A part of my healing journey has been to loosen up a little on some of my routines. I have been accused of being rigid, too attached to my routines, and each time I felt the urge to defend my practices if not out loud, then inwardly, to myself. As I began to peer inside a little more, I could see how my routines were sometimes fillers, excuses not to be completely present, because I could check out as I attended to them… and so this need to defend my practices came from anxiety that they might not be serving me, and the pain of feeling like my time spent doing them was a complete waste. Then again… Is there such a thing? Could it be that my practices served me then, but I eventually outgrew them, and now they no longer serve me the way they did before? Could I drop the shame around change? Don’t we learn by making mistakes? Can’t I ease up about being perfect, being right, and instead, can I welcome this moment with my heart that yearns to love more open?
Being ok with change takes practice, so don’t be hard on yourself for not taking this well. We are hardwired to gravitate toward familiarity— it’s how we all survived this long, so in a deep, instinctive way, we all yearn to get back to “normal.” And yet… we were made for these times. This is what we have been preparing for. So, beloveds, take a deep breath, be extra kind, gentle and loving with yourself, hold all your hurting parts with tenderness. Change is hard and sometimes life sucks, but you aren’t alone. We will get through this together.
I love you, forever and always. I promise to take care of you and never, ever leave you. I promise to support you any way I can. I promise to celebrate you and all your successes. I am so proud of who you’ve become! I love spending time with you! You are such an amazing person; I’m so inspired by you, your openness, vulnerability, willingness to dig deep and allow your authentic self to speak. Let me know how I can love you better. I am here totally and completely for you.
She has been there, and she has gotten through it. She has felt deep pain, and she transcended it. It’s amazing to feel love for someone I don’t know, and who may never know I exist, but I love this woman, Iyanla Vanzant. She took her experiences and turned them into teaching opportunities, sharing what she has learned with the world who yearns for authentic teachers. That’s true love and true generosity, and I am truly grateful. Thank you Iyanla!
We women are a special breed— she said —we can get through anything. She was helping me change the address on my license and scan the documents proving my identity. If you wake up everything else is just a bonus. I asked her to make me laugh as she took the picture for my new license (my new lease on life). She asked me to smile for the team. I told her my ex was a fan and since then I’ve been looking the other way, but I’m glad to hear they’re doing well. Girl she said shaking her head C’mon now, it don’t have to be like that. She was right. It don’t.
A fellow meditator and blogger, upon reading of my financial situation, planted a seed of kindness (right into my PayPal account) and renewed my faith in humanity. A recovery friend, upon hearing that my AC had gone up, called upon another friend who planted a seed of kindness (checking my breaker box, checking my AC unit, attempted to diagnose the issue) and further renewed my faith in humanity. A girlfriend, upon hearing of the trauma uncovered in therapy since the winter, planted a seed of kindness, (threw her arms around me, held me for a moment) and renewed my faith in humanity further still. My aunt sent me a package in the mail— a mother’s day card (with a little cash!) a recipe, and a bible… It seems she wants to renew my faith in humanity too. Did I need to create this terrifying experience of losing my marriage and now losing my home because I had lost my faith? Are all of these situations simply a chance to renew my faith in humanity? All I know is breathing and being is what I want. With my faith renwed, I see it’s possible to relax into this moment and open to the love that’s already there.
The voice stayed with me when the clock struck midnight; it followed me into the new year. It was quiet for a few hours, letting me take in the new year… But now it is saying, already, You should be doing more. You need to make phone calls, you need to organize your house, you need to earn more, you need to plan for the future. You could end up on the street. You could lose everything. Hurry up! No time to lose! Now I want to know, whose voice is this? Of course I want to be responsible, of course I want to take action, of course I want to do the right thing. But I don’t need a tyrant telling me what to do. I don’t need a frightened, abused inmate pushing me to be afraid too. I’m ready for a new voice, one that says, Breathe. You’re doing just fine. Let’s try this now. You are not alone; I’ll be with you every step of the way. Everything is working out just fine. You are safe. You can trust me. I got you. I’m searching for that voice. I’m wanting to see what my life will be like when I listen to it and act from it. May the voice of kindness rise up within me, and may my ears and heart and mind be open to receive its wisdom.
When you think you should’ve done better,
be gentle; allow yourself to try again.
Yes, be honest with yourself
and make clear choices about the next time,
but still, be gentle.
Would you admonish a toddler
for not knowing how to sprint a marathon?
I want to stop trying so hard to be good.
I want to just touch on
my own inherent goodness
and allow it to be enough
for this moment.
I can see our innocence.
I can see how much we try.
I can see that he is doing his best
and so am I.
Could I forgive him
for having this affair?
Could I forgive his mistress
for sleeping with a married man
who has two children and a wife
that he left to be with her?
Could I see her innocence too?
If I can allow others to be who they are
and do what they do
and love them anyway,
there is hope I can afford myself
the same kindness.
I made it through the long dark night
because of you.
You who read my words
and answered my questions,
who tested my assertions
and suggested space
for different conclusions.
I’m still here
because of your presence,
a great gift of light
revealing the truth
that had been obscured
during the long dark night.
Never question your gifts;
never doubt your talents.
You rose to the occasion,
provided a pause of sanity
when my mind was clouded
with every possible lie,
you gave my light room
to breathe and expand,
and I could believe in myself again.
I made it through the long dark night
because of you.
Thank you. Thank you. Thank You.