Recently, I found myself thinking of an old boyfriend. I was thinking about him and wondering what had become of him and whether he was happy, and then I started thinking about our relationship.
You see, our relationship ended with no explanation. Whatsoever. One minute he was saying “I love you… I want to be with you… I want to see you,” and the next minute he was gone. Just gone. I had no reason why, no understanding, no discussion. No closure. I was left with questions…and a silent cell phone. It didn’t make sense to me. And, truth be told, it hurt.
Fast forward to today and my required reflections on relationships of old (all resurfacing as I write my new book – yay!), and what I discovered was that I was genuinely grateful. I felt gratitude toward him for walking away, because I wasn’t able to at the time. And in the end, “we” weren’t a good “we,” which I can see very clearly now.
We had a good relationship for a time. We both lost ourselves in each other a little, and we needed to. Both of us were post-divorce, feeling wounded, and ready for love and laughter again. And we found that in each other. Until we didn’t. And that’s ok.
Why is this all relevant today?
Because I was practicing a visualization exercise someone shared with me a long time ago. When the unwanted thoughts were interfering as I was writing for the book, I was “bubbling” them so as to contain them and their residual emotional energy. It’s a technique I (and many others) have used for years. And yet it somehow felt wrong this time. It felt like bubbling also squirreled away all the good feelings, keeping them separate from me as well. Why would I want to do that? (I don’t.)
Instead, I found myself envisioning a balloon.
A balloon is blown up with whatever we choose.
It’s not a bubble arbitrarily encircling the entirety of the object. It’s more deliberate.
So, I visualized a balloon, and into it I blew all the residual negative emotions from that experience (in truth, there were very few), and then I tied the knot and let go. I watched as it floated away above me. Interestingly, my hand reached up for the dangling string (we all have trouble letting go of things that once defined us, don’t we?). Just then, my other hand swooped in with scissors, and it cut the string making it shorter and out of reach. Away it drifted, into wherever. And it felt good.
It was then that I realized the powerful but important simplicity of my modification:
Bubbles pop (and whatever’s inside comes back out).
Balloons float away and seem to disappear.
Try it. You might like it. 🙂 xo
P.S. My balloon was red. What color is yours?