Faith. How To Keep Going.

1/2/2017

I felt like the Universe took a bat to my heart. On my knees, I pounded my fists on the bed and shouted to the sky, “Enough! I will not open my heart again like this, only to be abandoned and disappointed. Don’t do this to me again!” I was finally giving up. I was finally saying “Fuck you Universe I’m no longer playing your cruel game.”  I felt like someone was murdered and I wanted revenge. I was enraged and sad. It was my worst case scenario.  There I was, left alone, again.  I thought he was it. I thought I’d waited years for this magical man who loved me in a way I’d never experienced before. It was a whirlwind romance until… it wasn’t. The details are rich and colorful, sure to fill a juicy book one day but for now let me say the point is, I was unknowingly served exactly what I needed: the ultimate violation; perfect love followed by an implosion and then abandonement.

I mourned the death of my shattered hopes for three weeks straight. Literally. Everyday I woke up crying, I went to bed crying, I was on the subway crying, in the bathroom at work crying. I started to grieve everything I never took time to be sad about before, including the tragic, horrific death of my beautiful, funny, loving mom, who died in 2002.  The earth opened up and I was sucked into the crack where the platelets ​​no longer match up. I fell down into the dark abyss. The fantastic book The Wild Edge of Sorrow by Francis Weller recommended by my dear friend Dr. Kelly Brogan helped me stay present in the darkest days.  I was hopeless and yet for the first time in my life I also felt a weird sense of invincibility, like how could anything break me more? In this state of despair I even opened my heart to a good friend and told him I’m attracted to him, feelings I’d hidden even from myself.  He more or less rejected the idea of us being intimate and to my surprise it didn’t destroy me further.  I felt the pain and just continued to surrender to the free fall.  I sunk deeper, with no end in site.
The first day of a self imposed ten day retreat was torturous. I cried at breakfast over my notebook, feverishly writing about rejection and loss. I was sure I wouldn’t find friends on the trip and the whole experience I reasoned would probably prolong the grief.  Day two I realized someone from the fashion industry, an agent, was also on the retreat. I tried to escape my life but there it was, a reminder that the outward expression of my life is just a projection of me, no matter where I go. This agent was the first sign from the Universe that I was being cradled, and my choices were not random.  Her presence, crashing my pity party, felt like a life lesson. This agent is notorious for being a real B.I.T.C.H. (sorry but true!) to work with and yet she too was on this retreat, trying to better herself.  Life is crazy hard and we all need a reprieve, no matter what world we come from (especially the cruel, cut throat fashion industry) . While she and I didn’t connect much, my heart opened to the child within her just knowing she had travelled so far to go within. We all have moments where we lose site of another’s humanity especially when they build seemingly impenetrable walls to keep us away.  We all have that boss or co-worker (or corporate giant, or ummm President) where we are convinced that there isn’t a heart beating inside their ice cold body.  On some level the thought must have crossed my mind about her, but then there she was, her walls down, just like mine.  Behind it all, we are all the same… hearts pumping blood, vulnerability thick like lava.  After that first sign, I relaxed into the retreat experience and my faith started to unfold like a lotus flowering out of the mud.
 
Over the course of the following eight days I experienced a parade of warm, loving, open hearted strangers. It was clear the guards had left their posts and this gaggle of men and women were exposed and openly discussing their sexuality, being rejected, being scared of success, enduring painful periods, bankruptcy, and the devastating heartbreak of divorce.  This was not within the confines of a workshop, this was just over breakfast or lunch. Every time I sat down next to a new stranger they went from stranger to friend within minutes and friend to soul mate within hours. I recognize this extreme intimacy may not be for everyone but it’s exactly what I needed.  When I wasn’t telling the details to any one of them about my recent free fall, I listened with compassion to their pain ridden tales as they revealed themselves to me. I put my agent and healer hats away recognizing intuitively that my exposed heart was the real gift (to myself and others).  Prior to the retreat I had been mourning my break-up in a sort of solitary confinement. I needed real, in person, physical communication and community. I needed support. I needed exactly what the retreat delivered.
 
As a result of that experience I have a renewed commitment to keep breathing and keep trusting. Looking back I see now that there was a murder.  No wonder I was enraged and sad over the death;  I wasn’t ready to let go of the woman who was trying to be in control.  I wasn’t ready to let go of holding it all together.  I wasn’t ready to admit that I could fall apart.  I wasn’t ready to admit I don’t have it figured out.  I wasn’t ready to let go.  Let go!!!!  Finally I was forced to confront that side of me; the Universe took a real stab at me and my delusion of authority.  I was then given signs to show me that the way life’s unfolding is not random. I was wounded but the whole of me was not left to die. The part of me that thinks she knows best however took her last breath.

If you feel like you’re free falling, look for the signs. Look for the synchronicity and try to tease out the lessons.

You are being guided.

The Universe may kick my ass again and I welcome that. She’s working to unearth our shiny bits by destroying our defenses.  We may be co-creators on this journey but we are not in charge.  I’m starting to reason that we might only have a 49% share in this crazy life thing (said in a horrified whisper).  But, you know what? I’m going to keep walking. I trust. There is so much more to this story…
I know so little. And that’s not just okay, it’s awesome.
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