For some time now, I have been collecting my favorite quotes on index cards that I refer to often for inspiration. As I sat to write this next part of The Making of a Whole Heart (see part 1 here), I pulled this poem by Rupi Kaur. Only minutes later, in scanning Instagram, I noticed that she posted this very same poem to her feed earlier this week. Receiving this as a friendly nudge from spirit, I share with you here:
it was when i stopped searching for home within others
and lifted the foundations of home within myself
i found there were no roots more intimate
than those between a mind and body
that have decided to be whole
Seems like a great way to begin.
I left off part 1 with the moment of grace (excruciatingly painful, yes, and filled with grace nonetheless), where everything outside of me could not, would not, support me. I had no choice but to turn towards myself, to learn to resource within, and to commit to myself “I will never abandon you again.”
Perhaps “abandon” feels too strong a word. It suggests a carelessness, violence even. But what else could it be but self abuse, to betray ourselves in these ways?
Think about it for a minute. Have you ever…
- denied your own deep needs in favor of someone else’s demands?
- overridden your own wisdom in the presence of others who appear certain and confident?
- read the headlines and let what’s happening there dictate how you feel about life?
- swallowed whole what the experts have to say without testing it in your own experience?
- looked to another person to take better care of you than you are willing to do for yourself?
- allowed someone else’s agenda to become more important than your own holy purpose?
- let someone else’s opinion of you dictate how you feel about yourself?
My guess is that most of us have had one or several of these experiences. Not just once, but multiple times. It’s not bad or wrong necessarily. Only, when we go there, we abdicate our own authority in our own lives. We deprive ourselves of living from our center (home)—where we are powered by our own innate resources and guided by our own unique wisdom.
To me, this is the worst form of self betrayal. To cut myself off in this way. And I lived there for a very very long time. Unaware. Like a fish in water. That’s all I knew—the soup of self abandonment.
I imagine I came into this world with this particular setup to transform. Early indoctrination to be the good girl solidified it, with intense focus on appropriateness, and rigid instructions about what to believe, think and feel (and what not to believe, think and feel). I stepped into adult life with a habit of looking to the outside world to tell me who I am and how I should feel about myself.
Looking back on twenty-something me, I am amazed at just how precarious my sense of self was on a day to day basis. A sideways remark from a boss could stir up intense anxiety. Being left off an invitation list could send me into deep self doubt. And a breakup could devastate me.
The breakup of 2014 did just that. Older, and soon to be wiser! Hallelujah for that devastation. Because in the devastation I found clarity. Clarity that I had no idea. No idea about what I liked, how I felt, who I was—without looking for the answer outside of me.
And I wanted to know. So bad. More than anything else in the world. I wanted to “lift the foundations of home within myself.”
So I began clearing.
I rented a furnished room in the home of a gentle soul named Heidi. I sold nearly all of my belongings. Within a week I had pared it all down to me, dog, computer, car and clothes.
Then I began questioning.
Everything in my life was up for evaluation.
Do I like coffee? Or was I just drinking it out of habit? What kind of coffee do I like? Have I really explored the options?
Does this person feel supportive of my growth and well-being? Or am I just being nice? Or maybe I’m ready to expand my circle.
How do I like to start my day? Do I kick into high gear right away, or is there something else that feels more enlivening? The old meditation routine feels like I’m fitting into someone else’s paradigm. How do I want to start MY day?
Do I actually like this color on me? Or did I buy it just because it looks great on Nicole Kidman? Yeh, it’s definitely not doing anything for me. Off to eBay you go. (I made a fair penny selling my clothes on eBay during that time:)
Drums. I wanted to learn drums when I was in middle school but the band teacher said I was too small. WTF. I still want to play the drum. I’m getting a drum, dagummit.
And then I began claiming.
One day mid-way through this epoque of extreme evaluation, I decided to make it official. I posted a blank sheet of paper on my bedroom wall. Nothing would go on The List until I had tested it and verified that it was 100% aligned with my joy and well-being.
I discovered that living close to nature is essential for my health and well-being. In moving in with David, who lived in San Francisco at the time, I had overridden my own love of being near trails and trees. Living close to nature went on The List.
I discovered that certain communities were no longer in present time for me. I was no longer experiencing the juiciness there that I had several years before. Yet I had been clinging on, afraid of the void that leaving would create. I mustered the courage and created empty space, allowing for something fresh to emerge.
And so it went.
What surprised me was that many of the things I found a 100% “yes” to were things I had engaged with before, but had never fully embraced. The process of giving myself full permission to choose whole-heartedly for myself what had been in my life previously by default brought a new aliveness and sense of joy in these…trail running, backpacking, singing kirtan, the company of certain friends.
The List continued to grow, and with it, so did my capacity to say “yes” to me and to life.
I was finding home within.
Leaving self abandonment behind.
Making my heart whole.
Part 3 is coming soon… Does any of this resonate for you? In what ways are you saying “yes” to you?
PS – If you’re intrigued by how to make your heart whole, and how that can transform your love life, you might be interested in Whole Hearts in Love, a 4-weeks e-course to create love from wholeness, not lack. It begins on October 16, 2017, and you’re invited! Check it out here and let me know if you have any questions. Early bird registration ends soon:)