Sad and still hurting from an ending, the lesson still seems somewhat obscure. Sitting getting ready for a call, the books, in preparation, were open to the pages of empowering questions. These questions are open ended, clarity seeking, probing and challenging, thought provoking and solution oriented. These are the crux of the coaching process. Three pages later, hand written was the most poignant one of them all, “What is the gift in this situation.” This is used when the situation seems negative, when the individual feels helpless with the outcome.
Gift. Not lesson. Gift. A gift was always something that brought happiness. How could something from a perceived negative situation, the outcome you didn’t want or expect be a gift. A lesson was always how it was described. Everyone recalls the quote, “People are in your life for a season, a lesson or a blessing. Now there was this gift thing to think about. What was that really about? Could an ending really provide gifts? Could an outcome different from what you thought, hoped and prayed for be a gift? I pondered.
When my second marriage ended, I realized the greatest lesson that I learned was to listen to my intuition, not letting emotions get the best of me. My gut is generally right; in fact we should all think that our gut is right. It is that little voice inside that we ignore. All those little signs that I ignored that lead to thoughts like, “he doesn’t know how to hold onto relationships, he lets them go, why? Or, he doesn’t really have friends, why? Or he seems distant from everyone he says are important to him? These were all things that tugged at my gut, that I questioned but let go, he had explanations. Everyone else was at fault and I listened. I didn’t listen to the voice inside me.
Did I have a gift in that situation? Hmmm, perhaps.
I never had my own children. There are many reasons that I am not prepared to get into yet publicly why children were not in my plan, but I always deeply regretted that decision. I was blessed to have my two step-sons while I was in that marriage. They are a gift from this marriage as I have a great relationship with them and their mom, we are family.
The other gift of that situation was that of truly healing and going on the spiritual journey that brought me here. That ending caused me to spiral into my deepest depression ever which forced me to look at issues I had ignored, and heal those big ugly hairy balls that sat in the pit of my stomach. For that I will be forever grateful and know that was the gift in that situation. Not only did I heal those ugly things, but I grew, I built a foundation of faith to build on. Not religion but faith, a knowing that there is something bigger and to allow it to unfold before me as I believe. This wasn’t natural to me, it was new.
So I guess I could say there were gifts that came from that situation.
When I saw this sentence written in my book I realized it had to be for a reason, I was called to think about it as it relates to my most recent endings, one in particular. A relationship, a friendship that I was sad to see peter out and no longer have the prominence in my life I thought it would. I thought it would for the rest of my life. I decided to meditate on it, asking for the gifts in the situation.
What came to me over a few days was startling to me. Most of my intimate relationships have ended with me not being able to me, my vulnerabilities being used against me. I have dark edges and curves that weren’t accepted, weren’t embraced and never were appreciated. I didn’t think anyone would be capable of loving me completely and thoroughly for me, accepting the good and the bad, the smooth and jagged. I have always felt like the words from Meredith Brooks fit me, “I’m a bitch, I’m a lover, I’m a child, I’m a mother.” I am a bunch of opposites! I always wanted someone to love me for all of me, appreciating all those pieces of me. I watched my dad completely love my Mom, all those jagged edges as well. I knew someone someday had to. Well not really, after all the men who didn’t, I figured my mom got lucky and I was never going to find someone to love all of me.
The gift of this friendship and the ending of it was that this was someone who appreciated all of me; this person even once told me “I love everything that comes out of your mouth.” Given I can be a bitch and a half when pushed too far, that was huge. He allowed me to be vulnerable and not feel as if it would be used against me.
The gift in this situation was that I realized that I can be loved and appreciated for all of me. I’m not talking about my friends who say that, or my family who sometimes has no choice. I’m talking about intimate love, someone who means something different than the rest.
Although our friendship has suffered from neglect and other issues, instead of trying to find the lesson, I looked for the gift. The gift that will help me with the person I am destined to be with. I will be able to open up and be honest about who I am. I will be able to vulnerable and know that if it happened once, it can happen again.
The gift. A positive way to understand the learning, and help propel into the future.