Sunday, September 14, 2014

Vision of Wholeness

I've been a practicing ceremony celebrant for over a year and a half now, and it's a more fulfilling vocation than I could have imagined.  It's really confirmed for me the value of ceremony and ritual as a tool for transformation, as well as celebration.

There's a place just outside of Taos on the Rio Grande that's become a "sacred spot" for me, where I've now done five ceremonies, beginning before I was even a celebrant when I scattered my brother's ashes there.  In a significant way, that was the beginning of my journey into celebrancy, although I didn't know it at the time.

Since then, I've performed two weddings there (both same sex), a baptism (the bride in the second wedding I ever did requested it), and a personal ceremony that was one of the most meaningful, important, transformative things I've ever done in my life.

It was a ceremony for forgiveness, healing, and closure with my ex.  He had begun a new relationship almost a year earlier, and I had a very hard time dealing with that.  Long story short - when I mentioned in my last post that I went through a period of utter misery, that's what it was about.  But I had to find a way to accept it, if for no other reason that we have a child together, and there was now a new mother-figure in her life.

That process began last fall, when I had a dream about my ex's new partner on what happened to be her birthday.  In the dream, we were talking across a table, and there was a palpable feeling of love and tenderness between us.  I woke up feeling the same way; in fact, it permanently changed the way I felt about her.  I felt compelled to reach out to her, and I sent her an email message, to which she responded with such openness and kindness that it moved me to tears.  It still took several months after that for us to connect in person, but when we did, I knew we had crossed a threshold into a much more pleasant and positive part of the journey.

Meanwhile, my ex and I decided to do the forgiveness ceremony.  I'd found a resource online for us to use called 6 Steps to Completing Relationships.  It entailed writing down resentments, apologies, things you forgive the other person for, things you're grateful to the person for, and things you appreciate about them and will miss; and then expressing all those things to each other.

It was an incredibly powerful thing to do this.  When we were done reading our lists, we burned them together and threw the ashes into the river.  We cried and hugged and knew without a doubt we had truly moved into a new way of relating with each other, a rebirth of a relationship that was not just about raising our daughter, but was based on a love and willingness to grow with each other, and that now included his new partner.  I felt expansive, clean, whole.  At peace.  Full of joy and acceptance.

Fast forward to the present.  He and his partner have been going through some really difficult stuff related to a health problem she's been having, and the other night he and I talked on the phone about it.  When I got off the phone, I was shaken up.  I felt the need to process the complex emotions I was having about all of it and to in some way focus healing intentions toward these emotions, and her, and him, and the whole situation.

I had a sudden urge to make a collage (which I haven't done since I made my 2014 collage last December).  My plan was to give it to my ex and his partner, and I would keep a photo of it for myself. I got out a bunch of magazines, put on my awesome Pandora shuffle, and sat down at my dining room table for the next few hours, staying up way past my bedtime.

During the whole process of making the collage, and especially when I stood back and gazed at the finished product, I felt that same sense of healing and wholeness and expansive warmth I had when I first connected with my ex's partner, and when my ex and I did our ceremony.  The feeling that we are all together, part of a great tribe on a momentous journey.

"Vision of Wholeness"



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