fulfillment, sadness

  1. What was happening?  Paul and I are sitting in a noisy restaurant, meeting for supper to honor our time together, he the Director and me a vital faculty contributor to the Masters Program in Pastoral Counseling. I’m “retiring” from the program. We spend a couple hours wandering through our shared history, meanings, choices, and life purposes. He periodically acknowledges the value of my contributions. 
  1. How did it / does it feel in my body (then, and/or now).  As we are ready to leave, I am aware of a swelling fullness in my heart, flowing into my arms and hands, wanting to hug, to hold. There is a soft heaviness in my eyes, that feels like it is flowing out, to be seen. My jaw loosens with each exhale. There is a kind of warm, loving energy filling my whole body, radiating in a gentle glow. 
  1. What meaning did I / do I give to it?  I feel a wistful mixture of fulfillment and sadness. We accomplished so much together, and we get so much of each other’s worth and meaning on our separate paths. So much fullness, now ending. The fulfillment is in living out my life purpose: so many lives enriched with more understanding of feelings and relationships. The sadness is simple: one stream through which my life has flowed, is no more. 
  1. What did I choose to do with the energy? … and what happened…  I expressed my feelings to Paul in words. I felt a little awkward so doing. It was at the end of our time together. He was tired. Nonetheless, he got it. How significant this was for me. We hugged. I walked out breathing and honoring my feelings. When I got home, I just sat in my easy chair, breathed and wondered at all that has gone before to create such depth in the fulfillment, and the sadness. As a result of sitting with these feelings, I felt deeply enriched, and full of love.   
  1. Gathering Wisdom: What do I learn about myself? Continuing to honor my fulfillment and sadness as they flow together can add such a richness to this time of my life, easing the endings with an appreciation of all that has been. Talking to others about these feelings deepens them.  
  1. What do I choose to do now in response to my learning?  I will watch for this mix of fulfillment and sadness, honor it, breathe and feel it, and share it.


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