The Facebook post received a couple hundred ‘likes’ and eighty some comments. People love, love. And my friends who love and care about me, and have watched my yearning for partnership after Joe died, were so happy that I had seemingly found love again. Many of the comments said some version of, ‘I already love him without knowing him’.
After he left, this and other Facebook posts and photos were like salt in my wounds. Facebook really is like a public diary. So I took all traces of him off my Facebook. This post was the hardest because it represented my hope for our future together… This is how I felt and what I believed about him. And how did reading it make me feel?
Turning my pain inward in reaction: Very very stupid. How could I have been so fooled? How could I have allowed myself to believe ‘with him I can be completely vulnerable… And safe’'?! And I felt quite embarrassed to have shared my naivety with those 200 people. What kind of woman would allow herself to be with a man who had the capacity to be so cruel?
Turning my pain outward in reaction: Seething anger. I wanted his head (actually his heart) on a platter. Shortly after we first began spending time together, he had faced some very difficult situations in his life. I was always there, with my arms open, his soft place to fall. After being there for him, what kind of a man could walk out on me right after I shared my deepest fears (and thus handing them to me), crying tears on his chest?
Flowing love and compassion inward in response: I have ultimate trust in my own Hearts Desire to Love. ‘Factor X’ (prior post) informed me that we came together for a reason. As I began a difficult Journey into my own deepest wounds in a different way than ever before, I began to see ‘the reasons’. It was to send me on the most profound healing Journey of my lifetime. What kind of woman would allow her Heart to be so broken? A woman who has the capacity to love deeply enough for it to happen. And a woman who was yearning for a Heart-Open-Wide and to no longer love from a place of fear.
Flowing love and compassion outward in response: It was actually quite easy to release the anger. I simply remembered what I saw in his eyes and heard in his words of despair on that horrible morning. I know that just like my pain filled reactions are not ultimately about him... His running was not ultimately about me. What kind of a man could knowingly give a woman he professed to love, her greatest fears and run away from love? A deeply wounded man running from and blinded by, his own pain. He was not ‘cruel’… His only capacity that morning was to walk out of my door.
About the 'him' I described on the Facebook post… Illusion? Yes, because at that time he could not BE what he so articulately spoke. Yet, inherent in the illusion was my recognition of his potential. One thing he said to me that last morning was 'you are in love with who you think I am, not who I really am'. Perhaps, although I still believe that who I describe on that Facebook post, the man who I did love, reflected the potential of his being.
About 'my embarrassment'? It is simple. I will always risk for love... And I will always seek to recognize the clearest potential in whom I choose to love.
Back to my Shadow Dance...
I knew almost immediately, the depth of my despair after he left was broader than the end of a 6 month relationship. Yet, I also knew he was not only a catalyst but within that fire was the road map to my healing. That to understand the Shadows invoked by ‘dancing’ with him… I would need to find the repeating pattern. To explore the why of ‘what happened’ between us was my key to recognizing my own unconscious patterns. I looked for clues to understand how my Shadows reacted and responded with his. To do so, through my past experience with him coupled with intuition, I needed to explore his wounds. To understand his Shadows and how they invoked mine.
It took quite a while. It took much churning and being willing to stay with the turmoil and pain within my Heart. Then in almost a moment (and I know the exact moment) the patterns and Spirals of his Shadows interacting with the patterns and Spirals of my Shadows, created a mandala of understanding. I almost heard the clicks of connection. I saw and understood the center of our dance and in that knowing… I recognized his pain. I saw even more clearly his Shadow.
Because of that recognition... I ever more clearly understood my own.
In that moment… I knew he was exactly the karmically correct person to help me to ‘break on through’. To fully face and understand the unconscious reactionary parts of myself. The Dance of my Shadow.
How did I do this? By leaning into my pain rather than ignoring, covering up or numbing it... By asking it to teach me. I had a steady source of this discomfort...
He not only handed me the fear of abandonment by walking out of my arms… My life… My Heart. He stayed away. He did not contact me in any way (nor did I contact him). It hurt to feel so discounted by someone who had proclaimed to love me so much. I would consciously lean into that pain while seeking the deeper understanding. Knowing that he was only the face in front of other faces, I came to understand how the Shadow was created and how it manifested in my life.
I came to understand that ‘abandonment’ for me has a deeper pain. A deeper Shadow... Below 'abandonment' is my core pain and fear. At the center of my Shadow is the pain of not being seen. Of not being loved and cherished as exactly who I am. This is my wound of a lifetime.
And ultimately the clearest insight was recognizing how what had been ‘done to me’ over my lifetime… I perpetuated within myself. The ‘face’ at the very center... Was my own.
Because part of the intent of this story is about the living breathing man, where did that leave him in my Heart? Once I heard the clicks of connection and saw the patterns, it was easy to flow forgiveness silently his way. He loved me to the best of his ability. And I came to recognize the importance of moving ‘Beyond Forgiveness’, I made the choice to also flow love and compassion his way.
And my own way.
It was so easy… The churning and pain and turmoil of my Heart became quiet. How was it easy? A simple visualization, a prayer really. Within my flowing Open Heart, I saw his wounded little boy and my wounded little girl… Walking hand in hand. Hearts-Open-Wide.
To honor that his story is only his to tell, I will share only this much: Why did he run that morning and stay away?
On a hot summer night, in The Zydeco Swamp Romp, two wounded people danced into each others arms. Our Shadows, which neither of us was paying any attention to at the time, recognized in the other the potential for healing. Healing through facing our greatest fears.
He handed me mine… By abruptly leaving me, I faced being abandoned and by staying away, I faced... Not Being Seen.
And his greatest fear? Being Seen.
As together we Spiraled closer and closer in our Dance of Love and Shadows, his fear came to the surface. I saw him. He could do nothing other than run.
Because of his fear, he had to stay away. And the only way I could heal and integrate as profoundly as I was able… was for him to do so. For me... A perfect Shadow Dance.
Next: Validation, Amazing Grace and Release.