The Risk of Love

Someone that I love died two years ago. I just learned of her passing.

My grief is present. My gratitude for her is present. My awareness of the preciousness of life is present.

Her name was Ann.

She was a teacher of mine, a teacher in the areas of spirituality, the impact of addictiveness, and family of origin healing work. She was my first teacher when I faced my eating disorder and my realizations that I developed some adaptive behaviors to cope with unresolved trauma and grief from a sometimes-dysfunctional family. Being the first guide shining a light on these issues may be a reason that her impact is great. I was young. I was open. I was tenderly vulnerable.

When our professional affiliation ended after three years, I expressed appreciation to her for the contribution she made in my life. We met specifically to complete our time together. I brought her a dozen roses and embraced her with a thankful good-bye. While we did not maintain contact after our professional affiliation ended, we did run into each other on occasion in other circles and we greeting one another lovingly. Besides being a teacher in a significant time in my life, she was a seeker, a soul partner on the journey of continued transformation. It was sweet to meet her in several places along my own transformational journey.

Thank you, Ann.

Endings are part of life. When the season of a relationship ends or shifts, whether personal or professional, a special opportunity to honor that relationship with joy, gratitude, and emotional presence exists. Taking advantage of this opportunity to complete and transition by showing up physically, spiritually and emotionally honor the relationship. It also creates a new way to be in the relationship. When we remain emotionally present & honest in the conclusion of a relationship, whatever the reason for its ending, we integrate the learning as part of our life, and take the energy of the person we loved and how it has transformed us into our daily living.

Here are the three benefits of completing a relationship openly, honestly, and with emotional availability:

  1. In expressing my appreciation to her for the contribution she made to my life, I anchored those contributions deeply. Her words of wisdom to me live on in my sharing them with others. I remember the specificity of her wisdom, and when I pass it on, I anchor it more deeply and remember it again.
  2. In staying physical and emotionally present to the ending of the relationship as it once was, and bowing with an open heart to this woman who made a difference in my life, I integrate an important practice in my life, Research suggests that gratitude is good for the brain, good for healthy living, and has proven benefits for living with a more positive attitude.
  3. In allowing for all the emotions of an ending to be felt and experienced with an open heart, not only do I keep the connection vibrant, experience intimacy and gratitude for the relationship, but this practice becomes a part of life. If I can survive a significant ending with love and appreciation once, then I am open to utilizing this practice in life regularly. Life is about flow, seasons, and cycles. Keeping my heart open and risking intimacy with other human beings is courageous. Courage to open my heart. Courage to risk vulnerability and intimacy. Courage to surrender to the seasons of life on life’s terms. Courage to follow my dreams.

Your wisdom lives on in the women that I love, Ann. I honor you. I thank you. I remember.

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