Tag Archives: pain

Blue, not true.

Photo © T.Nikic 2016

Photo © T.Nikic 2016

“FEED YOURSELF.” – Mike D.

I heard those words a few weeks ago and they truly were the most poetic thing I had heard that day. In the context of the conversation to which they were offered, perhaps it was a reference to food, but they resonated much deeper. See, in all things we choose to do, the people we interact with, the time we spend doing things which make us happy, the foods with which we nourish our bodies, I recognize that we do in fact feed ourselves on different levels. Spiritual, mental, emotional, physical states of being are deeply interconnected, in my experience and opinion. It’s not so much that one aspect of our being feeds the other, it’s that all feed and depend on each other for its wellbeing. It’s deep, right?

The state of our world is a concern for myself and many others – the way that we hurt each other and the reasons with which we excuse hurting each other, is simply wrong. The words we speak and the acts we commit, make me think about what it is that we, as human beings, reflect in those behaviours. Are we actually saying that we truly hate another, or do we hate ourselves so much that we don’t have the capacity for acceptance or love of another? I do not think that I have an answer to that question that doesn’t require pages of discussion involving psychology, history, philosophy, spirituality, emotional and mental health, our societal norms and pressures, in the hopes of even touching on a plausible explanation, although I will say that I believe that our lack of love for our own Selves has been the root of much of the chaos reported on the internet, newspapers, radio and news channels as of late.

But in all the ways that we intentionally hurt another, we also mark others with scars. We may think that we don’t, but we do. And those scars affect not just the person who bears them, but all the people they interact with. How I understand scars is a reflection of my personal experience and knowledge, although it may resonate with you.

Scars are not erasable. They may look less noticeable with time, care and healing, but a scar will never be exactly like the space it inhabited. The scar will tug at certain parts of your being you’ve tried to put aside or forget, a memory often triggered unintentionally by a song, a word, a photo you come across, which brings back the feelings, ALL the feelings, interwoven in the scar. Maybe those feelings no longer take you on an emotional rollercoaster ride like they once did, but you still FEEL it. That’s hard for anyone to fully accept or make peace with – for the ones bearing the scar and the one seeing it, trying to understand it. Because you cannot possibly explain or articulate why that scar is there, who scarred you, why it still affects you although you’ve forgiven and let go, that doesn’t take both people there. And that scar could have many names – death, rape, verbal/physical/mental abuse, racism, sexism, murder… – all translating to one thing: p a i n . You may not acknowledge it as that, but it is how we, human beings, process it.

 

 

Photo © T.Nikic 2016

Photo © T.Nikic 2016

Be mindful of what you feed your Self with, what you feed others, and what you accept from others. Scars run deep.

 

Love,
T


Frozen Heart

It felt like

In the blink of an eye,

Everything came to a halt.

All of my hard Self work,

All the dreams I’ve been working towards,

All the friendships I’ve built,

All the love I had felt and had started to feel,

ALL of that was staring back at me

With eyes I didn’t recognize.

Those eyes…

They were filled with fears,

And insecurities

I didn’t even know existed

Within me.

I stared back in the mirror

And kept asking my Self reflection

“Who are you?

What happened to you?”

At first,

My ego replied.

It talked about my past

And used examples of previous pains

To justify running away from everything

All over again.

My ego, as always,

Is very convincing.

It lifts me to a place where no one can hurt me

Simply because it helps me build a wall

Around my heart and my Self

And just leaves me there.

Alone.

To not feel any pain…

But I’ve gone there before and I realized

That’s not a very happy place.

I have stood behind those tall brick walls

For many years.

Yea it was after a bad relationship

But I hadn’t left them.

I mean I did peep outside a few times

And a few times I stepped out

Only to be met by arms who couldn’t hold me

Arms who didn’t know how to deal with

A heart who had once stopped feeling.

Imagine that feeling you get

When you meet someone who

Helps you break down your walls

And is there to help clear the rubble,

But then you hear them say these words:

“Your heart is cold.”

It strikes you like the biggest lightning bolt

Ever recorded

And you think

“Well now I have two choices:

I can go withdraw and rebuild those walls,

Stay there, feel no pain but stay cold,

Or I could let my heart thaw in the sun,

And not feel the cold anymore.”

If anyone has experienced

A case of ungloved hands

In the cold January wind

You’ll remember how you felt little needle pricks,

When you stepped into the warmth of your house,

As your blood started to flow again

And as your hands warmed up

You KNEW that they will feel better

Once they thawed

But you also knew that it will hurt a little

While they did that.

Well that’s how thawing of a frozen heart feels.

It hurts while it’s doing that

But it also thaws out feelings.

Feelings that have been suppressed for a long time.

Feelings you weren’t even aware you’ve held on to.

Feelings you wish you didn’t have to face.

And it’s at that moment,

When those thawed feelings

Are staring back at you

That EVERYTHING stops.

It’s like a stand-off

Except there aren’t any real guns, thank ‘god’.

It’s actually even bigger than that

Because the battle is not outside of you

With an opponent you could size up

And build a strategy

On how to take them down.

