A few weeks ago, I wrote an article for a monthly magazine that has been a home for my words for awhile. It’s called Inner Child Magazine which is the heart and brain-child of Janet Caldwell and William F. Peters, Jr. The piece is called Is Holding On Keeping You From Letting Go? In it, I explored the dynamics of clinging to what we treasure and what we find distasteful or downright destructive, even as we fear leaving it behind. One of the things that some of us were reluctantly releasing was the life of a dear friend named Shaun Stephenson. A dynamic Force of Nature, I met her only a few years ago, but felt as if I had known her forever. I’m sure you have folks that like in your life. The Gaelic term for that type of relationship is ‘anam cara’, which translates to ‘soul friend’. She was indeed that for many of us. After moving cross country from New Jersey to Sedona, Arizona to begin a new life, she found herself on the unexpected path of traveling with cancer. She rallied for quite awhile and then surrendered to what was eventually an inevitability . Since I wrote the article, she did indeed make her transition on May 18, 2014. Loved ones seen and unseen surrounded her. Like many who were not physically in the room with her, I felt the presence of divinity when she crossed the veil. We became family of choice.
When I shared the article with a Facebook group that had begun around the time Shaun entered hospice, one of the women named Wendy Manganaro responded with grace and eloquence:
“Letting go of old ideas when it’s the only reference of “normal” for me was one of the hardest things. For a long time, I felt like if I let go of this behavior, this person, etc., where would this leave me? How would life be? Would I be the hole in the donut? It took me many years to realize, so what if I’m the hole in the donut? It’s a big enough space to create a new donut around me.
More importantly, the longer I build upon my new life, the harder it is for others to realize that I have was ever another way. Yet, when we walk through things and we see another person going through what we went through and not letting go, we realize at that point, our story of how we got out of the depths of our sometime own despair and we can use that story to help someone else get out too.”
Wowzers~ when I read that, it completely rang a bell in my head, since for such a long time, I had lived as if I was only as loveable and acceptable as others believed me to be as evidenced by their actions. If they approved of what I was doing, then the donut hole was full. If not, I was waiting with anticipation for the next ‘baker’ to fill it up. These days, I am content to have it either way. Filling up and spilling over is an inside job and the sweetness remains long after the vacancy.
Time to make the donuts~