I told you about the breakup ritual I planned, but now I want to tell you about the ritual realized.
The prep was a lot, but the ritual itself went pretty quickly. I invited Ming, and he was happy to participate. I had the creosote flower, candle from that thrift store anointed with rose oil, the paper and pen, postcards blessed to write on afterward. The meaningful bracelets and necklace I wear.
My favorite part was asking Ming if I could anoint him with the rose oil. I put a drop on his wrist, and put my wrist to his. It felt intimate in a way that surprised me.
Singing felt great, in my body. Sometimes it’s hard for me to sing because I don’t have the energy–I don’t sing every day, anymore. Feels like a big deal to gather the strength. But I was very ready to sing, for the ritual. Offering the vibrations felt central to the experience.
Ming helped a lot–turning off an annoying light, washing the apple for after-snack, witnessing everything, telling me the directions so I could face east for the goodbye gesture. He even helped with the list making, which I did not expect. He suggested a few smart things to add to both lists, based on watching me interact for a year, with the friend I was letting go of.
Then he helped with me recovery also. Ming is great when I’m exhausted–stepping up to make food for me, getting me water, and listening to me. Even when I am not the nicest person to be around. It’s pretty amazing because he has narcolepsy–he gets exhausted beyond the norm. We’re there for each other.
The most valuable thing is often the thing that’s most surprising. When Ming comes home from being out and about in the world, I ask him, “How was your time?” Then, “Did anything unusual happen?”
Often he will say his time was good and nothing unusual happened. But sometime he’ll have a story to tell, or he’ll initially say nothing strange happened, but later, he’ll remember a weirdness to report. The weirdness is often insightful and a joy to hear about.
Likewise, when he reads my writing, I’ll ask him if he liked it, what was his favorite part, and did anything surprise him. “Was there anything you didn’t already know? Did you learn anything?” I ask. We spend almost all of our time together, so he knows my life. I feel excited when he learns something, from my writing.
talking to my body
The most surprising thing about the ritual realized was what I said to my body. I addressed the different parts of my body, one by one, asking them to let my friend go. That was the main work of the ritual realized.
I started with my crown, and worked my way down. At first, talking to the different parts of my body was awkward. I never really talked to my crown, before, or my third eye, or my mouth. Wow, yeah, talking to the talker.
Telling truths to my own body was intense. “Please let him go. He is not for you,” was a good thing to say and hear. Telling my arms that they would never hug my friend was a big deal. Telling myself, “It’s ok–you don’t need him. You never needed him,” was a big deal.
Was it true? Whether or not it’s true, that’s the reality I’m going for. What’s need? Good question. That question is part of the whole struggle.
Then when I took a few deep breaths, after asking my whole body to let my friend go, I noticed a change. My shoulders and upper back felt a sensation of lightness.
Wow, it worked. I was surprised that’s where I felt different. Not my heart, lungs, uterus. It makes me think of the phrase, “Get off my back.” Or the monkey, of course. Love can be an addiction for me, so there we go.
I was surprised by the gesture also, in the ritual realized. There were some options I’d thought of, when I wrote the ritual. But blowing a kiss is what happened. Afterward, that reminded me of when my friend and I zoomed, last. I blew him a kiss, and he blew one back. Yesterday I was randomly crying about that, the kiss so wanted, that will never land on my cheek, or wherever it was intended.
“I can’t make you love me,” is an idea that’s been with me for a long time. My mom thought if my dad loved her enough, he would stop abusing drugs, for her. It was always like that, for my mom–I witnessed decades of her pain–tears, anger, biting her tongue, sleepless nights, terror, rage. My dad would make so many promises, to quit, and never did.
Now as an adult, I see this same issue play out in my relationships. Trying to get a particular love from a particular person who has great intentions but lacks skills, motivation, self-awareness. Or worse, someone creepy might use me harshly, taking advantage of my big drive for love, to milk me for all he could before I wised up and pulled away.
Setting boundaries in our communities and in our own lives can be difficult, and feel so sad. But sometime losing someone is the best way to love them and love ourselves. Saying no can be an important part of love.
It was a great ritual. But a lot of work. Later than day, I was interviewed by David Rovics, which was wonderful but took up all my spoons. Thank you to Ming for caring for me before and afterward.
Also that day, I photographed some catkins and posted the pic on wiki commons. It was the second pic I’ve ever posted on wiki commons, so it felt great to follow through with what I want to do. I love CC0, which is public domain. I really need information to be free, and catkins are special to me, so I’m glad to give some pr to catkins.