Tuesday, June 30, 2015

growing empathy for the one who broke my heart

For several mournful hours this afternoon and evening, our dog Chispa was missing. I wasn’t too worried in the afternoon hours, as our neighbor’s dogs have temporary residence in our backyard, and I was sure she was freaked out and might have dashed off, but would come back. We found her outside the fence when we got home last night, so I figured she’d just do the same again. As it got dark, I got worried, and drove and then walked around the neighborhood, looking for her. When we got back, dejected, I posted a photo of her on Facebook, hoping that would turn up a lead. I also called a coworker from many years back, as she’s married to the local dog catcher, hoping she could tell me if he had caught Chispa today. I left her a message.

On Facebook, a friend responded to my post about Chispa with kindness and a suggestion. I was struck by this little interaction, as this same friend had posted a photo of her lost dog within the last few days, and I hadn’t commented on her post nor followed up to see if she’d found her dog.

Eventually, my former coworker called me back and let me know that her husband had picked up a dog today that matched my dog’s description, and on the road we live on. I felt flooded with relief, knowing that while my dog was probably scared and miserable at the animal shelter tonight, at least she was safe.

The interaction with my friend, who’s local, on Facebook struck a chord, harmonic with another chord that’s been playing over and over again in my heart lately. Now, now that I’ve experienced this, I can feel my empathy grow for other friends when they lose pets. It was a stark contrast to how I’d breezed over that same friend’s post about her lost dog just a few days before. This isn’t about Facebook etiquette and dynamics. It’s about growing empathy.

I am better at growing empathy when I have experienced something myself. I don’t consider this a virtue or a fault. I’m also an experiential learner – I need to touch it, I need to DO it. So too, with my heart.

Today I grew some empathy and expanded my forgiveness for the one man who’s broken my heart in romance; I do believe there are other ways to break a heart, and I’ve experienced some of them. My one heartbreak so far in life occurred just a few years ago, and I was devastated to my bedrock. I also healed and am healing many needed wounds, congestions and dis-ease from my inner core in the process.

In my work towards equanimity and developing a healthy indifference to Heartbreak Henry, as I’ll call him, who lives also in my excruciatingly (in this instance) small town, I continue to struggle in my mind a bit with not seeing myself as the victim and him as the perpetrator, blaming him, and probably many other predictable emotional habit patterns of those of us distressed by heartbreak. Yes, distressed, because right now I experience the remnants of that heartbreak only as mild distress, anxiety and disappointment that arise when I encounter him or information about him. I’ve learned to clear out my system clearly and efficiently with muscle testing and energy healing when my awareness arises shortly after the distress reaction emotions.

In months and years past, I have been a kicking, screaming, barfing, weeping mess about this heartbreak. I have walked through the gauntlet. So, with as much progress as I’ve made, I’ve learned to forgive myself these judgmental habit patterns, not resist them, and watch them float by on my river of thoughts, just like everything else. Away it goes…

Today, in conversation with a friend, I discovered that ol’ Henry has left another woman (a post-me woman, as pre-me was his wife, with whom he was still married during our relationship, and still is) in a puddle of heartbreak. And then, wham, whiz, marvel of it all, my mind cracked open, and Heartbreak Henry once again became the mirror for my healing process.

See, prior to my affair with HH, I had never experienced a truly broken heart. I thought maybe I’d never REALLY been in love, though now I realize that hindsight in affairs of the heart can be quite distorting. I’d been in love before. AND, I’d never so fully given my love before in a romantic relationship. My love for my children had and continues to reach those angelic heights. I cracked open my heart, and gave of it fully, to him, to HH.

In previous break-ups, I’d left a small but still significant trail of broken hearts.
As I heard today the story of HH and this other woman, I remembered how I’d felt sad and some longing in past romantic partings, but a bit of disconnect; I wasn’t fully invested, so though my soon-to-be ex’s heart was breaking, mine wasn’t. I was witnessing his sadness with a bit of distant concern, almost like he was a character in a film with whom I empathized.

And I remembered, in those moments when I was pounding my fists on the ground and vomiting and screaming and weeping, HH had always appeared so far away, so disconnected, so unaffected. And it hit me – HH had never had his heart broken.

Maybe. I could be off here. As with so many things with HH, it’s not really about him. It’s a wonderful, flying-into-the-glory chance for me to expand my consciousness, and my heart.

I remembered old, disconnected me. Though I’m older and wiser now, I’m less decrepit, less stiff, less set in my ways. And I am most definitely still doing the good work so that it may continue to be so.

From my time with HH, I discovered how fully I could give my love. And now I’ve been blessed with the most generous and hilarious best friend of a hot lover of a partner, and I have learned to give that love AND receive that oceanic love right back. My heartbreak was the path to this bliss, for me. When we came together, my Love was in a state of heartbreak too, though his was an unbearable sense of heartbroken loss from a young, beautiful, loving, passionate and gifted friend who was lost in an accident, gone way, way too soon.

Today, I remember what it was like to break hearts, to even feel a little superior in that moment of not being as devastated as the “other.” Today, my empathy and forgiveness grows for Monsieur Heartbreak, for I have walked in those shoes.

And I walked right out of them, into the barren hell of my mind, the deepest shadows that challenge my heart and my love for myself and all life. And I walked through that fire, as I surely will again, to the other side, and jumped into the seething, bubbling, pulsing, soothing, buoyant, saturating, life-filled ocean, into Love.

