Thursday, September 30, 2010

Day #36 & #37: This is my mantra

I have decided that it is time for me to adopt a mantra. Mantra comes from the Vedic tradition of India, and is a word that is considered capable of "creating transformation." Hindus and Buddhists repeats certain mantras over and over again until they become second nature, and cause a transformation within. It's time for my mantra, and I will repeat it as many times as necessary, until I am transformed. It is time to learn to accept, feel, and let go of all that has wounded me in the past, and to effectively handle present, and future wounds. It goes something like this:

1. I must acknowledge that someone or something has hurt me.
2. I must accept that someone or something has hurt me.
3. I must allow myself to feel (I mean really feel) whatever emotion that hurtful person or thing has caused me to feel.
4. I will forgive.
4. Finally, I will drop it and let it go.

My prior coping mechanisms, to say the least, have been down right bad. I belonged to two camps: hold on to the wound, that gaping bleeding wound, for as long as possible, or disguise it with some delectable and beautiful facade. I used to have this tremendous capacity within me to store every bothersome word, every heart wrenching word or action, never once considering that maybe, just maybe it was time to let it go. Instead, I adopted a masochistic tendency to keep adding salt to the wound, never allowing it to heal. On the other side of the spectrum, I would take that gaping wound and cover it with the fluffiest whipped cream I could find, sprinkle it with delicious rainbow sprinkles, and finally top it off with what else, a cherry. Here is the problem with this doesn't allow the wound to heal either. Forgive the medical analogy, but if you don't see the wound and treat the wound with the appropriate therapy, it will never ever heal.

So why now? Well, it's amazing what happens when a completely objective third party looks into your eyes, and tells you, "it's time to feel everything. It's time to feel the pain, the anger, the hurt, because you will never be able to move past it if you do not allow that feeling to surface." Of course, I was completely taken aback. What do you mean my victim mentality or shove it under the rug mantra isn't working? After I exhaled, sat for a moment, and processed everything that was said, I came to this realization; this person is right.

To feel, to really feel. Not happy, bubbly, Pollyanna feelings. No, black, dark, ugly, putrid feelings. I remember sitting in my car frozen, thinking, how do I feel this? I didn't know if I could. Then, something remarkable happened. I acknowledged the feeling, accepted the feeling, and then simply allowed the feeling to come through. I got pissed. I was angry, I wanted to scream, and throw things. I had never felt this anger before. Most importantly, I felt it, I really felt it. Every bit of rage and pain precipitated out of my body.

I kept asking myself, "is it ok for me to feel this anger?" Isn't some blissfully happy life coach going to tell me that anger just isn't good for you. "It's going to give you wrinkles!" The fact of the matter is anger is a human emotion, and sometimes, we just have to feel it. I read somewhere that the words anger, wrath, and fury appear over 600 times in the bible. Even God gets angry, and he releases His anger, and depending on what you believe, boy, does He ever release His anger! Simply put, anger must be felt or we turn into some ticking nuclear time bomb just waiting for someone to push our little red button.

I finally said to myself, "ok, I'm feeling it, now what to I do?" I remember listening to Liz Gilbert's book, and I remember her retelling the story of her time in an ashram in India. While there, she met a man who would become one of her dearest friends, Richard. I remember one scene in particular where Liz goes on and on about her ex-boyfriend, and how much she loved him and missed him, and if only they could give it one more go. Richard then said to her, and I will never forget this, "Groceries, so love him, so miss him, and then drop it." Drop it. Let it go. Feel it, forgive, and then release it into the universe. Release all of that negative energy back into the universe, and make room for all of the good energy that can now enter.

Hinduism preaches the idea of karma, meaning that every good or bad thing we do somehow comes back to us. They believe if you focus on thoughts of happiness and positive energy, you will also receive positive energy in return. However, if you perpetuate feelings of anger and negativity, then of course, this is what the universe will give back to you. Positive thinking is continually reinforced, and it is believed that the optimist is the one who will remain happy until the very end. So, in summary: acknowledge it, accept, feel it, forgive it, and then drop it. Ganhdi once wrote, “A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.” Allow the sum of your thoughts to ooze optimism and scream with positivity, and then sit back and enjoy the happiness.

"I am a little deaf, a little blind, a little impotent, and on top of this are two or three abominable infirmities, but nothing destroys my hope." ~Voltaire

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