This weekend my emotional well being relied heavily on IKEA and Target with a dash of Lowe's.
I spent a great deal of time shopping this weekend. When I left Earl's home and moved into my own apartment (with a side trip to Los Angeles for two months, and a three week stint on the floor of my best-y, Rhonda,) I left every worldly possession behind. Antiques inherited from generations past now belong to Ginger and remain in her home with Earl. What was acquired during the marriage is now the property of Earl or Ginger; they can keep the marital home intact for the sake of Ginger's emotional stability. I want nothing to do with those material items. as Rhonda says, "I'm shopping for a new beginning. It's a small price to pay for my emotional well-being."
Having been raised by a thrifty New Englander, you can imagine the sticker shock I suffered as I bought all the necessities of a new home: beds, towels, dishes, a toaster with a bagel setting. Rhonda fortunately came with me to IKEA. She and I have found refuge with one another this summer. Her heart breaks and aches for reasons that are similar to my own recent experiences of pain and growth. Together we talk through our grief and push ahead. As we wandered through IKEA, Rhonda tarried in the possibilities that surrounded her. She browsed for renewal and inspiration. I, on the other hand, found myself overwhelmed at the decisions I had to make. What loft of pillow? Bath sheets or towels? Non-stick or stainless steel pans? As the cost of each item placed in the cart tallied on my mental spreadsheet, my breathing became shallow and my fear kicked in. In the past, this would have meant me walking away from the decision - who needs a bed anyway? We can just sleep on the floor. But now I am the only grown up. Now I have to make all the final decisions. So panic be damned, I made them. And even though fear and panic tried to lead the charge through IKEA, I slowed down, and did what had to be done. And shortly into the process of making conscious decisions about large purchases, I had a life-changing thought.
Each day I use a great deal of energy imagining that when I’m out in the world I’m going to run into Ashley, or Ashley with Earl, or Ashley with her husband, or with her child, or just her. I imagine what that encounter might be like and I engage in the emotions of that experience. All that painful energy around this imaginary trip into hell is bad for me, of course. I believe that we attract what we project into the world. Engaging consistently in these negative imaginings will attract some form of this negative experience to me. Keep this up and my imagination is going to help me manifest the occasion of an Ashley/Lee confrontation. I definitely don’t want to experience that painful meeting of this woman that I know is having an affair with my soon-to-be-ex-husband. I don’t want that encounter; I fear that encounter. Earl, Ashley, her husband and I all live in this fairly small geographical area; the chance of that happening exists.
As Rhonda and I shopped through the decor possibilities in IKEA, it occurred to me that another possibility existed for me, too. if I dwell on a negative thing and expect that this will manifest a negative experience, I can also choose to dwell on something positive and manifest that instead. Somewhere between the MALMS and the EXPEDITS I came to clearly know that I could focus on wishing Ashley well; I could wish good things for her. I could wish happiness for her and Earl, although maybe not together (I'm not that self-actualized yet.) I could wish them both as individuals happiness and growth and joy. (Maybe there’s a little bit of schaudenfraude in the wishing growth part because I know how painful growth has been for me and continues to be.) In the long run,though, when Ashley enters my mind, I can focus on thoughts of her wellness.
The beauty of this new way of acting was overhwelming to me. As part of the negative cycle of thinking, I would cry out, "Why can't I feel happy? Why do they get happiness together and I feel so bad?" But with this change of thought, this flipping the switch to well-wishing, I know that this will only lead to my own wellness. If I let go of thinking negatively around Ashley and Earl, I let go of all negative thoughts - none are manifested in my own experience. And more powerfully, wishing them both well means that I am manifesting this wellness in my own life. This epiphany was astounding.
All weekend long that is what I have focused on. I wish Ashley happiness, I wish her wellness, I wish her… I wish her… all positive things. I want to say the word “freedom” but that’s not really true. When I say "freedom" I’m thinking of my own desires. I'm thinking of her freedom from Earl, which means that my sad and sick heart still wants to be with Earl. When I’m wishing Ashley freedom, what I’m really wishing for is that she is free of him so that he will turn his desires back to me. But that’s not really what I want, it’s what my habitual heart wants. Earl is a habit that I can kick.
I’m still learning how to separate my desires from my fears and my true intentions in life. Habit leads me to relive fears continually. I’ve been in the habit for 12 years of distrusting Earl, being afraid that things wouldn’t work out and, lo and behold, I manifested that fear by being with somebody that I couldn’t trust. This created a cyclical relationship in the marriage -- I don’t trust you/ but I’m trying to fix it/but you’re not fixing it to my liking. It was all negative.
Instead of living in that space, I’m gonna’ live in this new space where I can say I wish Ashley well, I wish Earl happiness, I wish Ashley happiness, I wish Earl health. And I wish those things for them because I wish them for me. I wish the freedom to find love that is not just this romantic, sick heart. Love is beyond this sick heart of mine. The kind of love that I always wanted is active love that is exhibited in a partner's presence and authenticity. If I wish those things for Earl and Ashley then I can have them in my life. I’ve said this before in my blog - Ashley married a man just like my husband and left him for Earl. That girl is repeating a bad cycle. I wish that she would not repeat her cycle -not because I want my husband back, but because I want to be free of that cycle myself, so I wish this for her. I wish Ashley free of the cycle of loving a man that is bad for her, loving with a sick a heart a man that only creates that sickness in her again. I wish for her to find active love, authenticity, joy, and her SELF. I want her to find who she is and live well. Because these are the things I want for myself, I have to wish them for Ashley. That is what is going to manifest positive experiences in my own life. My well wishes for Earl and Ashley will draw to me the types of people and experiences that I desire.
I have to believe that the Universe will not be cruel to me and throw Ashley in my path when I am not fit to face her. Up until this IKEA epiphany, I had too much negative energy to be able to deal with Ashley in any way that would be safe for me. Now I can be truthful and say that I wish Ashley joy; I wish her happiness, because in joy and happiness there is no blame, no negative energy, no invitation to live a life that is less than the optimal experience that is offered to you by the Universe. I don’t wish it for me, I wish it for Ashley. And I know that in wishing this for Ashley, the Universe will remove the negative things that have dwelt in my heart and my gut and it will open my world of possibility.