How To Be A Friend.

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Breaking up is hard to do. In fact, for some, it is worse than someone dying. This is true for me, and surely, somewhere down the pipeline of your life, this was true for you. During this iteration of a separation with someone I have loved deeply for the past four years, I have been presented with many well-intentioned thoughts and phrases that, though sympathetic, caused me to turn inward and ask myself, ” was hearing that really helpful?”

As I sat with some of the things that have come my way, I decided to share what has provided relief and what has caused more grief. Please remember that my disclaimer is:

 I know nothing.

I am only sharing a bit of my story in case there are those out there who may benefit from my journey.

This being said, I have come up with some do’s and don’ts for friends that are supporting someone who is grieving the loss of a partner, lover, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse…’the ONE.’

Here I go.

DO’s:

LISTEN. I will repeat this time and time again. People going through a break-up need someone to listen to them. We need to talk and process, and we need to just spit it out. There is so much grief and regret and anger and frustration coming up during the first few months- remember there is the possibility of shock here, and so most of what the broken-hearted are sharing may not make sense or may even seem far out. IT DOESN’T MATTER. We just need to talk. So please, just listen.

COOK. Yes, you read that right. Offer to cook for your friend who is devastated. Invite them over or go over to their house and cook them a yummy, delicious and HEALTHY meal. Most people, when dealing with heartache, don’t know how to feed themselves, let alone eat. Use this as an opportunity to let them know they still belong to a community and that they are loved. Support them by allowing them to share in the gift of a meal cooked with love. Even if they barely eat, your company will be appreciated. Also, let them cry into the bowl of soup or into the pasta, with snot running down their nose or tears falling into the tea. This is HEALING. So yes, let us cry while we pretend to eat.

CALL. Please call and check in on us. The broken-hearted are spiraling OUT. We need you to reach out to us because we may not know how to reach out for what we need. And please, answer the call if you can when we call you. You may have heard the same story over and over again out of our mouths but… we just need to talk. We are feeling lonely and need support. A familiar voice is all we need.

LOVE US. Love us for who we are and where we are at in our lives. Nobody’s perfect and yet, all of us are perfectly imperfect. We are all Divine and exactly where we need to be on the journey. Thank you for holding space for us and seeing our Mastery even in our despair.

TIME. Please give us time time to figure this all out. We may not be a good friend immediately following the loss. And, we may not be a good friend for a while. Our world has collapsed and we are re-directing our compass so please, give us time to figure our selves out.

SET BOUNDARIES. Do set boundaries with us if we are too far over the edge or are skirting the line with needing therapy. You are our friend and we need you right now-more than ever. But some of the stuff that may be coming up and out of us might be a little harder to listen to. Ex: worthlessness, abandonment, thoughts of dying, etc. Set a boundary with us on how you can and can NOT help. Remember, we really need someone to just listen to us in the beginning, so it may just be chatter. Listen with your intuition and heart and navigate from there.

KNOW. Please know how grateful we are for your presence and your friendship. We are so lonely right now and probably feeling very empty, yet somewhere, deep inside the well of our Being, we are so unbelievably grateful for you, your friendship, your time, your energy, your presence and your LOVE. So know that we thank you.

DONT’s:

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT TELL US THAT…

-Our person- whom we’ve just ended it with or been broken up by, is not the one. Let me say this again. PLEASE DO NOT SAY THAT WE DESERVE SOMEONE BETTER. This statement negates our decision making process- as well as the life we shared with someone we loved, and makes it seem as if you know better than we do regarding our own life. Each and every person that we meet and share our lives with serves a purpose. This meeting was divinely planned, woven together by the Godhead, and has unfolded exactly as it should. If there is someone else out there- which surely there is, we will come to this understanding in the exact time we are ready to. There is no need to say this within the first hour (day, month, months, etc…). So please, spare us your two cents regarding our life and the partner you think we deserve.

PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT TELL US THAT…

-We need to love our selves… more. AGAIN-Please do not say that we need to love ourselves more!!! EVERYBODY NEEDS TO LOVE THEMSELVES MORE!!! You- the person telling us this, could probably also benefit from loving your self more. Indeed, you are not the expert, for surely you were weeping in someone else’s lap- perhaps the friend who is now crying in yours, not so long ago about a love lost. We need to stop the myth that if we just loved our selves more, than we will meet the right person, find the right job, make the right amount of money… blah blah blah. There is no consolation prize at the ‘end’ of loving ourselves more. Thus is the journey of life and there is no end to this loving ourselves more so please, don’t say it.

