Life can be very humbling when the humans in our lives say “no more”, when the work gets really real.
You know, the times when we fuck up and our loved ones have been hurt and become weary about remaining with us. The times they threaten to leave; the times we don’t think we can stay. The times when we miss a best friend in the whole wide worlds birthday and she has very real and very hurt feelings. The times we say too much, the times when we are cold and distant and cruel and harsh and sharp. The times when we decide that running away is easier than staying and we risk loosing the best things that can happen to us all because we are too afraid of the depths our heart is capable of feeling. The times when we drink too much and say the most fucked up things. The times when we get trapped in a dark place and no matter what, we cannot seem to find vulnerability and softness again. The times when a friend chooses to walk out on us or delete us from her life with no explanation as to why; the times when we are controlling and not ourselves in a situation and we wish we hadn’t behaved that way. The times we called a human a name, the times we shut down on love, the times we know with all of our hearts that we have deeply hurt someone we love… these are the humbling moments; the moments we look in the mirror and say ‘what this shit are you doing, kori?’.
These are the moments the work becomes real. The moments that we do not know what our future holds. The moments that we are fully aware that taking a relationship for granted may very well mean loosing it. The moments that are so fucking scary we wish we could turn back a clock and do it different. The moments we sit in humility and just wait to see if we will be offered the grace of forgiveness – a second chance. The moments that the minutes of the day seem to last a lifetime, the moments we can not catch our breath and we no not at all what our future holds – the moments we wish we could just do it different.
Last night while sitting at home alone in our new house in tears after saying farewell to my bearded man it came to me exactly what my theme for November would be – forgiveness. I can be a big grudge holder when my heart gets broken and to be honest, the breaking of my heart is really not that unusual as I tend to give my whole heart and being to all of that which I do and feel and take part in in this life. Sometimes I can mask the grudges and the lack of “letting go” by telling myself that I am processing it; while that can be very true for me because I do tend to process information slower than I wonder if other people do; it is also bullshit and a pretty little mask that I am wearing to say “fuck that, you hurt me and I need you to know just how bad it feels”. I hold a grudge against you for hurting me and I hold a grudge against me for – anything and everything… for not showing up the right way, for not being kinder or softer or more patent, for not measuring up… on and on and one it goes.
This is the silent poison I ingest daily, if I were to be honest.
When do we know the balance between processing and swimming in our own shit?
Over the summer – as some of you may know – I entered a really dark place in my soul while writing my book and I do not believe I handled it with much grace at all; I was more of a bull in a china shop destroying and hurting anything in my way as I felt my world caving in around me. It knocked me to me knees and came out of the seeming blue and suddenly I was back into the depths of darkness that I was years before; I didn’t think I was going to make it and to be real – part of me didn’t want to. I tend to fall very deep; I can easily sit around for hours that turn to days and weeks contemplating life and darkness and afterlife and anything of the invisible world. It is a great strength and simultaneously a crippling weakness for me especially when I forget to come up for air.
There is no doubt value in sinking deep and looking – eye to eye – at our darker corners while learning to integrate them as part of our greater whole but when do we know it is time to claw our way out?
Over this past summer I had to make a choice – stay in darkness, hiding under my little rock away from the world while I swam in the story of sadness that bubbled in my soul. Or climb out with my entire mite – no matter how hard. I chose to claw my way out. I chose to return to my body via food crafting, sweeping and a dedicated restriction on any form of deep conversation or writing. I had to get real with what was good for me and admit that hiding under a rock was no longer serving me. I had to return to the dreaded world of simplicity – the world I have typically struggled the most with. Give me trauma; give me life shattering sadness; send me the people with the broken hearts – that I can handle; but simplicity? -Now that’s a different story for me. Breathing. Sweeping. Sitting. Slowing Down… here is my true work.
My summer lessons parallel the work I am currently entering on forgiveness with the same rooting system
When is enough enough?
When does sinking in//processing//diving deep cease to serve me and ultimately turn into ‘swimming in my own shit”?
Ultimately the question for me is: When is it time to let go?
I know my brain can not choose when it is time for my heart to complete it’s processing, but is there a way to show up in my own life with a little less baggage? Is there a way for the pain not to control and dictate my words, responses and attitudes with the humans I love the most?
These are the very same lessons when it comes to love and friendship and any form of close, personal relationship in our own lives -- when is it time to let go of past hurts and show up a-new? When it is time to forgive self for fucking up and continue on with life? One of my greatest struggles in relationships (with all humans minus my one cousin) is my ability to remain open hearted and soft. I can run very cold blooded and distant. I can shut down at the drop of a pin and get mean or nasty or sharp in my tone. I can exclude – with the shutting down of my heart – the people that are very closest to me leaving them to feel empty and unloved. It’s my protection mechanism, I suppose – but when is enough enough?
I can swim for days in the stories of telling myself that this is simply how I am wired … I am more masculine natured, femininity is harder for me; slowing down and softening up is a deep challenge; I am feisty and passionate and of course this can lead to an imbalance when left out of check; I can shut down – I always have in all relationships; I say what’s on my mind, I am real and honest and sometimes sharp and harsh; I am… I am… I am…
Yes. The above is true. Absolutely.
And I ask myself the classic question:
How’s that working out for you Kori?
Ummm, well… not that great to be real. I’m holding onto too much shit and it is weighing me down. It’s holding be back from opening my heart and allowing love in, it is creating great barriers to my ability to connect intimately with humans and it is leaving me stiff and hard and filled with fright.
The work is real. The work of showing up to self and to others with an open heart is real. The work of pulling of my armor layer by layer by layer and allowing myself to be truly seen – in complete vulnerability – is fucking real. Staying soft, slowing down, actively and lovingly listening, letting humans close… this is the work that my heart needs; this is what is productive for me right now. This is the work of true surrender, the work of staying open and curious and awake at the wheel especially in the moment when it all appears to fall apart.
I think both worlds are true simultaneously – the need to let go and find light and also the need to dive deep and integrate darkness – there is need for both and all of this work; we can not favor one and ignore the other in the pursuit to wholeness. I’m not too sure what this looks like but for now I know that I need more laughter and fun in my life, I need to lighten up in my personal life – in my intimate life. Yes the processing of my heart continues. Yes the wounds of the past will need to continually be tended to until the heart is ready to let go – but I wonder if it needs to be an all-consuming-only-talk-about-that process? Is there room for both?
I think so.
I really do.