In my last blog, I committed to writing next about the Purpose of Suffering in Opening to Love. I even dared to ask you to stay graceful and courageous in the interim as you access your inner wisdom in your journey with love. But when I sat down to write my new piece, I discovered I couldn’t. I was stuck.
At the same time, my life unraveled into all sorts of chaos and curveballs which saw me disconnect from my Spirit, fall out of love with myself and land in a deep hole of suffering. My writer’s block persisted, and I suffered some more.
I woke up this morning craving a cuddle from another human being. Living on my own I have noticed that this feeling arises from time to time. Seldom do I sit with this feeling and just watch it. This morning I did.
It wasn’t about sex; it was simply about touch. I noticed my thoughts drift, reflecting on a conversation I had with a new friend last week. He too had expressed how he sometimes feels like just being held by another and how he also suffers not having this in his life at the moment.
I then noticed my thoughts shift to the fact that despite knowing him for several weeks, I had only begun including him in my daily prayers for the first time last night. This made me curious. Why had I delayed including him even though I knew he was in a state of suffering a recent life-changing event?
My thoughts began to wander to a whole lot of people I had not sent blessings to recently, even to those whom I’d told I would include. A friend in need of a job, a friend in need of a kidney replacement, a friend with an ill father, my mom with her cancer.
I wondered why I had been so distracted over the last month. I then reflected on how I had been struggling to write over this period, feeling guilt and shame after making a commitment to you, my loyal readers. While my development editor encouraged me to write from “where I am at in this moment”, no amount of support or encouragement was shifting my way of being. I even set intentions for myself like, “tomorrow I will sit at my computer until I write this blog.” Yet despite my sincerity, I could not get back to the Spirit of who I am and write. Instead, unconsciously I was silently choosing to wallow in my suffering.
So, I Dared to Ask myself to WAKE UP to my present moment and ask WHY!
I reflected on how hard my move back to Cape Town has been, a city with a community that has supported me for over three decades. I noticed that over the last month my thoughts had been scattered, remembering what my life had been like before I left. I was also mourning the loss of daily contact with my previous partner after a recent split. I was stuck in the past. I also noticed I had spent time ruminating and wondering about what my future would look like.
In truth, I had spent most of the month thinking about the past and the future and getting little done in the present moment! Adding to this spiral was all the new work I had taken on. Yet another excuse for not writing!
I decided to dig deeper into the truth of my story line. I saw that I had even dug up some very old pain, leading me to fall deeper into this pit of suffering. I relived old memories of my high school English teacher telling me I could not write. I allowed anger and resentment to rise as I blamed her for derailing my dream of being a writer for over 30 years. Suddenly she was the reason I couldn’t write my blog! But my old English teacher wasn’t here now. In this moment, the only person who was stopping me from writing was me and my attachment to my past grief, and my fear of the future unknown.
So, what happened to get me out of this pit of suffering?
I reflected on a moment the week before. While sharing my suffering with this new friend of mine over a cup of coffee, my eyes had welled up with tears. He extended a hand and held mine to comfort me. I didn’t want to hide my tears, and so I told him I now freely embrace my tears in public. After a few hours of sharing our current life-changing circumstances, we committed to an honest kindness of simply being there for each other during this time of change.
The very next day I was hit with a curveball that I felt on a visceral level, and I completely unraveled. I discovered my ex-husband, Russell, was going to be at a function I was attending that evening with our old community. While neither of us fears holding love for each other, I knew emotions would rise in me that I might not be able to control when I saw him for the first time in this environment. I was afraid I might cry.
I shared my fear in a text to my new friend saying I was feeling vulnerable and that I was afraid I would shed tears at the upcoming function.
He texted me back saying, “Sorry to hear. But as a wise person recently told me: embrace your tears, even if it’s in public. Hug him, tell him you love him, and that you are crying with gratitude that you two can still be friends after your journey together and that you are now both so well.”
I felt such relief as in this mirroring as I could SEE myself again. I attended the function without the attachment to fear. Surrounded by our community I felt no guilt or shame as I shed a tear on seeing Russell and honoring the love we courageously hold for each other.
The following day I realized I had been holding onto the idea that I needed to write the perfect blog for you that existed outside of my own suffering. My unhealthy ego was attached to my wanting to show you all that I have accomplished so far in this work. I didn’t want to appear vulnerable and let you SEE that I too still suffer. So I surrendered my ego to Universal Wisdom and asked for my writing to be inspired from all that is greater than me.
So how did my suffering over this period open me to seeing and feeling Love all around?
- I could be myself while being vulnerable with a new friend as he held a safe and loving space for me.
- I could bring myself back to the present moment in seeing myself in the gift of the mirror from the other. Here I found love for myself again.
- I could bring myself back to the present moment for my family and friends who are experiencing big life challenges and offer them love and blessings in my prayers again.
- I could share and hold a space of love with my ex-husband, surrounded by our community, even as I shed a tear.
- I could accept and feel the gesture of love when my new friend held my hand as we shared our stories of suffering.
- I could go on……
I lay in bed a little while longer this morning and allowed the desire to be physically touched to pass. I then meditated to touch my soul and read to nurture my mind. I then reached out to this new friend and shared my experience with him. I told him I was going to find a friend or stranger along the way on this beautiful autumn day, to get that hug, and connect with my body in the way it spoke to me.
I got out of bed just as my cat came in and demanded I play with her. I let my Spirit get lost in our playing, which saw me rolling around with her having belly laughs. Integrated in body, mind and soul I was back in -Spirit and did not need to seek inspiration from a story outside of myself. My editor was right. Once again, I had to meet myself where I am at in this moment. I had side-stepped my unhealthy ego, sat down and started to write, sharing my perfectly imperfect self on these pages.
From this integrated space, I could reconnect with the Spirit of who I am and share my vulnerable Self with you, as a reminder that we are all in this together. The ebb and flow of life is there for us ride with the tide and soften into; when we are done holding back. For it is in this softening that suffering dissolves, love for self and others is found and we can blend our being with each other; beyond the fear, judgment or grievances of our limiting human beliefs, while being who we are, the Spirit of Love.
Until next month, may I have the courage to remember a quote I have shared with you all before:
“Live in the past and enjoy your grief,
Live in the future and enjoy your anxiety,
Live in the present and enjoy your life.”
Thank you for keeping me honest. Warm love to you all.