I was undergoing a spiritual surgery I never signed up for. There was no X-Ray for a clinging and afraid heart. There was just the tugging that I could be freer than I was…that I could have more peace than I had. Making the decision to let go of the past.. I had lived in a Buddhist monastery in India, I had moved to a new city without knowing anyone, I had overcome family addiction — yet the courage of this was more than had ever been asked of me. Facing my losses, facing my fear, facing the list of people and memories and places that I felt I needed to be okay was a surgery from which I am just slowly recovering. I am finally coming back to life in a way I recognize and can tell you about. This time of letting go and letting be and letting shed and letting tear and letting peel was my teaching. My classroom. My curriculum.
1. I learned that just because a feeling is not on the surface doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist – sometimes when we are scared we repress feelings and desires and questions to keep the peace.
2. I learned that when a relationship ends, my soul needs time and space to go through the Process – my disappointment, my confusion, my unanswered questions, my relief, my sadness, and ultimately the acceptance that comes from feeling a loss deeply and moving forward.
3. I learned that all confusion passes. I can’t make a mistake because, ultimately, whatever I choose, will be what I have to work with. I will make it okay. I will choose to be okay.
4. I learned that when a feeling arises from my gut it feels so differently than when it is an impulse from my head. My head is urgent and frantic and loud and obsessive and catastrophic and claustrophobic and shaming and fearful and vigilant. My gut is not urgent, still, quiet, present, spacious, trusting, and gentle. Maybe my gut is God.
5. I learned that my gut always has my healing in mind. If I notice that something doesn’t feel right it is in my best interest to honor that.
6. I learned that am so resilient. Things get better. I get better.
7. I learned that there are so many options and ways to handle a situation.
8. I learned about the pang. The deep longing. The real excruciating hunger for someone. That pain can’t hurt me. It is yearning for me to embrace it. I’ve been running from that pain for far too long.
9. I learned that real spontaneity is not hiking a mountain in Asia. Real spontaneity, for me, is standing in the deep end of the pool of options I have when it comes to responding to this very moment.
10. I learned, with much resistance, that I am allowed to be happy. I am allowed no matter what. I don’t owe anyone my unhappiness as a way to control what they think of me or how they feel.
11. I learned that going with the flow makes space for the Divine to manifest and for me to feel serenity. Going with the flow and give up control does not mean I will mess everything up. I don’t need to swim upstream to make sure life is happening right.
12. I learned that a story of the past is not what I really want. It feels like a cozy blanket that keeps me safe but it is keeping me from being in the world and open to my life. I can stay connected with the people from your past without living in the past.
13. I learned that people really do love me unconditionally. Even in my blunders – they really do love me.
14. I learned that maybe I don’t need to figure anything out. Maybe what I need to know will come. There may not be any certainty but there will be signs. Just because I feel that I am off track doesn’t mean I am.
15. I learned that the feeling of a wound closing is unlike any other feeling. It is a coming home to yourself. It is the dissolving of homesickness.
16. I learned that I can be connected with people even if they are not right there. I am more deeply connected to people than my brain wants me to believe. Letting love change containers doesn’t change its content. I can let form change. The love is still real.
17. I learned that it’s impossible to go backwards. Healing is always forward. It’s okay if I can’t always twist my scars into lessons.
18. I learned that I can sit with the pain. I can see it through to the other side. I will be on the other side. When I’m in the fog and can’t see clearly, I will lift my head to the mirror and look into my green curious eyes. “You’re half colors + half grime and you’re going to finish what you’ve started.” I will blink, and I will keep going.