Soulmates: Cut From the Same Fabric of Stars, Turning Us Into Who we Most Are

“Soulmates aren’t the ones who make you happiest, no. They’re instead the ones who make you feel the most. Burning edges and scars and stars. Old pains and pangs, captivation and beauty. Strain and shadows and worry and yearning. Sweetness and madness and dreamlike surrender. They hurl you into the abyss. They taste like hope.” ~ Victoria Erickson

https://www.elephantjournal.com/2017/06/this-is-the-soulmate-we-have-to-let-go-of/

I didn’t see it coming when I met mine, in the place I least expected to find him.  On line.  I’m an old soul, I hate on line dating, but I figured I would try anything once, so there I was…on line.  I found him among the many profiles, and his jumped out…like oh…there you are.  He of course was wearing tales, which is far from what he likes to wear, but it made sense, it was a surefire way for me to recognize him…I have a Darcy complex.  And of course he was all the things I desired, artistic, moody, dark, light, brilliantly talented, smart, funny, simple and complex, a duality of spirit that set my soul on fire.

And like all soulmates he brought me to a full awareness of myself, held the mirror up to my face of all the things I didn’t want to see, and then showed me everything that made me most who I am…I tasted a passion that are written about in books, it was poetry.

Then he left…and it wrecked me.

There is a hell, I’ve been there.

There is also recovery.

In time…I’ve come to this place.  Sunday Brunch, with my daughter smiling and laughing across from me.  My hair thrown up in a head wrap, the comfiest flowing arty black jumpsuit, writing…this is who I am.  That’s the gift of soulmates…they give you…back to you.  There was a before him and an after him.

Before…judgment, fear, hypocrisy, anger, resentment, a false self ruled utterly by what others thought of me.

After…

There is the tenderness…and sweetness…and love, self in alignment with something bigger the…me.  Then…love…love in places where it seemed impossible to be…like grief and shame. There was always love…there is always love…there will always be love.

And she laughs once more…at the chicken picture….and I sip my coffee…and grin with a glistening eye.

Building A Relationship

One of the best ways to learn about relationship building, is training a horse.

Especially if you are not in a relationship…like me at the moment.  But really, aren’t we always in relationship with something?  Our family, our friends, our children, our co workers, nature…so maybe we can practice the principles I’m about talk about in all aspects of life.

I can testify that my horse has taught me more about myself then I care to know.  They are perfect mirrors.  If you are anxious they are, if you are angry, they act up, they can’t speak a word, but an annoyed flick of the tail says everything.

Getting a horse to stand on “The Box” is not as easy as it looks.  Especially for my stubborn mare.  She’s the most obstinate thing sometimes,  such a Taurus.  Then again, I’m equally stubborn, we make a fine pair.

We are constantly at odds with each other, and kind of madly adore each other at the same time.  I know how I feel about her, I know how she feels about me when she knickers every time I walk in the barn and when she’s tired, she liked to lay her head on my shoulder.  It’s a soulmate match to be sure, we both help each other grow.

Today was one of those days.  I wanted to teach her a new trick, in typical Perdu fashion, she didn’t want to do it.

My goal, just get one foot on the box.  After an hour of cajoling, being patient, creating a shoot with polls to help guide her, getting on the box myself, placing her foot on the box at one point, getting angry, being assertive, trying to force her on to the box, I stopped….and surrendered to the moment.

What the hell was I doing?

Trying to control the situation by literally expecting her to do what I say, something scary, without any sort of incentive.  If someone is going to follow you to the moon and back…or to the top of the box and back, they’d better trust that they won’t die on the journey up and down.  Getting angry and frustrated doesn’t garner trust.

There’s a point too where you stop and say…is this even possible?  Clearly she doesn’t want or can’t put her foot on the box.  I should just give up on this untrainable horse, put her back in her stall and call it a day.

But stubborn me wasn’t going to leave the arena until I accomplished the goal.  However…you can’t keep doing the same thing over and over again and expect a different result with people or horses.  You can’t change the horse or the person…but you can change yourself.

Changing Perdu was a bad idea…I loved her…so…change myself and my strategy.

I removed all the polls, stripped the environment down to simply the box and a wide open area to give her space.  I wanted her to feel like she had choices and space, and even if she didn’t choose the box, that was okay, we’d keep trying till she felt comfortable….I’m a wealth of patience these days.

