My Inner Mystic

reflections and insight into my healing, transformation, and journey of the heart <3

Shedding Weight

No, I’m not talking about a new year’s diet to shed any extra pounds I might have accumulated in 2012.  No, what I’m talking about is shedding another kind of weight I carry in my body.

I spent my new year’s holiday at a week long yoga retreat in the jungle slopes of Mexico above the Pacific Ocean.

yoga pavilion

At the end of our morning yoga practice on New Year’s Eve day, our teacher invited us to devote part of the day reflecting on what we wanted to let go of from 2012.  She encouraged us to do some journaling, which I did.  In the space of the jungle canopy I didn’t come up with anything concrete.

At our afternoon practice, our teacher announced we’d have a New Year’s Eve bonfire on the beach. She told us to bring what we’d written, a statement or list of what we wanted to let go of.  We would offer this to the fire as an expression, an intention, of letting go.  I didn’t have anything written for the fire. *sigh* I hadn’t come up with anything concrete.

As I showered before dinner, I searched my mind.  What could I offer to the fire to represent something I wanted to let go of?  It struck me.  Heaviness.  I knew that I wanted to let go of the heaviness in my body.  I wanted to let go of the emotions, the pain and the wounds that are held deep in body and hinder my ability to feel freedom.  How would I express my heaviness?  A rock.  I decided I would put a rock into the fire.

As we gathered, my idea of putting a rock into the fire started to feel inadequate.  After all the fire wasn’t going to burn my rock.  The rock might get hot, but it would not combust and turn to ash.  I decided to expand my symbolic offering.  I turned to the slope above the beach and dug around in the undergrowth.  I grabbed a leaf, a fallen branch, and some kind of nut or seed.  As I grabbed these items, I knew what each would symbolize.  I could see in my mind’s eye the story my offering would tell.

new year's eve fire

Listless (literally, without a list), it was my turn to put my items into the fire, to let the fire consume what I wanted to let go of from 2012.  Kneeling before the fire, I made my offering, reciting silently.

To the fire I offer this leaf.  This leaf represents shedding.  To the fire I offer this rock.  This rock represents the heaviness, the weight, the emotional wounds I carry in my body.  May I shed this weight, may I be free from the hurt and pain of these wounds.  To the fire I offer this branch, the roots of the sky.  This branch, like the neural pathways of my mind, represents old ways of doing things, old ways of thinking.  I offer this branch to symbolize that I am letting go of old ways of doing and thinking that no longer serve me.  To the fire I offer this seed.  This seed represents the possibility for new growth to emerge in 2013.  May the fire burst this seed open and give it life.  May this seed grow and blossom and thrive.

So that was it, my beautiful and symbolic offering, one that felt very authentic to me.

Now that I’m back in Seattle I’m beginning to get a sense of what the rock is made of, its matter, its substance.  I think it hit me when a woman I work with told me she liked my earrings and I said, “Thanks.  They’re from a friend who is no longer a friend.”  There it was again, – the hurt that continues to come up in my dreams, continues to come up in conversations with my friends.  The rock’s matter is my hurt over this broken friendship, a hurt I’ve had a really hard time letting go of, a deep wound I’ve been carrying around, not just in 2012, but for over two years.

A few weeks before the one year anniversary of the ka-boom, my closest friend of 15 years, the first person I turned to in shock and anguish over the explosion of my relationship, effectively ended our friendship.  One day without any kind of fore-warning, she sent me an email and told me she was exhausted from the support she had extended to me.  She told me she needed a breather, time to recalibrate.  She told me that out of respect for her, not to contact her. I did contact her, just once.  I said over voice mail, “for the sake of our friendship, I think we need to talk.”  I expressed that I valued our friendship.  We never talked.  I have not heard from her since that last email nearly two and a half years ago.

The anger and the hurt have lessened, but I still carry the weight of this unresolved wound.  Like I said, it still comes up in dreams, in conversations.  I continue to wrestle with the lack of closure.  There was never any conversation, no opportunity to express my hurt, my outrage at being abandoned when I was still fragile, when I still needed support from my friends.

The severing of ties was one sided.  It felt as if the door had been shut in my face.  I was left with the disturbing feeling that I’d been broken up with.  My “friend’s” action to retreat, to remove herself from and effectively end our friendship felt and still feels very deliberate and intentional.  I think that is what has hurt the most – her actions have felt so deliberate.  My sense that my “friend” knowingly brought so much lasting hurt into my life by choosing to end our friendship has bothered me deeply for so very long.

No amount of comfort or consoling words has taken away the pain.  No amount of reflection, perspective, or insight has taken the soreness out of the wound.  After all this time, I have been unable to find a sense of wholeness, to fully mend the tear in my heart.  The anger and the hurt have dulled, but I continue to search inside for the closure I need to finally shed the weight of this wound.  I have learned this along the way:  deep wounds weigh the most.

And so out of this New Year’s Eve offering, not just to the fire, but to the Universe, comes an intention for 2013:  to find closure, to shed weight.


12 responses to “Shedding Weight

  1. katyeellis January 14, 2013 at 9:52 pm

    This is beautifully written post. I felt your pain in these words, but also have a sense that you will one day realize that boulder of pain has shrunk to the size of a skipping stone. At least this is what I hope for you, my dear.

    • myinnermystic January 14, 2013 at 10:26 pm

      Thanks, Katy. I know this topic (and my hurt) is not new to you. Thank you for continuing to stay steady and be present with me.

      I like that image of a skipping stone. Just a wee weathered pebble licked by the lake (doesn’t that sound like poetry?! not a poet, just poetic sometimes 🙂 ). I think the next time I have an opportunity to skip rocks I’ll send the image of my rock out onto the surface of the lake. I’ve got to find a good use for this rock and what a great way to send it off and release it – either with a thunk or skip (let’s hope for a skip).

