So this is what it feels like to be shattered by the one we loved.
It hurts so badly I feel like I can’t breathe. But I must.
At the very least, I must draw breath. Our breath is life and it is healing.
Right now, the pain is almost debilitating. I am frozen with it.
It hurts to think, to breathe, to move, to plan, to dream, to hope.
And then I go back to numb. I guess that’s part of the defense mechanism of detachment kicking in.
Maybe it’s shock.
God knows, I am no expert. For the first time in life I have uncovered real love within myself, thus allowing me to truly love others. The only thing with love is that it puts us in a vulnerable place. We are open to being hurt by those we love.
It’s a risk we must take if we want love in our lives.
The only thing to help this feeling at the moment is to just breathe into it. This is where we can find that true nature Pema Chödrön speaks of—our bodhichitta.
I’ve been in pain before, physically, mentally, and emotionally, but not like this. That other pain I speak of was of my own making—and it has nothing on this pain I feel now. I was used to that other pain, it was familiar.
It was my comfort zone. I knew it well. This, though—this is something different entirely.
This is the emotional equivalent to the physical pain I felt that time I had to get my bone marrow removed so they could stage my cancer. They drilled into my pelvic hip bone while I was awake and sucked out some marrow. I felt it, like a corkscrew going into a rock, that’s how it felt. I remember that day, trying to breathe through it—the one other time in my life it hurt so bad I almost couldn’t breathe.
It was one of the few times in my life I screamed out from physical agony.
This pain, this is like that. I don’t know how else to describe it.
I almost can’t breathe. That’s just my mind though, saying that. My mind wants to shut down and run from it. Instead, this is where we can incorporate all that yoga practice into our lives off the mat, and we can breathe into that vulnerability. There we can find the freedom.
The habits of my practice are kicking in and I am bringing myself back to my breath.
And to think it came from words. Words have real power to wound, don’t they. It’s funny though, after a certain point of breaking, the words lose their power too. It just becomes like the sound of the adults in a Charlie Brown movie to me. There’s noise but I can no longer hear anything beyond a buzz. I have detached from the words so they can no longer cut so deeply.
I can’t help but wonder if I am broken beyond repair now? Is it possible to be pushed too far by our dear ones, too far that we can’t come back? I don’t have the answers. I wish I knew, but I don’t.
I have never been in this place before.
That’s the problem though—the thinking. Thinking doesn’t heal or solve anything.
The breath does. Time does. And action does.
In our breath we can taste a sliver of hope.
I live in a practice of compassion, understanding and forgiveness. Which right now makes it harder for me, because I feel both of our suffering. I understand that when we suffer, that is when we speak the way that we do to others. I’m not blaming or even judging it anymore. It just hurts so much that it consumes me. Forgiveness just takes away the anger, but the pain is still there underneath it all, throbbing and pulsing.
But in breathing into it, I find it a little more bearable.
Everyone has darkness, so I knew we both did too, and I believed in the power of light over it. I thought my light could be enough for us while we fired your light up more brightly. I was willing to help find that place.
“No matter what,” I said.
But that was me being the naive optimist I fear, because my “no matter what” didn’t include this suffocation.
It didn’t include being reduced to a screaming, shouting, crying, cursing, mug-throwing, wall-punching, hateful lunatic by another person’s actions, because in that moment I felt suffocated and trapped. No.
I am no Mother Theresa, or Buddha, or Ghandi, though I try to live accordingly and do as little harm in the world as I can. I am a very flawed human being and I felt something break that day. I felt like a caged beast, backed into a corner and trapped. In that moment something in me snapped and I became carnal. I felt the pain and agony of every person who has ever been cornered by the one they thought they could trust.
How do I come back from that? Can we come back from that? So many questions that only time will answer. I can’t help but wonder if some wounds go too deep. In time perhaps.
I no longer choose to run from the pain, nor will I numb it. No, I will feel it. Like anything else, pain is part of being truly alive, and I choose to be present with it today. I will heal, and I will not become bitter and hateful. I love myself too much to close out the world over some pain.
I will do something different today and share my pain with others so they may know they don’t suffer alone.
Right now it seems like I am drowning in the rain, but I know inside that the blue skies and the rainbows are there just beyond the clouds. The sun will shine again, and my heart will heal. And one day I will look to the scars there like I do on my others, with affection and love.
With each breath, each word from my pen, and each tear that falls, I create a little more space inside me for the light to come back.
When we share our pain, we find it starts to fade.
I start to see in the breath, I start to feel the light coming back. When we breathe we tap into out true Buddha natures, and we find that even the worst hurts can be forgiven.
Author: Lindsay Carricarte
Editor: Renée Picard
Image: Holly Lay at Flickr