The tears rolled down and I welcomed them, imparting salty trickles into my mouth. I’d committed to myself, and anyone who might have stumbled upon my last blog, to spend a month without my psychological creature comforts. Those included reading, writing, exercising, meditating, Google, and social media. I run to these things, daily, as sources of “personal progress.” Maybe not social media, but it’s a time suck nonetheless, and the name of this game wasn’t to confront modern and seemingly benign addictions but instead to create space in the form of time and silence, something most of us have absolutely none of.
When was the last time you sat alone in a room with no devices, no book, and no agenda?
Yeah, me either, until a month ago.
The first two days, when my toddler blessed me with a nap, I sat alone and basked in a sense of relief. There was no pining. I just felt as though the weight of the world had been lifted, the self-imposed pressure to perform, to move, to check in. We live in a culture where we call this “lazy.”
I began to ask guidance for epiphanies, for opportunities to heal, knowing I had some long-standing emotional wounds surrounding things that had origins in childhood, stuff that I’d carried with me and imprinted upon my adult interactions, further blistering my psyche.
I could feel the senselessness of this little girl business, the suitcase of irrational insecurities I’d chosen to tote around with me from year to year. You know the one, we’ve all got em, some heavier than others and necessitating wheels with that handle thingy, no matter how loving our families. I don’t think we actively choose to hold onto these trinkets requiring a reckoning, they’re instead like tangles in the hair, growing into unmanageable frizzy knots if not eventually addressed, sometimes mandating scissors and impetuous removal, inevitably rendering us incomplete.
Sheep in wolf’s clothing.
We have to address our in-authenticities, we can’t bury them and continue on with much sense of fulfillment and peace. That suitcase will find you… or whatever is left of you, even if you ditch it at the station, and you’ll do crazy things to evade it.
According to the book The Sacred Science, by Nick Polizzi, which inspired my month of soul solitude, avoiding those tangles can ultimately lead to physical and emotional illness, although I’d consider them one in the same. Attempting to separate mind from body is a futile cause in this human condition unless you’ve reached enlightenment.
On the third day, I had an exchange with a friend, one in which she called out my inauthenticity. It grated at that inadequate little girl, tucked deep within, hurting at abyssal depths. My ego born personality protections couldn’t save me from this because she wasn’t allowing it. Usually, we’re non-confrontational and everyone pretends they didn’t notice. Most of us require this anyway because the “other”, signifying us and them, has to be in the perfect space to receive and that’s rare, at best. At first, I played dumb, although my reactions and defenses are so ingrained, my response didn’t feel premeditated. I had to sit in silence with this, alone and undistracted, to allow the pain and mortification to linger, to permit fessing up to the infraction. If I’d instead grabbed a book or popped in a workout video, I could’ve glided through it unscathed, shoving the little girl into submission… but I didn’t.
Cue the aforementioned waterworks. They flowed for the better part of an hour, and although I knew my friend was also operating from little girl injustices that were somewhat unfair to me, I went back and owned my in-authenticity with her. It was so hard, I felt practically blind as I forced the words forth. I had to really step outside from myself and that angry lil’ ego to get the job done.
And afterward, the Universe (for lack of an all-encompassing word… you can say God, Jesus, Buddha, whatever speaks to your heart) rewarded me with the most gorgeous release. That child within harbored so much fear, anger, and hurt, she used judgment for years to protect. She’d learned that judgment spared her from empathy and empathy spared her from true connection and true connection spared her from possible pain. If you allow yourself to love and respect others, seeing their inner child, if you open your heart to that degree, hurt is a risk you run. She’d also learned that placing herself in a position of authority, the well-intentioned helper, imbalanced the equality of her friendships- more protection, less connection.
It proved to be a sad and lonely space, even with friends to fill it.
And I took a moment to love that child, to remember why she had to do this. I could feel myself as that little girl all over again. I cradled her. I wept for her. I wept as her.
I forgave her.
And just like that, it felt over. The judgment was gone, with only love and understanding left to replace it. The Universe required far less from me than I’d assumed, just transparency, self-love, space, and willingness.
I repeated this experience, but with different situations and people, a number of times during the month. I couldn’t pull it off daily. I required time to assimilate in between, long pauses to decompress and reflect, to re-energize. Each time I left with complete and utter forgiveness of other and self, with an understanding of why each of us must operate as we have and do. This is THE thing we are missing, absentmindedly tiptoeing around it with our busy-ness, feigned or otherwise.
During the last week, my husband showed me a book by Ram Dass, Grist for the Mill. As generally happens for me with books, it called to me on every level, beckoning me in, and I could not turn my back, in spite of the self-imposed reading hiatus. I was immediately mesmerized. I found myself stopping to stare at his face on the cover, taking absolute comfort in the knowing of his eyes. His words encompassed every bit I needed solidified, my hungry soul feeling more satiated with each sentence.
I speak to you now as a less encumbered woman, holding hands with my inner child, gently pulling her forward when she needs prodding, acting as her mother now, only wanting the best for her, even if that means she needs to leave me. I’ve carried her for so long, impregnated with her fears, just the symbolic thought of her taking leave crushes my heart whilst I type this sentence, eyes beginning to moisten and again stream.
Our journey is not over. We have more battles to face together, more pain to relinquish. It’s safe to say the only addiction I’ve come away with is to creating space, even if it’s only 30 minutes for a few days per week. This is the best medicine I’ve ever taken, more miraculous than any drug, more healing than any workout. The key to liberation lies within. Don’t be afraid. She’s waiting for you.
You are all that is right in this world.
You are love.
You are beautiful, in every sense of the word.
You deserve everything you want and more.
You have touched so many souls on this journey.
It’s time to hold your own.
There are no cosmic mistakes, every human exchange is an opportunity for love and growth, which are never mutually exclusive.
Trust that all decisions you make at the soul level, inspired by true loving kindness to self, will be shrouded in protection and, in time, rewarded.
Do not make the journey of others your own. This is yours and that is theirs. Allow them to stumble and learn… even your children. Loving guidance followed by space for growth.
How to carve out soul space:
Removing social media isn’t imperative, if you can keep your hands off of it during the designated time, but I recommend it, because your mind will be less encumbered with other people’s business (and busy-ness) and you’re likely to create more time.
No need to stop exercising, if you can fit both in.
Quitting reading seems important, if you’re a book junkie. If you like fiction, the inability to run away into someone else’s life will be helpful. If you are a self-help fiend, making sure your thoughts are your own and that YOU guide yourself through these uncomfortable emotions is a must.
Meditation didn’t prove fruitful for me during this period since I wanted to hyperfocus and retain ties to the ego/personality.
It may be helpful after a particularly emotional session to take some notes afterward. I wanted to remember other issues that came up for future sessions.
Most importantly, know that you are taking this space to emote, to dig deep. Ask spirit to enable that for you. They’ll oblige. Set your intention and all will eventually unfold.