Overcoming the old programming
by taking action
in direct opposition to the fear.
I was told I was terrible with money
so I retaliate with a budget.
I was told I was lazy,
so my answer is hustling with all I got.
I was told I was a squatter,
so I found my own place to live.
I was told to get a real job
so I tripled my work
at the job I already had.
Go ahead. Keep talking.
Every criticism makes me stronger.
I know now that it had to happen.
I’ve come to this realization before,
so bear with me, but you know how this works.
We keep circling and circling and circling back
to the same old stuff until one day we get it,
and we can finally set off on a new trajectory.
It had to happen.
I was comfortable, and comfort was making me complacent.
I knew deep down I was meant for more.
I longed to be met at my depth,
to be seen and held and loved by someone capable
of seeing my value and loving the woman that I was.
It wasn’t happening, and a part of me grieved deeply.
It wasn’t happening, and I resigned myself to a love
not quite deep enough to be congruent with my true nature.
I yearned for more, so deeply in my heart I yearned,
and a voice said that I was fooling myself,
that such a love wasn’t possible in this world.
I was determined to do the work inside myself,
to search for where I felt unmet and dissatisfied,
and discover how I could meet and satisfy myself.
Hence the meditation, the writing, the reading,
the sewing, the knitting, the kombucha making,
the therapy, the workshops, the trainings,
the research, the practice, the commitment to arete.
I secretly thought I was doing him a favor
putting up with his lack of depth, his lack of vision,
his inability to penetrate me fully to the core of my being,
to flower me open to bigger possibilities,
to take me open to God.
Well if this is it, I told myself,
then I may as well make the most of it.
So I kept going.
And then it happened.
He dumped me. ME.
Me, the mother of his children.
ME, his WIFE.
Me, his yoga teacher.
Me, his partner, his best friend.
He threw me away.
It had to happen.
It took a while, but I see this now.
At times I look jealously at intact families,
and I’m triggered by what was stolen from me.
But then my new mindset arrives and reminds me
It had to happen.
The comfort was making me complacent.
I had to be made extremely uncomfortable
to be forced out of this nest, this cocoon,
this cage of material wealth,
where my needs for food, clothing and shelter were met,
and the price I paid for it all was my authentic happiness.
I look back on who I was and I shudder.
I look forward to who I know I will be and I shiver.
I look within to the one I am now and I smile,
at peace with the fact that sooner or later,
it had to happen.
You can’t heal what you can’t feel…
and so my biggest task
has been just allowing the feelings to rise,
to be seen, acknowledged, embraced,
and finally felt.
For a long time I attempted to deny my feelings,
because they appeared too painful to accept,
and I was afraid of what might happen
if I allowed the tidal wave to crash over me.
It turns out that I was giving my attention
to my fear of the difficult feelings
rather than to the feelings themselves.
The fear made it all seem so much worse
that it really was.
Once I peeled back all my layers
of distraction, denial and defense
and exposed my tender heart to myself,
I saw that there was nothing to fear.
As the grief came up, the doubt,
the self-blame, the regret, the anger,
the loneliness, the abandonment,
the resistance and all the others
emerged as a procession,
one by one, to be fully received
and welcomed by me.
As I allowed these feelings to flow through,
I sensed underneath them my resilience,
my strength, and finally my hope
for new feelings to arrive
once I’ve made enough room for them
by letting the old feelings go…
Eight years of pausing,
sitting still, closing my eyes
and going within.
I remember well the day
eight years ago, when,
pregnant, feeling sick,
overwhelmed by my responsibilities
as wife and mother,
I called out to the void
I’m going crazy! I’m losing it!
Help me! What should I do?
And the Voice said
You must meditate.
And I thought,
I had a regular practice
before I met my husband,
but (and maybe you can relate)
self-care always fell to the bottom of the list
when I was in a relationship with someone else.
The Voice said
and I remembered that this was an option,
and I sat.
I started small, just five minutes a session,
but I quickly worked my way up
to thirty minutes a day.
