Apr. 29, 2020

THERE ARE NO GUARANTEES. WE ONLY HAVE TODAY.

During my lifetime, I’ve experienced the human suffering of others. I've cared for disabled orphans in China; volunteered to feed older street people in Atlanta; taught mentally disturbed youth in the DC Jail; tutored six year old sex offenders; and--until recently—taught special needs children with severe disabilities.

IT WAS ONLY WHEN MY TWO DAUGHTERS--children I had carried in my body and in my heart—chose to abandon me in 2011--- that I understood the meaning of the phrase “A lifetime of suffering.” My loss is permanent.  HURT and DEVASTATION have become my closest friends.

There are various kinds of pain but, over time, I’ve learned that emotional pain---pain that involves the most sensitive parts of the heart---can’t be treated with medicine, bed rest, counseling, or physical therapy. Time may dull the pain but it never goes away. Due to endless professional moves, my “life” has been stored in boxes.  Perhaps it’s no coincidence that an empty box led to my “emotional” adjustment.

Years ago, while living in Atlanta, Georgia, I took classes in Visualization. I learned that the mind has amazing powers--- undeveloped potential-- that can serve us in multiple ways that medicines, drugs, and psychiatry, are unable to do. Recently, I reflected on the classes that had improved my mind’s power over hurt and I “re-visited” the Art of Visualization. Some call it “mind over matter” but….whatever anyone chooses to call it…. I’m always happy with the results.

PLAIN AND SIMPLE, THIS IS HOW VISUALIZATION HELPS ME OVERCOME LOSS: I close my eyes and immediately visualize (picture) myself--- lifting piece by piece of my painful loss like--- long-ago pictures, memories, handwritten cards and letters, remembered words, clippings, items of clothing, smiles, tears ----- and placing each one-- into a large and empty white box. I unfold then neatly-tuck clean, white tissue paper all-around and on-top of each item as I layer item after item inside the open white box.  When I have no items left to place in the box, I close the box and carefully secure it with clear, strong tape.

Finally, I choose a permanent red marker to draw a large red heart on top of the box—before using a black marker to write an important message under the large red heart:

ATTENTION, OWNER’S INSTRUCTIONS. “PLEASE DO NOT OPEN OR SHARE UNTIL AFTER MY DEATH”.

SALLY MILLER