I let you go. I let you go.I let you go.
At the beginning of this rising, there is grief. The world that I wanted seems lost. The friendship I trusted seems like smoke. The mother who has held me inside her field of love for so long is dying.
This rising IS grief. And under that, twisty sharp things, brittle as dead branches, which feel icky and scary – and I don’t want them inside of me.
They poke at my tender places, warning: Look away!
But I don’t look away. I won’t. I know who I am now. They cannot have me anymore.
As I rise, tears rise – and long strings of memory pearls. All the things I thought I’d lost but which, I see now, are in need of recalibration.
For example. the story of the girl who invited everyone but me to her 6th-grade birthday party. For years, I have held onto that rejection but this morning, as it slices its way to the surface of awareness, and I just let it be there, something changes.
I sit beside my 12-year-old self as she is rejected. I watch it pierce the field of acceptance which, until now, young and innocent, she trusted.
I watch as realization dawns: I’m not invited. It was deliberate. I watch as she processes this pain. I watch as, even in her surprise and hurt, she walks over and bravely says, “I see that you’ve invited everyone else in the class to your party. You must have made a mistake.”
In the past, whenever I’ve remembered this, I’ve kicked myself. Holding it as a doubly-stupid thing to do. TO be rejected and then to walk up and ask to be rejected again.
This morning, I see that she was, in fact, refusing to believe that someone could be that cruel. In an act of tremendous courage, she was giving another little girl the chance to choose toward love.
This courage, which rose from her own nature, my own nature, is still there – yet by denying my the truth of my own courage, I’ve used this incident to bully myself. To separate myself from the truth of my own kindness – and to hold the friends who’ve come since then with reserve, unwilling to risk being hurt like that again.
These sorts of memories are salty and deep – and they open onto others, a network of stories, which move and open, releasing layers of love that I’ve withheld from my own heart.
As each memory rises, I sit in my meditation corner let it rock through my body, which shakes and aches and shivers as the energy is released from muscle and bone.
I think of the therapists I should probably call, the healer who knows my story. Who knows me. I should wait. I should get support. I should not do this alone.
Then, a quiet certainty rises. I know who I am and I know what this is: it’s movement toward healing and this process, while painful, is the rising of love toward myself.
So I let it keep rising – all the stuffed-down feeling I can find. And as it emerges from its hiding places in my body – the second chakra where it grips at my guts, twisting knife pain and ache, and clutching anxiety
It emerges from that spot between the back of my heart and the spine, a wisp of blue-gray shadow slipping into view as that feeling of being pressed back by an invisible hand lets go of the front of my ribcage.
I see that each of these symptoms is matched to a younger me – stepping bravely forward with her fear saucer-eyes.
The 12-year-old me shocked by unkindness. The eight-year-old me, sighing as she sets down the book that she loves and goes to pick up the baby. The six-year-old me, clutching the paw of her Bunny, once clean and white, now gray-smudged with disappointment.
Each ‘me’ has her reasons, her version, her story of why she must hold back the fullness of who she is. Each story is a warning to censor myself, to hide some things and exaggerate others. Each story whispering shadow guidance to change myself, silence myself – to deny my own instincts, which are also whispering, the much kinder message that I am already free – and so very loved.
Today, even as the brittle branches crackle and quake, I walk toward my own heart.
I claim each frightened, disowned piece of myself. You are mine. I love you. I’m sorry. I will never disown you again.
I begin with the six-year-old, holding her as she sobs through my body. Then, we stand together to watch the rising as other selves – other me’s – move through wounds like dolphins swimming, like a surgeon’s needle stitching, like brand new beings emerging through endless birth canals.
I let you go. I let you go.I let you go.
I come back again to add that what I’m experiencing, and you may be feeling in your own way, is the rising of joy. Joy that’s been held underwater, under pressure, under lock and key for so long that it can only emerge as grief.
Grief is the first layer, and the rising of sorrow for the ways that we have let ourselves down. After grief, we make space in our lives for the feeling (which is power) that’s been liberated.
We make space for this in our bodies through tender self-care and gentle self-talk. This takes a little time.
LIberated energy will seek expression – and the best way to use it is your own creativity and movement. Move your body. Pick up your paintbrush. Take a walk. Move through the kitchen, through the church, through your asana practice, opening to what’s here and asking to move through you.
SIng. Write. Dance. Draw. Speak.
Every wound is a wormhole of darkness tethered, on the other side, to a bright star of love.
Every moment is an invitation to dive through.
Use the power of emergence to create the world that you want to live in.
and now I am taking Bunny to buy the New York Times. She likes to drive in the car with me.