Day 60: Acceptance

Acceptance. They say that is the final stage of grief and loss.

I don’t think that grieving something is linear. Sometimes I go through all the stages within a a few minute period. Sometimes I spend days in each stage… days that feel like months.

Acceptance.

Assenting to the reality of a situation. The act of no longer resisting or trying to change a situation.

Sometimes accepting feels like giving up. It feels like gently releasing the tendrils of hope that inhabit the heart. Sometimes it feels like a pit a thousand feet deep. Occasionally it sits quietly on the shoulder whispering “everything will be okay.”

Acceptance of a situation is the only way to really stop the cycle of pain. It can allow the heart to quiet and finally start healing. It is permission to move forward.

Just because I accept a situation does not mean that I like it. It doesn’t mean that I am happy about it. It doesn’t mean that I am giving up. It is a perspective shift that will help me to become empowered and truly focus on what is important. Me.

As the stages of grief come in waves, acceptance must be practiced. It must be gently ushered in again and again. Each time the head of denial or resistance pops up, acceptance must be called back. The circle once again, gone around and completed. It is not a passive process. Until one day it is and the acceptance sinks in, the resistance fades away and there is no longer the finger clenching urge to keep fighting.

I have to remind myself of a quote I have written before “Every storm runs out of rain.” Just because I am accepting things does not mean that I will feel this way forever. There will be happiness and smiles and laughter. Accepting not just changes in relationships or life transitions but learning to accept the process and give space to the feelings that are present helps to smooth the journey. I accept that today feels really heavy.

Sometimes I stand in front of my bathroom mirror, and I say to myself….

I accept that Mr. X can’t love me like I need, and doesn’t want to be my partner in this life.

I accept that we will not be together romantically.

I accept that it will take time and effort to develop a friendship.

I accept that a friendship may not be possible.

I accept me. For loving as big as I do, for expressing myself with an open heart, for falling down and getting back up again.

Sometimes I repeat these things over and over again, tears falling each time the words are repeated, until I get through enough repetitions that it no longer actively bleeds, but creates a hollowing in my heart.

That’s the thing about someone who has lived in darkness. They are comfortable there, and often choose a dark road to healing.

A friend of mine suggested positive affirmations, and I do those too. But the truth is, I want to feel every bit of what our relationship means to me, the depth of the hollow inspires me to work on a friendship, to keep him in my life. I could seal that over, a permanent emptiness. I could cut off all contact forever, but that void would always be there, weighing me down.

I accept that we will try to be friends, and that I will learn how to navigate that. I accept that it feels like shit right now, and coupled with the rest of the chaos going on at work and my personal life, it is almost more than I can handle. I accept that today I am overwhelmed and very, very exhausted.

I also accept that this state is temporary and all I have to do is keep going. One small step at a time.

Transformation is messy. It’s painful and ugly and requires effort and energy. But just as a caterpillar turns into a butterfly I know that I am safe in my cocoon, I am supported and protected and loved. I can turn to mush and goo and re-emerge more beautiful than before. And so can you. ❤ ❤

Day 53: The Strength and Brutality of Anger

I woke up today in a blind rage. Actually, whatever emotion is stronger than blind rage, that is what I felt. I feel like Kali, best known as the goddess of destruction.

It isn’t just anger actually, that is just the one that I am letting to the surface, and I will explain why. If I dig past the anger there is so much confusion about me and Mr. X. There is an incredible amount of fear that I will never find as deep a connection, there is a pain in my chest that dropped me to my knees when I realized I would probably never again have his lips against mine. There is a deep pain of rejection of who I am and what I have to offer, and SO much confusion. It all stems, once again, from attachment to an outcome and super high expectations of someone that, while he did better than a lot of people, still did many of the things that everyone has when my heart has dared to eek open. I should probably stop expecting something different and change how I am showing up.

The really hard part of personal growth is that when you know that thought patterns are fucked up you become less able to trust yourself. So, for me, I find people that I think I can trust and I see how they see the world. Inevitably in relationships you run into friction and this is when things get tricky. If I say I am feeling angry and here’s why, past history with Mr. X specifically and indeed all of the men that I am drawn to, is that they come back and say, “well why, that isn’t my perspective.” Then suddenly I think okay, well maybe I am wrong and maybe this is me having a bad thought pattern. And I see so clearly their perspective, and also mine… and then I get super confused about what is real or right. When in reality what is real and right is our own perspective which doesn’t always jive with our partner’s. We have to be picky about what we choose to take on as our own and do so only if it aligns with our growth goals.

I am really confused about the last few weeks with Mr. X in my life and I am trying so hard to process and make sense of it. If I talk to other people I am met with very loud and firm opinions and it is almost overloads my system. If I talk to him I end up feeling incredibly lost and like my thinking is so fucked up that there’s no way it can be right, and I end up having no clue where to turn. I swirl around in this place of confusion and angst so thick that I can’t move and I can’t breathe.

This is where the anger comes in. I am angry at him, at myself, at this entire situation.

