This post may seem to be a little out-of-scope for a student acupuncturists blog. However, it’s not. It’s lessons of the heart from a student of the Heart. It’s about digging deep to fulfill a potential and creating new avenues for oneself in life.
Spring is associated with the element Wood. Wood relates to Birth, Anger, Frustration, Growth, Vision, Foresight, Planning, Action, Flexibility and Creativity.
Last week I was silently cursing buds and flowers for blooming in the daylight. They didn’t match the heavy aching that was in my heart. The contrast of my external environments lovely hopefulness and my internal environments confused brokenness was straight up pissing me off. Fast forward to the evening time, sitting in front of my computer, binge reading articles that popped up when I Googled: “Why did he disappear?”, “Guys that pull away.”, “Should I call him?”. My ego, or whatever you want to call it, on over-drive trying to be pacified for what it could not understand. Not stopping until it was satisfied. Never satisfied.
Rewind and play time fast through the last 9 weeks and witness a blooming relationship. The hours on the phone talking (he lived in the mountains, she lived on the front range), laughing, hand holding, realizing of how perfect the hands go together, eye gazing, , mutual compliments, feeling proud to be out together. And of course the imperfections, acceptance and seeds of compromise. (Side note: notice sex isn’t mentioned? Nice precautionary tactic for both parties in something new.)
Vulnerability is a buzzword lately, for good reason. I could read, watch, quote and re-quote Brene Brown for days. Somewhere during that 9 week period, I read through her book, Daring Greatly. It felt like an appropriate concept to be exploring as I entered into a new relationship, where I feel most vulnerable. Perhaps it would give me the tools I needed to actually make that leap into something serious, this time.
The most pathetic part of my recent multiple-hour Google self-help search-athon was that most of the articles I was finding and reading had been read before by me at least twice, at a different time and place about a different relationship situation. Clearly there is a reoccurring pattern at work.
When I finally came-to from my overdose of external opinions I found myself weary, confused and scared. So very scared. As someone who can’t help but look for the hidden themes, the karmic influences and bigger picture – I was stopped dead in my tracks. Before me was a fork in the road.
To call or not to call. Seems simple, right? It’s not simple. It’s comforting to think that people are pre-destined to be meant to be or not, so it doesn’t matter what we do or don’t do at this stage, because it will work out as it should. That’s a lovely semi useful faux-zen concept. This, however, goes beyond the fate of the young man and womans’s relationship. That beyond is the fate of my life, karma, energy and path. It’s easy to swim in the surface soup of the “he said this, we shared that, it felt like this, I felt like that.” And believe me, I had a good hearty soup filled with him saying all the right things (exactly what I wanted to hear?) especially right before his “disappearing act”. This is incredibly confusing to both the rational mind and emotional body. But the fact is, it becomes important to focus less on the soup and more on the bowl that it’s in. The scary reality I finally faced was that this bowl that I’ve been using may very well be broken.
This is where vulnerability really comes into play, in a new way. Where I anticipated it to show up most was in the context of intimacy and the space in-between. What was happening instead was completely not what I expected. At some point, not long into the dreaded dating silence, I gained perspective and realized – this person isn’t good for me and realistically there may have been more cons than pros as far as a long-term partnership goes. So great, I have enough self-love and life-intention to realize that, what now? The fond memories still remain and my relentless urge to be diplomatic, authentic, honest and open with this person still stood strong.
In the past I’ve taken it upon myself to show guys who don’t have enough courage (or whatever) what cool, open and honest mature communication looks like. It has been my cross to bear. So if he disappeared? I’d casually wait, then sort-of knock and say my two cents and listen to his. Sometimes my knocking actually did bring the relationship more time and depth…a dream come true! Until it stopped working, as it was perhaps destined to, sometimes in a more unnecessarily traumatic way. Meanwhile, time and energy was taken out of my life as I attempted to control and re-create an ending that I felt was more respectable. Ultimately it just created open-ended dead ends and/or some hard lessons.
So there I was, facing a fork in the road, scared stiff with an intense fear that I’ll repeat a karmic pattern. Too stiff to move. Where the hell was my intuition? I just want a simple turn of the wheel here! Meanwhile, I kept my practices of spirit and self up – prayer, meditation, yoga, community acupuncture, activity, iching, work, talking it out with loved ones, and journaling. Still no definitive answer.
Then finally 10 days after my last “contact” with him, I felt it. The Spirit-sent urge to call him. To set things straight and be love in action. And I felt like- Yes, that would be me practicing the virtue of vulnerability and putting myself out there for this conversation when he so clearly doesn’t want to talk. This is the definition of vulnerability! It was like once I made this decision, I was guided…to do the opposite. The guidance came through a conversation with my earthly, life-long, best friend (“the one with the crown”, as we call it.)
“I want to take the most vulnerable path…because I know it will bring me the most growth.”, I asked her. We collectively decided that the most vulnerable path is the opposite of what I conditioned myself to believe was vulnerable. And changing my karma would mean doing the opposite of what my strongest impulse was. Vulnerability was letting go of the need to know. Letting go of control of the outcome. Letting myself fall into a place of complete unknown and potentially never-knowing. This is my ultimate form of vulnerability.
“Vulnerability is the birthplace of innovation, creativity and change.”
I’m writing this article to 1. Balm my fresh wound. 2. Maybe appear in a Google-search for someone who is stuck in this familiar cross-road of “Why did he disappear?” and “Should I call him?” and is reading all types of articles. Everyone’s path is different, but if this speaks to you, I suggest really inspecting the soup bowl you’ve been using.
And of course,
“You are imperfect,
you are wired for struggle,
but you are worthy of love and belonging.”
(All photos are from Tumblr.)