Wednesday, 29 June 2011

To Everything There is a Season

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us . . . 

You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.  ~Marianne Williamson

This quote jumped out at me.  

I have observed from other New Zealand transplants, and already for myself, that when you move a great distance from family and friends it can actually intensify emotionally intimate contact you have with those that are closest to you.  As one woman that came from Switzerland and had family an hour plane ride away in Finland shared, "I hardly ever saw my family.  We never made that trip.  Now we are talking regularly, we Skype and I can see them.  My sister had a baby and I've been with her every step of the way and the baby sees me and I see her . . . This wouldn't have happened if we'd still been so close to each other."  This is one of many accounts I have heard and from my personal experience I can see the reality of this dynamic.  

It is the people in our lives that are truly connected to us and truly happy for us and the opportunities we have been given that are willing to invest in weathering this move.  It is interesting.  As many of you, I have been there for friends during their crises.  I mean really been there, emotionally and physically, giving more to them than I gave to my family during their difficult periods.  One commented, "I don't know how you can give yourself so freely, I'm just not wired to do that . . ."  

But relationships evolve and change.  I was talking with my 23 year old daughter yesterday and as she shared about her life I remembered the realization when I was around her age that folks move on, and all of these people I am surrounded by right now won't be with me throughout my life.  That was a difficult wake up call for me at that age and now I'm having it again.  As my daughter stated, "Sometimes relationships have to move on because that is not what you need in your life right now . . . Those connections have served their purpose and it is time to move on so you can evolve."  This conversation between us was an example of how distance had us communicating with an intensity that our short snippets wouldn't have been conducive to when I was back in the U.S. 

And it is true that new relationships blossom and grow in the fertile ground our ability to connect and nurture others has created.  Without effort we have made some very meaningful friendships during this short time we have been here and I am in awe as I observe the selfless giving and kind nature of these new friends which feeds our burgeoning connections.  I 

am experiencing the joy of having my boys here right now, with their sister to soon follow.  Again, what would have been short snippets of interaction previously are now long, interesting conversations sharing about our writing or other creative endeavors, hiking, really experiencing life and enjoying being together.  When my kids were smaller I wasn't a big believer of the quality vs quantity of time argument: I just wanted to be with my kids as much as possible.  But at this age?  Knowing that you live an ocean and half a country apart?  The quality argument totally trumps quantity with our time we have in person to person contact and when we talk on the phone.  My kids have always been great at maintaining connection but the quality added with this distance holds a sweetness.  Of course I miss them all but how I love the depth of connection with them~ as I've already noted with the older ones as they went off to college and life.  

There are no rights and wrongs and I know it is different for everyone but thus far I have been very pleasantly surprised about the level of connection I can maintain with those that want to be connected.  As my 88 year old mother says every time we talk, "We are talking more than we did before . . . it just doesn't feel like you are gone."  

Life is full of transitions, it wouldn't be life if we remained stagnant, and sometime the natural weeding that comes through transition allows for beautiful new growth.  As one of my closest friends has observed in her life adventures, some folks just can't be happy for you and it brings up their own issues.  I'm sure she is right.  But right now, I am focusing on my own growth, not shrinking and, for once, less about fixing things for others and being the "connector" in my relationships.  

Gotta love technology for this transition, I know this would be a totally different story if I had made this move fifteen years ago.  I'll see you on FaceBook, I'm on Skype, you can email me day or night.  You see, I really haven't gone that far.

PS  I finished the first draft of my book.  Editing now, but soooo sweet to have it finished! (forgive structure of this post, Blogspot formatting went wackadoo)