“Once upon a time there was this man, this man that I fell for –who I shared an electricity with.” Months ago and all along the way she warned me: “It was so real and so powerful that I can’t ignore it. He lives far away and things have been complicated for him -and for us. I’ve only been able to see him a few times over the last year. There have been times that I have doubted my hopes for what we could have, but now, finally, I might have a chance to go and see what there actually is. I am sorry if that hurts you -I care about you deeply and I don’t want you to be in pain but… I can’t lie to myself and I can’t lie to you. There is something in my heart and I have to go and see what it is or else it will kill me to always wonder.”
These are words that are familiar to me –close to my heart and my understanding. I shared a similar experience with the girl from my past. I know what it is to leave someone in pursuit of a potential greater love. I am scared that now that I am on the side that gets left alone. I want my girl to stay with me -but how could I ever keep someone from following her heart? To do that would be one of the worst things a person could do to another. “I don’t want you to go,” I explained, “but I support that that is something that you feel like you need to do. And I can’t thank you enough for being honest with yourself and with me.” I braced myself for the pain that I knew would come with letting my girl go.
My heart crumbled. Questions of fear and doubt came tumbling in –both of our relationship and of myself. “Am I not satisfying her in some way that she needs? Am I not the kind of person who is able to satisfy her? Am I not good enough for her? Am I not good enough, period? Did I set myself up for a failure? Am I playing out a story that I built for myself that always ends in such a way as to prove a truth that I am not a good enough human being? Will I be alone forever? Will I never find love again?” LIES. All but the first two questions were lies –I knew that. I recognized it. I’ve done enough work in my life to see when my demons creep in and try to tear me down –down to a place of ruin where there would be no expectation or responsibility for a better life.
I turned to faith and I turned towards my inner strengths. Trauma, emotion, and spirituality are stored and processed in the right brain. The left brain deals with logic and analysis –it tries to understand and quantify. I sat awake at 4 am, trying to understand and make sense of my pain and fears. It wasn’t until 5:30 am that I realized that my self-exploration and attempts to heal would not be optimally affective unless I took a more right brained approach to healing. This was when I opened myself up more fully to the comfort of god and my spirit.
I sat down to resume The Edge of Dreaming, a documentary that I was half way through about a woman who received a message in a dream from her dead husband who told her that she was going to die within a year. She was 48 and in near perfect health when she experienced her prophetic dream –however, after a few months, the woman started to notice that she was having trouble breathing. She went to the doctor and found out that, inexplicably, her lungs were collapsing. She was dying. How could she have predicted that? Both faith and science provided answers: One could say that god had spoken to her in a dream to warn her. More scientific people would say that something physical in her body informed her subconscious that something was wrong that could eventually lead to death. I would argue that both happened. The fact that the faintest of physical awarenesses could somehow translate into a dream -a spiritual warning- is, itself, a miracle from god.
The woman was faced with a dilemma. Was her death inevitable? The doctors did not know –but things did not look good for her. Being a woman who saw and chose to respect the spiritual qualities of herself, the woman decided to seek the help of a shaman to try to re-write her dream and purge the omen that carried the warning of her death. Against her doctor’s suggestion, the woman journey far away from home to meet with a shaman. The shaman, a small and comforting looking woman from India, greeted the dying woman with a notably confident smile. She began her work and entered the dying woman into a trance where she could have access to the imagery of her dream. With the lights dimmed, the shaman lightly beat a drum at a soft and soothing pace -as if the drum were propelling her guided imagery forward. Watching this happen on the screen sparked something in me. I noticed that the shaman’s purging was something that I also needed for myself. Amazingly, the imagery of the woman purging her omen fit eerily with my own situation. I don’t want to spoil the holiness of what my purging experience was like by trying to encapsulate it in words -the whole essence of a spiritual experience is one that occurs in a complex multidimensional way. What I will say is that I felt a huge rush and all of my pain, doubt, struggle, and fear came out in tears. I cried very deeply. I felt comfort and awe. God was with me and he knew what I needed. He let me know that he would always be there to take care of me no matter what. I was relieved and deeply grateful. It would take my greatest strengths to move forward with what I would face next… This was not the end of my purge, but rather, the beginning. (to be continued)