And please, do not base our relationship only on what we have told you. There are two sides to every story and ours is only a fraction of what the TRUTH really was. No matter what comes out of our mouth’s, please help us to remember the DIVINE TRUTH of the situation- that both parties came to learn new skills and grow from what has unfolded.

Earth is a meat-grinder. There is no way around this. We come here to remember who we truly are. Not to learn- we already know. We simply need to remember. And every encounter that we have is to aid in this re-membering.

During the hardest times, let’s all remind each other of how Godly we really are.

Thank you.

 

 

This Must Be Okay.

This must be okay because this is what’s happening.

I am recently separated from my partner of four years. To say that I didn’t expect this would be an understatement of the Century. I thought that he was my life partner. Is it true that I still hold a fantasy of ‘happily ever after?’ Perhaps it was this energy of a fairy tale that was stopping me from being present in the NOW.

I find myself responsible for so much here. I projected all of my loneliness and unfulfilled dreams onto him, and expected him to be my everything. This is a pattern of mine and he wouldn’t be the first partner I have done this too. I’ve been a spitfire in all of my relationships- holding a flame while pouring gasoline on an open wound. Memories of my childhood and my mother screaming at me to give her space while I pushed and pushed and pushed her to respond. I felt like I was never heard and no one cared for me. So, I picked partners to fight with me so we could make up and I would feel loved.

Oops, I did it again.

This time, I am so wrought with the grief of knowing what a good man he is and that I caused a lot of this to manifest that the first month I could barely speak to anyone without crying a river.  He told me he couldn’t take much more of the fighting but I couldn’t let go of an old pattern that had become so familiar. Please call back and tell me that you love me, I thought to myself every time we fought. And then, one day, in the back of my mind I heard a voice say- one day he won’t come back.

That day has come.

When he said we should separate I sat in disbelief. This can’t be happening!!! I thought we would marry and have babies and travel and blah blah blah. So much living in the future that I forgot to love the present moment. And, here is the hard TRUTH- I also swept under the rug the places where I was feeling desperately empty.

I was born with a hole in my heart, and I often say that I feel like I have walked around trying to fill this space with everything and everyone. It wasn’t until the rug was pulled out from under me that I realized that only I can fill that empty space, and that, low and behold!, I am here for my own Divine purpose. Whether I am in a relationship or not, I still must fulfill my OWN SOUL’S PURPOSE.

I wish I saw this years ago.

Hindsight’s a bitch and I am now an expert in the should have’s. I welcome the wisdom that comes from loosing what I thought I was and knew. I just wish it didn’t come with so much pain.

There are other factors to be reckoned with regarding the last four+ years of my life. Things that must be unraveled, revealed and understood. I know that it takes two to participate in a relationship and this is NOT a piece about blame and shame- for either he nor I. This is about recognizing the places in myself that still need healing, understanding and forgiveness. The parts of my fragmented SELF that are desperately seeking Susan. And Susan being ME- my whole and complete and REMEMBERED self.

So, to get me through the days, the hours, the nights, the sadness that lies ahead, I say to my SELF over and over again:

This must be okay because this is what’s happening.

I do trust in the Divine timing of my life.  Soon, I’ll see what’s on the other side of this.

AROOOOOOOOOOOO!

~Amy Jones

 

 

That Wild Woman is Me.

I scrolled through my Instagram feed, trying to pass the time. What did I do before I had this? I’d become obsessed with checking it every couple of hours, as if some sacred message might come through. If I posted my own picture, it became worse; I’d have to check my gram every 30 minutes in hopes that someone would validate my existence. The more likes I got, the better I felt. Instant ego-booster. Like a shot of alcohol that strips away the inhibitions and lets you live footloose and fancy free- until you’re hurling in the toilet and wondering whom you slept with the night before. “Oh God, please say I didn’t catch anything!”

I was on a mission to get more followers than so-and-so and you-know-who, after all, what did they have that I didn’t? Half the things they were posting I already had; all the things that fall under the oh-so-over-used “boho, gypsy, vintage, hippie, blah, blah, blah!” movement. The pictures people were posting were all starting to look the same; a Free People ad on every feed. But this isn’t me. I will never be that girl or that woman. You know the one I’m talking about- the one that looks the opposite of me. She is tall with long hair and she has breasts that fit into those perfectly beautiful dainty bras that come in every shade of the color spectrum- all the colors that my bras never seem to be available in. In my mind, she only eats fruit and drinks herbal tea and plays in the forest, while wearing all these amazing fairy clothes that seem to adorn her in such a way that she looks like a painting from “The Lady of Shallot.”

