Anger. Hurt. Anger. Shock. Anger. A feeling of betrayal. Anger. Quite the meditation session. Not my usual. As I sat on the cushion meditating my mind wouldn’t stop. Back to the breath. I’m in mourning? Oh my God. I’m in mourning.
I’d had an amazing weekend so far. A wonderful Saturday with Bruce, my husband: Brunch at one of our favorite haunts. A walk along the river. Sharing. Breathing in brisk cold refreshing winter air. The sound of snow crunching under my feet. Listening. The sound of the river rushing by. Water as it splashes against its ice ceiling. Seeing. Textures. Shapes. Waves of river ice. Crystal reflections. Glass daggers protruding from a floating log. And color. Brilliant white. Pale gray. Soft tans. Fully present. Took my breath away. Ice. Magic. Look up. Two dark specks? Closer now. Swooping. Swooping. Two eagles. A ballet in the sky. A muskrat, seemingly out of nowhere. Watch it dive. Resurface. My husband and I. Together. Sharing. Our eyes meet. A hug. Pure joy. A gentle kiss. Love.
We make our way up a scruffy embankment and continue on the path. Dark tree trunks, a foil against the brightness of the sunshine. Brilliant white pillows adorning the places where branches meet. Pale tan grasses, skinny stalks topped in fluffy softness reaching for the sky. More magic. And birds. A creeper working its way up a tree. A nuthatch. Wonderful silence, suddenly broken by a high pitched melody. Birdsong. The river catches Bruce’s eye again. Two colorful male hooded mergansers followed by three females. We watch as one of them dives and reappears.
After we arrive home, we prepare and eat dinner together. We spend the evening each doing our own thing, simply enjoying each others presence. It’s lovely how we can each pursue our own interests while at the same time enjoying the companionship of one another. A perfect Saturday.
Sunday arrived. I opened my eyes to the day blanketed in warmth and love and happiness. I glanced at the still sleeping figure beside me and smiled. Let him sleep. I got up, then padded my way to the kitchen and the coffee maker. I couldn’t wait for Bruce to wake up to continue our perfect weekend together.
With coffee in hand I thought, Should I just take a quick peek at my emails? Oh, what the heck. It’ll just take a moment. Then go meditate. And there it was. Subject line: Facebook Group Closed. I opened the email, read the message explaining the logical reason for the group’s ending, and then just sat there as a huge hole replaced my heart. NO. Please. No. I felt kind of sick. This isn’t fair. We’re just getting to know each other. No warning? Just like that it’s over? I like these people. Not that it helped. I felt as though the bottom had been dropped out of my world. I reread the post. The hole remained.
I had better explain. On November 27, 2018, I was invited to join a newly created Facebook group called “Reframe Your Pain”. Formed by psychologist Dr. Perry, it was to be a place where individuals could come together to inspire each other, to share with one another, and maybe come up with ideas that would go in the direction of helping us as we ferreted our way through the ups and downs of our lives.
It was amazing! I have never, in my entire life, encountered such a group of people. How could I have known that in such a short period of time I could grow to care so much for these individuals? And in a Facebook group no less? I didn’t think that was possible. As we encouraged each other in the sharing of our lives and feelings and thoughts we grew closer. We were honest with each other. We checked out each others blogs. Touched the hearts of one another. As we, little by little, began to share more and more, be it through an uplifting quotation, or a problem we may have encountered, we reached out. I began to feel for some of these people who actually reached out. I wanted things to go well for them. For us. I also began to realize that I seemed to be coming out of myself more and more and more. I felt safe.
I don’t know about the others, okay, for some of the more frequent posters, I think I do know. Was I the only one? The only one who was shocked? Who didn’t want it to end? A few of us reached out to each other. I decided that no. This was not going to end. These people cared and felt and trusted. And that is just what happened with at least a few of us. I can’t believed how quickly this all happened. If you had asked me in November of last year was this kind of closeness even possible? In two months? With individuals I, until then, hadn’t even known existed? People I would never ever meet in person?
So I decided, yet again, to reach out to a handful of the individuals from this now non-existent group. People who I felt I had gotten to know. One by one I contacted them. Every single one of them wanted to stay connected with me. Relief. I suspect that I am not alone on that one. To trust. To care. To share. To want the best for another. What more could one ask for?
So yes, there is an end. “Reframe Your Pain” no longer exists. But there is also a beginning. New friendships. Real ones. You know, the kind where there is trust and love and sharing.
Also, something that surprised me over the two months that I was a member of this group, was that I found myself starting to get braver. There were two posts that I wanted to add to my blog, that I needed to share. By sharing them I would feel validated. At this point in time I desperately needed that validation. I needed to share because it was not my fault. Somewhere deep inside of me I knew that to post was a part of my healing process. (See “Ripples or the Biggest Imprint of All”), but I was scared. But you know what? These wonderful people gave me the courage to do exactly that. I definitely could not have shared what I shared in this blog were it not for the suggestions, sometimes in the form of quotations (see “The Letter”) and all of our sharing and caring inspired by that quote. It really seemed to strike a chord with some of us.
An ending. A beginning. Thank you for that Dr. Perry. Without his group “Reframe Your Pain” I would never have experienced the sharing and caring and love and growth and courage that came from being a part of it. I would not now have new friends who I can connect with any time any of us wishes. Friends who I love. Friends who I trust. Dr. Perry: Thank you.