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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Alone Following a Break-Up

I never thought I would find myself alone, after all I was born into a overcrowded family and married at the age of 18… having personal space was a luxury. But that marriage dissolved and my inability to be alone probably counts for the many unsuccessful relationships that followed. Oh sure, there were many other reasons and I don't mean to be glib about this, but the truth of the matter is that I did NOT know how to love myself– let alone others. And so in the year 2007 I did something that made a lot of people think I was crazy...I hit the RESET button and said NO MORE.


It wasn't like I woke up one day and said, hey Lorraine you need to love yourself. No, it was more like a feeling of emptiness. Something off, something missing and it was very deep. By this stage of my life I had raised three children and was now a grandparent. I had lived a role for others and in doing so, lost a bit of me. How? Aren't we supposed to be dutiful parents and give ourselves 24 hours a day to the needs of our offspring? And what about our grown parents, are we not supposed to drop everything and care for them as they become more needy? This is the the correct path, so why wasn't I happy? I adored my children and had a warm, loving relationship with my parents (they are both now in spirit). But I spent years battling insomnia and depression, and to be quite honest I was hoping some mornings I would just leave and go quietly into the spirit world... but that was then.

Hitting the reset button helped me to discover self-love. It wasn't easy contacting the lawyer and starting the divorce procedure, telling my kids I needed to start fresh, or telling my aging mother that I would call when I was settled. But you know what…it was pretty easy to quit my high-paying job, and swap all of my jewelry for cash. Yes, that part felt right, it felt solid, it felt like a huge GREEN LIGHT!

And so at the age of 52 I was finally alone. I drove 1400 miles to Key West, FL and found a tiny space I could barely afford. I came with the items I could stuff into my tiny car. No furniture, no pots or pans, no linen…just my laptop, art supplies and some summer clothes and flip-flops.

Bedroom/art studio
My new job paid me about the same hourly rate I earned in 1973 and let me tell you, it was day to day, penny to penny living. My furniture came from trash picks and yard sales. But little by little my tiny space began to feel like a palace. I was learning the importance of silence. I was learning what made me uncomfortable, happy, irritable, excited, bored… I was learning who Lorraine the person was. Not the mother, daughter, sister or friend person I had been, but the bubbling energetic child that had been squashed for a long time. I want to make it very clear that I hold no ill feelings or blame anyone, I am merely stating a fact that I was NOT BEING TRUE TO MYSELF.

My perfect tiny space

As I began spending time alone I found there were bits and pieces of me that I either wanted to examine further or discard. But how…where do you begin? It was then that I discovered the magic of being alone. At first it felt lonely, and I was wondering if I had traded my insomnia for a new zip code. I now had a new problem, I was afraid of the dark and every bump in the night. Florida had geckos, eww, creepy little things that crawled into every crevice. I DON'T DO CREEPY THINGS! I came from a quiet suburban neighborhood with squirrels and blue jays. Now I had to dodge iguanas and don't even get me started about the Key West chickens, they are as common as palm trees crowing every time someone turns a light on. So how alone was I exactly?
to be continued... Part 2

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To learn about meditation please read Meditation Mojo
Art for a cause.