Now I see that I’m a wreck, as I come up for air from my feed just long enough to gulp a lung full and swing my head back down to go under again. I stop on a picture of a woman wrapped in a native blanket and draped in enough turquoise jewelry to fund a pueblo school for a year. It triggers something in me and I start to drift into a memory of a series of dreams I had as a teenager…

  1. Move to San Francisco with Best Friend
  2. Open up a vintage shop called “Funkdafied Monkey, and
  3. Sing in a band in coffee shops. No fame, just fun. Just to get away from L.A. and my family.

None of this happened.

“I will not have any starving artists living in my attic!” says a woman’s voice in my memory… which woman was that? Grandma? Mum?

Needless to say, I found myself becoming obsessed and jealous of all the other women I was sure were following their dreams. I craved their power and their dedication. I became insecure around them, shriveling in their confidence and beauty. I’m good with kids, I would tell myself, and hear my mother’s voice in the background, “you’re so good with kids, work with kids!”

So I did.

And then I got so burnt out on being powerless over someone else’s DNA, that I stopped even wanting to have my own children. The constant demand of  “give me, give me, give me… more, more, MORE!” from the parents  is enough to send every nanny to get her tubes tied or never have sex again.

Neither of those choices were an option for me, so I walked away.

That was so long ago

I shake off my thoughts and come back to the picture.

I stare at it for a long time.

And then the Voice speaks to me. I hear it clear as day.

“This is not for you.”

Gentle, yet firm, I start to understand.

I see myself back in the desert of New Mexico. I am walking in the arroyo with Angel, my roommates husky. We would spend hours here together during the time I lived with her. We mostly walked in silence, yet the communication and bond between us was beyond anything I had ever experienced before. Angel had become my closest companion.

I took her everywhere with me, and soon, I found myself preferring her company before humans. I started to notice that when I was sick, she stayed by my side; when I was lonely, she demanded my attention, as if to keep my heart from going dim. She always seemed to know just what my spirit needed.

My memory flashes to a time when we were alone for a winter weekend. It had snowed earlier that day, so the ground was covered in a beautiful white blanket. There was a full moon, yet I had paid little attention to this, until it was time to go to bed. I lay there, cuddled up, almost in dreamland, when a very eager and antsy dog stirred me.

“Lay down, Angel. It’s time for bed,” I tell her. She lies back down for a few seconds before she’s up and at it again. This routine continues for a few minutes before I realize she probably has to go to the bathroom. I get up and head to the front door. She is almost leaping now, and I am laughing at how much she has to pee.

I bundle up and open the door for her. A blast of icy air encompasses my face and I am taken aback by how cold it is. I blink for a second and regain my bearings. I look at Angel, who is now in the street, staring at me.

“Go on,” I say. “Go pee. It’s freezing out here.” She continues to look at me, as if I’m crazy for rushing her, and waits a bit longer.

“Go!” I holler.

As if awaiting my permission, she takes off full speed toward the arroyo. She is gone in the bat of an eye. I start to chase her across the street, shouting her name. The moon is so bright; I can see her ahead of me. We are now both running, as fast as we can, under a full moon, and I am laughing and hollering.

“ANGEL!!!!!!! COME BACK!!!!!! WAIT FOR MEEEEEEEEE!”

She stops dead in her tracks, and I finally catch up to her. I am now gasping for air. She looks at me and then looks up to the moon. She lets out the biggest howl a wolf has ever known. “AROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!”

And in between my laughter and gasping, I realize the magnitude of what I have just experienced, and I start to cry. I wrap my arms around her and she lays her head in my shoulder. I am sobbing now because I know she understands. I jump back and forth, a hundred times, between “I’m sorry” and “Thank you” before I start to settle and realize I am speaking to my Self. She waits patiently because she knows it is how every Woman and every Wild has been feeling for a VERY LONG TIME. It has been far too long since we have run free.

Just like that, I am back at the picture of the woman in turquoise. Tears are streaming down my cheeks as I remember that Angel is now dead. She changed worlds a few years ago, yet I feel her presence stronger than ever. I glance at the picture again and suddenly, I see the woman as me. I see the years of sadness and strength etched into her face. I see the joy and the grief of love as it emanates from her chest. Her heart scars are ours to share; my triumphs are hers as well. And everything that has been sung from a Woman’s heart into Creation, whether silently or loudly, whether gently or harshly, belongs to me. All of me.

And now, my simple life, in all its glory and madness, seems far more bountiful and beautiful than I had ever imagined.