Thursday, January 29, 2009

"We are not born for ourselves alone." Plato

This message arrived in my email box this morning and has been dwelling on my mind all morning. Today is my beloved's birthday. Charles Dennis Mross was born on January 29, 1948 in Oakland, California.

In my times of contemplation on who I am, there is never any doubt that a very large part of that identity is tied to Charlie. I came into my "womanhood" with my idea of what that meant tied to my relationship with Charlie. We met at quite a young age ... I was 15, he was 16. It doesn't happen often that two people's lives become entwined by love so young and can withstand the changes that entered our lives through high school, college, the rigors of married life, career changes, and with the addition of four children, developing a healthy family life. But through it all we worked to make that so, and we were rewarded with the strengths we gave each other. I know Charlie was born so that we could meet, to see the story of our lives played out as it did. I was born for him in the same way. We paid attention to the intention that our combined forces might bring about a way of life that could help to change the world in a good way. And our four children are the means upon which we hope to continue to add a positive intention towards goodwill for us all ... and Simon Charles Racicot is now the next generation -- moving that intention along further.

This can be translated into the much larger picture ... a message that we seem to hear almost daily now in the general populace ... a changing tide of "service to others" as a way to enhance your own sense of self-worth. Remember your life is a gift, but not only to you, or your parents, or your loved ones, but to all mankind. Let's pay attention to that and try to make the most of it.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Who are You? ... Now, Who Am I?

It is amazing how much our identity is connected to a relationship with another living "being" (not only how others identify us, but how we "see" ourselves). Then there are those life changes that take "beings" out of our lives or bring new ones in and we have to make the readjustment and figure "ourselves" out all over again. This takes a little doing and we need to give ourselves and others the time to settle into that new place.

The grieving process is full of a range of emotions and one of them is feeling lost. It's while we are in that place of "Who am I now?". It takes awhile to find ourselves in the context of a connection to the "spirit" of another, when the living "being" is gone. That comes and, in that sense, the old saying "It takes time..." is relevant.

The birth of a new baby (that is in some way related to you) once again requires you to settle into your new identity. It's love at first sight for sure, but if this is a "first" child, niece, nephew or grandchild then it's all new territory. You've been changed and all of the people related to this new baby have been changed too. You will all have to give each other time and space to fit all of your new identities together again smoothly. The jigsaw puzzle has gotten scattered a bit but it'll fit neatly back in place.

It's important to remember that this same phenomenon happens in one's relationships with beloved pets (the four-legged, two-legged or maybe even the no-legged varieties). I personally know that I am "animal-challenged". I have to remind myself that it may not be my experience but I have many times witnessed this to be true for others. And those relationships and identities are just as valid and important and need to be respected.

So if you find yourself in one of these life changing places, look in the mirror and introduce yourself to this new identity and try to make friends with yourself ... I think you'll like the new person very much! And remember to respect everyone else's identities as they shift while riding the currents of life.