I’ve been spending more time within the recesses of my own mind, rather than posting on my blog here or on my other site, thefindingheartsproject.com. There were a series of events that, when lumped together made forward progress difficult, without first taking time to allow myself the beauty of grief and release.
I’m not entirely sure why they affected me as deeply as they do. Perhaps those of us who have experienced big losses when we were small, feel small losses as rather big later in life; This is at least, how I’ve come to see it in myself and others. Whether that is absolute truth, is a post for another day.
Nonetheless, I was meditating and the smell of the burning sage sifted into my nostrils as I felt the soft carpet beneath me and the bedframe supporting my rigid posture, hands resting gently on my intertwined knees. With each breath in and out, I kept watching thoughts of these losses and how they angered me some days, while overwhelming me with an aching sadness on other days. I spent a great deal of time over the bitter cold of Winter, trying to avoid feeling those particularly large emotions -disappointment, fear, abandonment, rejection, betrayal- because the smallest things seemed to set them off. What I came to realize in meditation and several silent sojourns into Nature whilst on runs recently or making my way to and from work, is that all it takes is a small spark to light a heart ablaze when the grenades that other people left behind, were never really disarmed in the first place and simply swept into an unused room, instead.
I spent the Winter eating my feelings, having one too many glasses of wine and saying that I was just being social or that if it’s daily red wine, “They do it in Europe, so what’s the big deal?” And if it wasn’t that, it was losing myself on mindless television binges on Netflix, curated with the bravado of someone expertly on the run from some visibly unknown yet painfully-obvious-to-others part of their life. I made myself an island because the less I had to interact with others, the more it abdicated me from paying attention to how I truly felt because there is no greater magnifying glass to sadness than trying to interact with others who were so far removed from the intricacies of that particular emotion. I gave back the reins to the depression that I had learned how to regulate and ease the effects of and recklessly gave myself over to its clutches, not caring about the spiral it sent me on.
While in meditation, the words of, “A Course in Miracles” raced through my mind, that nothing truly real can be threatened. It gave me enough pause and made me aware of the ache in my chest, like when you’re holding onto an emotion you can’t quite let out yet and it made palpable, the tenuous lump in my throat that signifies the coming tears. The epiphany caused a few tears to fall, because of the release and perhaps more importantly, the respite that the simple act of remembering this provided.
If nothing was real about the heartache and the relationships I idolized and placed so much importance on, they wouldn’t hurt the way they did. They also wouldn’t have stung to think about, because the real things don’t ever truly leave. The question then became not whether or not they were real, but whether or not I was focusing on the event or the emotion about those things, or the moment shortly afterwards. One gives life and the other constricts the flow of life to everything around it.
Was I looking at what was real about it or was I looking at the emotions without any impetus to move them forward?
What was real about each situation? The ending of a relationship without any real explanation after someone declared they loved you, and with whom you had out-of-this-world chemistry (unless they were even dishonest about that); The loss of a friendship because you dated someone and they turned out to be very different from who you thought they were; Not speaking to some family members by choice, because the toxicity of hearing one more time how awful you are is just too much.
These things hurt, but these things aren’t the real things.
The real things are the choices we make in the face of each event and the emotion it generates.
The real thing is choosing to see a person as going through a great deal and though not excusing poor behavior, choosing to release negativity so that you can do the loving thing and move on with your life because sometimes, you recognize, that when we’re hurting we can’t made decisions that don’t hurt others if that’s all we know in the moment.
The real thing is realizing that you had to make changes and you had no choice but to move forward from the negatives.
The real thing is understanding that not even family are obligated to you and that to expect this of them is to enslave them to your expectations, rather than allowing them to be who they are and as they need to be, because they are on their own journey in this life.
The real thing is not what happened, but what happens after that.
The real thing can’t be threatened because there’s no one there to take it away, other than your perspective and the choices you make after the event takes place.
It was all too easy for me to be caught up in remembering the losses and the pain of things I once cherished, no longer being present in my life. It becomes like a favorite playlist of guilty pleasures that for some reason you can’t figure out, you play on repeat until each word of the song loses its meaning because it’s been repeated so much. Time can be a cruel companion, because it grows in proportion to our need to learn from it, more than our desire for it grow our distance from the source and proportion of our pain. Despite this, I still came to understand what was real about each event that marked my timeline like a small birth or tiny death because until I remembered what was real, I gave each event a piece of me that made it impossible to move forward in any effective manner. My mind was reaching for a brilliant future while my feet stayed mired in the thick sludge of what happened with each person and over each event.
Rather than remembering the event itself that first stung, I realized that what I really needed to remember was who I was, a few short moments afterwards. The person that was and the riches she carried with her, was real and no breakup, no rejection, no ended friendship and certainly no family dispute can temper the coming of abundance through those means. They are the real things because who I was in the moments after each loss took place, meditation helped me remember, made way for me to forgive and once again open my heart and arms to the world around me.
Meditation helped me remember it and I wanted to pass it on so that you might remember too.
Remember who you were after it all went down. Remember who you were after the shit hit the fan. Remember who you were after the tears stopped falling. Not too far ahead, but those few seconds of grace and silence once the smoke cleared.
That’s real. That’s you.
That, is love and innocence in its purest form.
And that’s what will make you want to spread your wings, open your heart and soar once again.