June 17, 2013

Love, Loss & the Path to Healing. ~ Mary Serphos

The striking potency of what we shared lingered, simmered and brewed recklessly in my mind.

Perhaps the power lay in what wasn’t there. This connection expressed itself differently from any other in my life. With this link came touch so evocative, so intense; but it held itself without pushing to go further.

It didn’t lead down the usual path. Instead of locking lips, getting fully unclothed and having sex, we rested right there, in the fiery space, the dance before the action. And as we held one another, the electric current between two willing and open bodies radiated deeply.

A match we were in the moment, not for long-term relationship. The experience was passionate, poetic, transformative and medicinal. We were both clear about this with ongoing communication and a mutual understanding.

Neither of us wanted to regret going further, ending up with the customary possessive, obsessive, you are mine-I am yours trajectory.

The magic between us arose in the tender stillness and deep knowing that comes from a place deep within. What was explicit was the revelation inherent in this shared quest. The goal was to remain free, evolved, present and stunningly alive. It was powerful, healing and exactly what both of us needed in that moment.

After the connection took a sharp and painful turn, I was mired in a longing, a hunt for resolution, a desire to feel him next to me again. The stream of thoughts was harrowing, persistent and infused with a pit deep in my stomach. I was distracted, trying with all my might to resist the unsightly feelings.

I ran away and drove South on 101, rolled down the windows and let the wind run through my hair, blasting songs with Spanish lyrics that reminded me of my first time spent on the beach in Costa Rica. I fed myself dark chocolate and sipped on a cafe au lait. And I stopped briefly, to dance, to observe, in order to flee from the pain.

All this worked to distract me but, not surprisingly, pulled me deeper into misery. The feelings, named loneliness and longing, came on with a vengeance. I looked around and cursed the couples I saw before me intertwined in one another’s arms and embrace. Watching them trace their fingers along one another’s faces made me feel sick to my stomach.

But I knew better. I knew that anger, escape and repulsion would get me nowhere. I wondered when the compassion for myself and others return? Where did my reverence for everything, even the shadow side of things, disappear to?

With a futile edge, my mind carried me into a story, the story that has been told many times before by millions before me: the story of love and loss.

The wicked world of illusion arose in my imagination. I imagined him angry and and distant and even worse—indifferent. But was this true? I didn’t know, I only imagined. The pain that I felt blamed for and then felt guilty for was not mine to hold on to. It seemed that a bit of communication might be the salve to my open wound, but I resolved to stay quiet and resist any urge to reach out.

I noticed my mind taking tumbling twists when just a few days before it was finely tuned like a graceful gymnast perfectly balanced on a beam. “Why was this happening?” I asked myself, gripped in resistance and fear. We had resolved not to get caught up, not to get emotionally attached. For a moment I could literally feel an achy pull down into the palpable misery of darkness and despair.

It was then I realized that this was not about him and me; it was about my past—other relationships, other losses that were compounded here in this moment and his rejection was the button that set me off.

The proverbial “baggage” I carried. The void where the scars, wounds and losses from the past were buried down inside. In this moment, they were all revealed and unearthed.

The revelation thrust itself on me and at the same time, in that brief second of helplessness, I was invited by another voice, the caring voice of a friend to dive into the mystery of the experience and look to the future with a new paradigm—one of wonder.

It helped to receive this simple yet evocative request to help re-wire the thought pattern that had me stuck. I breathed a long needed sigh of relief, resolved to let it all go and yet rest in the wisdom of being immersed deep in emotion. What helped loosen the grip in that moment were these words; calming and thought provoking words spoken by a caring soul.

From there, the despair took a turn. I continued to use words to heal, by reading quotes and essays that calmed, articles, books, Facebook quotes and little bits of advice from dog eared pages in magazines. These words lightened me, and solace came about as I dove deeper into meaning, into the collective experience of loss and released the illusion that I was alone in this pain.

The words I read formed a string of hope and succeeded in the slow re-opening of my heart. Even though the urge to escape, numb the discomfort and run away was still fierce, more than anything I knew somehow that I needed, in that brief moment, to steep in the sadness, anger and what seemed like irrevocable torment. I needed to be there, to feel, to tumble and crash as we all need to do from time to time… and then come out from the dark demonic world into the light.

Reverting into the darkness is what gives life a deeper meaning and acts as a compass to deepen the journey in order to guide us back—back to a recovered and open heart.

And with the wind, with music, with time and with the words spoken and written by others, it all changed, as it always does.

The words I heard and read and now write are the answer, the elixir to help heal. Open creative expression in order release the psyche out of it’s misery and small-minded egotism has been a magic potion for love and loss for centuries.

The words along with the moving, shaking, dancing, stillness, silence and listening brought me back to my heart where compassion and love are stunningly and potently alive.


Mary Serphos is founder and owner of The Aware Body, a certified Holistic Health Coach, Nutrition Consultant, Licensed Psychotherapist, Children’s Mindfulness Teacher and  Freelance Writer. She received her graduate degrees from The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and from Smith College School for Social Work. Mary currently lives in Marin County California after living in Costa Rica for two years. When she’s not helping clients supercharge their eating routine, writing or teaching children Mindfulness in Fairfax, California, she likes to create alchemy in the kitchen and get purposely lost in nature and love.


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Assistant Ed: Ben Neal /Ed: Bryonie Wise


{Photo: via Ehren on Pinterest}

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