Excerpts from my journal over a period of 12 hours:
9:07 a.m. – I’m off to my “How to OM” class at One Taste in San Francisco. Got dropped off at BART this morning, which was lovely, and now here I go. I have so many mixed emotions swirling around right now. I feel very vulnerable and tender, like the littlest thing could set me off in tears. I also feel a bit guarded, like “I don’t want to look inside and have to explore past hurts or disappointments in love.” There is also a yearning to be free of the ghosts and undo the shackles that hold me back from fully experiencing and giving myself over to love.
It’s scary. My heart is pounding hard in my chest as I think about my last relationship and how I did not handle it in the most mature, considerate way. My actions really hurt him and it still eats away at me from time to time. Also the doubts, that someone could and would love me for exactly who I am and encourage me to be fulfilled and successful, haunt me when I am in this nostalgic space. I have given so much of myself in these past relationships, not to mention with my mom and brother. I gave and gave and in the end because I couldn’t say no and felt taken advantage of, or was unable to figure out a way to resolve it, I ran and they were left feeling betrayed, hurt and unloved. That is the area that really makes my heart constrict and my stomach queasy.
Yet I am able to come back to reality most of the time and remember that I am human and that I did the best I could do in those situations with what I knew. I am learning. I know there is a lot yet to explore, unearth and recreate. The reminder to be ‘gentle with self’ comes up. This time is tender and the little kid in me is asking me to protect her as she goes through this process, not shield her from it, but make sure she is cared for and nurtured throughout it. It is also comforting knowing that on the other end is spaciousness and possibilities.
2:04 p.m. – On break from class and I feel tender. So much of the hurt and realization of the pain I caused my ex is surfacing. The human experience – that pain is part of our lives – is very present for me right now. Instead of doing my usual ‘isolate and lick wounds’ tendency, it was really good to go to lunch with a friend in the class, to stay connected, and to ask for a hug from another friend, to stay grounded.
8:40 p.m. – Jesus, I have been cracked open. I have been crying so much today, especially during the walk from BART to Whole Foods to grab some dinner. All this shit came up about my ex, my mom and my brother … like I caused them pain and am a horrible person. In these moments I feel like of course I am never going to find love again, I don’t deserve it … it is my karma to go through life alone because I am a bad person and hurt the people I loved. Now I understand why one of my friends in the class intuitively kept repeating to me “You are a good woman.” He knew nothing about what was going on but thought to say that to me as I was leaving when he saw the tears streaming down my face. I needed to hear that even though the thought of it makes me want to burst in to tears all over again. He checked in on me just now and said that it needs to be my mantra. I so do not feel like I am a good person right now, but as he reminded me “Feelings Natalie. Feelings. You are feeling a lot right now.” And he’s right. I opened Pandora’s box of guilt, shame and hurt I had tucked away surrounding those relationships and now they are swirling around me like the cooped up demons they are.
9:00 p.m – Man, I had a feeling shit would come up but not this strong. I do love that my friend acknowledged how I really met the course all day. I forget to acknowledge myself for the bravery it takes to look at this stuff. I showed up fully! No hiding, no denying. I was there … present and vulnerable. And even the time I wanted to run away, I was stopped dead in my tracks. Thankfully. Ugh … my heart still hurts and my eyeballs are burning from the constant stream of tears. Fuck … I’ve still got some work to do apparently. But for now, I will just be here and celebrate my courage and vulnerability.
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