Friday, April 26, 2013

This Too, Shall Pass - On the Move


Sometimes we make plans and hang our hopes on an unforeseen future - one we're committed to. One we're sure will, well ... go to plan.

Life doesn't usually dole out the expected, though. Or maybe it does, but not when we expect it to or in the exact way we thought it would. Plans that were written down get scratched out, revised, or completely torn-up. Destroyed.

You start again.

We have choices to make when we get a life-sized side swipe. Choices about how we're going to handle and respond to our dreams not quite unraveling the way we wanted them to. We can choose to stand in the middle of what's been lost and shrink down or stand-up. Neither is easy and I actually think there's a time for both.

There have been significant unexpected changes in my family. The changes mean that my daughter and I will no longer live in Myanmar after May when her school finishes.  She and I will move back to the United States without her dad.

Family will get defined in a new way. There will be new labels: single mom; single; divorced/separated. Old labels will dwindle slowly and with difficulty: wife; family; expat. Plans of staying in Myanmar for at least a few more years: scratched out. New plans have to be made. It sometimes feels scary.

There is a grieving that floods you when a hope, a plan, a dream is interrupted. Those feelings are real and they're OK. 

Sometimes we edge our way to the side, find a little bit of raised ground - hope - to stand on, giving us the protection of a wider view, showing us what's going on.

If we can find that raised ground - perhaps even a fence - and look on both sides, we're able to straddle the realities of what is before us and what is to come. We can lovingly, gently, hold our grief in one hand while in the other, bless the future: the gifts of lessons learned, of growth, of moving forward. In silence, in solitude, we can listen to our hearts and hear the message it's trying to tell us:

It's going to be OK.
It's going to be OK.
It's going to be OK.

Because it will be OK. Maybe not in ten minutes. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe it will take longer than thought. It doesn't matter. There's no time limit, no scale to measure loss of any kind. It's a personal journey. We'll have moments of shrinking, then standing up.

I find the safest place on that raised bit of ground where I can look at both sides, with honesty. There's a reverence that can be offered to what is being grieved. You say thank you (even if it hurts). You see all of it, clearly (as clear as you can now), and bless it. You bless - equally - the hurts and the beauty of your memories ... and what you had hoped would become memories. That's where I find strength.

It's a time for letting go.

It doesn't mean I know what's going to happen on the future side of the fence, as uncomfortable as that is. Yet looking over there, I can see something new. I see solid ground, a sense of calm, and being at peace. It's on the future side that you give in to some element of faith - a faith within - that you are strong and that you'll figure it out. Not only will you figure it out, you'll thrive.

This new journey will lead my daughter and I back to home, to family, to friends. There's joy in that. Equally, there's joy in the beautiful friendships we've made in Yangon. Lots of to be grateful for. There is sadness, too.

It's important for me to be honest as we go through this new phase. It's a transition and life is full of them. I'll write about that sometimes. I suspect I'll write about being single-mum writer. Other stuff will come up, too.

Thanks for reading.

Thanks for being part of this hello/good-bye with me.

P.S. I have posted a similar version of this over here on Becky in Burma because I think that while Becky Cavender offers a new beginning, Becky in Burma will still be part of that journey, part of saying good-bye. Writing about the good-bye on Becky in Burma and the new beginning here will help me make some sense of the messiness that goes on with transitions.


30 comments:

  1. You are an inspiration to many of us. Love you Becky. And It will be ok because it has already begun being so.

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  2. Life has that way of throwing things at us, like you say from endings come new beginnings :)

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    1. Very true, Michelle. And yes, there are new beginnings, too. :) Thank you.

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  3. you'll find your way through it, sweet Becky. you have a light in you that can shine through any dark moments.

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    1. I agree with Jenn, Becky. You are a beautiful, spirited woman who is and has been an inspiration to many, including your daughter. This will not be easy but you are strong and this too shall pass. Remember all the good that these experiences have brought. Love and prayers to you.

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    2. Thank you, Jenn. <3 You made me cry. In a good way. :) Thank you.

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    3. Shelly, thank you for your kind words. Thank you for reminding me to remember all the good things. There have been many. :) Love + prayers graciously accepted. :)

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  4. gosh you have my heart all the way with you on this one Becky. you are truly a brave soul. Your wings might have been clipped but you can keep flying, sometimes low to the ground, but know there is a whole flock flying with you.

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    1. <3 Suzi, thank you. The image of having a whole flock next me - and I know who you all are - is uplifting and encouraging. Thank you so much for that, Suzi.

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  5. Transitions are all too often trying. The turbulence which shakes us can cause a fear which makes us forget the miracle of flight. Yet as we come to understand how the danger in turbulence is abated by our slowing down and keeping on, we are able to let it pass and still smile as we pass through the clouds. Clouds which limit our vision at times. Clouds which hide our pain at other times. Clouds which, above all, we know give structure to the sky through which we soar. And we smile anew. Yes, this will pass, you are correct. Yet, so do kidney stones so don't forget to ask for the morphine of a loving embrace from those qualified to love you as you need. Here's one of many you will undoubtedly find. /hug

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    1. Jayson, thank you for your beautiful, beautiful words. That's a poem right there if I've ever seen one. This was beautiful. Thank you for the hugs and the kind thoughts. <3

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  6. You are absolutely freaking amazing and full of courage! We're all with you in spirit as you begin your new and unknown journey. Hugs!

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    1. Thank you for being such a big support, Indigene. I am grateful for you. Truly. Thank you. <3

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  7. Thank you for sharing Becky! I am looking forward to reading the inspirations on your new journey. Sara

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    1. Thank you for your support, Sara. <3

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  8. My heart goes out to you, Becky. At the same time, you will walk through new doors and enter amazing new vistas - feel like returning to the PNW is only temporary, for some reason. I left my marriage in 1994 when my daughter was 21 months old (she came with me) and in doing so, I eventually re-discovered and re-found myself. You will, too. But right now, one day at a time, one step at a time, one mixed bag of emotions at a time. <3

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    1. I found a lot of courage and hope in your comment, Sue. Thank you. How brave were YOU to leave a message when your daughter was small. That must've taken a lot of courage. At the same time, it's clear where you now stand, who you now are as a result of those experiences. I will remember - or try to remember - the one day at a time. :) Love that you said "one mixed bag of emotions at a time." Isn't that the truth! lol Thank you. <3

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  9. Beautifully written... It will be okay. A favorite quote from a sappy, silly movie... May it bring you a bit of comfort: "beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it's the middle that counts the most. Try to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning. Just give hope a chance to float up. And it will, too..."

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    1. Not a sappy quote at all. Loved it. Thank you so much for that, Courtney. I will remember that quote. Which movie was that? Yes, it's the middle that counts...

      Thank you!

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  10. I'm sorry to hear of this painful episode of your journey, Becky. All the best for this big, unexpected life change. xox

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    1. Thank you for your kind words, Malini. <3

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  11. Your words are so generous despite your pain. I admire the grace that you possess Becky in what sounds like a very difficult time for you. As women we feel your pain, our thoughts are with you and you are not alone. It's okay to crumble but then you rebuild. Being a single mum is not so bad and there is a ton of hope and possibility on the other side and amazing riches to be discovered. xx

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    1. Thank you for the lovely comment, Tanya. And for the reminder to look forward in all things. <3 No, being a single mum isn't so bad. It will be OK. We also have lots of family and friends we're returning to and that will be incredibly helpful. <3 Thank you!

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  12. Welcome home. Rich lives look like this...full to the brim with it all, messy and soupy and hot and delicious, full of fear and not knowing. But know this: you are surrounded by and held in a warm embrace of love and caring, dive in! Much love. Laura

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    1. <3 Thank you, Laura. Yes, it's messy. But it's OK. Thank you for the reminder re: being loved in a warm embrace.

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  13. What a rich and moving post, Becky. I'm wishing you peace in this big transition. Love your daughter's perspective and optimism too. Wishing all good things for you!

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  14. I don't understand how someone so marvelous can end up divorced. Is there an alter ego to this wonderful compassionate writer? Is she only understanding and nice in print?

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    1. Hi Anonymous :)

      Thank you for your kind words. No ... no alter ego. I mean, I can be a bit of a brat sometimes. lol And I'm stubborn. But ... I'm nice and understanding in person. :)

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Thank you for the comment love.