I moved her up to the box, placed her foot on it, gave her grain, let her remove the foot.  We did it again, and again…foot, grain, foot, grain, click click, a tap with the wip and presto!  I eventually got her to stand peacefully on the box with two feet.  A minor miracle with a flighty stubborn warm blood mare.

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Lessons:

Don’t change the person/horse, change you.

Don’t be crazy, if you keep trying the same thing over and over again and it’s not working, change what you are doing.  The goal is still the same, take a different path.

People and horses take time and patience.  Don’t give up on them…give them options, if you get angry, take a break.  I had to do that quite a few times today, then go back.

Have a clear vision of what you want to accomplish

Clearly communicate

Remember…everything is possible.

Be humble…maybe your way of doing things isn’t the best, keep an open mind and be willing to change.  You might not be right (obviously I wasn’t)

Make your environment pleasant.   Frankly, who wants to be with or follow a tyrant?  Be pleasant, speak kindly, carry grain…I guess for people, grain wouldn’t be the best thing to carry, maybe sweet treats and warm loving kisses.

Perdu is 20 and she learned something new…so can you… people and horses do get better with age.

 

How to Not Screw Up Love

As my last piece was about heartbreak, I would like to give your the sure fire way to prevent it, and create relationships that last, healthy homes and healthy kids, healthy everything.

”God does not love us if we change, God love us so that we can change.  Only love effects true inner transformation, not duress, guilt, shunning, or social pressure.  Love is not love unless it is totally free.

The ususal expected ego pattern is

sin——punishment——repentance——transformation

This is totally recalibrated by Ezekiel, after experiencing the perfection of Yahweh’s love for Iserael…for him the pattern is radically changed and becomes instead:

Sin——unconditional love—-transformation—-repentance

–with our now “embarrassed and humiliated face” being our ongoing punishment and conversion! Grace is always a punishment for us.

Ezekiel the prophet, through mounting and outrageous metaphors, first disqualifies Israel as worthy of any love by reason of their complete unfaithfulness, and then he completely requalifies them by reason of the totally one-sided covenant love of God!  Whether it be the self-serving shepherds or the whoring girl or the field of dry bones, in every case Yahweh punishes them by loving them even more!  Yahweh says to Ezekiel, ” I take no pleasure in the death of a wicked man, but in the turning back of a wicked man who changes his ways to win life.  Come back, come back!  Why are you so anxious to die, House of Israel?”  Israel is, of course the standing metaphor and symbol for the individual soul and all of history.” Breathing Underwater Spirituality and the 12 steps, Rohr, 42-43.

The answer to everything, to any transformation, is to love more.  I just typed that and teared up.  Why?  Because that’s grace, and I was raised with the opposite sin punishment model.  Of course, I reflected that model in EVERY relationship I had prior to now. Duress, guilt, shame, shunning…yes, these were things that I did to people.  And when I received this treatment back, I mistook it for love.  I was a bad person and I needed punished….or they were behaving badly and needed to be shunned, as I had been shunned…and in some circles, even my own family, I still am.

Well…that’s not love.  That’s ego.

Additionally, we have the ability to love like this too, like God does, it really is a simple choice.  We do it with our children, why don’t we do it with each other?

Love is not conditional….

Let me repeat that.

Love is NOT conditional.

A hard concept for those of us who grew up with conditional love and fell in love with people who loved conditionally, and ourselves loved conditionally.  This is a new way of being, this IS the transformation that 12 step programs, spirituality, and contemplation offer.  The path toward unconditional love and grace.   And it’s not easy because your ego will fight you at every step…but that is what Jesus means when you must die to self.

When someone harms you…love them more.

When someone leaves you…love them more….let them go…but love them more.

When someone does something incredibly stupid, says something stupid, acts out…love them more…

Why?  Because what they are doing is completely unconscious.  And if we believe in God’s grace and love, that he is in us, and we are in him, then that conditional crap, isn’t who they are, or you are, or we are.

