So, apparently, the Hindus believe that it takes 1,000 days to mourn the loss of a loved one. My therapist told me that. I googled it, and came up with the other important 1,000 days — that this is the number of days between conception and the 2nd birthday – a window of great importance for nutrition, brain development, and therefore the future of our society. A lot changes in 1,000 days – well, at least if you are doing it right, I think. Maybe for some people, the goal is to have very little change in 1,000 days. I’m not one of them. I don’t even hang out with those people.
Somewhere around Monday, November 5 of this year marks 1,000 days from when I made a conscious decision that radically changed my life. Mind you, I did not sit down and make a conscious decision TO do something radical…. what I expected at the time was that I was opting for an experience that would be a minor distraction, a short excursion, a non-disruptive exploration. Nothing bigger than a kiss. But the truth that revealed itself was that when I stepped outside of the boundaries my MIND had created, when I allowed first my body, and then my heart, and now increasingly my spirit to make a few decisions, well, that is a radical change. I consciously decided to break down one barrier. Turns out that one barrier was the one holding up so many others.
That decision lead to suffering, joy, change, gratitude, growth — for me, and also for the people I love. Forgiveness lives in my recognizing that the past almost 1,000 days would have had a similar QUANTITY of suffering, joy, change, gratitude and growth, but my decision to start down a new path simply changed the NATURE of those things. Forgiveness (I have not yet attained) also lives in my reconciling that this radical change happened for my kids, my husband, my lover(s), my extended family and dearest friends as well — but that I did not consult them before hand. This is what it means to be in relationship. There are countless ways I signed up to suffer and grow with my people; and even if I don’t yet grasp this entirely, I know I have the right to I ask for the same in return. I’m amazed at the generosity these folks have expressed when they have told me they are proud of me for having the courage to step into a more authentic life for myself, even if it wasn’t what they were expecting. I appreciate the moments when I realize that they benefit some how from that, and mourn the moments when I can feel how much pain that involved for them. Holding these opposing truths together, that is what it means for me to be vulnerable.
As Maya Angelou put it, it’s about this:
“You did then what you knew how to do, And when you knew better, You did better.”