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Let it Go

Good Morning My Confidants

It's Friday! Huzzah! Do you have fun plans for the weekend?

I'm heading out here in a little bit to help a dear friend prep for her big 31st wedding anniversary party, which is going to be a blast. I have been so blessed getting to help, as just a small way to thank her for helping with my recent "When I'm 64" party.

I got a huge disappointment yesterday.

A few days ago I was informed by FedEx that would be delivering my long anticipated Weird Barbie doll on the 16th (yesterday) although with their track record, I figured it might be today.

But then yesterday they changed it, and for some reason she won't arrive until Monday. I was surprised how sad it made me. I mean, I preordered her in August, and for the past week I've been watching people post how they've gotten there is in the mail. And I'm not getting mine until Monday?

It really seems so unfair.

But if you know me you know I try and turn everything around. I'll try and find the bright side. The silver lining.

Thing that I loved so much about my study of Buddhism was that what causes our suffering in the world is how we react to What happens to us. At first blush, that sounds horrible. It sounds wrong. First time I heard it I thought it was crazy. But in bit by bit by bit I began to see the wisdom. Of course, the suffering was my two weeks in the hospital with my gangrenous gallbladder. Of course, there was suffering on the way I was treated so horribly where I worked. Of course, it was horrible what I had to deal with when one of my closest friends became an alcoholic. Of course, it was horrible when I lost my beloved dogs. Of course, it was horrible when my first marriage, which I thought was a fairy tale, turned so bad when I discovered my husband was a cheating sex addict who through some miracle did not infect me with his HIV.

But what makes it really bad is getting caught up in it all. The brain swirl. The agonizing. The waking up every day with a heart that just ached and ached and ached....

But then I went on a silent retreat led by the Lamar Surya Das, author of the mind-boggling book, "Awakening the Buddha Within." I got the flat out ask him, "How many times am I going to have to let this go if I'm ever going to get past this?"

His answer was, "It might have to be every single day. But I promise you, if you let it go every day, one day you'll realize that you really did let it go...."

And one day I realized, I had let it go....

It's funny that almost 25 years later it occasionally pops up, because I am a romantic, and I thought that man was my Happily Ever After. But I really am happy, incredibly blessed.

I remember once working this job in a call center, and I had this incredibly tiny, horrible desk as my workspace, and it was not a happy situation. Almost everybody else had twice as much room. I asked my boss when I would ever get a better desk, and she told me once one of the other desks clears out. Then one day a lady got fired, we found out the next morning, so I asked if I was getting the desk, and my boss said no that they had already hired someone and given it to her. When I got mad, she shut me down, and she did it really rudely. I was really upset. It's hard to explain it, you had to be there. And the boss just did not give a s*** how I felt, which made it worse.

And then all I was learning hit me.

I had a horrible situation. As it is said in the First Noble Truth, life is suffering. And I was suffering. But the Second Noble Truth explains where the true suffering comes in it's our reaction to what is happening. Our thoughts about what is happening. And that we can control our thoughts. With practice, we can control how we react to what happens. Because what's the option? We can have the thing that is causing our suffering, and then make it 10 times worse. Or, we can have the thing that is causing our suffering, and then be determined to get past it.

Was I really truly going to let that bitch of a boss make my life shitty?"

So, with startling ease, I let it go. I just let it go. I held out my clenched fist, and I opened it up, and I let it go.

A few weeks later the new employee got fired and I was moved over to the big desk.

And with a gasp I realized that had I not let it go, the last three weeks would have been miserable. And for what?

So, I decided to let it go when it came to my Weird Barbie that I've been waiting for since August of last year. I let go of my frustration that you can't get a hold of anyone at FedEx, and I realized if I did it wouldn't make any difference. There was nothing that I could physically do to make Weird Barbie arrive any faster. Nothing. And getting angry and upset about it wasn't going to help, and it certainly wasn't going to push her through the air and into my hands any faster.

Weird Barbie will arrive sometime on Monday. First day of the week. The day when Noah will be at work. And so, finding a different way to look at it, that means I'll start my week with my new Weird Barbie!

And not only that, that allows me to focus on my brand new and wonderful and dazzling Ken Kouture doll! Nothing will take away from the joy of that fabulous new member of my doll family, of my OtherPeople! Do I want to be distracted from him? Of course I don't! So now I get to spread out doll fun! How great is that?

Buddhism teaches us that nothing is permanent, that everything is only here for a while. And yes that means the fairy tale of my first marriage went away. But it also means that the terrible misery I was in with that two-week hospital stay went away as well.

And so I hold things with an open hand. Reveling in the good while it's here and taking a deep breath and relaxing knowing that the sh*t will pass as well.

I hope that right now, you, reading this, are in the middle of one of those wonderful joyous times. Bless it! Be grateful for it! Be thankful for it! Remember how good it feels, and then if you're feeling bad at some point, think about how good today feels.

If you are in the middle of one of those rough times know this, it really does get better. That's one thing I know it's 64, looking back at my life. There have been some hellacious times, but I've gotten out of every single one of them. And right now, things are pretty fabulous.

I'm 64 years old and I'm a silly ol' queen with two husbands that I love dearly and some amazing friends. I don't know how much time I have left, but I'll tell you this. I'm going to make every minute count.

I hope you'll join me.


BG "Gentle Ben" Thomas

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