For the past few days, or even longer, I haven’t felt like writing over here, and it didn’t occur to me until this morning that the reason I haven’t is that I’ve been getting further and further from the heart of my most satisfying kind of communication, which is not what I’m doing but how I’m feeling, how my being is.
I’ll just tell you. Over the past year I’ve been recovering from a broken heart. I was involved in a years-long emotional codependency with someone who now wants absolutely nothing to do with me. He has his reasons, and considering his cultural background, age, and religious convictions, as well as his desire to reinvent himself – he’s looking for happiness, as we all are – his reasons make sense, in that context. I operate from a different context, however, and am viewing the situation from the other end of the telescope. After nearly five years of pouring myself into this one person, it’s been very difficult to accept that we’re not even holding the same telescope anymore. Imagine suddenly being dead to your best friend–only a ghost, a wispy, voiceless and fading memory… at times the pain has been unbearable, and his rejection has all but crushed me.
I’m still here, though. When I was a teenager, I had a poster on my wall that proclaimed in loud 70s bubble letters: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” That was a popular saying back then, and I pondered its message over and over, absorbing it until it became an intrinsic personal philosophy. I believe in the value of finding middle ground; I am no longer an “all or nothing” kind of person, though some of you will remember when I used to be. I have rejected friends out-of-hand before, in my younger years, and accept that part of what’s happening now is simply a karmic reaping of what I’ve sown. We all have lessons to learn, and most of us need little jolts of pain as teachers. And some of us have gotten so used to carrying pain around in our pockets that we need a cataclysmic event to finally shake us awake.
Allow me to wax on with hearts and flowers and pretty-pretty butterflies for a moment. The immeasurably valuable result of this emotional catastrophe has been that, out of the crushed pink petal of my heart, the fragrance of God has once again been released. I rushed headlong back into the arms of the Source and have found the most incredible comfort, and more. Revelation, hope, information, inspiration… all have sprung from the wound, and keep me buoyed up against drowning. I wrote in an earlier post that my spiritual practice is a crutch, but it would be more accurate to say that it’s been the entire hospital and medical staff, including candy-stripers, the volunteer at the information desk, and the people who run the lobby gift shop.
I’m still in the hospital. The other morning, during a deep meditation, I saw myself lying in a healing tent, being attended to by a Native American healer. He is applying the medicine and poultices and sending prayers in smoke into the heavens; that is his work. Mine is to rest in the quiet darkness, to accept the means of healing that will eventually release me once again into the sunlight. I have lots of support around me. Scott is quite possibly the most supportive person in the universe, and there’s no doubt he has been in my life over and over as both an emotional and physical caretaker. My children love me, as do my parents. And I’ve found great succor in the advice and encouragement of friends, especially over the last weeks, as I’ve sought them out. All have assured me that there is indeed an end to the tunnel, and I trust each one because, I’m telling you, these women are amazing. They’ve gone through their own dark nights of the soul and have emerged brighter and stronger than they were before, than they ever imagined possible. I am fortified and inspired by their stories and am more grateful to them than I can say.
Kary reminded me last night of Mary Magdalene, whom I’ve been thinking about a lot lately, too. She reminded me that she was a woman who, because of her overwhelming passion for Jesus, broke open a costly bottle of perfumed oil and endured the censure of the people around her to bathe his feet and head in it, and to weep over him with abandon. I have always felt like her, and have never minded being thought a fool when it came to matters of the heart, to loving someone, because it’s felt as close to the heartbeat of God as I could possibly get. Another friend told me about the armor she’d placed over her heart years ago, and when I asked her where I could get me some of that, told me to be happy that I’d missed the sale, because she suspects it’s even more miserable and lonely to have your heart encased in steel than it is to wear it on your sleeve. I think she’s probably right.
I don’t know what’s there for me, outside of the tent, once I’m ready to leave its warm confines and the ministrations of the healer, and that’s a little scary. But I trust the process because I believe that meaning can be found in everything that happens, and that there is a plan for me. I can’t change someone else, but I can open up to my own changes, lay down my desperate thoughts of self-preservation and allow the chrysalis to wrap its long silver threads around my soul. Since yesterday, Elton John’s song has been sweeping through my mind:
Sweet freedom whispered in my ear
You’re a butterfly…
and butterflies are free to fly
Fly away, high away… bye-bye
Thank you for listening, friends. I appreciate you being here, so much. Love. xo