How do I say good-bye to my wedding ring?

It’s happening, it’s real!  Sort of like The Velveteen Rabbit.

I found a voice message from JMF on July 25, 1998, that the divorce was final and that he and Doo Dah were getting married in October.  I’ll be posting about our first meeting on that day at a later time.  Yes, on that exact day!

I began thinking about my wedding ring early on but I can’t find any notations in my journals.  I just remember feeling the angst about what to do with it.  I didn’t want to just tuck that ring into my jewelry box only to be discovered by my sons at my death.  It was a ritual that put that ring on my finger and it would be a ritual that would take it off of my finger.  So what would that ritual look like?

I began to play around with ideas ranging from building something in my garden to hold the ring to finding a place in the outdoors to bury the ring but ultimately water won!  Water has power.  Water has the ability to cleanse and rinse; to make clean.   We see it in the weather each year with hurricanes and floods.  It is difficult in the beginning for sure, raw and emotional.  I’m not surprised that water won.  I am a Pisces!

So I began to think about rituals.  What is a ritual and what is their power?  Rituals are really an everyday part of our lives.  We’re probably unconscious of the small everyday rituals but very aware of the big rituals.  Think about Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Hanukkah and Passover.  And then there is the big ritual, a wedding.

So could I create a ritual that includes water and give my wedding ring back to the universe?

I have loved the ocean since I was a small girl.  My aunt and uncle would take me to the Gulf Coast for vacations.  I was swimming and jumping off high dives at the age of three.  I was water skiing at four years old.  So going to the ocean was an easy choice.  Water is a vessel of healing for me.

I made reservations for a house at South Hatteras, a different kind of place than where we would typically stay as a family at the Outer Banks.

From my journal. . . . August 19, 1998

I’m beginning to feel…. at ease. . . . comfortable . . .me.. . in this new way of being?  Even though I’ve been living this way it just seems different today.
As I went to bed last night I thought I could pretty much sum it up with one short sentence.

I’m not me when I’m with JMF.  

August 21, 1998

I biked yesterday somewhere between 32-40 miles.  By the time I arrived back my thigh muscles were in trauma.  I think it was because of the rest on the ferry ride and then I had 3 more miles to go.

 

So Here’s What Happened on August 20. 1998

My plan was to bike to Ocracoke.  It would require me to take a ferry from South Hatteras to Ocracoke.  I would take my ring off and throw it into the Pamlico Sound.  So off I went on my bike with my back pack loaded.  I was ready until the time came to do it and I just wasn’t feeling it.  So I trusted myself.  I enjoyed the ferry ride over and biked to the end of the island, ate lunch, journaled and rode back to the ferry.  This time I was ready.

And guess what?  Six Navy jets appeared in the sky as the ferry crossed to Hatteras.  Yes indeed those jets were placed there just for me.  I quickly took my ring off, kissed it and tossed it into the Pamlico Sound.  It felt good.  It felt right!  The ring was in the perfect place. And the folks around me realized what was happening and applauded and somehow made a circle around me; surrounded me.

US-Navy-Blue-Angels-maine-wedding-photographers_2178
These are the Navy Blue Angels that came to honor the moment of letting go of my wedding ring.

Reflections on February 28, 2018

This moment in time was really hard , both physically and emotionally, as I think about it and yet I trusted myself enough to keep moving forward.  Trusting myself and listening to my feelings was the sweet spot.   I trusted myself with the ring, not to just throw the ring away but trusted my instincts and listened to my feelings and found just the right moment, to seek that sweet spot for that ring.  Okay let’s be real!  The Navy Blue Angels was pretty sweet!  Right?

So what about you?

What rituals have you created in your life to honor these important moments that just may be sad moments;  moments of letting go?  What are your stories?  Were you aware of your feelings?  Were you aware of what was going on around you?

I look forward to your comments below.

Pools Of Sadness

Notes from my journal

January 12, 1998

I find myself in sad places, trying to make sense out of what has happened.

When I am in this state it is as if I’m in a pool of sadness, no energy flowing in or around me.  It feels dead and lifeless.  It’s no fun.  I make myself stay in this place.

Feeling Buddies
These are the Conscious Discipline® Feeling Buddies®. Can you find sad?