Eight years and I haven’t missed a day.
Eight years…I have shown up for myself.
My ex said
You meditate too much
when he gave me the list of reasons
he was leaving our marriage.
That was two years ago,
and he’s gone now,
but I’m still meditating.
Eight years I’ve said to myself
I matter. This matters.
I’m going to keep showing up.
And I will, for eight more years,
and eight more and eight more after that.
I’ll show up every single day,
rain or shine,
in sickness or in health,
for richer or for poorer,
until death closes my body’s eyes
and opens the eyes of my soul.
Then, there will be no surprises,
because in meditation I have seen it all.
I am enough.
I am enough?
I am enough!
What a relief.
I don’t need a man to take care of me,
I don’t need a man to make me feel loved,
I don’t need a man to keep me safe,
I don’t need a man to validate my existence.
I am enough.
I can take care of me.
I can love me.
I can keep me safe.
I exist. No need for validation. I exist.
I am enough.
I am enough!
Could it be that when I am diverted
from the course I originally planned,
it is divine intervention?
My neighbor told me once
Rejection is God’s protection.
I’ve remembered this as I’ve experienced rejection
in one form or another, many times
in the past two years.
To make it through this time of uncertainty
I need to learn how to trust,
and not just as a thought in my mind,
but as feeling of trust and safety in my body.
I long for this.
I’ve longed for this since childhood.
If I wait for external conditions to change
I’ll never feel safe.
But if I can change my inner environment
and establish a feeling of safety there,
then my trust will be grounded in my body,
in my own strength, stamina and resilience.
I pray for guidance to transform
into a better version of myself,
so that I become the safety I seek,
the love I seek, the happiness I seek.
May I never again look to someone else
to provide the qualities I must create within myself.
How safe is it to share, to be vulnerable?
How safe is it to be honest
about what I’m really feeling?
I know that what I’m feeling is nothing new.
I know that there are countless humans
feeling the exact same thing I’m feeling
in this very moment.
If I had a friend feeling what I’m feeling,
I’d tell them
You are not alone.
I’m here with you.
What do you need?
In the absence of a friend to offer it to me,
can I offer myself this same kindness?
I know I can’t rely on someone else
to bring me the happiness I seek.
I know that the happiness is within me,
concealed by stories of unhappiness.
Now my job is to identify those obstacles to my happiness,
be willing to let them go,
and allow the happiness to emerge naturally.
God give me the strength
to love myself back to wholeness.
I’m praying every chance I can get
God please show me what to do,
I’m struggling, please guide me.
In the morning I wake up thinking
I choose to love myself
because I deserve my love.
I keep telling my story.
It gets exhausting telling my story.
I tell it to my friends. Therapists.
Anyone who will listen.
They all say, You got this.
It will all be okay in the end.
But I want someone to rescue me.
I want someone to come along
and make these problems disappear.
And God, Grace, The Universe,
or is it just my luck,
continues to send me people
who listen to my story
tell me You got this
and who walk away.
I need to solve my own problems.
Apparently, I need to realize
that I’m stronger than this.
Apparently, I need to walk this path alone.
There are people cheering on the sidelines,
but I guess I need to walk this path alone.*
*And I have to tell you, it’s lonely down here in this big black hole…
There’s a moment after hitting rock bottom
when you realize that you’re not dead.
Maybe, as you look around at where you are,
you wish you were dead,
but you’re still alive nonetheless.
Resistance will make you hurt worse.
Regret will keep you stuck in this place.
When you’ve stripped away everything
that you used as your former identity
and you find yourself, naked,
standing on rock,
it feels vulnerable, uncomfortable.
You look up…
and the light of day seems so far away.
The good news is,
you don’t have many decisions to make;
it’s very simple in this naked place
of bare, cold, hard, rock bottom.
There’s only one direction you can go—
I’m tired of living in terror,
so I’m turning this over to you.
I have no idea how you’ll help me.
I know that faith can move mountains,
but that I need to bring a shovel.
I’ve got my shovel.