  2. Basia January 15, 2013 at 6:39 am

    I hope the charge around this loss lightens. We have some strange karma to work through with certain people in this lifetime. Sometimes it makes no sense to us because the way relationships unfold can seem mysterious.
    My heart and support are with you as you struggle to work this one through. Sending ease, grace, and space your way 🙂

    • myinnermystic January 15, 2013 at 1:37 pm

      Thanks, Basia for your kind words. Curiously it’s been harder to let go of the pain over my broken friendship than the pain over the end of my relationship, though that pain does present itself in interesting ways sometimes so I know it’s still there in the depths and I remain ever aware that it has radically changed my life. I think what’s made it easier to move on from the end of my relationship is knowing that I was given a second chance to find and have a healthy and truly happy relationship.

      As for the broken friendship, it’s been baffling and so hard to understand and there’s the ever lingering dread that I’ll run into her one day. It’s kind of hard to believe that after all this time we haven’t run into each other. Sometimes I wonder if I’m putting out some kind of cosmic messaging (some kind of barrier) that has prevented that from happening. I don’t see a future for a rekindled friendship. I think there has been too much damage. And it’d take an enormous amount of presence and emotional honesty to heal wounds which probably exist on both sides and given my “friend’s” history of running way from uncomfortableness, I don’t see that ever happening. I don’t know. Maybe my lack of faith around my “friend’s” abilities to stay present with difficult emotions is keeping me stuck in karmic limbo. Something to sit with as I search for closure.

  3. KT January 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm

    I am so glad you had the chance to create this intention and walk it out symbolically. Even though the rock may never leave, I hope the heaviness will, and it will become like one of those volcanic rocks…made from fire, rather ugly, but light to carry, and excellent homes for future growth…lots of holes and room for rich soil and seeds to settle.

    • myinnermystic January 15, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      Thanks, KT. Your comment made me smile. Thanks for shining a new light and perspective on the imagery of this rock. Last week I went to a “forgiveness” talk led by my mindfulness teacher and I shared my story of putting my rock into the fire and my discovery of the substance of this rock. Out of that moment of sharing came the inspiration for this blog. Too powerful not to share and the kind of thing a person can do for themselves to create closure – put the pain out there and then let it go (or let it lighten into pumice). Volcanic soil is very rich indeed.

  4. petralovecoach January 16, 2013 at 7:37 am

    Hey. Thanks for liking my post about closures – hope it will help at least a bit in your situation. I think sometimes it’s even harder to let go of friendships than romantic relationships – in a way we expect so much more from friends than partners, because we just assume they should be there for us no matter what, just by definition of friendship. And we are often even more open and honest with them than our partners – because we know they’ve seen all, and can take all of us. Seems like your friend couldn’t, after all. Which does say a lot about her too.

    If it is any consolation: usually when people disappear from our lives – it just means the relationship has ran its course – and we are ready to make space for some new ones, and better matched. Good luck with “shedding”!

    • myinnermystic January 16, 2013 at 5:48 pm

      Hi. Thank you for visiting my blog and thank you especially for sharing your thoughts and insights. I think what makes abrupt friendship endings so hard is that they are rare. We don’t expect our friends to “break up” with us. There is an unspoken loyalty in friendships, though I do acknowledge that friendships can ebb and flow and sometimes naturally fade. The intentional break up is hard to sit with, as it has been for me. I’ve had lots of conversations with myself about what my “friend’s” actions really say – the big one that comes up is the knowledge that my “friend” is/was unable to stay present with difficult life situations, emotions, conversations.

      There have certainly been blessings from my “friend’s” departure from my life – I am a better friend to my friends, a better daughter to my mom, a more authentic listener to others. On top of that, my appreciation for those who are healthy and are able to stay present has dramatically increased. I am now able to recognize emotional health in others and seek that out when forming new connections and that bodes well for my future in relationship. I wouldn’t be in this space if my “friend” hadn’t ended things like she did. That’s the gift. I just need to own it more fully to heal this wound.

      • petralovecoach January 18, 2013 at 9:48 am

        You’re welcome. I am always curious to see are people reading my blog writing about… and I try to be a good “listener” – if I have something to say about the issues they express in their posts I write about them too – it’s a good source of inspiration!

        It’s great you’ve learned so much from this experience. I’d say – you are already owning it 🙂

  5. tiramit January 17, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    What you’re saying about still carrying ‘the weight of this unresolved wound’ struck a chord with me. Thanks for reminding me of this, I see now it must also be that we learn to have unconditional love for the injury…

    • myinnermystic January 17, 2013 at 4:17 pm

      Hi. Thank you for sharing a few words about how this post touched you and and thank you also for offering your wisdom. Unconditional love for the injury….that sounds a lot like forgiveness, of which I still have so much to learn. I think I, and probably many others, get stuck in a place of feeling like a victim, like we’ve been wronged or aggrieved in some way. We remain stuck because we haven’t found closure or a way out of the stuck place. What you offer, unconditional love for the injury, is an out, but as I’m sure you know, our journey is to find the path out and walk along the path for however long it serves us as we learn and heal. If we stay with the journey, I have faith that we arrive a new place, a shinier, happier, lighter place.

      (And as an aside…as I was writing this comment I was struck by my use of the wording “out” which is quite a different concept than closure – shutting, closing. Going out and beyond suggests freedom. Something for me to ponder.)

      • tiramit January 18, 2013 at 3:29 am

        The idea of an ‘out’ is interesting, could be that it’s a letting-go of it and a moving-on thing (it’s been said before). I like the idea of it being unconnected with the story of how it came to be like this – just sustaining the injury, a bit like how an athlete recovers and gets back into training?

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