How can you miss….

12 06 2006

….a place you've never experienced?

Sue Bailey

I'm feeling a longing for Tanzania that reminds of the ache of wanting to see a loved one that has been gone too long. But I haven't been there yet. I'm almost afraid to think about it. Maybe that's why I've put it to the back of my mind for the past couple of months. And maybe why I've put so much space between my traveling partner and I. A part of me is so afraid of some illusion I've held all my life of "Africa" breaking with reality.

It's similar to having a fantasy for years and years, acting it out and then losing the mirage. The wonder of reality can amaze and usually opens unimaginable worlds, but….frequently the fantasy fades or disappears. And sometimes that's a healthy thing, but sometimes it's also sad.

I'm afraid of losing my idealistic Africa…afraid to let go of that image I've held all my life. It's necessary, I know. But there's a sadness/fear mixing up; likely indicative of something larger going on inside.

Anyone close to me knows that I have more than a healthy dose of idealism swirling around in this cloud I walk through on a regular basis. And I'm sure my resistence to actually look at and acknowledge reality has driven more than one person nuts. What can I say? It constitutes one of my on-going struggles. I wonder if I should start "Idealists Anonymous"? Maybe it's not necessary; I don't know.

This trip has shown me that I am often afraid of facing a truth and this fear manifests in saddness, resistance and shutting the situation out.

(My friend Sue painted the picture above. I tried to think of words to describe her, but kept coming back to: "If a truth can be spoken, it is no longer a truth.")

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2 responses

29 06 2006
Sue

I’ve found the hardest times in my life have been when I am faced with killing the fantasy of whatever it is I am focused on at that particular moment. In experiencing relationship problems, I came to realize that I was holding dear to me the fantasy of what a relationship/marriage is ‘supposed’ to be. When I took the time to recognize that the preconceived notions I had were giving me very unrealistic expectations for behavior from myself and my espoused, I was freed from the allegiance to those expectations. When I stopped expecting things to be as they were in my presupposed fantasy, I started enjoying what I really had all along. This is not to say that I don’t experience a grieving process with the death of the fantasy… I definitely do… Die fantasy, Die!

26 07 2006
dayna

Yeah, that speaks a lot to living in the moment…being persent, without expectations or preconceptions. Relationships are definitly good testing/training ground for that; all relationships.
The thing is, often when I’ve let go of my ideal, I find that I let go of some associated pain or discover/experience something wonderful and with more depth than I could have imagined.

Why do we hang on to those ideals so tenatiously? What protection do we think they are providing?

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