Anger can be all consuming and it can make a person dumb. It can also create movement and drive, and sometimes that is what is needed. Harness the anger and take a step. The anger may not be totally appropriate. It may not be at all accurate from someone else’s point of view, but it is mine. It is what I feel and it is making me drag myself along. Truthfully, it doesn’t even matter what the direction is as long as there is motion. Those other emotions, the confusion and the pain, if I choose those they will keep me locked in a prison of misery with the feeling of acid burning a hole in my heart.

Anger is not always the best to latch on to. It can make us do stupid things and it can wreck shop. It can destroy relationships with the touch of a word. It is a really fine line to travel between empowerment and destruction. Sometimes though it gives enough energy back into the system to help propel it forward… or sideways or backwards but it gets the energy moving. The trick here is to not get lost in it, to not bring it into the heart where it can sit and fester. The anger is there to move through, to propel motion and then exit. It isn’t meant to be recycled again and again and again.

That is the part I am currently struggling with. The letting go. I have been sitting in this anger all day even though I made decisions and took firm action this morning, and to be honest, it is making me completely exhausted. That’s the problem with anger. It requires a lot of fuel to keep up, and that fuel can only come from inside and once that energy starts burning it is very hot and very quick. Anger has a very real place in the world. There are no “bad” emotions except the ones you get lost in and consumed by. In the interest of not falling victim to consumption it’s time to let this subside and turn attention to what I want next. And once that is decided, I will push forward, brutally and with abandon until I have every last particle of the life I want to lead. That means leaving behind everyone else’s wants, opinions, advice…. and instead choosing how I want my life to be, because nothing is set in stone, we decide the meaning and ultimately we decide how we create our existence. Even when we have created the biggest stinking pile of shit ever seen, it is never too late to start building something different. ❤ ❤

Image by SAFA TUNCEL from Pixabay

Day 23: Embracing The Negatives

I know what you’re thinking… “girl, that’s supposed to say positives right?”

Nope. I got it right. Embracing the negatives. Sometimes there is a place for that, when the “negatives” can be used strategically to push forward. And right now, for me, that place is heart ache. ** Maybe I should change my language here. Negative has this connotation of being “bad” but for purposes of this article, a negative is just something that isn’t aligning with my desired outcome.**

We are taught that the only way to be happy is to focus on the positives! Let love in! Shun the bad! Nope…. nope, nope. Not for me. There is a reason the “negatives” exist. They provide contrast and are tools in themselves. They are powerful guides and shouldn’t be ignored. It is all a matter of how those tools are used as to whether they can be constructive or destructive.

The sticky thing about grief is that it comes in waves. One day I can be rocking, creating my own sunshine, the next I can be sobbing on the floor. This is when you can embrace the negatives and use them to slingshot you forward.

Getting over the life you saw yourself having with someone is hard. Sometimes you do have to embrace the negatives, put the positives in a box, and even though it’s a much bigger box than the negatives, you have to shove it aside for a moment.

Sometimes all I can do to keep moving is replay all of the things that were said that are the evidence for why we won’t be together. “Maybe we aren’t good for each other.” “Our season is over.” “We do better at a distance.” All of those little knife wounds are actually my friend. My way to move on from the one person who has asked me to do so, who has needed space every time we see each other. The one person that feels like home. The one person my heart practically bleeds for. The way to successfully do this is to not make it personal, because it isn’t. All of those things are a reflection of situational issues, not a reflection of me as a person. And they are all in fact, correct and honest and vulnerable. And even in that I find more love for the keeper of those words. See… herein lies the problem. I understand so completely where this man is coming from and I love him so much that I find appreciation for the things he says… even when it cuts me to the core.

The “negatives” are an exceedingly skewed perspective of a really beautiful relationship (and they aren’t negative or bad, they are just honest and authentic – it is my perception of them that labels them as negative). It is a perspective that I know will cause its own hurt as these words are devoured by the other player. But the negatives function as evidence. It’s building a case. It’s ushering my heart to a place where it can open the door for something else. Because if I focus on the positives, the “you’re beautifuls” and the “I love you’s” right now, it lets my heart take the wheel. It’s lets in hope. It lets in a love that cannot be tamed. It lets my imagination run wild. For each brick of a boundary laid I am there on the other side pulling it back down. I am there telling myself we just need more time, he needs more time. I require a massive amount of energy to move, to shift… my heart has a huge capacity and can handle a ton of shit. Filling it with these things pushes out some of the romantic tendencies and allows room for the new landscape. Friendship. In displacing the romantic and allowing friendship to enter instead, that positives box can be cracked once again and those beautiful words can be taken back into the heart under a different lens. I am loved, I am beautiful, I am capable, I am cared for, I am safe. In any relationship it’s all a matter of adjusting expectations and wants and aligning goals.

This can be done gently and lovingly and in honor of both parties and that is what I am choosing today. I have no anger or resentment towards Mr. X and maybe I am right, we do need more time. In this moment though, we aren’t meant to be and I have to focus on that right now so that I can stop the loop of what ifs that I am trying to use to define our future. Stopping this cycles allows me to appreciate the present moment and the relationship that we do have.

So yes. Sometimes focusing on the negatives is all the self care I can muster for one day. Because all I really need to do is keeping taking one step at a time. ❤ ❤

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay