Sunday, June 21, 2009

Grounding, Gratitude and Going Forward

I'm feeling contemplative these days. The year is not even half over and I've run a gamut of emotions since we flipped the calendar. I need some grounding, and it is out of my reach at the moment.

One of my Top Ten Rules for Living is that when you've lost your way in the world, you have to return to something that grounds you. When there you can reset your compass and go forth into the world again.

I have some things that always ground me. I'm grounded by going to Kentucky and seeing "my people," and going to the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers near Cairo, Illinois. Unfortunately, I just can't make that long of a trip yet. I haven't been on a trip longer than to Joplin - less than five hours - at a time since surgery. Certain things are still painful and sitting upright in a car for extended periods is one of them. So, that's not an option yet.

There are other things that really ground me, too. But, for various reasons, spending extended periods of time with any of those is not an option right now, either.

So, where does that leave me? A bit dazed, out of sorts, unsteady, uncertain and uneasy. And what to do about that? Deal with it. Nothing else I can do. I'm spending more time in meditation these days, seeking internal grounding. I've also been writing more with pen and paper, which is different than the writing I do here.

This is not a "poor me," whiney post. I wake up every day grateful to be alive. Literally. I have for many years, but it has taken on a new meaning in the last few months. I like to start the day with a quick prayer of thanksgiving that I'm alive and thinking and talking and hearing and walking and seeing and functioning. Frankly, for a very long time, what I feel when I wake up is surprise that I've made it through another day and night, and that's followed by gratitude.

In time I'll find the grounding I need. I think I'm just going to have to search for it harder. I've been blessed that it has been readily available to me for many years and it's not right now - ironically, it's a time when I need it desperately. So much has happened the last few months that I need that stability, but maybe I'm meant to find a new way.

I am a different person than I was six months ago. I don't think it's possible for someone to take the journey I did and be the same on the other end. It also changes everyone around you, because they're taking a journey, too. Like you, they had no choice in the matter. But, they do have a choice of whether or not to open themselves to that sort of thing again.

I'm starting to think that the people who come out on the other side may have to find new common ground. It's also possible that the person I've become just isn't appealing to the same people anymore. Maybe once people have seen you weak, needy, sick or frightened you can't ever go back.

Or maybe it's just that everyone needs to settle into their new beings and learn how to function in the world as that person. I know I do. I don't know this person, yet. And I need to ground myself well before I start to explore that.

I hope I like this person.


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