Talk is Cheap

joshstephencWe all face pain and darkness at certain points along the path, and yet life keeps coming, even when we aren’t seeing clearly. Even when we don’t know ourselves well. And even when we haven’t yet figured out how to love, respect, and cherish ourselves. If you can’t do it for yourself, you won’t be able to do those things for anyone else. Life doesn’t stop and wait for any of us to catch up. Sometimes we really screw it all up and hurt people we love, people who’ve been good to us, there for us, rooting for us, even. If you haven’t figured out who, exactly, you are, and what lights you up from the inside, if you’re stuck in darkness, there’s no way you’ll be making loving, conscious decisions.

Very few people set out to hurt those they love. We can only be where we are, with what we’ve got, at any given time. If you happen to cross paths with someone who’s lost, confused, in pain, and/or numbing out (those things tend to go together), if you happen to open your heart to someone in that condition, you are probably going to get hurt. (If you’re continually doing that, you probably need to look at why you’re being careless with your heart.) If you’re the person who feels huddled up at the bottom of a cold, dark ditch, you may unwittingly bring pain to people who love you. When you feel lost, you’re going to make lost choices. It’s like flailing around in a cave with your arms out in front of you. It’s not personal, it’s just that anyone who comes near you will probably get smacked in the head.

It’s hard to face, but there are some things you may never be able to “make right”. We call those places that heal but leave a mark, scars. You’ll heal over the thing, but it’s never going to be exactly the way it was before, it’s just something you’ll live with that will eventually add to your character. We will all break someone’s heart at some point, in some way. The only thing you can do in those instances, is examine what happened with clear but compassionate eyes, and that kind of seeing may not happen for quite some time if you’re in darkness right now. If your pain caused someone else to be hurt, owning that can take the sting out of it, acknowledging when you haven’t acted from your highest self is a brave and compassionate thing to do. Maybe you’ll find forgiveness, and eventually you will have to forgive yourself. The bottom line is that until a person heals themselves, they’ll keep hurting those around them. And words won’t help. “Sorry” loses its power quickly when it’s over-used. Action is the thing. If you want to figure out how to stop inadvertently smacking people in the head if that’s what you’ve been doing, you’re going to have to take a serious look at what’s happening within you. And if you’ve been the “smack-ee”, know that it’s rarely intentional.

There was a time in my life when I justified poor behavior with my “sad story”. Any limiting storyline about yourself, and why you are the way you are (when that isn’t the way you’d like to be), needs to be discarded. Sad events from your past do not justify hurtful choices in your present. And you are worthy and capable of so much more. You have this huge heart and the capacity to shine the kind of light that would astound you if you let it. Letting yourself off the hook is not the same as forgiving yourself. Letting yourself off the hook means going back to sleep, being careless with yourself and those around you, while forgiving yourself is something you can do only after you’ve examined your pain, your rage, your shame, your darkness and your guilt, after you’ve leaned into those things and shed your tears until the heat of all that stuff is released into the air, the earth, the water. Your past will shape you and inform the person that you are, but it doesn’t have to define you. You just have to be ready and willing to slay your own dragons, get back to love, and move forward. Sending you a ton of love as I always am, Ally

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