Some time ago, I lost my wedding ring.
I know what you’re thinking. “Oh my God, what did your wife say?”
Well, actually she said nothing, because we have been divorced for over ten years.
“Huh?” I hear you think.
Well, it’s like this. We were divorced in 2000 and, of course, I stopped wearing my wedding ring. It was a nice ring with little diamonds and a stone called tourmaline. Didn’t look like a wedding ring at all. I liked that ring.
So, recently, I hauled it out of the box I kept it in, along with stuff relating to other memories and I started wearing it again. I wore it as a pinky ring as some men do.
It was a little too big for that finger and kept sliding down the finger. I told myself that if I didn’t get the ring re-sized, I was going to lose it. Guess what? I did.
After a moment of sadness over the ring, I felt more than a moment of sadness about the loss of my marriage. Oh my!
Here it is ten years since I have even seen my ex-wife and I am still carrying some grief about our marriage. Is that odd? Actually, no, I think many of us carry around grief about past losses.
Isn’t that why we have boxes full of old pictures and stuff that we never look at. Our memories take up space in our mental lives, like old furniture in an attic.
In her poem, “How Do I Love Thee” Elizabeth Barrett Browning says:
“I love thee with a passion put to use in my old griefs…”
I don’t know for sure what Liz meant by that but it has always struck me that she was saying she used to spend a lot of her emotional energy grieving and now she has turned that energy to loving her husband, Robert Browning, the person she wrote that poem for.
What if we could turn all the energy we use grieving past events to something more useful, more life enriching?
Meditation on the Past
To live richly, we must transform ourselves daily. Yet there is no transformation without pain and loss. I will throw out the past and let go of grief so that I can live into the person I am becoming rather than live in the pain of my past.