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? Or how about someone please give me the answer to how to BE a human. I will admit to recently searching online for how to deal with a toxic family member situation – 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 decided the most aligned, growth-centric answer to my question is that I get to decide how I want to show up in this situation. 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? And since I’d like to think I mostly killed off the people-pleasing “let me fix everything and everybody” helper in me a while ago, I chose the former.
But how to navigate difficult relationships? It’s so very complex and there are always layers upon layers of pain and triggers 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 (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, there really is nothing left to do but love. The “let go and let God” way if you will. When I really sink into this type of surrender, I feel free and I feel the threads to joy in my life begin to reappear.
The simple act of sending loving-kindness to anyone or any situation is another beautiful meditative practice. By sending out this type of unconditional love over and over again, even if just in my mind or 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.