Seriously. Please hold. I am in the midst of big changes in life. I am on the verge of cracking wide open. Please hold. I won’t play some ridiculous muzak but just hold the space for silence – silence before triumphant procession. Please Hold. I will be back – with a crown of twinkling satelittes and with a heart full of hummingbirds. An operator is standing by…
Yesterday, after too many nights of my youngest waking up every two hours, I began to unravel with exhaustion. Unable to fall back to sleep at 5 am, my mind began mining in some very negative territory. And then, in the morning before I began work, I found this poem. They were the right words at the right time. I hope they fill your soul too.
by Rumi (Version by Coleman Barks)
Be helpless, dumbfounded,
Unable to say yes or no.
Then a stretcher will come from grace to gather us up.
We are too dull-eyed to see that beauty.
If we say we can, we’re lying.
If we say No, we don’t see it,
That No will behead us
And shut tight our window onto spirit.
So let us rather not be sure of anything,
Besides ourselves, and only that, so
Miraculous beings come running to help.
Crazed, laying in a zero circle, mute,
We shall be saying finally,
With tremendous eloquence, Lead us.
When we have totally surrendered to that beauty,
We shall be a mighty kindness.
Filling my soul: the idea that if we let go and just be helpless without answers that “miraculous beings” will swoop in with stretchers and grace and come to our aid. We need only to be ourselves and only that.
What is currently filling your soul? What poem is resonating right now? Comment below or tweet me @charakingston
Most of us can forgive all sorts of blips and blunders from our friends and family. We forgive them for leaving. We forgive them for forgetting us. We forgive them for taking their own shit out on us. But when it comes to forgiveness, the hardest people to forgive is ourselves. And for some painful reason, any mistake we make ourselves, we build it up so it is bigger and more jagged, making it harder to tackle and move on from.
My smart and lovely man recently told me, “You are not your mistakes.” And instead of hearing it, I used my twenty twenty vision to “should” all over myself. “I should have been smarter.” “I should have paid more attention.” “I should have tried harder.” But the reality is, my mistakes & ‘failures’ got me here. And here is where I am meant to be – mess and all. And if I continue looking back, it will be nearly impossible to move ahead. I will keep tripping over those damn mistakes. F it! Forgive already. I am not my mistakes.
You are not your mistakes.
One “mistake” I have been punishing myself for is how I did not pay attention to the fact that my business (a bricks and mortar retail store) was slipping financially the year following my son being born. I didn’t tighten the bootstraps for the business or my families budget. I didn’t even look at the numbers. I just kept the status quo. I just kept applying temporary money bandages to stop the hemorrhaging. So now, as things have gotten even harder economically for retail, I have been looking backwards at that mistake. But the reality is, that money is gone. The hit to my credit card and line of credit are still here but I can not change what happened. I can only progress forward. So I acknowledge my mistake and then counter it with positivity:
- I ran my business – doors open, customers happy – with two kids, sleep deprivation, and postpartum. F it! I did that.*
- I did what I could do to keep all the balls in the air at the time. F it!
- There are lessons in those mistakes. And those mistakes have brought me to where I am today. F it!
- And mostly – F it – I am now the proud mama of an adorable wee boy who lights me up way more than any business.
Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future.
– Paul Boose
* I really want to acknowledge that this was not done on my own. I have an amazing husband and mom who really picked up my slack and offered support when I fell apart.
So what can you forgive yourself for today to allow you to move ahead tomorrow?
Until recently, the saying “let it go” used to bug the shit out of me. When said to me, it felt like a crappy non-stick band-aid, knee-jerk response to my (self-described monumental) hurts. “If this had happened to them, they wouldn’t be saying ‘let it go'”. But when the tables were turned, “let it go” was always there to fill the space when nothing else would do. And, “forgiveness”? Well, that was just too big of a spiritual mental mountain to attack.
One day this past February, while skimming Gabrielle Bernstein’s Adding More -ing to Your Life, I read about forgiveness. I read. I resisted. I thought and sat and wondered. What if “letting it go” & forgiveness were akin to just filling up a balloon with the hurt, tying it off, and then releasing it upward. Could it be that simple?
source: Balloons (Midtown, Manhattan) by Youngna Park
There had been something I had been holding on to that quickly came to the surface after my initial reading in Bernstein’s book. It was a messy old hurt, highly charged, and wound into a long, tight thread. Perhaps my reading about forgiveness might not have hit home if I did know that in a month from that moment, I was going to be face to face with it, with her, with my messy ol’ hurt. So I let my resistance and guard down and asked myself: What would it feel like to let it go? How would forgiving change my experience when we meet up again? Who else will benefit from my forgiveness?
So I filled my metaphoric balloon with all that I wish I could say but is probably best left unspoken. And I made a blessing on her for my family and for me and…as my heart began to soften…for her. And my balloon began floating.
Truth be told, it wasn’t as easy as ripping off one the above tags and ta-da “now I have forgiveness”. It wasn’t as easy as blessing anyone or opening my own heart. I had to continually remind myself that the hurt and the resentment was taking up too much of my heart space. I had to continually remind myself that carrying my anger and hurt feelings had no positive benefits. I had to psych myself up. I had to cheer myself on. And I had to wade through some uncomfortable first hours with the one I was so angry at. But I went to bed that night with a sense of peace. Our relationship will most likely never be what it was and she might never ever know how painfully deep she hurt me (which was hard for me to let go of – feeling vindicated), but I felt peace. I let go.
My mind can be a very busy place. When my mind becomes noisy and overloaded, I need a “go-to”, a thought, or manta that I can focus on. It helps me let go. It helps steady me. It helps quiet me down.
source: Pinterest (here but there is no origin to the post it seems…)
Filling my soul: this quote reminds me to take it all in, be in the now, and not worry about the outcome.
What about you? What are your go-to quotes? Or do you have a mantra that you recite to get you out of your head and bring you back to the present moment? Comment below. Or tweet me @charakingston
With a month of writing about feeling and feelings, my urge to just throw paint onto a canvas has been growing.
“I found I could say things with colour and shapes, that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for.” – Georgia O’Keefe
I have been feeling like this:
This is Fede Saenz. This is watermelon juice dripping down your arm. This is a sweet pink kiss snuck in a movie theatre. This is a pink macarron you spent entirely too much on. This is anxious feelings of giddiness right before the roller coaster starts out of the gate. This is filling my soul.