Perfect Moment Monday: Spirals

Perfect Moment Monday is more about noticing a perfect moment than about creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

We gather here once a week to engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join. Details on how to participate are at the bottom of this post, complete with bloggy bling.

Please visit the links of the participants at the bottom.

Here’s a perfect moment from my week. I hope you’ll share yours, too.
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Most of us have figured out that grieving and healing do not take place in a straight line; they happen in a spiral. You think you’re through something because you haven’t hurt from it for awhile, and them wham! you get smacked. Less and less each time, but smacked just the same. You just don’t know when you’ve reached the center of the spiral, where there is no more room for more smacks. You secretly wonder if your grief might have infinite capacity for talking smack at you.

Recently I’ve had a cluster of pangs, if not smacks.

1. Yin + yang: (This section feels a little odd to share, but I hope you’ll understand why these observations were significant to me.)

This weekend, as Roger and I donned our swimsuits to take the kids to an indoor swim park, I caught a glance of my body in the mirror. Boy, do I have hips — child-bearing hips! I have the perfect body for pregnancy — curvy, long-waisted, fertile. By god if I don’t look conspicuously fertile. Like octomom without the lips.

(I don’t know if anyone else IRL sees me this way, but this day, it was how I saw myself.)

Sneaking a peek at Roger, I see his lean body, strong muscles. He’s in the best shape of his life. His legs, arms, back, and torso are well-defined and cut, evidence of the strength and cardio training he’s done the past two years. He is masculinity personified, in a Greco-Roman statue sort of way.

We should model for fertility figurines. We’re all that.

2. Chicklet is preggo — have you heard!? I was thrilled to my toes when she told me. Thoroughly, eminently, joyously happy for my blog partner. Excited to live vicariously through her for the next several months.

And then.

I sunk rapidly into a depression. I didn’t realize it at the time because there were other issues weighing on me, but in the stillness I found the demon-feelings: Envy. A little anger. Sadness at being left behind by yet another very close person (my sisters preceded Chicklet, but they had not traveled my path).

The thing is, I do not WANT to be pregnant. I have the family I want and am DONE. So what, exactly are these feelings about?

I think the biggest betrayal is being left behind. Not by Chicklet, of course. It’s not about a person at all. She knows this.

All I can do to stop feeling those “bad” emotions, counter-intuitively, is to simply feel them. Chicklet has thankfully given me the space and the safety to express my emotions so that I can release them.

But still, how long? HOW LONG??

3. Adoption Chiasm was Melissa’s highly insightful piece this week. It was brilliant on its own, and one comment took it to an even deeper level for me.

Anonymous, I gather, suffers from a Primal Wound.

“I was adopted as an infant, I have a great adoptive family that I love very much. I was not abused. I got everything I ever wanted, went to college and have had a good life. I would give it all up to have been raised by my 17 year old emotionally immature birth mother. I would give it all up to experience what it would be like to grow up feeling normal, like I belonged and happy.”


In essence, Anon asserts that the road not taken (the abstract) is superior to the good life s/he has had (the concrete).

The appeal of that road is that it is a fairy-tale road. There are never any potholes, and the sun always shines, but not too hot. It’s a smooth, gently sloping road with bounteous apple trees adorning the sides. In short, it’s the angel you don’t know compared to the devil you do.

No one can ever prove or disprove Anon’s notion that a life with a not-ready-to-parent biological mom would have been better than a life with those who parented her. Because we each get just one road.

This is the crux.

The comment started a new train of thought about roads not taken, which, as Mel pointed out to me, is not just part of the adoption experience. It is part of the human experience.

Non-adopted people face this, too. Mel said: What about the child who wishes their parents HAD made an adoption plan? Or the ones who wish they hadn’t been born at all? Or the ones whose parents divorce?

Adoptive parents also face a road not taken. I started reading a novel yesterday in the bath (hey, it’s MY road) called Sleeping in Daylight (full review forthcoming). Alternate chapters are told by an adoptive mom and her 16 year-old daughter. The parents’ marriage is old and tired, the dad was never on board with the adoption, the child was born addicted and was told of her adoptedness in a scarring fashion, and she has twin IVF brothers who fit into the family better, to boot.

And I’m only on page 41.

The mom thinks about her roads not taken. What might have happened if she hadn’t pushed her husband so hard for that particular adoption? What if she had lived child-free? Would either of these routes taken her to a happier place today, where she was actually awake in her life?

I put the book down and sank into the still warm water and willed myself to think about my roads not taken. The road that our yin/yang bodies suggest SHOULD have been taken.

But try as I might, I could not go there.

I like my road too much. The loss would be unbearable.

That was a very long way of saying that I had a perfect moment in the bathtub.

Summary:

  • Leave a link to your own perfect moment if you’d like.
  • Comment about your experience with grief and healing.
  • How do you deal with your road(s) not taken?

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Now. What Perfect Moment have you recently been aware of? Be sure to visit these moments and share the bloggy love.

31 thoughts on “Perfect Moment Monday: Spirals”

  1. Lori, I’m always stunned by the thoughtfulness of your blog and reminded each time about the true meaning of mindfulness. Thank you.It’s amazing when grace comes to us and, like for that moment in the bath, eases our hearts.XOLove,Pam

  2. This is so beautiful, Lori. Thank you so much for this. Reading this gave me a perfect moment, helps me realize the gift of letting go.

  3. An amazing post. I think those roads not taken still call to you because they are possibilities that you rationally know will never be explored but you also know have the possibility to exist.I can only say that as a teacher, you get to see a lot of kids come through your room and hear their story. And for every child I had who was miserable that their parents divorced, there was another who was miserable that his parents stayed together but fought in front of them. Of course, we all want the happily married parents, but the road not taken is rarely sunny and bright. It is usually just a different shade of the same colour of your current path.

