“Life will break you.
Nobody can protect you from that,
and living alone won’t either,
for solitude will also break you with its yearning.
You have to love.
You have to feel.
It is the reason you are here on earth.
You are here to risk your heart.
You are here to be swallowed up.
And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near,
Let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps,
Wasting their sweetness.
Yesterday I found a new role mode, in an Elephant Journal article by Robert Sturman about The Guiness Book of Records reigning oldest living yoga teacher, 93 year old Tao Porchon Lynch. As impressive as her strength and flexibility are for someone of any age, let alone a nonagenarian, it is much more than her physical prowess that enchants me about this radiant being.
For not only does she love yoga, but also wine and dancing the tango.
In a interview with Tara Stiles-Parker, she credits her longevity and zest for living to proper breathing and making a concerted effort to think positive thoughts, along with a nightly shoulder stand before bed each night. She eschews fear and procrastination, simply doing the next right thing without delay.
She beams and twinkles with a light that simply dazzles me.
“Smile at everyone”
She advises as she illustrates the phenomenal magnetism of her charismatic charm.
This is how I want to live my life.
Waking up grateful for each new day,
thrilled by the prospect of all that I can learn,
all the wonderful places and beautiful people to be met,
making the most of the great gift of life
and blessing all I see with a smile.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Today I’d like to talk to you about getting unstuck from unhealthy situations in important relationships. I have heard it said that 99% of the solution to any problem is to become conscious of your behavior first. So I’d like to start by sharing a little exercise with you, for which you are going to need a pen and paper, I’ll pause a minute while you go find one…
Welcome back! To begin, on your piece of paper, write the numbers 1. 2. and 3. underneath each other.
First, what I would like you to do is to think of an important yet frustrating relationship in your life, could be a romantic one, or it could be with a parent or sibling or friend. Got it? Good. Now write the name of that person next to the number one.
Next, think about what it is that you most need and don’t get from that person – could be something like acceptance, affection, consideration, passion, commitment, sensitivity – you get the idea. When you have chosen that thing, write it next to the number two.
Finally, calculate how long you have been in this situation of not getting this important need met in your relationship – could be days, weeks, months or years. Write this answer next to number 3.
Now write this sentence on your piece of paper
I have to stop going to the hardware store for milk. I have been doing this for ten years now.
Crazy or what? You know how Albert Einstein defined insanity? See the top of this post again if you need a reminder.
Now, I am going to have you write the sentence again with some substutions for certain words. You see where this is going? OK, but no chickening out now.
It’s important that you see this written down.
Here we go,
I have to stop going to __(your answer to number 1)_ for __(insert your answer to number 2) I have been doing this for __(answer to number 3)__
Take a look at this sentence without guilt, shame or judgment. Just notice – with curiosity about what might be motivating you to keep up this – shall we say – level of optimism about this particular relationship. There has to be a reason that some part of your brain is telling you to keep showing up at the hardware store for milk. It’s probably not a rational part. It’s likely to be part of you that is totally stuck on the idea of How Things Ought To Be. It might well be a younger part of you that says with sad confusion,
But this person is my fill in the blank they are SUPPOSED to fill in the blank.
You might respond to this younger part of yourself kindly ’Yes they are sweetie. And they ought to and you deserve to have them do that. But… I’m a little worried about how much it hurts you to keep getting your feelings so hurt when you are disappointed.’
Always remember that the only person you have any hope of changing is you.
Take this piece of paper and stick it on your bathroom mirror for a month. Each time you brush your teeth, take a look at it and try to come up with some ideas of how you might try to do this differently. It doesn’t necessarily mean ending a relationship. But it might mean working on laying down the expectations you have of how things ought to be, so that you can have a little more peace about how they are.
Think about it. Ask yourself this question
If I could give up the belief that ******* should be ******** how would that change how I feel about the way things are?
Chances are if you didn’t have the expectation that this person should behave in a certain way – you wouldn’t be suffering when they don’t. Try this on for size. And let me know how it works for you. I’m going to be working on it right alongside you.
MATER DOLOROSA: THE UN-RUINED HEART
“It is said by the old women of the family that the hilts of the swords piercing Our Lady’s heart are shaped like the curling sepals which protect the buds of roses..
..that with prayer and time, each sword hilt will burst into seven fragrant roses, blooming again and again, because suffering brings the rain of tears, because the rain of tears waters the earth, because moisture on dry earth of our being is guaranteed to bring forth new life.
Tears are a river that take you somewhere… somewhere better, somewhere good.”
“The swords through your heart are not the ones which caused your wounds, but rather, these mighty swords of Strength were earned by your struggles through hard times.
Sword of Surrender: to withstand this time of learning.
Sword of Veils: to pierce the hidden meanings of this time.
Sword of Healing: to lance one’s own agony, bitterness.
Sword of New Life: to cut through, cut loose, plant anew.
Sword of Courage: to speak up, row on, touch others.
Sword of Life Force: to draw from, lean on, purify.
Sword of Love: often heaviest to lift consistently;
turns one away from war, to instead,
fall into the arms of Immaculate Strength.
O Immaculate Heart of My Mother,
give me shelter in the beautiful chambers of your heart.
Keep me strong, fierce, loving, and able in this world.
Remind me daily, that despite my imperfections,
my heart remains,
From the book “Untie the Strong Woman” by Clarissa Pinkola-Estés
Don’t you hate it when, just as you least expect it, the untamed past escapes its cage?
With silent stealth, it attacks without warning, devouring any present peace in one fell swoop.
Before you even know what’s happened, it pounces and you find yourself captive, dangling powerless from the terrible jaws of regret.
The pain is so immediate and piercing, it takes your breath away.
At times, you are ashamed to admit, you have yearned for a swift end to what feels like interminable suffering.
You long to turn away, to blind the eyes that cannot close to things you said and the things you did and far worse still, that which went undone and unspoken.
Oh, the cruelty of hindsight, how it taunts us with impossible possibilities of how we could have been.
The shoulds, the coulds, the questions without answer. The answers you wish you could change.
The quality of mercy may fall unstrained like rain from heaven but,
Hidden in the dungeon of our lack of self-forgiveness,
There is no absolution.