All the instant access to vast quantities of information we have these days is great for the most things like cooking the best risotto or finding out how to unclog the disposal, but what about matters of the heart? What about the complexities of relating to our fellow humans? I will admit to recently searching online for how to deal with a difficult family dynamic – again, grasping for the instant fix… the answer that I could conveniently plug and play. My reptilian brain wants to cut and run and I’m secretly hoping for someone with important letters after their name to validate that idea. Alas, the answers to some of life’s greatest dilemmas are not found on the internet, but in the softness of our own hearts. This is where I get to put into practice the things I’ve learned over the last many years and decide the most aligned, growth-centric way forward. Realizing my limited control over people and situations, sometimes the answer is as simple as me getting to choose how I want to show up – who do I want to be in this dynamic? Am I going to show up with nothing but compassion and love, or am I going to try to change the situation in the name of being helpful?
Those difficult and complex relationships in our lives are steeped in layer upon layer of pain and triggers all lying just beneath a thinly veiled surface of civility. Still though, deciding how I want to show up in any difficult situation feels empowering. This is where the years of having a dedicated meditation practice are helping to guide me. Years of getting still and separating from my vast array of thoughts clambering for attention in my head (most of which I’ve found to be untrue), have shown me who I truly am at my inner core. And lo and behold, it’s actually not the messages I had come to believe about myself growing up. Relief. Then forgiveness from the heart followed by loads of compassion for the pain and anguish that drives ourselves and others. So now what? Well, I think it feels like surrender – like letting go. Because once I let go, I start allowing. I allow them to be them, and I get to be me – choosing with intention how I want to show up. After that, there really is nothing left to do but love. When I sink deep into this type of surrender, I feel free and I feel the threads to joy in my life begin to reappear.
I’ve also found the simple act of sending loving-kindness to anyone or any situation is another beautiful and healing practice. By sending out this type of unconditional love over and over again, even if just in my mind or during meditations, or through journaling, I feel a sense of calm and ease as if something greater than me has my back. For now, I feel a huge sense of relief. I feel unburdened and at peace with what is.
No need to run. No need to fix. Just be. Just love.