Monday, March 17, 2008

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?

Last night as I went to sleep a whole monologue presented itself to me about how broken hearts affect us. I don’t know if I can reconstruct it here, but will try. The essence of the message concerned my Mother. I wondered, how could she reach nearly 100 years of age with a heart that had been broken so many times all the way from her childhood through the raising of her children and the rejection of her by them. It must have included how she felt realizing that her own acid tongue had hurt others through the years, but also the disappointment in trying to do the right things. The last year of her life was a gradual fading away of all contact with the life she had led and the hopes she had held.

The Bee Gees wrote the song below in 1971 for Andy Williams. The group had gotten back together after a split. He turned it down and they recorded it themselves. It was a number one hit single.

How Can You Mend A Broken Heart?

I can think of younger days when living for my life
Was everything a man could want to do
I could never see tomorrow, but I was never told about the sorrow.
And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.
I can still feel the breeze that rustles through the trees
And misty memories of days gone by
We could never see tomorrow, no one said a word about the sorrow.
And how can you mend a broken heart?
How can you stop the rain from falling down?
How can you stop the sun from shining?
What makes the world go round?
How can you mend this broken man?
How can a loser ever win?
Please help me mend my broken heart and let me live again.

This song seems to sum up the emotions I felt as I reviewed the monologue from last night. For some time now I have been examining my own broken heart without being able to move from the focus on the “broken” part. In my head I certainly know better. I know I can’t continue in these feelings. I know something can be done about them. I also know I am far from the ability to see any reason to try. I really want nothing more than to be able to fade from this existence without further hurt. I guess this proves that I am the passive-aggressive person I have been accused of being.

I am taking a risk in sharing these deep personal feelings. I know that some will fear that I am going to take some drastic action. I assure you, I AM NOT. Others may just think I am wrapped up in self-pity—“poor me”--about things that have gone awry in my life and in my relationships. Some of you will be able to penetrate the superficial interpretations and get to the heart of the matter. I leave you on your own in this regard.

I am experiencing a devastating sorrow, an impossible depth of regret and an absolute aloneness. This is not because there are not people in my life for whom I care deeply and who care for and about me. It is because those whom I have loved the most and depended upon the most are no longer in my life. In that sense, I have already faded away from this life. I am already in that transitional stage between the real living and growing as a person and the dying to this world in order to move on to Life’s next experience for me. I am not as prepared for this change as I once thought I was. I am not afraid of the change, for I still believe too deeply in the eternality of Life to worry about what is next. And, after all, what importance is there to the “things” of this physical existence when I am no longer here?

Yet I cannot completely shake the notion of heritage, the idea that there are those who carry the memory and the influence of my life in some way. It seems clear to me that I no longer have the heritage I once cherished. I am not an extraordinary person, though I have been successful in my career of choice and in other endeavors that held meaning for me. I have pretty much lived my life my way. Therein, of course, lies the problem! In my effort to be who I am, I perhaps did not give enough of myself to those who joined me along the path—my significant others and my children. I understand that my broken heart has been earned by my actions, or lack of them. That is where the regret comes in. Sometimes in life we are fortunate enough to get “do-overs.” Sometimes we do not.

As long as I am in this life, I will do my best to live it and to find new adventures and new people with whom to enjoy them. Optimism is too deeply implanted within me to choose any other course. I still believe that no matter how dark or long the tunnel, it is after all, only a tunnel, not a dead-end cave. The time it takes to go through it is up to me. I will mend my broken heart!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A Reason, A Season Or A Lifetime

Email can be a nuisance at times. But it can also be a wonderful instrument of communication. I received the following item from Carol Ann Hupp, a friend of 35 years, and it reminded me not only that I am glad I have email so I can receive gems like this, but also that I have friends of long standing who “care enough to send the very best!” I do not know who the original author is. I trust he or she will not mind having these thoughts reproduced here for the benefit of others.

People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person.

When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend and they are. They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.

Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn. They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it, it is real; but only for a season.

LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.

It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.

Thank you for being a part of my life. . . . . . .
. . . . . whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.

Friday, March 7, 2008

More Bubbles, Barbs and Starting Points

In response to my posting of the piece on “Bubbles, Barbs and Starting Points,” Raven Dana sent these favorites of hers to add. (See the link to “Stress Wizard Coaching” in the left panel.)

When I say, "Be yourself," I don't mean the self that wants to win every game and use up every resource and stand alone at the end of history on top of a Mt. Everest-sized pile of pretty garbage. When I say, "Be yourself," I mean the self that says thank you to the wild irises and the windy rain and the people who grow your food. I mean the self who's joyfully struggling to germinate the seeds of love and beauty that are packed inside every moment. (Breszny)

Inaction, contrary to its reputation for being a refuge is neither safe nor comfortable. Madeline Kunin

Why are we so full of restraint? Why do we not give in all directions? Until we do lose ourselves, there is no hope of finding ourselves.~ Henry Miller

Saturday, March 1, 2008

When People Do Nice Things for Each Other

Based on an article from The Oregonian, “Love, Chickens and a Farmer’s Life” -- Tuesday, October 09, 2007

The article was about an electrical engineer and an astrophysicist working at Intel, who fell in love and because of company rules were forced to consider life changes. They developed a chicken farm and sold the eggs and chickens at a local farmers market. In the process of developing the farm they also developed a closeness with their neighbors reminiscent of “old times” when you knew your neighbors and there was a close comradie.

One day when a sister-in-law was visiting, Chrissie and Koorosh Zaerpoor, had stayed in bed a little later than their usual early rising. The sister-in-law was looking out the window and realized it was starting to sprinkle. There was hay in the barn that had not yet been covered with a roof. Should she wake Chrissie and Koorosh before the hay was ruined? Just then a truck pulled into the yard and a 70-year-old man jumped out, pulled out a sheet of plastic and began to cover the hay. When finished, he got in his truck and drove off. Who was it? How did he know?

And Koorosh told her, “Ah, its just the neighbor.” Then he added, “Who watches your back like that when you’re in town?”

Bubbles, Barbs and Starting Points

Years ago when I used to conduct seminars and group meetings I often used an ice-breaker exercise that consisted of a list of sayings on a sheet of paper, some of which were controversial and some that were bland or meaningless. Each person was given a sheet with all these quotes and asked to circulate among the group members and share their thoughts about whichever statements seemed to “connect” for them. The following is based on that concept. Does anything strike you? How? Why?

If you could go back in time . . . Where would you go?

How vain is it to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live? --Henry David Thoreau

Life Patterns
A person may spend his or her life centering on one physical crisis after another, wearing such experiences as “badges of identity.” Finally, they end up satisfied that they have had a hard life and they can now serve as a “critic” for others coming along, ready to support the dilemmas they face.

I cannot talk about yesterday from the perspective of today.
In attempting to do so I am talking about today from the perspective of yesterday!

Failure to respond to the negativity from someone is like the wave of one hand clapping— no conflict or result manifests.

We make choices for one thing to the exclusion of all other possibilities
but not only do those possibilities still exist, but they also affect us.

The sea teaches patience—relentless, enduring, ever-changing, ever the same.

There is a “chalk line” at your heels. It marks the beginning place of all your tomorrows.