Imagine…You met that special someone. The one who yanked your heart right from your chest the moment you saw them. The connection was there. There was a mutual attraction and chemistry that was unlike anything you’d ever experienced. And then that moment came. The moment you’d both been fantasizing about for a long time and suddenly it’s happening. You let your clothes drop to the floor and you are standing completely naked and vulnerable before this person you are sure is your soul mate. And the “soul mate” walks out the door at the sight of you. Imagine.
While those may not have been the exact circumstances for many of us, or even remotely close, we have all felt the sting of rejection and shame and no matter how it is served, it is so deeply hurtful that it can leave scars for generations to come…if we allow it to. I will be completely honest here. I never thought I’d be dating in my 40s and it’s no picnic. Not that it hasn’t had its highlights but I can’t say it was on my bucket list. Even so, I have learned a great deal about myself and others through the amusement park-like world of dating. There have been days when the emotions, questions marks and WTFs spinning around my head give me a monster case of shaken baby syndrome that makes me want to vomit my brains out through my nose. And then there are the days when my head is in the clouds, my stomach has just found its way up to my throat and the thrill of the ride has me laughing out loud like a middle schooler on on a roller coaster. It’s been an up and down experience that has forced me to get very clear on why I would even want to invest my time and resources into something that has frankly left me more nauseous than invigorated. So I have to ask myself from time to time…”Why?” Why would I put myself through this? And I guess my answer is yet another question. “How is this any different from life in general?
We are here to love, learn and grow and to help each other to do the same. Dating is one way we learn from each other. We are always going to encounter people who hurt us and we will hurt others as well. Most of us do so unintentionally. Few people wake up and start their day thinking “How can I hurt the people in my life at champion levels today and just really fuck them all up emotionally?” The real truth is this: Hurt people hurt people. We all have our wounds, some of which are healing nicely while others are gaping open and bleeding all over the general public.
The fact that we are all flawed, wounded human beings makes hurting each other inevitable. We can’t get around that fact. We all come from different places, experiences and different bodies, mindsets, etc. We stir each other up with our differences and also with all of the things that cause us to mirror each other. And if we have any sense, we learn from these encounters.
If we refuse to have the courage to feel, to do the inner work on ourselves and to heal from our own wounds, then we had better get used to the fact that we will simply continue to contribute to the pain and suffering of the world, rather than exist as a higher vibration that lifts the energy of others up with it. So, I ask you…What do you want to show up as during your time here on planet Earth?
At the risk of being judged and humiliated, I want to share a dating experience that taught me a huge lesson. To make a long story short, a couple of years ago, I fell for a certain man’s charm and really let my guard down. It was a brave thing for me to do given my history and it was far from easy for me. But I wanted to be able to trust myself and others and open myself up to my own feminine energy and to the true masculine energy I had been craving to connect with for a long time. It didn’t take long for me to learn that I had made myself vulnerable to the wrong person. I really wanted to hate this man but one of my gifts (and curses) is being able to see others through the eyes of God/Universe instead of my own limited experiences and understanding. What I saw when I looked past this man’s behavior was a very wounded and broken hearted man who had learned how to build up a fortress around his heart (moat included) so that no one was getting through to what was really there anytime soon. I saw his pain and his fear of ever being hurt like that again. I understand that all too well. I saw pieces of myself in him and that made it much harder for me to hate him or even be angry with him. He was just on his journey like everyone else.
Don’t get me wrong, I still hold him accountable and I had to acknowledge that I didn’t deserve to be treated the way he treated me. But because I saw beyond the surface of his behavior, I was able to resist the temptation to take it so personally or to judge him. It still hurt very much, but it wasn’t just about me and my hurts. We are all here to impact each other and stir each other up, whether we like it or not.
Think of it like this. A good friend of mine and I have a running joke about how much time and energy it takes to shower and conduct our daily self-care and grooming rituals that we all have. And, apparently, you have to do this shit pretty much every day if you want to be an accepted part of society. Getting undressed and just stepping under the shower head is the hardest part. Once we come out, we feel better and more awake. But if we chose not to shower, after so many days, we would begin to affect those around us in a most unpleasant way. We would not be able to avoid affecting others with our own funk (and I don’t mean funk as in George Clinton). And if we let it get bad enough, our unpleasant odor will saturate other people if we get too close to them and they will smell it on their clothes and in their hair long after you’ve walked away.
When we are brave enough to strip down to our barest self and step into the dripping wet process of grooming our souls, we will always come out feeling a more awake and alive than we did before and we won’t have to worry about leaving a sensory trail in front of and behind us that has everyone checking their shoes for the culprit.
Are you an emotional Pig Pen? Do you leave people wanting more of your essence or do you cause them to need a spiritual bath just as badly as you do? How do you show up in the world to your fellow flawed and wounded planet mates? We all have wounds. What do you do with yours?