We are in this together, and the more of us who wake up to that reality, the less heartbreak there will be.  That’s heaven, this unconditional thing.  We’ve experienced it a few times, grace, guess what…we are supposed to give that to each other, no matter what, particularly if we are in a relationship with someone, because by God…being human, we will make mistakes, big ones, small ones, middle type mistakes, and if we want a relationship that lasts, then it must be a place of unconditional love and grace.  Doesn’t mean we condone bad actions,  doesn’t mean we don’t say, “No…no you don’t treat me that way, no, that behavior is not acceptable.”  We do get to call each other out on our own bullshit; but, we love each other through it at the same time.  That’s love…you might piss me off to high heaven, but I get to tell you that you do, and then I get to love you right on through.

When you can do this with yourself first then you can do it with others, and hopefully you get to do it with that person who sets your soul on fire.

That’s what I wish for you…and myself…a person/love that sets your soul on fire, where you both can practice unconditional love…together.

Like anything in life…you must practice it.  For those of us who did not grow up with unconditional love, we didn’t get our 10,000 of practice to be come an expert in it yet (Malcom Gladwell), so we may be a bit of a late blooming.  But we can do it.

Namaste…Peace…Love

 

 

How to Heal a Broken Heart

How does the heart start beating? This has always fascinated me. The heart is the first organ to form, and it begins an energy pulse that does not stop until death 16 days after conception, earlier then thought. That beating just starts, like magic. While researching how the heart starts beating, my daughter informed me that “God starts the heart beating.”

How do you know, I asked.

“I just know.” she replied, then continued…”He starts it by saying a blessing on it…no one knows what the blessing is though.” She said this while playing minion dash on the I-phone and not looking up. Simple…sounds true.

The heart,” Helminski continues, is the antenna that receives the emanations of subtler levels of existence. The human heart has its proper field of function beyond the limits of the superficial, reactive ego-self. Awakening the heart, or the spiritualized mind, is an unlimited process of making the mind more sensitive, focused, energized, subtle, and refined, of joining it to its cosmic milieu, the infinity of love.2

Is the heart more then just a muscle?  Is it a spiritual muscle as well?  Is it intuitive, does it actually break?  Science says yes, yes it does.

Takotsubo Cardiomyopathy is a sudden temporary weakening of the myocardium, producing something similar to a heart attack. When the body becomes overwhelmed, primarily due to stress, hormones such as metanephrine and normetanephrine are released in excess with addition to proteins such as neuropeptide Y, brain natriuretic peptide, and serotonin.

“Our hypothesis is that massive amounts of these stress hormones can go right to the heart and produce a stunning of the heart muscle that causes this temporary dysfunction resembling a heart attack,” says cardiologist Ilan Wittstein, M.D., an assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and its Heart Institute. “It doesn’t kill the heart muscle like a typical heart attack, but it renders it helpless.”

So why?  Why do we go through this?  Why as humans do we have this intense experience of heartbreak, it seems that no one is immune.  The best answer I have found so far is that from Richard Rohr, “And to be fully honest, I think the heart needs to be broken and broken open at least once to have a heart at all or to have a heart for others. As Simeon told Mary, “A sword will pierce your heart, so that the secret thoughts of many will be laid bare. (Luke2:35)

The pain of this…does feel like death.

But we don’t die.

And somehow we must heal…how do you heal a broken heart?  Maybe the answer lies in connecting with the physical organ itself, listening to it beat, running, walking, breathing.   Maybe this organ really is where God resides,  this heart must be broken until it opens.  Much like a lotus flower blooming out of mud.  Rohr gives us some advice, “I think the heart space is opened by right brain activities such as music, art, dance, nature, fasting, poetry, games, life affirming sexuality, and of course the art of relationship itself.”

So…my recipe on how to heal a broken heart…a recipe I am using on myself:

Breath, place your hand on your chest and feel your heart beat

Walk, run, skip, stroll through nature.

Sink your toes into grass

Laugh when something is funny

Listen to whatever music suits your fancy

Go on a 30 day fast or cleanse from something you feel is addictive or not serving you

Write

Write poetry

Read poetry

Read books

Go to the art museum

Drink tea

Listen to rain

Cry…because tears are like rain, they water your soul.

Practice contemplation

Pick a 12 step program…any one will do…

Take a tablespoon of honey before bed.

