Monday, October 7, 2013

The Anatomy of F*cking Up and What Happens Thereafter.....

“I tell you this

to break your heart,

by which I mean only

that it break open and never close again

to the rest of the world.”

Mary Oliver

Oh hey, Humans….never underestimate your ability to fuck up. September was my self titled Month of Purging. Peeling back layers, cleaning “emotional house,” and throwing out spiritual junk that had built up, as a result of my actions and the reactions following them. In other words, thank God it’s October. Fall is always rich grounds for letting things die so newness can flourish in its place.

See, I’ve always been the person that would say, “I would never do that.” I would never do. that. As if my actions, or opinions were never going to be influenced by circumstance. Or timing and lessons beyond “my” plan. Unfortunately, it isn’t always up to US how we grow, or what form a lesson comes in. For myself, I always took pride in my ability to say that things are either BLACK or WHITE and that any shade of “gray” was for the weak hearted. For me, having this sort of loyal-to-a-fault, immovable, hardheaded (if you will)...what-I-think-to-be-true-is-even-if-it-isn’t mentality worked. It worked for me for about 25 years, mostly. Until I looked a little bit closer and realized that the same mentality, while coming from the place of a desire to protect myself, or my family, my friends….also led me to pushing away people, emotions and experiences that could have potentially softened my heart and aided in my own personal growth and the growth in my relationships. Or my life.

For each time that I was incapable of putting myself in another persons shoes and for every time I threw stones at another person’s morality, life choices, way of being or doing, for every time that I said, “I could never….” or “What kind of person does that…” I pointed fingers while never considering that we are imperfect for REASONS…. and that perhaps, part of my journey somewhere down the line would lead me to doing, or being the exact things that I have judged in others. And that if we could all find a little forgiveness and truly scan the inner landscape of where and why we’re so intent on our convictions, that maybe, we would be able to realize that we are capable of (for lack of a better term, or a more honest one) fucking. UP. YES, YOU TOO.

When I chose not to like your boyfriend, at the expense of our friendship….pushing you away until you realized you deserved better….that wasn’t actually about YOU at all. What I should’ve been able to realize is, your journey is yours to have….my only job is to be your unconditional, supportive and emotionally present friend. It’s not my job to create detours, roadblocks, modifications or directions to your map. While I may be a part of that journey, I’m not traveling the full road with you.

Maybe you’re the best girlfriend, best friend, Mother, Father, Student….you name it, that there is. And guess what? You’re going to slip, you’re going to fall; you’ll forget someone’s birthday, turn an important document in late, find that you aren’t very present when your loved one is speaking, take someone for granted, realize you have feelings for someone a friend of yours dated, neglected your responsibilities…. yikes, right? Right. Fucking. Yikes. It happens.

When we’re learning the tools that make up a “good person,” we don’t consider that within that bag of tools is our ability to also learn resilience, atonement, THE ANATOMY OF APOLOGIZING; admitting, grieving and moving forward and most importantly granting yourself grace for your missteps. This part you have to do alone.

I promise you, when you hurt someone it will hurt you, even if it doesn’t immediately and eventually, you will lay at their feet paying penance. Upon which may or may not be received…..and that, the kneeling, the remorse and the accepting responsibility is just as important a lesson as the steps you take after. Whether you can repair what’s been broken or not, you know now how you broke it, how difficult it is to put back together and how precious the thing actually was. So that next time, you’ll handle it with just a little more caution and care.

Doing something “bad,” doesn’t make you bad. So when you find yourself brutalizing yourself for your past decisions; the times you talked too fucking much, couldn’t let it go, crossed a line, made a selfish or impulsive decision… made a mistake. What matters is how you go forward.  How you proceed, how you RELEASE and how you DO from here on…..

The one thing I’ve learned for certain is this; lying to protect someone essentially causes the exact wound you’re trying to shield them from. I’ve learned that forgiveness is the only thing that makes a heart light and that the hardest person to forgive will most always be yourself. I’ve learned that the things we most love about ourselves are also the things we most loathe and that there’s a fine line, you control, between where you focus and feed your energy to live in the goodness.

I’ve learned that looking behind us simply stops us from seeing what’s ahead. That moving forward has to be a conscious and active choice. That “I’m sorry,” is best received when looking into someones eyes, that true friendships always prevails….as does love and that in the end, everything works out just perfectly. So take a breath…. and carry on.