Where did I go?

Something odd is going on in the wake of my hip replacement–I seem to be disappearing. Or, at least, the me I’ve known on the outside. Looking back, I know this has been going on for awhile. But now it seems to be accelerating.

Last week I threw a bunch of my shoes in a bag to give away. This week I tossed in my makeup and toenail polish. Today, I wrote a letter announcing I’m giving up my studio/office where I have taught belly dance, yoga and tai chi for the past 4 years. I have decided I enjoy being in the water more than I enjoy being on land. I used to have to be busy and on the move all day long. Now I can spend hours sitting in a sunbeam, petting the cat and meditating.

Where did I go?

A calm voice in my head asks, “So, who have you lost? Aren’t you still here?”

I recognize this as the voice of my ever-present Witness who watches my ever-changing life unfolding. This Presence is always here, calmly and patiently watching and recording it all, and occasionally, abruptly changing the direction of my outer life. I think this is the part of me that is part of God or Spirit. It is that which never changes. I find it in my meditation, when I drop below the waves of day-to-day thinking and feeling, and into the Ocean of Awareness.

“So, who has disappeared?”

The who that used to care about those shoes, who wouldn’t go out in public without makeup or toenail polish, who took pride in a body that was strong and moved gracefully, who thought she was only what she could do for or give to others, the one whose only value was doing and not being.

“Do you miss her?”

No, actually, I don’t. She was a lot of work, and I’m tired. I’m relieved to be rid of her. I don’t quite believe she’s gone. I’m afraid she’ll come back and take over again.

But, then there are other parts of my human personality who are afraid of losing her.¬†There is a childlike part who tries to fit in and find playmates in this world. She finds the changes of direction distressing. She doesn’t know what to tell her playmates. She’s afraid they won’t want to play anymore. There’s an adult part who is desperately trying to balance all this and make sure the bills are paid, there’s food in the frig, and the bed got made this morning. There’s a part who is Scott’s partner, my mother’s daughter, my friend’s friend, my aunt’s niece. I suppose there are thousands of parts of me who relate in some way to the outside world and they are all afraid of becoming obsolete, or unacceptable.

“That which is no longer needed does become obsolete, disappears, passes away into something else, transforms. Let it be.”


Well now, isn’t this interesting? Only part of me is fading away, a part I don’t need anymore. I’m happier and more serene, even if I’m a little lost at the moment. I know the cat likes me better. Scott is thrilled (he told me so). And, honestly, it’s not about what other’s think anymore. I’m finally free to be ME, whoever that is.

2 thoughts on “Where did I go?

  1. Marlene Williamson

    WOW! Can I ever related!! You bet!!! I have gone through a similar transition/realization the last few years. With many changes in my life………nearly dying from a staph infection (just for starters), the REALLY important things have become much clearer. Like you, the makeup doesn’t matter that much anymore…..the nail polish……….the shoes………those aren’t WHO we are! At this point in my life, I am more aware of who I really am. You said it so well, my Dear! Thank you!

    1. Rhonda Ashurst Post author

      I didn’t know you before your battle with staph. Interesting that it also brought clarity and change for you. I absolutely find that these brushes with mortality and disability transform us in profound ways. I must say that I have always thought you are beautiful, inside and out. I think it is the luminosity of your spirit which shines through! Who needs makeup and toenail polish!

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