It started as it often does - a vague nagging sense that something is missing, a growing sense of frustration, stuckness, and the self-judgement that usually follows. "Really Shelly? Are we here again?" And, I feel what I think is resistance to something, but I don't know what.
I hear my own words, those I ask my clients. "Are you thinking you're having the wrong experience? Could you allow yourself to just be where you are right now?" And my answer is, "Hell no. I'm stuck. Again. And I shouldn't be." So I pull out my tools and I do the best I can. And yes, I find myself trying to fix it. I meditate. I give myself some compassion, as best I can, but I still don't like it. Finally I pray and ask for help. And I watch and wait. Nothin'. Nothing happens.
And then . . . I express my feelings to my partner. Turns out he has some feelings too and next thing you know we have ourselves a relationship problem. So we go to work on it. We go back and forth. We mirror each others' feelings. We hear the unloved parts of ourselves and each other. We do our best to take responsibility for our respective feelings and for this co-creation we call a relationship.
I get my buttons pushed. You know, the big ones - the ones that make me look and feel like a raving lunatic, like I'm on the brink of being annihilated or abandoned. But, as the buried feelings come up and out, the relief comes too. For my heart has been blasted open. And in that moment I'm reminded, once again, that it was the closure that hurt. And that's why I felt stuck and unfulfilled.
Once my heart had cracked open I could hear, with compassion, the truth, and what this issue had been all about. A wounded part of me still questioned her value, felt unloved, and wanted my partner, or something in my life, to fix it.
Once I acknowledged this truth, I settled into sort of a compassionate awareness, and thought, "OK. I can handle this. Knowing this truth is enough for now." So I went through my day feeling a little lighter, like a fog had been lifted. And while running some errands, I heard a man singing, at the top of his lungs, from a bench, in front of TJ Maxx. I stopped and listened. I told him he sounded great. And with the passion of an evangelical minister, he approached me and told me his story. He said he spent most of his nights, sleeping on that bench and eating what he found in the trash cans. But, "I am blessed. The spirit has blessed me," he declared. He said his family had deserted him, that they had had enough. "But that's OK," he says, "because I am blessed. I am a living, breathing blessing. And so are you." He showed me the needle marks on his arms. He said sometimes people gave him clothes or food and he was blessed. Over and over he said, "I am blessed. The spirit has blessed me. I am a living blessing and so are you. We are blessed by a God that loves us all the same. Yes, we are truly blessed."
I felt a little silly after that - about my "fight" with my boyfriend and for my "stuck" problem. But, then I realized that it doesn't really matter whether it's a beloved partner, a homeless person, or news of a tornado ripping through a community that could be my own. The God that's in me uses whatever is here, right now, to answer my prayers. And, I realized, once again, that whatever I'm praying for, can always be found, in the love and compassion of my own broken-open heart.