22 February 2013

Going There to Get Here

I spent almost two months searching my heart for answers, facing past hurts that were never mended, and questioning my place on this earth. I cried for the losses I had experienced and for the gaping wounds they left behind. I allowed myself to be vulnerable and uncharacteristically relied upon those closest to me for support. I looked to them for strength during a time in which I could barely hold myself up against the resistance of gravity. It was almost sixty days that I felt completely lost and so insignificant under the huge weight bearing down upon me that I had no idea how I was ever going to find my way out of the abyss. With nothing left to give and nowhere else to hide, I surrendered. I let go. 

I stopped running from my past and instead sat with my memories and the emotions they carried. I remembered the death of my closest cousin at age fifteen and felt the overwhelming sense of guilt because I was unable to save him. I relived a traumatic experience involving an ex-boyfriend that left my heart so deeply wounded, I unconsciously closed my once, very open arms, to the possibility of 'real' love.  I thought about a friend who passed away and of the resentment I felt over his death. I reflected upon the lessons received from my grandfather and missed him so intensely that my breath could not calm my sobs. I cried for my brother and absolutely resisted the idea of this planet ever being without him.

I surrendered to what my soul needed to help it heal. I stopped trying to make the past and the memories it contained 'easier' to remember. I chose to listen, to feel, and to learn from those experiences because my heart, more than anything, needed to be pieced back together. I allowed myself to get angry, feel sadness, guilt, and regret. I cried for myself and for the pain I had carried. I cried for feeling so helpless, for not wanting to be a victim, and for the absence of emotion I had known for fifteen years. In nearly two months, I mourned the pain and loss I did not allow myself to acknowledge for more than a decade.

I often heard, "I am so sorry you are going through this," "this all must be so hard for you" and, "I would take away your pain if I could." While all these things, I truly believe, were said with good and heartfelt intentions, and I completely appreciated all the kindness and loving concern, I disagreed with all of them. I could feel it in my soul that the darkness and pain I was almost completely consumed by was absolutely necessary for me to experience. I, without question, had to go through it all. I had to let myself feel the pain and sadness and process out the emotions so I could learn from the opportunities I was given. 

I woke up one morning and before I even left my bed, I sensed how my body felt lighter. The heaviness that plagued me was gone. I put my feet on the floor, walked to the window, opened the curtain and basked in the sunlight that poured through the glass. I turned my face toward the sky, closed my eyes and cherished the warmth of the sun on my skin as I breathed in deep. In my modest little apartment the realization came....I had endured. I lived through the pain, the loss, and the fear, found my way out of the darkness and, quite literally, discovered the light. 

“How many times do we lose an occasion for soul work by leaping ahead to final solutions without pausing to savor the undertones? We are a radically bottom-line society, eager to act and to end tension, and thus we lose opportunities to know ourselves for our motives and our secrets.” - Thomas Moore

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