The ring was still in my drawer, divorce long final, years of grieving and letting go under my belt. So WHY was I dreaming that I was again (still?) with the man who has not been my husband for 12 years?

I had just returned from an amazing trip to Guatemala. I’d been home for about 5 days and was crankier than all get out. Or another way of saying, I was really triggered. We had stayed along the exquisitely beautiful lake Atitlan (considered a power vortex along with the pyramids). The tour group was congenial and sweet, and I was sharing this adventure with a man I’m newly in love with. What’s not to rejoice about?!? And I did the whole time I was in Guatemala.

In a way, I wanted to blame the feelings on Guatemala. There is another side to Guatemala that wrenched our hearts. Behind the kindness and beauty are horrific stories of The War (more in future blogs) nature’s devastation, the loss of culture by the conquest of the country. The people’s losses are so palpable. Yet, I know better. I know that it is certainly easy to carry the energy of Other home.

I also know that the pain of Other is most often felt when our own pain has been triggered.

I do not want to minimize how I was viscerally and emotionally impacted by the sorrow of Guatemala and, of course, some of that lay heavy in my heart upon returning. Yet to be so triggered for a week upon returning was a sign for me to look at what had personally been awakened in me during my travels.

So I did what I’ve learned to do. Wait.

I waited till the trigger was strong enough to grab my subconscious attention and materialize into my dreams. And that is when I woke up and wondered after all these years and all this work, what was I still hanging onto? Why was I dreaming about someone I haven’t even seen in years?

I realized that a small 20 something year old part of me had made a vow. And she believes in vows. Till death do us part. I often said to myself that the death of the marriage counted as the death of us. But apparently an innocent and sincere younger version of me didn’t agree. This same part of me is witnessing a new kind of love, one based on maturity and keeping communication fresh and clear. Being seen and seeing someone and being so adored despite our flaws activated a deep feeling of loss for not having experienced that during my 25-year marriage.

Through a writing process, I asked my 20 something what she needed. The answer came, “Sell the ring.” The gold wedding band that I had intended to sell years ago when the gold prices were still at an all-time low, got put back in the drawer until the prices rose again. Then forgotten.

One week after I returned from one of the most amazing trips of my life, I did a ceremony. I laid flowers on an altar, lit a candle, and placed a photo of a happy day a few decades ago with a man I had made a vow to and loved. The ring was placed front and center. I spoke out loud saying thanks to all that was sweet and good then.  Then I released both of us from our vow made in November of 1980! The next day I drove all over Santa Rosa to jewelry stores and pawn shops and sold that sweet delicate gold band. When I left the shop, I felt like a huge weight had been lifted.

Today, I make a new set of vows: to keep myself healthy, to live life to the fullest, to love as much as I can, find joy in the little moments of life and share as much as I can about how to release blocks to joy.

You don’t need to do a ceremony to release (although it really helps a lot). But at least consider this:
What vow do you still have that you want to release?

What vow(s) would you like to make instead?