Sleep

Know that…it takes time.  Don’t rush it.  I’m over 17 months in to healing, so I speak from experience.  Know you are not alone…we are in this thing together.  Sure, I don’t know you, but if you are brokenhearted I do know you.  “You are the secret thoughts of many laid bare.”  I know you very well, because we share this same experience of love, of making mistakes, of being human, of smiling when we are sad.

Know that, you never stop loving that person, it’s normal and okay and you are not crazy.  People who tell you, “Get over it, you should be over it, move on, date someone new” haven’t truly loved.  Because if you have, and you were loved back, you did touch God for a moment.  I believe love is what God wants for all of us, and the only reason it ends or hurts or breaks us is because of us…our personal failure to stay in that place of divinity and follow God’s teachings on love:  love is always patient and kind; love is never jealous; love is not boastful or conceited, it is never rude and never seeks its own advantage, it does not take offence or store up grievances. Love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but finds its joy in the truth. It is always ready to make allowances, to trust, to hope and to endure whatever comes.  Love never comes to an end.

Love never comes to an end…however…when requested, it does let go.  Ego hangs on…love as Maya Angelou says…Liberates.

And healing a broken heart…is liberating yourself with love.  Liberation isn’t freedom from pain it’s acceptance of what is…and I think…that brings peace.

love

 

Step One and A Dance with the Ego

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An ego response is always an inadequate or even wrong response to the moment. It will not deepen or broaden life, love or inner laughter. Your ego self is always attached to mere externals since it has no inner substance itself. The ego defines itself by its attachments and revulsions. The soul does not attach nor does it hate; it desires and loves and lets go.” Breathing Under Water Spirituality and the Twelve Steps

Truth…a few years ago, I was a total ego centric self centered ass. As in, I thought I had it sooooo together, and I was sooooo enlightened, and sooooooo impressed by accomplishment, and soooooo into what other people of thought of me and the appearance that I gave. Ego…the royal suchness and soooooness of the Ego.

This manifested in all sorts of unhealthy ways. Embarrassing ways…self serving, grandiose ways. Fast forward two years later, a few break down type moments (yes…I experienced a panic attack for the first time), and the career that propelled me into a new and different understanding of myself, people, addiction, and the false precepts that most of us are running around with.

To admit powerlessness is the scariest thing in the world…and strangely peaceful. It feels very much like the time when I almost drown at the age of 9. There we were in the ocean, my family was off with my brother a few waves over. A storm was coming in and the waves kept hitting me down and finally I got pulled under and I couldn’t get up, the undertow was so strong. I remember very clearly the utter terror of not being able to breathe, and struggling, then a moment when I realized, I was going to die, and I let go and opened my mouth to breathe in the water and the strangest calm came over me. And after that, whatever was holding me down, let got and I popped back up to the surface and swam to the beach and vomited up sand for several minutes.

I go back to that memory much these days…powerlessness and the act of surrendering to that, to something greater then myself, probably saved my life. Maybe that’s one of the great lessons here, to save your life…you have to give it up.

“There is only one thing you can change…”
“Yourself.”
“Yes serenity prayer.”

S smiled at me.

Powerlessness

That’s not how it is…you simply learn to live with it.

I was immediately taken back to Benjamim’s Reiki reading of Perdu, “She has an old injury here.” he placed his palms above her hip.
Should I call a vet?
No…no need…she has learned to live with it. Animals accept pain, they don’t question it too much, it would be like questioning the sun rising, it just is.”

Maybe that’s how honest living is. It’s saying, “I’m still not over it yet and that is just how it is, and I may never be, but it’s a part of me. The hurt is something I am completely powerless over.

Step One…recognize your own addictions and your powerlessness over them.

Addiction is just a way to mask the pain or hurt…or depression. Typically it comes from some sort of trauma. Sometimes that trauma is a broken heart.

But…

What is all this pain teaching? Maybe…it points us in the direction to our hearts desire.

Someone to drink tea with and talk for hours with. Someone to laugh with…cry with…someone to hold your hand when life gets a bit scary and say, “You’ve got this!” Yes…well…it’s not about getting that person…it’s about being that person. Maybe first with yourself…then with someone and your honeybee tea pot.

Isn’t it weird to still feel this way?

Not at all, he was your connector to Source. That feeling was the most real thing you have probably experienced; now you need to learn to reconnect back to it without him. Love is the connection to a power greater then yourself.

So begins my studies