Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's more like Neapolitan Ice Cream than Rocky Road

FROM ANGIE HOOPER: I have a couple of friends, Sweet Pea and Sweet Tea, who were glad to see the end of 2009. Each of them individually experienced a series of events in this past year of a magnitude that could have brought down an elephant: rejection by loved ones, loss of family, job stress, money troubles, health concerns (to name a few categories of experiences they have in common). The difference between them right now is in how (and whether) they are attempting to make peace with these events. There's more than one way to make that peace--I like the techniques I've learned at the Option Institute and through studying Barry Neil ("Bears") Kaufman's books. Sometimes, I think beliefs and the emotional responses we create are like the flavors in the box of Neapolitan ice cream -- it's all ice cream, but I have a choice about which flavor I try first.

Sweet Pea's choice seems captured best by her declarations that she is "not going to get over" the loss of her loved one. She may be gradually becoming a living tombstone to commemorate tragedies of 2009. This is her way of expressing her continuing love, and that gives her actions a surprising beauty even as the sacrifice consumes her. That's not my flavor, but when I remember not to judge it, I understand why it appeals to her.

Sweet Tea is reading a copy of Happiness is a Choice. She is beginning to embrace the possibility that she could feel happiness and comfort again. Yesterday, that seemed unlikely to her. But who knows? Sweet Tea may be discovering that she's on the path of the shaman, the path of the god-seeker, the path that gives you a chance to strip down to your bones and then rebuild yourself from core beliefs in the sweetness of creation, the blessing of life and hope. Not "hope for a better tomorrow", but hope that comes from recognizing that today is as it should be, even when events suddenly and unexpectedly unfold. That sounds delicious, too.

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