I’m a runner. Not the sort you see jogging along your neighborhood streets striving towards health. I’m a different sort altogether. I’m a cut-and-run runner also striving towards health. It simply looks different from the outside. One looks healthy and strong, the other appears hasty and weak. Both come for our core, driven by motivation that is birthed from our individual needs and experiences.
As a small child, I could not cut and run. As an adult I delayed the run when I selectively dimmed my skills of perception to accept unhealthy situations and relationships. I remained intently focused on the spark of a person’s potential and overlooked the parts that did not fit.
At times, the spark was enough of a space to dock my heart. I’ve remained in some really dire situations, paddling through surf-worthy waves using the “spark of potential " as my oar while unintentionally gulping water, fighting fervently and silently for air.
The inevitable moment would arrive when gasping for air was no longer enough and I’d cut all ties and run. Fortitude as my fuel, I never looked back - not ever. With breakneck speed all traces of the past became a blur, as I moved into the new. This reflexive default method of survival served me well in my past.
In the present, my life is no longer a solo story of my breaking away from ill-fitted circumstances or relationships. Now, my life is deeply, beautifully, irrevocably intertwined with the beginning of my children’s story. Although my last ten holiday seasons were often burdened with marital woes, they remain the first ten happy holiday seasons of my children’s lives. It is this way with each milestone.
Our next turning point is our move from this house into a new living space. The momentum for this began long ago but the final decision was made a mere three weeks ago. With limited time, I launched into my familiar cut-and-run mode. With swift action, I began cutting away from this house as I prepared to move myself and my children ahead into the new.
One evening, an unexpected transformation in my perspective occurred. At the intersection where my “ last few“ and my children's “ first few” met, I realized the old paradigm was no longer beneficial. This delicate space I share with them requires less cut and run and more process, release and stride. It deserves a gentle, thoughtful approach that honors their memories and respectfully holds the space for their individual processing and release.
This all came into focus a couple weeks ago as I realized that the sun had completely faded the artwork on a kitchen cabinet over my sink. Among the pieces, there was a heart, hand-made by Evelyn. In her first grade hand writing it said, “I love you, Mom.”
All the words had completely faded from years of being in the sunlight. All that remains now, are the etch marks. Words seen in my periphery over the last few years, had literally vanished right before my eyes.
Staring in disbelief I stopped washing dishes to grasp the change and begged my memory to reveal all the details on the heart. I could not believe that something right in front of my eyes could change without my notice. And, I know it will be this way with my children, one day I’ll be staring in disbelief at how quickly they’ve grown.
In this moment of realization, I forgot how to cut and run; I no longer desired a blurry retrospect and my feet relaxed onto the ground below. With this expansive perspective I evolved. I was reminded of many life lessons I am modeling for them through this transition.
Once again, parenting my daughters has nourished me with a more grounded and aware approach to life. For this, I am deeply grateful.
During the last two weeks, I have photographed many spaces of periphery around our house. My daughters have been allowed vast space to sort their collections, revisit early interests and reminisce their childhoods. For them, their last 6 birthdays were celebrated in this house, surrounded by many loved ones. Here, they learned to read, ride bikes, communicate, roller skate, cook, dance, paint, raise a puppy, sing, tie their shoes, photograph, knit, build fairy forts in nature, create, play and love.
Abundant love lives in these memories for me. I have no desire to cut and run from any of these moments, for each piece is a cherished facet of our family history.
As we gently process and release, the spectrum of emotion is wide and encompasses each person’s unique experience ranging between sorrow and bliss. Beautiful in its humanity and truth, our shift into the new begins. No one is gasping for air, nothing is being cut and we are able to fondly look back with appreciation.
We are all growing as we cross this threshold together, only carrying what we need from our past into our tomorrow. Happily, we stride ahead.
© coypright 2015
by phoenix power writer all rights reserved