“You have this between you now as part of your history together. There’s been hurt on both sides. That changes things. Maybe a little, maybe a lot. Either way, things will never be the same as they were. You break or you build from here.” The Queen’s Bargain Anne Bishop
Emotions rush through me, up from the darkest place of my being, like a swollen river raging out of control. Memories that have been playing in my mind for a weeks come flooding in with a fierceness that takes my breath away. I feel out of breath from the punch to the gut I experience. I am rocked to my core and want nothing more than to run away. I jump up out of my chair ready to run to something else to do, anything that will stop my feelings. Maybe I will get some food. Maybe I will turn on my phone and FB scroll. Maybe I will turn on Netflix. Maybe I will find some brainless task to do. Anything to stop the flood of feelings and the panic that rushes over me as I experience being very close to some truth that won’t be silenced anymore.
All of this happens in the span of a minute or less, though the intensity of it all feels like a lifetime. Then something inside of me, that wisdom self who seeks to call me to deeper healing, speaks up. “Stop Lara! Right now, stop running. Sit down and breathe into the pain that desperately wants to be healed. Breathe into and know that you are strong enough for this truth and you are ready to heal that wound a little bit more today. Stop. Breathe. Be.”
So I stop. I breathe. I allow myself to be in this time and this moment. I stop running. I breathe into the pain rather than push it away. I trust that I can hear what I need to hear. Stop. Breathe. Be.
Russell and I were in a very broken place in our relationship when he died. We had started counseling which helps me believe that we would have found our way back to one another. But we had just started and the brokenness was the predominant thread within our relationship. My memories of our brokenness and the hurts we had each inflicted upon each other have been playing over and over and over in my mind for much of this year. Why this year, I am not sure. Maybe because I’ve had so much more time to think about things. Maybe because I’m watching all of the hurt that people are inflicting upon one another in our world and so it is spotlighting my own history more. Maybe because I am ready to listen to what wisdom I can gain from these truths. Maybe because it is time to forgive myself for what I did and forgive him for what he did so that I can stop beating US up for the brokenness we created. Maybe so I can stop feeling like a complete failure. Maybe so I can let it go and move into a deeper place of healing and a new part of my life journey. Maybe because there is a growing part of me that wants to stop moving through my life as a sleepwalker. Maybe I want to fully wake up. Maybe, probably, all of these things and more.
Stop. Breathe. Be. Stop. Breathe. Be. Stop. Breathe. Be.
“Breathing in, breathing out, feeling resentful, feeling happy, being able to drop it, eating our food, brushing our teeth, walking, sitting – whatever we’re doing could be done with one intention. That intention is that we want to wake up, we want to ripen our ability to let go, we want to realize our connection with all beings. Everything in our lives has the potential to wake us up or put us to sleep. Allowing it to awaken us is up to us.” Comfortable with Uncertainty Pema Chodron.
Whatever the reasons are for why I can’t stop thinking of Russell, our brokenness and the hope I hold that we would have learned to build a new path for US, it is clear it is time for me to sit with it all. It is time for me to journal all that I can – the pain, the hope, the dark, the light. It is time for me to stop running from it all using food, busyness, and escapes to avoid thinking about it. It is time for me to say yes to listening to what needs to be heard. It is time for me to say yes to healing this. I stand at a tipping point of either breaking further or building from here.
Stop. Breathe. Be. Believe.