Recently a close friend and I experienced a parting of paths. For over three years, we had cultivated an amazing connection and shared many special experiences. After I approached her at our next meeting, she later emailed me to tell me she need time to heal. I realized that although I had shifted to reconciliation, she was still very “raw” with me as she later explained it. I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say my response was sadness and hurt.
Just like a pain in the body indicates a need for healing, I realize the pain in my heart is also about a deeper wound that needs attention and was created decades before I met her. Following the pain’s path is helping me to go deeper in healing myself and managing my behavior and emotions. In the past, I would have blamed her for my pain. Today I realize, I created this situation where I placed my trust in to some one who is human. We are all human with our past wounds, judgments and expectations. This event reminded me of lessons I’ve learned and continue to practice:
1. Allow for a person’s humanity. In other words, don’t put anyone on a pedestal because they will surely fall on you one day. A person is intrinsically valuable. We all have problems and short comings. This is freeing. I have walked on eggshells all my life not wanting anyone to see my humanity for fear it would take away from my value. This incident with my friend reinforced to me that we hold inherent value whether we are liked, agreed with or understood by those around us or not.
2. Love thyself deeper. We can choose to love ourselves at all times, especially when important people in our lives seemingly (not truly) withdraw their love. You can still experience love for yourself. This reminds me of how people are devastated by divorces and break ups because at some level they have come to associate their own value and value of life with the relationship. This also happens in the case of death of our loved ones. Sometimes we cannot imagine life without them. The truth is there is a life for each one of us that is not dependent on a particular relationship, it is mostly dependent on the relationship we form with ourselves and our Source. Having experienced the death of my only sibling, I know loss is not easy and we can heal if we choose to.
3. Honor separation, it is normal and healthy. My sadness for my friend taking time to get back in conversation with me was based on the idea there was something wrong. Actually if I am honest, I realized that I am becoming a completely different person from who I was when we met. My very realization of who I actual am has had a ripple effect that has shifted my vibration and has moved people in and out of my life according to who I am becoming. I often pray and meditate on change in my life and when it came, I was both rocked and disturbed. Actually, in our time apart it helped be to realize that it was for the good of us both. It was a direct answer to my prayers to grow and building on everything she contributed to me.
4. Release the need for approval. A huge part of my hurt was based on disappointing people in my life. Unfortunately, I was disappointing myself by not being honest with myself. What is more important, disappointing others in a choice about my life or disappointing myself for months and months by being fearful and suppressing my truest wishes? Self love is based on honoring our authentic desires and I realize I was suppressing my own desires in order to gain approval from others at 50 years old! This example shows how insidious this “people pleasing disease” is. I was becoming dependent on the approval of the people in my life who are supposed there to challenge me to be authentic and true to myself. What a paradox!
5. Forgiveness is the gift we give to ourselves. Each person in our life represents an aspect of who we are. Holding on to anger and resentment is actually directing it at ourselves in every situation we experience it. Remember the famous quote, “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” Drinking in and pouring out forgiveness, allows us to put down that poison. It allows us to know that our value is not based on what other people think of us. It allows us freedom.
Several years ago, I was introduced to an ancient Hawaiian forgiveness mantra called ho’oponopono. It simply states:
Step 1: Repentance – I’M SORRY
Step 2: Ask Forgiveness – PLEASE FORGIVE ME
Step 3: Gratitude – THANK YOU
Step 4: Love – I LOVE YOU.
Ho’oponopono is repeated again and again (I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.) and directed to all parties involved including and especially ourselves.
When thoughts of a lost relationship bubble up, I can quietly and lovingly go within and and chant ho’oponopono while releasing all involved parties, including myself. Allowing everyone the freedom to seek their highest version of themselves. This kind of nurturing and discipline, changes the very neural patterns of imprint left by life’s earlier “disappointments”. It truly frees us to heal our heartache.