“No matter how hard the past, you can always begin again.” ~Buddha
It’s strange to feel peace while a part of your heart is being chipped away.
I’m in the middle of a heart chipping, but the longer it goes on, the more I’m realizing that it needs to be removed before it hardens the rest of the organ. Maybe the chipping is kind of like pruning a diseased tree so the remainder grows stronger and more resilient.
The cuts hurt like hell though.
The last few months have been some of the most difficult of my life. I’ve been trying to stand firm while my girlfriend determines whether she will stay in our three-year relationship or return to her former life.
Like it or not, and I really don’t, my own personal pruning must occur. I keep telling myself it will be worth it. I try to keep my highest prayer in mind, which is love, always love.
The pruning hurts like hell.
I’ve come to believe that love sometimes wraps itself around a process of letting go.
I don’t let go easily or often, but love helps me loosen my grip so that when I’m finally prepared, my knuckles are not quite so white from hanging on for dear life.
The pruning process of letting go releases the insanity in my life.
For me, the pockets where insanity lies—where I can’t tell the difference between what’s working for me and what’s not—nearly always involves a relationship of some kind.
Let me be clear: The process of releasing doesn’t necessarily mean letting go of the person. Sometimes, the pruning is about trimming back feelings.
The trimming hurts like hell.
Right now, I am totally messed up because the relationship with my girlfriend is the most significant in my life. We’re each highly invested and more than a little enmeshed. There’s certainly a lot of insanity mixed in with all the love!
As the pruning occurs, I feel the sawing attempts to hack through the hardened knots of fear, knots made tighter by the very act of trying to slice through them.
Still I hold onto the notion that the core of me will be strengthened. That shred of belief is enough to bring me the peace I so desperately desire.
Facing the Insanity
My girlfriend read the first draft of this post and asked me if she is the diseased part of my heart that needs removal.
No, I told her (and meant it). It’s not her. The diseased part represents my responses and feelings around her choices.
In spite of our love and incredible soul connection, I must do certain things for myself while—not after—she makes her choices.
Here is the resiliency effect of my pruning:
- I’ve established a personal drama-free zone.
- I’m learning to say, “I can’t help you with that.”
- I’m doing my best to climb down from the emotional cross and not drag it behind me.
- I’m learning to not always (but still sometimes) engage in her circumstances.
We always have choices. Yes, even when we face life’s most knotted challenges.
I choose to believe that recent events—the ones that led me to trim the diseased part of me—are happening exactly as they need to in order for me to grow.
The circumstances, those hardened knots, may feel big and threatening, because that is the meaning I’ve given them. However, when I detach, I can see my part in the disease more clearly.
I can choose again. When I choose again, I can’t help but save myself from me.
Today, I choose gratitude for my circumstances, in spite of the pain.
Choosing again gives me great results like:
- Instead of debilitating fear, I stay present to small amounts of time without anticipating what may come next.
- I truly understand that all things—and anything—are possible with surrender and trust in love, my highest prayer.
- Suddenly, the pruned trunk of me reaches skyward into the beautiful dawn that follows a dark night. Yesterday may have been filled with torrents of tears and sweeping sadness, but I won’t dwell on these things because I have no desire to live them again. See? I’m already healthier and saner.
I understand that I often create my own knots. When I’m hurting, I bind myself tightly, thinking that I’m protecting myself.
In reality, I’m stealing from my future because I’ve wrapped myself in knots of assumptions and what-ifs. I’ve wound them so tightly that I can’t breathe in what is today.
Detaching allows me to witness my behavior; I see so clearly how I rob myself of moments that I’ll never see again.
One day, I may fall back into old patterns of poor judgment, but now, in this beautiful place of new understanding, I trust that won’t happen today.
Today I’ll stay focused on the feeling that overcame me during the instant of surrender. It was divine intervention. That feeling is the one sweet memory of yesterday that I’ll clutch to my newly repaired heart. Nothing else is allowed—by my choice!
We always have choices. The healthy ones often involve a sort of peaceful surrender. Oh, there will be times when you'll slip back into old, insane ways of thinking, but the more you adhere to healthy choices, the easier it is to move back to peace.
You may find yourself in messy circumstances, but you'll learn to intuitively know that peace lies on the other side of life's varied lessons.
Photo by Mizrak