I’m talented, a genius actually—I’m a master of feeling pain.
When I’m in pain, I don’t try to escape it, I curl up within its womb and I don’t birth myself until I’m ready to breathe again.
I’m the one with the puffy eyes and dry skinned nostrils. I share my feelings until my throat is sore and my fingertips throb from typing my anger, frustration and sadness into words.
The heartache I feel now is excruciating, the deepest of grief I have ever endured. This heart ache has triggered experiences and traumas I thought I released, let go of, but I haven’t—because I have not forgiven them.
I have prepared myself for this time. This time, I will forgive it all, because I am ready. The master within me will not allow the student to skip class this semester.
For the last month and a half, I have tended to this pain every day. I am not distracted—I am listening.
When we show up and we pay attention, we learn. I know this from experience. I am doing my work—extracting the knowledge from my experiences. I honor the responsibility I now have, to transform my knowledge into action. As I do this, I receive the reward of wisdom. Wisdom allows us to live in the clear—to pick from the ripened awareness that is always growing inside of us.
My intention of this article, is to offer another (experiencing the same grief) support and insight. I have faith in this pain and process of healing.
I know I will reflect on this period in my life and say, “Thank You.” In fact, I’m already saying it.
1. If we all loved the same way, we would never hurt. If we all cared for each other the same way, we would never know pain.
Love is not enough, it must be married to something else, understanding. Without understanding, love is forgotten.
Love is a commitment to understanding each person has their own perception (the way they see the world). This is their truth and as one who loves them, I must honor their truth.
Truth is not right or wrong. Feelings are not right or wrong, they just are.
When I love another, I am choosing to understand and accept them for who they are and how they feel, as they experience life. If I am unable to accept another for who they are or their perceptions, the most loving thing I can do, is let them go so they may be understood and loved fully.
Everyone deserves to be understood. When we are understood, we are loved: when we are loved, we are free.
2. There is no room for excuses in an apology.
When I add a ‘but’ after an apology, I negate it. I replace ‘but’ with ‘no.’ “I’m sorry, no (I will not apologize).”
If I give an apology and a ‘but’ follows, I retract it and I wait. I do not apologize until I am willing to go all the way. When I decide to apologize, I own my actions completely. The impetus for my reaction is insignificant.
No one controls my actions, I do, nor am I the cause or the owner of another’s actions or reactions. I am not that powerful. Action is a personal endeavor.
How I decide to act and react is 100% my choice.
I see apologizing the same way. Giving an apology is like giving a gift, it doesn’t belong to you. It is not about you. Give it freely not with burden, “Do you know what I had to go through to give you this gift?”
No, when we give a gift we give it free and clear. A true apology is the same. It doesn’t matter what I went through prior, the recipient is not responsible for my actions and as one who loves them, I must honor their truth and if their truth says they are hurt, they are hurt.
The heart doesn’t need an explanation, it needs to be heard.
As one who loves another we give an offering, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I hurt you. I honor you. How can I help heal your heart?”
What do we do when we don’t receive an apology we think we ‘deserve?’
Right now, I am trying to accept that I might never receive an apology. It is my work to forgive without this acknowledgment. My hurt is my hurt and if I place that on anyone else, I’m the one suffering. No one is that powerful. Another’s actions do not determine my emotional freedom. I have a choice to keep hurting, or forgive myself for giving someone else the power to influence the eternal happiness of my heart.
I choose forgiveness, no buts about it.
Which brings me to the wisdom of wisdoms…
3. “It is none of my business, what other people think of me.”
I went back to therapy a month ago. I knew it was time to do more work. As I speak with a person who validates my perception, I have reawakened to the law of the heart—I have no right to allow my self worth to be influenced by someone else’s opinion of me.
For my entire life, I have allowed my worthiness to fluctuate based on the tides of other’s opinions from parents to lovers, to friends, to strangers. In reflection, I recognize I was relying on my relationship to nourish my worth and it left me starving.
Last week (in perfect order), I had an interaction with someone whom I have not spoken with or seen in months. This person’s connection with me over the past six months, has been through my Facebook posts and articles. She sent me a message regarding a writing I had posted. At the end of the message she said, “I miss the optimistic way you used to see the world.”
I read this upon returning to my computer from a wrist circling, knuckle cracking break. I had been sitting outside watching in awe as two hummingbirds flirted in the air, a hawk circled above and a blue jay flew into the tree nearby.
I erupted in goosebumps at the sight of these gorgeous creatures. I began to cry with joy. In that moment, I felt like screaming, ”God, thank you for allowing me this life.” Even in the grief, life is bright. I know that.
This message was the wake up call I needed. Her comment was not about me, it was about her. I had begun to crack the window to my psyche. I almost allowed her opinion to waft inside, but I stopped.
I decided right then, no more. I will not allow anyone’s opinion positive or negative to be the barometer of my worthiness because, I am enough.
Even if someone else does not think I am, I am enough. I am wanted. I am desired. By who? If by no other human being, I am wanted and loved by the universe, because I am here– I am alive.
4. Rejection Creates Connection.
Rejection has encouraged me to reach out and ask for help, to ask for support. It has enriched and strengthened friendships I did not expect and naturally dissolved friendships which were not sustainable or healthy.
Most importantly, rejection has catapulted me back inside. I have discovered refuge in my own arms. During this time, I am reminded I am and have always been there, ready to give myself everything I have always wanted and needed.
5. Turn Around and Have My Back.
Relationships, are like sharing a long leisurely lunch with another person. Two people sit across the table from one another, each looking in a different direction. They talk, they share, they smile, maybe they argue. They sit until one person or both decide it is time to get up from the table.
The other day, I had lunch with a new friend. She suggested we go to a restaurant overlooking the beach. We sat outside—I faced the ocean and she faced the mountain.
We were sharing relationship experiences when the overwhelming majesty of the ocean swept me away. “You must turn around for a moment. It is just so incredible. The waves, the people. Look at that.”
Without hesitation, she turned around. “I feel so blessed to be here, you know? Wow.”
“That’s it!” I rejoiced. “The simple action of turning around is the key to understanding. The willingness to turn around is a pure act of love and the foundation of a longevous and functional relationship.”
The direction we face is our view and our truth. When we commit to a partner, it is our job to honor our truth and our partner’s truth—to turn around once in a while. It does not serve the relationship to remain turned around all of the time, because we are given our view for a reason, a purpose—to live authentically, to offer the world a different perspective. In a relationship, the purpose of our view is to have our partner’s back. To protect them and encourage them to see what may be behind them or in their blind spot.
If the person across the table is unwilling to turn and admire the ocean waves or I the mountains, we would be neglecting the opportunity to see the world through each other’s eyes. We will remain blind—misunderstanding and feeling misunderstood.
As humans, we yearn for another who will have our back and who wants to turn and look at our view with appreciation, because even in difference, our mutual understanding and respect will allow us to stay at the table to connect a little bit longer and love each other completely.
This last week I have taken a vow I will remain loyal to for the rest of my life and maybe, you will too—
I am worthy of being loved for exactly who I am.
I will only allow people in my life who accept all parts of me–
my past, my present, my dreams, my thoughts and my feelings.
I will not waste another moment in any relationship that does not uplift me,
validate my perception as my truth and support me completely.
~ Rebecca Lammersen
Like elephant love on Facebook.
Ed: Sara Crolick