The Gift of Separation

The Gift of Separation

I was recently fortunate enough to take a complete leave of my ordinary life for a few weeks.

I am generally contented with my normal life. I am blessed in so many ways. But, at the same time, like most people, I’m enmeshed in my everyday life. I also have the usual entanglements that all humans have – a job, family, friends, habits.

The amazing thing about being able to leave my life for a few weeks, was that I was able to shed it almost completely. While it was filled with activity, it was an utter and complete break from my normal life. I was able to escape my deeply enmeshed and ingrained routines and relationships for a short, but refreshing time. It was like when a heart removed from the body during a transplant. Somehow the heart remains alive, while at the same time it is clamped off from every blood vessel that feeds it.

Travelling to places so completely outside of my ordinary routine, also allowed me to escape from my usual bonds of language, food, and familiar locales. I was separated from all of the everyday things, that create the very fabric of my life.

Not surprisingly I enjoyed this change for awhile. But after a few weeks, I was starting to long for someone to immediately understand me, wanting familiar food, and not to be perpetually lost.

In some ways it was a shock to come back. It was the longest I’d ever been away from my kids. It was shocking to see my kids, even for a few moments, as strangers. While it was a bit of a shock, it was also a gift. It gave me the gift of being able to REALLY look at my life.

In the magical time between arriving back, but not quite being settled back into my ordinary life, I was able to see my life, with outsider’s eyes. I could see my life afresh. I could see my life in a way that I could never see it while I was enmeshed in it.

This thousand-mile view allowed me to see and feel what is truly important to me.

So what was the most important thing?

Simple. The people I love and that love me. Not just those who I love and love me with a capital “L”, but the people all around me that show me so much affection and attention every day. I realized how many people give me love – in person and on-line – every day.

I not only missed these people, I could feel how their attention and affection feeds me every day, and keeps me physically and spiritually alive. Like a heart waiting during a transplant, I could not wait to be back in the body, connected again. I longed to be re-nourished and replenished by their love flowing into me, and my love flowing out to them.  The reconnection was made even sweeter by being able to see and feel its value when it was not there.

I was reminded yet again, that the most important residue of our lives, when all is over, is the love we gave and we received. The most important things we have accumulated are the relationships we have with those we love, and who love us.

It is an illusion that we are separate from each other.  And yet, my perception of separation gave me the gratitude of the love that surrounds me.  My reconnection made me appreciate my place in the One.

I recently read a quote that said when one enters Heaven, one is asked only two questions. “What did you learn?” and “How did you love?”. If those questions are ever posed to me, I hope I can say that I learned that love is the most important thing, and that loved as much as I was able. 

I’m renewing my vow to myself to spend as much time as I can with my friends and family, and not only during the holidays. I need to give and receive love, because it is the nourishment that feeds my body and soul.

Much love to you dear readers!


Do you need some help getting clear of your life’s entanglements? Do you need me to help you with a thousand-mile view? Email me today at, and I’d be happy to help you re-discover.

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4 Responses to The Gift of Separation

  1. Hi Kara,
    What a wonderful article. Yes, sometimes it takes an absence from our regular lives to step out of it and see it afresh, as you say. The only thing that matters is the love we gave and received from the people around us. Thanks for this reminder – we humans all need to read it over and over…..

  2. conduitofjoy says:

    Thanks Angela. It is so easy for me to forget this lesson, and I have to keep learning it over and over again myself. :)

    I hope we can all remember this at Christmas, when so often we get more focussed on events or gifts being “perfect” than whether we enjoyed the company of others, and showed them love and compassion.


  3. Well, this was lovely and I was able to really pick up what you were feeling and the wonderment of coming back into your life and seeing it with new eyes. Really enjoyed this beautiful piece of writing.

    (Missed you big time, as you know!)

  4. conduitofjoy says:

    Thanks. It always amazes me the things I have to KEEP remembering.


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