Thursday, March 11, 2010

An Open Heart

That's supposed to be a good thing, right? Having an open heart. Letting people in and embracing life. I don't do it very often, because it is hard for me. I mean really in, where I allow myself to have feelings for them and not just allow them to have feelings for me. I am always focused on the ending. When that thing or person goes - what is left with me? Usually pain and sadness. I don't like those things. But I mean, who does? This is a recurring theme in my posts. How to strike that balance between being open to receive and protecting your heart. I don't know if there is one. I think you have to be fearless in love. And at the same time one of the things I do really well is give to other people - but I have kept a small protective bubble around myself, so people can get only so close and then I shut down. And all my bad habits come out. I unconsciously start pushing that person away. Some people can take it for a few minutes and some people can take it for years.

But that was my quest a.c. (after cancer) to be better at opening my heart because in true cliche form life is short and shouldn't we have as much love as possible in our life? My BFF (yes, I am really a 12 year-old girl!) and I have been talking about being an empath - someone who opens themselves up to the energies of other people and beings. I am a human empath. Always have been. I can tell when people are in pain and I take in that pain so hopefully it is easier for them to carry. I knew the moment my paternal grandmother died, even though my father didn't find out for another 2 days. And when I consciously take in others' pain, like in the case of my friend Mary, then I can have a safe place to put it. But when it happens by accident - wow, the results can be disruptive to say the least. In an effort to keep that pain at bay I don't watch the news anymore. I don't watch celebrity culture anymore. And I don't see movies like "Precious" and "Hurt Locker." I know what evil lurks in human hearts and I don't need to consciously remind myself of that. And I don't need to walk around with that in my system. But when it happens with a human in the world, it is harder.

Boundaries have always been difficult for me to create, that is definitely the result of being a child of an addict. There aren't clear boundaries in that life. So learning how to set "healthy" boundaries when you have amassed so many bad habits in that respect, is work. Uncomfortable work. Your resolve weakens, because wouldn't it just be easier to do what you have always done? Of course it would. But then how do you evolve? And isn't evolve/evolution my favorite word?

So, I am doing the difficult work of creating a boundary now. And sticking with that decision. Keeping in mind that this ache is temporary. And it will pass. I have a ring that reminds me that this is true - "This Too Shall Pass." And I will come out on the other side of this a stronger, taller woman. I would like to share part of an email with one of my other Mamas -

Me: "How long does it suck?"
Carol: "Oh, it sucks for a long time, but the triggers become fewer. Listen to Pema Chodren, that's the best idea. Love you and know you will be OK. I know my girl, she's a rocker. Ma"

We are all rockers. We can do this thing called life. Not always with grace and no bruises. But we must know we will be OK. I will. And I love you and open my heart to you today.

in peace

photo: Baily Hollen


Lorna Andersson said...

while reading this post i met myself, through you. i understand you nandamama, and i thank you for understanding me. blessings and light.

Lorna Andersson said...

while reading this post i met myself, through you. i understand you nandamama, and i thank you for understanding me. blessings and light.

Norma Madeo said...

So true... when we realize that we are not the center of the Universe, our horizons begin to open up. Like F. Scott Fitzgerald once said: "On the brink of my despair did I begin to build my true character."
You are so good at opening up your heart...a beautiful asset!!!
Thx for the Nancy Wilson tune; I loved it! xo