Love is the Answer

belly loveI shared with you last week about my latest cosmic 2×4 in the form of perimenopause. Not to be outdone, the Universe decided to send me another cosmic 2×4 within 24 hours of the first one. A $4000 water line replacement bill for the main water line to my house that sprung a leak.

What’s a girl to do when she gets hit with her two biggest issues (money and fertility) in one fell swoop? Phone her best girlfriend!

After patiently listening to me bitch and moan about my misfortune – why me? Why both of my biggest issues at once? Why now? – my beautiful, wonderful girlfriend gave me the answer.

In her infinite wisdom, she asked, “How did you react when those things happened?”

I immediately went to self-blame, judgment, and criticism. Like an echo in my head, I could hear my ex blaming me for my infertility. Similarly, I replayed every single non-necessary spending decision I made over the past three months: the mini vacations to concerts, the new car, the new clothes. I questioned every single one of them.

“You know it’s not your fault, right?” she said. “You’re not irresponsible with money and the infertility was never your fault.”

I wanted to argue with her. Of course it was my fault. So much for all the therapy to get over those fallacious beliefs…

“Maybe that’s the lesson. Self-acceptance rather than self-blame,” she mused.

Doh!

And because I am nothing if not a slow learner, the Universe sent me two more signs the next day. The first? A bumper sticker on my man’s truck: Love is the Answer. One that I use repeatedly to tease him with every time he gets in a bad mood. Turns out that message was more for me than for him. The second? A meditation. I should know better by now than to meditate when I’m in the middle of being hit with cosmic 2x4s! Yet, it couldn’t have come at a better time.

At Saturday night’s ecstatic dance, the woman who led the group shared a meditation with us that was profound and left me deeply affected. I believe it was taken from Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love. Her instructions for the meditation went something like this:

Lie down in a comfortable position. Place your left hand on your heart and your right hand on your belly, and say to yourself, “Show me your sorrow.” And let it all come in. Take it into your heart, let it know it’s going to be okay, that it’s over, and it’s safe here. Keep repeating “Show me your sorrow” until there is nothing left to show.

Then move on. “Show me your anger.” Again, open your heart and let it come in. Feel it as though you were back in the moment it first happened. Only this time love it, let it into your heart, let it know it’s over and everything is going to be okay.

After anger has nothing left to show, move on. “Show me your shame.” Invite it in. Everything you’ve ever done or not done, said or left unsaid. Let the shame roll in. Love it, accept it, be one with it.

Repeat the process for any negative emotion, anything that might be holding you back. And if one meditation isn’t enough, take a break and do it again. This is heavy stuff.

I still haven’t finished, but I know that this is something I need to do for me, so that I can move from self-blame to self-acceptance, from self-hatred to self-love.

At the end of the meditation, Elizabeth Gilbert writes, “When all this was finished, I was empty. Nothing was fighting in my mind anymore. I looked into my heart, at my own goodness, and I saw its capacity. I saw that my heart was not even nearly full, not even after having taken in and tended to all these calamitous urchins of sorrow and anger and shame; my heart could easily have received and forgiven even more. Its love was infinite.”

I hope to find this place of emptiness, calmness, clarity. There is no reason to carry the pain or blame around anymore. It’s time to let it go.

What are you willing to love and let go of today?

2 Comments

  • Virginia says:

    Thank you Mary for sharing this provocative tip for self-healing. I am looking forward to using it. I am sending a copy to a niece in prison and hope it helps her and some of her friends. The heart and stomach are center points for so much that happens internally and using these critical functioning parts makes so much sense.

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