By Saranpreet Kaur
Let me share some things with you. Let me share something with you, let me write it straight from my heart.
I want to talk about heartbreak and about the storm inside. Heartbreak is only the beginning of it, darlings. Heartbreak is when we awaken to something bigger than our immediate needs, our momentary hopes and dreams.
In the absence of that which we desire, in that void that so often translates into pain (and/or suffering, depending on our preferences) there is something more to be had, to be discovered. Something wider. A new horizon, a new desire, a new sense of self.
Navigating these new shores and expanded horizons and budding vistas will of course, challenge everything you thought about yourself, what others thought about you and who you thought you could be.
And I don’t know about you, but for me, who I allowed myself to be was always tied into being loved and accepted by others. Seriously tied in there. So when I tried on those ruby slippers, I automatically turned on the tornado, too. The one that says “My name is Change and you gotta walk through me to go where you want to go. Let’s dance, baby.”
And there’s no other way than to let the storm howl, let the chaos whip around you, let it flatten the old holdings like a tornado hitting the state of Kansas.
You’ve got those ruby slippers, like it or not, they’re part of your package of empowerment. But this isn’t about pulling yourself up by your bootstraps, of putting on a brave face and walking forward.
This is about Being With What Is. No matter what.
First up: let’s get real with this shit. Start understanding that even if you think it is your job and life purpose to fail for the benefit of others, in fact you are worthy of love and belonging. Even if you grew up as the underdog, the black sheep or the Untouchable One, it’s time to leave all that behind. And I KNOW, darling, I know the terror of standing in your full glory and braving yourself up to meet the storm.
I know the panic and sweat and heart palpitations.
When every programming in your body and mind are telling you that the only way to survive is to back down, be small, sabotage your success, making it just almost – not quite completely, just holding back a teeny tiny bit. Making yourself pitiable, victim-like, helpless, digging for the point where your energy will be too much, or too little – where you are deeming yourself as such a failure that even God is bound to disown you and the angels kick you off their team.
Because when you move forward, the storm howl roars: WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE.
Who do you think you are to want what you want, dream your dreams, express who you are? And the storm will rage and howl at you all the reasons you need to pipe down.
“People in the world are starving, you’ve got it so good, why do you want more?” Why should you have more? Look at you. Who do you think you are? Others are struggling, why do you think you should be exempted? Nobody will have you, nobody will receive you.
Now I could say a lot of things here like: you gotta break up with that storm inside. You gotta walk forward and never look back. You gotta put your ruby slippers on and skip right outta that tornado warning area. But because I have crawled out from under my personal tornado many a time just to hurl myself willingly right back in simply because it felt more familiar than peace and sunshine and easy connection to others, I’m not going to do that.
I’ve held my power and let it slip through my fingers uncountable times just because I hoped someone else would come and rescue me. Or love me. Or not hurt me because of the power I hold. I’ve felt that my empowerment was complete abandonment (if there’s only ME – then I’m ALL ALONE). I’ve thrown those damn sparkly slippers into the mud just like a child to say: See? I told you I was no good.
So instead I’m going to say:
Prayer works. Praying is good. Even if it’s only a JesusJesusJesus or a HELP. Or just waaaaaaaarrgghhhh. Release it to the heavens, the galaxies and let that energy move right outta ya. Just let go and pray. Doesn’t matter if you “believe” or not. It might work for you anyway, ha! Worst case you’ve tried something new you hadn’t tried before.
Breathing also works. Actually, breathing works REALLY well. Even one deep breath. When you feel like you don’t want to breathe, you don’t want to be part of this reality, you just want to quit and get out, taking that breath is a downright revolutionary act of extreme courage. Please take that breath, darling. We need you here.
Moving works. When I’m tethered onto my long deep terrors so that I can’t dare to move my body in case I might die, I lie still. And then, I lie still but wiggle my hips from side to side. It moves my issues through, gets energy circulating a little. And when I remember, I hug myself. And when I can, I tell myself it’s ok, it’s ok, it’s ok. It’s another way to accept and elevate.
When I feel too tired or too much like a victim to “stand strong” or “be brave” in the face of what feels like my complete undoing and personal destruction, I dedicate my suffering and pain to the healing of others: may all beings be liberated from their suffering through my pain.
May billions of babies throughout the world heal from their traumas as I relive mine. Because this too is a way of acknowledging the present moment. It might not be the cool calm detached way of looking at your worst nightmare from a distance or in meditation. It’s the raw, brutal slamming face into, head on, off the cliff hurtling into old triggers. And what better way to greet them than to give them your full attention.
It doesn’t mean you hold on to past pain and hurts as your new-old truth (this is who I was and will always be and this is how things are and I will hold on until I die). Although I try that path regularly once in a while still, just to see how far I’ve come. It’s okay. It works less and less every time I go there.
My mantra as I go through the spiritual ascension symptoms, i.e. “the storm” is nowadays: BE WHERE YOU ARE. Don’t try to be sunnier than you feel, don’t try to paint on a layer of hope where you’re just feeling exhaustion. Just be where you are. And when you do, when THAT shit changes, YOU’LL KNOW IT HAS CHANGED FOREVER.
When there’s a smile on your face that spread out there with no reason whatsoever, just because you’re feeling good, oh stuff has changed. And you know it has changed for real because it changed without your active involvement, it just went by itself. You healed, grew out of it, perhaps. Felt through it until it had all been felt, all been seen all been acknowledged. Now THAT you can trust.
No fixing, no projecting, no putting on a brave face. Simply letting your set point float up a notch or two. Healing is so complete when you can’t access your trauma/drama anymore or even remember what it was.
So. Darling. Dear one. I’m right there with you. I’m there, doing the best I can, just as you are. I have some good tools, I use them (mostly). But most importantly we’re the same, doing the same work. Doing the good work. Dancing through the storms (and I count lying still in a foetal position as dancing too), one breath at a time.
We’re in this together. Heart to heart, hand in hand.
Lots of love, Aloha.
For more self-study, The Urban Howl recommends Getting Past Your Breakup: How to Turn a Devastating Loss into the Best Thing That Ever Happened to You.