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April 30, 2021

How to Ease our Aching Hearts amidst the Setbacks, Detours & Sticky Relationships.

It was a weird month y’all. 

But, then again, I’ve been saying that every month for the last year, maybe longer.

It seems April was a month of rebirth. Rebirthing ourselves from the darkness of winter into the light of a new day, though we may still be unsure of the exact trajectory of our lives.

For many years now, we’ve been dancing, spinning upside down in this weird, subliminal space of past, present, and future realities. Healing deeply and also feeling like we are right back to a similar space of wounding. Two steps backward, one step forward.

We’ve been upgrading and “unleveling” in so many ways this last year. Some days, we still feel the pangs of old wounds shoveling around in our heart space, in our energetic field, as if we are just going in giant circles around the same issues.

Trust me. I get it. I’ve been spinning this giant ball of yarn of my own for maybe a decade-plus. In the last few years, this giant ball of yarn has become a little more tangibly unwoven, and still, the mass remains somewhat energetically stuck—charged and weaving its way in and out of our realities.

Before we go being hard on ourselves, like so many of us (myself included) can and were taught to be, let’s just take a deep breath. Let’s see, first, that this giant ball of karmic undoing—wound healing, trauma reconciling, and self reclaiming—is maybe, just maybe, connected to a whole collective experience: our family, ancestral units, even past lives and energies beyond this lifetime (if you prescribe to that).

So, yeah, we’re a bit wrung-out, depleted, exhausted, and downright tired of this never-ending hamster wheel of karma clearing and healing. Life was supposed to get fun, right? 

And, some days, we do get a glimpse of the “why”—why we are doing this heavy, heavy work. We feel this burst of new energy, like a light beam, energizing our bodies and hearts, despite being physically exhausted just moments before. That’s the thing with the energy and us attuning to more blasts of light codes. Our energy can change on a dime. Consciousness can change on a dime, depending on our current perception of a situation or experience.

I’m not talking about spiritual bypassing or leapfrogging to “light and love.” By now, we know that is so harmful and deeply traumatizing to parts of self in need of further reclamation, not further polarization, demonization, or cutting off.

Compassion is the only way, friends. This, I know. 

This, I still struggle to apply to myself; it goes against everything we’ve been taught. It’s something we are teaching ourselves or, thankfully, have been shown by other spiritual teachers. Yet, still, it somehow feels unsafe, or as if we are letting ourselves off the hook. But, even just opening up to the possibility that somewhere in our energetic field, as we are multidimensional beings, there is such pureness of light and unconditional love for our human experience, no matter the like, look, or feel of it.

When we can touch this part, allow it, it is like honey. When we let it soothe our hearts—whether through prayer, meditation, placing of hands on our hearts, or sweet, tender words to ourselves—there can be a softening.

I experienced this myself just the other day.

I was falling into my typical mind, analytical, pick-the-situation-and-self-apart narrative after having engaged intimately with another on a first date. I sat—wanted to literally run away from the mass of shame and guilt I felt for not listening to my heart and her needs for a slower pace. And, yet, a part of me wanted and craved the in-the-moment freedom to touch, play, and engage in the present connection of intimacy. Both truths existed simultaneously.

Neither was right. Neither was wrong. And, that’s something the mind can never understand. Let alone by moralizing or demonizing acts as “good” or “bad.” 

This, I am still learning—how to stay kind, how to stay present to the parts of self that “act out,” but act out for the sake of wanting, needing, craving something I haven’t discovered how to give to myself in a safe, contained way.

I heard the familiar ping-ponging narrative in my head:

“You should have waited to sleep together. You knew better. This is what you get. You did it again! Didn’t you just go through this? Did we learn nothing?”

The rebel in me chimed back to Ms. Perfectionist: 

“I can do what I want! I’m a big girl and can choose to have sex with who I want, when I want. I’m allowed to have sex, and I don’t need to feel guilty about that.”

Amidst all the incessant chatter and self-prosecution, I heard a quiet, kind, and loving voice ask, “Oh, sweetheart, what do you need?”

Tears welled in my eyes, and I started to cry, to allow myself to feel whatever it was I was feeling and witnessing: a wounded, in-need-of-love inner child coming through to the surface. 

Tears streaming down my face, she told me what she needed. She needed compassion. She needed love—my love. 

She needed my permission to soften back into my heart. And she needed to feel safe and loved, not judged and condemned for her choices in seeking love, touch, and connection in another. So, I cried. I let myself feel the warmth of the light coming back into my heart, from this kinder, loving source, one I could lean into, with utter trust that this voice would not crucify me or my actions.

Compassion can set us free. 

This I know. And, this I forget, even still. Self-compassion, radical kindness for our unique journeys of learning, growing, stumbling, getting it “wrong,” and trying again.

How do we keep an open heart when we are learning to navigate darker terrain? We become willing to soften. Willing to hear and open to a softer, quiet voice, maybe one we attach to the divine mother energy, maybe one of a grandmother, of a beloved friend.

We are in such a potent time energetically of rebirth, of cycling through patterns and seeing differently this time the choice we have in it all. We can choose to speak up, set a boundary, tell someone how we feel, tell someone our needs, even if the child in us feels terrified of not being met, seen, heard, or acknowledged in that asking or speaking up.

The fears may still be there. And, we are learning a new way; even if we wander back into older terrain, we can see a different path available. One of self-empowerment even after making a detour choice just to see how it felt. One of kindness to self and self-compassion.

It’s not easy to feel all that we are feeling—sadness, anger, rage, betrayal, rejection, fear, abandonment—and at the same time, to keep an open heart to it all. Even to keep an open heart, rather than judge, shame, and condemn those outside of us who have seemingly been exacerbating the wound or perhaps shining a needed light on it.

If everything is truly here to help us grow, evolve and expand, as spiritual teacher Matt Kahn says, then maybe, just maybe, the darkness of our fears and wounds, ignited in our relationships with others, are also here to help us. That doesn’t mean it’s going to feel good. It’s probably going to feel god awful to speak up and set a boundary after being freely accessible and available, to speak up and say how you feel when it counters how you acted for fear of being perceived, judged, or rejected.

But, really, another rejecting us is the universe’s way of showing us our own internal rejection of these parts. And, yeah, that truth isn’t pretty. But, it is the only way we can start to keep an open heart rather than close down when pain resurfaces, whether internally or from an outside source.

This is how we heal. We heal by keeping our hearts open; we keep our hearts open by speaking kind words to our hearts, easing our nervous systems, bringing safety into our bodies, not making ourselves wrong, bringing compassion to the wounded parts “acting out.”

We heal by remembering that it is not another person’s job to accept, love, or validate us. It is our own. And, we have infinite support in this remembering of how to be kind. Ask, pray, call on something bigger. Even if we can’t feel it in that moment of despair, the support is always available. Let it come in unexpected ways.

So, to all of you, healing, navigating these infinitely interwoven complexities of addressing who we’ve been, who we are, and who we are becoming, let’s remind each other to soften. That there is so much grace in this universe, and maybe not in the one we were taught to believe in.

Even amidst the setbacks, the detours, and the sticky relationships, may we remember that compassion is the way to free our hearts again.

It is the way home.

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