Tuesday, June 22, 2010

An Apology for an Unintentional Insensitivity

In my latest blog post, I wrote: “I’ve lived in homes that have not truly been my own. As this year of upheaval comes full circle, I begin life anew in my own space, with my own belongings, and on my own terms.” I lived in the basement of my parents’ home in Owensboro for several months while my mom went through her dying process. Then I moved to Evansville, into my boyfriend’s place. In my post, I spoke of how I’ve not lived in my own space with my own belongings which have been a part of what makes me feel at home, as I did in Colorado. I know that things aren’t what make a home, but having the familiarity of these personal items offers comfort and some sense of grounding.

Dan invited me to live with him at the end of October, and I accepted as I needed to be closer to Evansville, and I wanted to be closer to him. He opened his home to me and welcomed my two dogs and me, despite his unfamiliarity with pets. He even purchased a cabinet I admired in a local consignment shop and installed it while I was away, as a surprise. Dan rearranged furniture that met some of my space needs and let me rearrange the kitchen completely. I had the privacy during the day while he was at work to grieve the loss of my mom, my job, my life in Colorado AND to figure out “what’s next” in my new life in the Tri-State area. Dan’s generosity was invaluable to me during a difficult time in my life. He opened his home and defined it as “our” home, and for that, I am forever grateful.

In my careless mention of not being in my own home, I was unconscious of my insensitivity to Dan’s gesture and the fact that indeed his home was my home, and for this I am truly sorry. Despite our estranged relationship of late, Dan was a lifeline for me and I didn’t mean to demean our time together in “our” home. Upon my decision to move into my own space, I felt I needed a fresh start and re-establish myself, re-group and re-evaluate who I am in my own place while I move through these latest life transitions. “Living life on my own terms” references my need to build a career of my own design that feeds my heart and soul, allow my dogs the room and yard they deserve to live their final few years out, and having sacred space to do my own spiritual work as well as that in my service to others. My own terms involves living life without the sorrow of losing my mom, and starting life in a new state, town and community that has made me feel welcome from day one.

If we have a reaction to something someone says or writes, it’s important to address it in inquiry, so that we may better understand another’s intention, as well as raise awareness if someone has been insensitive or unintentionally hurtful. In addressing the matter calmly, gently and gracefully, much suffering and brain damage can be eliminated for one or both parties. Simple misunderstandings happen all the time, and making assumptions can be dangerous, and ruin relationships of any kind. Ask questions; communicate without fear, and eliminate the heartache of hurt, disappointment, and upset for yourself, and sometimes, even for others.


QEST for Health said...

Carolyn, your vulnerability and generosity in sharing is touching. May you have much healing, peace, and all the fresh starts you need!

Anonymous said...

Hi Carolyn,

Unfortunately you will not be able to live your life without the sorrow of losing your mom. That sorrow will always be with you, and is one of the experiences that shapes your life and defines who you are.