My first response is to get up and get out of it but I’m trying to look at sadness in the face.  Look at it and identify every part of it.  Maybe it’s the identification that is “making sense.” Maybe each day will be incrementally better.  That’s what I’m betting on.

My goal is to sit in these “pools of sadness” so that one day I will find that the pool is dry and because of the sitting and careful attention,  the ground will be fertile and new life will grow.

It is the process that is most important now.  Paying attention everyday is what is important; mindfulness.

January 13, 1998

Sadness.  Pools of sadness.  It’s all over me and yet I’m so grateful to the Universe for loving me so much.

Sadness.  It is a good and right place to be.  Necessary.  I must pass along this way to get to my freedom, true freedom.  Maybe this sadness is the acceptance that this has happened, to accept this.  I must touch it and the touching is feeling the sadness.

The pools of sadness are calm and quiet.  They are not like the raging white waters I’ve been through last year.  I feel as though I must bathe in them, get soaked by the sadness.  I trust myself that I will get up and walk out of the pool and let go.  But first I have to accept.

This is a necessary place to be.  I have to tell myself this or I will move on.  That’s my nature, move on to the good feelings.

January 14, 1998

Pools of sadness.  I’ve noticed that choosing the word to use can put me in a different place to stand.  The struggle to freedom or a journey to freedom?  It can change my mindset and how I view the process; positive or negative.

When I think of this pool of sadness, it’s not a bad or scary place.  It’s a place of warm waters, healing waters that are running over me, washing me, healing me.  This place is not familiar to me and there is no other person with me but there is a loving presence.  I know that I am safe and loved.

This place is new to me and so I’m not real sure about it.  My tendency has been to look away from pain and sadness and run towards the good feelings.  Accept this reality.   Bathe in this reality so that I can let go.

February 12, 2018
Reflections

I recently went back and found these three separate entries from my journals and was intrigued by them.  These entries were made a year after JMF had left me.  It is also about 2 months before I first heard about Conscious Discipline®.  

Angry, scared and sad came to visit me in 1997 and 1998.
So how would I know how to handle angry, scared or sad?
I didn’t!

I didn’t know how to handle these feelings because my parents didn’t believe that feelings were important.  My Mom would say to me to “wipe those feelings off your face.”  That’s the way it was back in the 1950’s.  You can’t teach something that you don’t know.  So I had no idea of what to do in 1997 and 1998 with these big feelings.

Thankfully my therapist, SL, encouraged me to journal in January 1997.  Journalling had become a way of life by 1998.  Journaling was my friend!  Baring my soul and becoming real to myself felt good and right.  This is how I became friends with my feelings.  I began to accept these feelings so that I could slowly feel the feeling and let go.  And this was was the sweet spot; becoming friends with sad and allowing myself to sit with sad.

It has taken me years to identify how my Mom dealt with my feelings.  She ignored them!  I learned how to ignore my feelings at the feet of the ultimate ignorer of feelings.  Here is a link to some videos that have helped me to identify how my Mom handled my feelings.

So here are my friends from 1997.

Big Angry
This is the Conscious Discipline® Feeling Buddy® Angry.
Big Scared
This is the Conscious Discipline® Feeling Buddy® Scared.

1998 was the time for sad to come and be with me, comfort me; become my friend.

Big Sad
This is the Conscious Discipline® Feeling Buddy® Sad.

As of today sad isn’t gone entirely. I believe that’s called life.  Sad comes to visit on holidays, birthdays and sometimes unexpectedly.  I am learning to welcome sad and tell myself that I am safe and that I am loved.  I’m learning that feelings are like the weather;  feelings come and go.  The weather forecast tells me what to wear.  My feelings are my emotional guidance system and tell me what to do.  I am going to be honest!  I really don’t like sad but at least I can welcome sad into my life; give myself permission to sit and be with sad and know that I can handle it.

Your Stories

What resonated with you as you read from my journal entries from January 1998?  Pools of sadness were a recurring theme in 1998.  What are your stories?  How did your parents handle your big feelings when you were growing up?  Are you able to sit with angry, scared and sad and welcome them into your life?  What would it take to become friends with angry, scared and sad?  How would becoming friends with them change the trajectory of your life?  What is your sweet spot?