring you flowers “just because”. So there I was sitting in the car on a cold gloomy day and i decided that i was worth buying my own “just because” flowers. Because that’s part of this journey I’m on right now. Learning my own worth, and learning what love really means, looks like, feels like.
I was reminded that the last time I got flowers was on Mothers Day. Kaylen was with her dad at the store and she asked if she could get me flowers for Mothers Day. He agreed, but when they brought them home, she told me how he had taken “all of the pretty ones mama, the ones I wanted to give to you” for his girlfriend, and had left only half of her bouquet in the vase for me. She was devastated as she told me, but I told her I loved them. I loved my half bouquet from her whole huge heart. And as I hugged her and my other babies that day, I told them “I hope you find someone who loves you enough to always give you the whole bouquet. You are worth the whole bouquet, always.”
I am reading(listening) to this book called Love Warrior by Glennon Doyle and so many times in this book i have again found myself with tears rolling down my cheeks as i identify with the pain she describes regarding her own marriage breakup and her subsequent journey of self discovery through that. There is a phrase she repeats a few times and it goes something like “first the pain….then the waiting….then the rising.” And it strikes me this morning, as it has a few times over the past few months – I am in the waiting. I am waiting. For healing, for direction, for something solid i can put my trust in and take a step forward in. Waiting.
I hate waiting. I anticipate green lights and I get agitated at cashier lines that are more than 2 people deep and I take shortcuts for anything and everything in life that possibly has shortcuts. I. HATE. WAITING. Patience has never been a virtue of mine and I’m not sure it ever really will be. But I’m ok with this. Or I was…. Right up until I found myself firmly stuck in “the waiting.”
This waiting sucks. It hurts. It is painful to sit in the dark and not know when the sun will rise again. I believe it will….don’t get me wrong. I am not sitting in the depths of despair and depression just wallowing in “woe is me”. I am sitting in a hard place, and it feels dark and lonely and painful because it isn’t what I signed up for in life. I did all the “right” things and I married the “right” guy and we made all the “right” choices for our family…..Right up until suddenly there wasn’t a “we”. And now there’s just me, making the best choices i can for my babies. my babies whose hearts are hurting and who act out in that pain every day. And I am there to absorb the blows and to wrap them in my arms and tell them I love them enough to handle their pain and I am doing everything I can to make that pain better. I am left to deal with broken toilets and broken refrigerators and broken little hearts. I am both handyman and homemaker. I am bread winner and bread maker. There is not enough of me to go around most days. I am tired and exhausted and lonely and hurting and….waiting. This is the waiting.
Ahhhh but this is the good stuff,right? This is the growing.
This darkness isn’t the enemy, it is the protection. It is the coccoon allowing the growth, the real good hard growth of my soul, my personhood, my ME. It is being buried deep underground like a seed, so my roots can dig deep. It is shedding through the shell of what I thought I was, how i thought my life and love should be, and becoming what I Am. Who and what I am supposed to be. How I am supposed to be. Oh it’s uncomfortable. It is hard. It is WORK. I do not like to have to do hard work. I am blessed with a supportive family who tries to understand what i am going through. I am blessed with good friends who are good about checking in on me in spite of my preference to just mostly be a hermit. But I know my pain radiates. And as humans we try to avoid pain. it’s not comfortable so we ignore it or we stay away from situations where it is present or we try to make other people’s pain fit into our own box of comfortableness. But it doesn’t work that way. Pain is pain, and it is individual and that individual has a right to feel their pain in their own way and is not beholden to making You feel comfortable by lessening or hiding their pain. I am tired of trying to make my pain be less than what it feels like. I am tired of always trying to protect everyone around me from my real true authentic feelings. My whole life i have always felt like I had to fit in someone else’s box. And now I get to find my own box to fit into. So my box right now is full of waiting and all of the feelings that go along with that: frustration, impatience, sometimes downright anger, hurt, injustice, and sometimes….sometimes hopeful expectancy. Sometimes a hopeful knowing…knowing that there is bigger and better once the rising comes. Sometimes calm and peace and a weird sense of happiness that I am right where I am. i am supposed to be Right Here. i am supposed to wait Right Here because here is where the rising will happen.
I have a friend. A good friend. ( i have a lot of these but one in particular….) yes the one who made me throw out all my food after the fridge died. he makes me do hard things. He makes me take a good hard look at myself while i sit and wait in the dark. He does not take any of my bullshit and has no problem calling me out on it when i try to dish it out in spoonfuls. Some days i hate him for being so damn right and other days I love him for being stubborn enough to sit in my waiting box with me and to be stronger than my pain and to tell me “try again, terra, try again.” Try to find the right way, try to stop making excuses and just Do, try to be calm and patient and just breathe for a minute….Try to be the best person you know you are. Try to grow, not shrivel up and die in the dark waiting. These growing pains in this waiting are so hard. i more often than not feel like I’m failing, or that at best it’s one step forward and four steps back. I feel like I will be in the waiting for a very long time….
And that’s what my flowers remind me of….that someday, in the rising, I will be out of the dark hardness of the waiting and i will be beautiful and radiant and in bloom. The rising will come.
And so for now, I wait.