In my prayer for my own equanimity, I have found something more harmonic than indifference. I pray, with clear love and deep gratitude, that Heartbreak Henry gets his heart broken before he dies, and gets to experience the ineffable blessing of the journey back.

Friday, April 18, 2014

~rest in peace, you brilliant magician of the human experience~

Gabriel Garcia Marquez inspires me immensely - his writing introduced me to the delicious blend of magic and creativity in our lives, full of the senses and invisible things.

“To him she seemed so beautiful, so seductive, so different from ordinary people, that he could not understand why no one was as disturbed as he by the clicking of her heels on the paving stones, why no one else's heart was wild with the breeze stirred by the sighs of her veils, why everyone did not go mad with the movements of her braid, the flight of her hands, the gold of her laughter. He had not missed a single one of her gestures, not one of the indications of her character, but he did not dare approach her for fear of destroying the spell.”

“He allowed himself to be swayed by his conviction that human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mothers give birth to them, but that life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves.”

Both from Love in the Time of Cholera

~rest in peace, you brilliant magician of the human experience~

Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Day Sky

Let us be like Two falling stars in the day sky.

Let no one know of our sublime beauty
As we hold hands with God
And burn

Into a sacred existence that defies -
That surpasses

Every description of ecstasy
And love.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Hidden Singer

The Hidden Singer

The gods are less for their love of praise.
Above and below them all is a spirit that needs nothing
but its own wholeness, its health and ours.
It has made all things by dividing itself.
It will be whole again.
To its joy we come together --
the seer and the seen, the eater and the eaten,
the lover and the loved.
In our joining it knows itself. It is with us then,
not as the gods whose names crest in unearthly fire,
but as a little bird hidden in the leaves
who sings quietly and waits, and sings.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The Dream by Theodore Roethke

I met her as a blossom on a stem
Before she ever breathed, and in that dream
The mind remembers from a deeper sleep:
Eye learned from eye, cold lip from sensual lip.
My dream divided on a point of fire;
Light hardened on the water where we were;
A bird sang low; the moonlight sifted in;
The water rippled, and she rippled on. 

She came toward me in the flowing air,
A shape of change, encircled by its fire.
I watched her there, between me and the moon;
The bushes and the stones danced on and on;
I touched her shadow when the light delayed;
I turned my face away, and yet she stayed.
A bird sang from the center of a tree;
She loved the wind because the wind loved me. 

Love is not love until love's vulnerable.
She slowed to sigh, in that long interval.
A small bird flew in circles where we stood;
The deer came down, out of the dappled wood.
All who remember, doubt. Who calls that strange?
I tossed a stone, and listened to its plunge.
She knew the grammar of least motion, she
Lent me one virtue, and I live thereby.

She held her body steady in the wind;
Our shadows met, and slowly swung around;
She turned the field into a glittering sea;
I played in flame and water like a boy
And I swayed out beyond the white seafoam;
Like a wet log, I sang within a flame.
In that last while, eternity's confine,
I came to love, I came into my own.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Me Gustas Cuando Callas

Me Gustas Cuando Callas
Me gustas cuando callas porque estas como ausente,
y me oyes desde lejos, y mi voz no te toca.
Parece que los ojos se te hubieran volado
y parece que un beso te cerrara la boca. 

Como todas las cosas estan llenas de mi alma
emerges de las cosas, llena del alma mia.
Mariposa de sueno, te pareces a mi alma,
y te pareces a la palabra melancolia. 

Me gustas cuando callas y estas como distante.
Y estas como quejandote, mariposa en arrullo.
Y me oyes desde lejos, y mi voz no te alcanza:
dejame que me calle con el silencio tuyo. 

Dejame que te hable tambien con tu silencio
claro como una lampara, simple como un anillo.
Eres como la noche, callada y constelada.
Tu silencio es de estrella, tan lejano y sencillo. 

Me gustas cuando callas porque estas como ausente.
Distante y dolorosa como si hubieras muerto.
Una palabra entonces, una sonrisa bastan.
Y estoy alegre, alegre de que no sea cierto. 

~Pablo  Neruda

I Like for You to be Still
I like for you to be still: it as though you were absent,
and you hear me from far away and my voice does 

not touch you
It seems as though your eyes had flown away and it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth.

As all things are filled with my soul
you emerge from the things, filled with my soul.
You are like my soul, a butterfly of dream,
and you are like the word Melancholy.

I like for you to be still, and you seem far away.
It sounds as though you were lamenting, a butterfly 

cooing like a dove
And you hear me from far away, and my voice does 
not reach you:
Let me come to be still in your silence.

And let me talk to you with your silence
that is bright as a lamp, simple as a ring.
You are like the night, with its stillness and constellations.
Your silence is that of a star, as remote and candid.

I like for you to be still: it is as though you were absent,
distant and full of sorrow as though you had died.
One word then, one smile, is enough.
And I am happy, happy that it’s not true.

~Translation by W.S. Merwin

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Translation of an ancient Sanskrit love poem

Although I conquer all the earth,
Yet for me there is only one city.
In that city there is for me only one house;
And in that house, one room only
And in that room, a bed.
And one woman sleeps there,
The shining joy and jewel of all my kingdom.

~ Anonymous, Ancient India