  4. What a wonderful post. You express the feelings we all seem to get hit with (and don’t want to feel) when a dear friend gets pregnant.Also, the book sounds amazing.

  5. Oh, this is so true, Lori! This is exactly why I haven’t entirely let go of our mutually genetic baby – because that path is the fantasy. That road means that I would never grieve, never feel loss. As I said – Fantasy!Thanks for this great post.

  6. The assumptions that everyone who grows up with their biological parents feels like they belong and feels normal are wholly incorrect.

  7. Show us a neck-down shot of those gorgeous bodies. Pleeeease. The sting just never goes away, does it? I thought I was all over it, and then a gal I know just got pregnant the for the second time. Which wouldn’t be at all bad, except last go around, her unplanned pregnancy was the last friggin’ straw on my emotional back. Her recent announcement brought the whole thing back for a few seconds.Here’s my perfect moment: http://seeddispersal.blogspot.com/2009/03/perfect-moment-monday-in-swing-of.html

  8. I just had a perfect moment of connection with you when I read your post today. Three bloggers I follow have become pregnant just recently as well as my best friend. I too felt happy for them and also quite sad that I couldn’t share those experiences with them. It’s like knowing someone you know just won a million dollars and there’s no way you’re getting a dime even though you’re broke. I chanted for each of them, held them in my prayers, so their victory is my victory, right?I felt sorry for myself for not being able to provide reassurances for them from the point of experience. I felt left out, nose pressing in from the other side of the glass. Grief smacked me upside the head. I looked at my poochy stomach and thought, that’s fat, nothing more. I will continue to chant for their babies safe delivery into this world and to chant for the ability to be at peace and prosper with the life that I have.

  9. Lori, I’m always stunned by the thoughtfulness of your blog and reminded each time about the true meaning of mindfulness. Thank you.It’s amazing when grace comes to us and, like for that moment in the bath, eases our hearts.XOLove,Pam

  10. This is so beautiful, Lori. Thank you so much for this. Reading this gave me a perfect moment, helps me realize the gift of letting go.

  11. An amazing post. I think those roads not taken still call to you because they are possibilities that you rationally know will never be explored but you also know have the possibility to exist.I can only say that as a teacher, you get to see a lot of kids come through your room and hear their story. And for every child I had who was miserable that their parents divorced, there was another who was miserable that his parents stayed together but fought in front of them. Of course, we all want the happily married parents, but the road not taken is rarely sunny and bright. It is usually just a different shade of the same colour of your current path.

  12. What a wonderful post. You express the feelings we all seem to get hit with (and don’t want to feel) when a dear friend gets pregnant.Also, the book sounds amazing.

  13. Oh, this is so true, Lori! This is exactly why I haven’t entirely let go of our mutually genetic baby – because that path is the fantasy. That road means that I would never grieve, never feel loss. As I said – Fantasy!Thanks for this great post.

  14. The assumptions that everyone who grows up with their biological parents feels like they belong and feels normal are wholly incorrect.

  15. Show us a neck-down shot of those gorgeous bodies. Pleeeease. The sting just never goes away, does it? I thought I was all over it, and then a gal I know just got pregnant the for the second time. Which wouldn’t be at all bad, except last go around, her unplanned pregnancy was the last friggin’ straw on my emotional back. Her recent announcement brought the whole thing back for a few seconds.Here’s my perfect moment: http://seeddispersal.blogspot.com/2009/03/perfect-moment-monday-in-swing-of.html

  16. I just had a perfect moment of connection with you when I read your post today. Three bloggers I follow have become pregnant just recently as well as my best friend. I too felt happy for them and also quite sad that I couldn’t share those experiences with them. It’s like knowing someone you know just won a million dollars and there’s no way you’re getting a dime even though you’re broke. I chanted for each of them, held them in my prayers, so their victory is my victory, right?I felt sorry for myself for not being able to provide reassurances for them from the point of experience. I felt left out, nose pressing in from the other side of the glass. Grief smacked me upside the head. I looked at my poochy stomach and thought, that’s fat, nothing more. I will continue to chant for their babies safe delivery into this world and to chant for the ability to be at peace and prosper with the life that I have.

  17. I think looking at your Dh and thinking he’s hot is a perfect moment right there! And good for him for earning it. http://peeveme.blogspot.com/2009/03/ice-breakerball-buster.htmlI get how you can feel happy for women else and get a pang of sadness for yourself. I do when I hear of that miracle natural pregnancy. I start to thinking….did I jump to donor eggs too quickly?The moment that thought crosses my mind I let it cross right out. I think it….forgive myself….focus on how happy I am to be pregnant with THIS baby and move on. I know, not very reflective but I made my decisions and second guessing now does me (or my children) any good. I also try to recognize that I will always have a hint of …not doubt…maybe wonder… about what if.

  18. I can relate to Anon, but not on the adoption aspect. Having had a severely mentally ill parent, I spent many years wondering what my life would be like to have one who was well, and very much wishing that had been so. I can’t say that I don’t feel those pangs every now and then, but they barely move me now. What is, is. We have no control over our lives as children, but as adults we have the choice to make peace with our grief and live.

  19. Thank you for such a beautiful and thoughtful post.I love reading your thoughts and observations, they are so honest.All of my best thinking comes in the bathtub . . .

  20. Your insights and the way you express them are always so good.I am not an adoptive parent so anything I could say would probably sound trite but I do think just expressing yourself the way you do is very healthy and I’m sure helps other people who I’m sure can relate, that’s for sure.

  21. I love this post, one of my personal favs. I was thinking about this as your hubby recovers.
    Love to you, Rob/ger, and the kiddos. (I hope you don’t mind my lame-o nickname for your Dh).

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