It’s all inside of you

And you have no clue

Where the battle is going to lead you,

What it will unravel,

What will be thrown at you.

All you know is that

You have to be strong

And face those demons inside,

Especially since you were

Doing ‘just fine’

Before they crawled out

Of your,

Previously frozen,

Heart.

 

 

You can watch my performance of this poem here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Zg-SuQBPQ


T stands for…Tough?

Have you ever been in a situation where someone, of the opposite or same-sex, be it a friend, a relative or someone who you’re involved with, who you care deeply about, does something which completely goes against your standards of how you want to be treated? Or YOU hurt someone because of something mindless you said or did or a mindless reaction you had to them thereby failing to meet their standards?

Two wrongs don’t make a right is what my friend B always tells me and it’s so true. Sometimes when someone hurts us we lash out because we almost want to impregnate their entire psyche with the pain that we feel, the pain which they placed on us intentionally or unintentionally, be it through their words, actions or lack thereof just to make sure that they know how WE feel. After all that is what our defensive ego enables us to do. And since we’re creatures of habit, unless someone lets us know, how would we become aware that we’re doing something negative and break the cycle we’ve been participating in for so long???? Oh yes, it does require us to be able to see ourselves outside of ourselves, which is very difficult if we’re consumed in our own pain, darkness or undisclosed and un-felt feelings.

The difficulty always lies in the involvement of the heart and the fear of loss. If we love someone, we want them in our life and therefore we want to forgive whatever it is that they did since we don’t want to lose them. But when someone does something which makes us feel disrespected, hurts us or breaks our trust, there has to be a time-out and a reassessment of the situation. For one, many ‘little’ things can add up to create a big problem in the future, for they create a precedent for what is acceptable if left as not addressed or ignored at the time of their occurrence.  The second part of it is that these ‘little’ things can plant seeds of doubt which cause cracks in the foundation of the relationship thereby making its future collapse almost inevitable.  The most important part though is in situations where we are faced with something that our gut or instinct tells us is wrong, we have to take a stance, uphold our standards and stand up for ourselves. A perfect, and unfortunately a very common example would be infidelity – if you forgive it because you love your partner, you are sending them a message that it’s okay and that they can (AND IN 99% OF CASES, THEY WILL) do it again. (Of course, some people cheat because they cheat but often the roots lie in the relationship itself, for we are the ones who ‘create the monster’ so to speak. Therefore in cases of infidelity, both people have to go away and take responsibility for the cracks in the foundation of the relationship which led to its collapse.)

Other side of the coin lies in our own reactions, replies and choices of words and actions, whether it’s in reply to something someone’s done or a mistake we made. In being real, we have to be mindful of and take responsibility for what we do just as much as the other person who is involved. And sometimes we don’t fully understand the impact of our replies, actions or words, until the storm has passed and we can now look at the field and view the damage we’ve contributed to.

Many times, our emotions take over when we’re dealing with a conflict and it affects how we handle and deal with the situation. Unfortunately, that is what gets us in trouble. Sometimes we get lost in our own emotional turmoil that we’re not able to fully and completely listen to the other person nor accept their truth. But if we do, it doesn’t mean that we are agreeing with whatever they did wrong (if they were the ones who did something wrong) or that we are lowering our standards and sending them a message that it’s okay, but we’re creating a situation where healthy adult communication can take place.By the same token, if we are the ones who did something wrong then we also need to be able to hear the other person’s truth and accept how what we did or said made them feel and the impact that it made on them and the relationship.

I do want to point out that this is not a tit-for-tat type of situation that I’m describing or endorsing at all. It’s about being mindful in how we deal. I’ll be honest and speak from my own experience – I have learned not to reply to or participate in a conversation when upset and emotional for it leads to things being brought up which are not only hurtful to the other person but also stray from the situation which lead to that conversation in the first place. (For example, sometimes we bring up things from the past, which may or may not have anything to do with the other person. The person who is bringing up old stuff may just be looking at it as examples of situations which brought up the same feelings but to the person on the receiving end, it can in fact be hurtful because they may feel as if we’re comparing new raisins and old coconuts – the magnitude of the situations being completely different. The end result is usually a ‘blowing up’ of sorts where the ‘conversation’ becomes so involved that it’s emotionally draining for both people.)

I realize that it’s hard to sometimes end a friendship or a relationship with someone who we love or care deeply about because they made a mistake and did something wrong, but if they’re not made aware of what is acceptable, then really would they even think that that is something they’d have to correct, work on or be mindful of in the future? And remember, the same goes for you – if no one tells you, then how will you know?

I also believe that time does make a difference and that people can come to a place where they are on the same page if they take an appropriate amount of time apart (this could be years for some!) and work on their own ‘issues’. True love is unconditional and it doesn’t stop if someone hurts us. Sometimes, love does conquer all…but only if you stand up for yourself, listen to each other’s truths and keep it real.

We all make mistakes, say or do the wrong things and fail many times. But from all of that we can choose to learn and grow, or to keep doing the same thing over and over and over again. Bottom line is that I believe in standing up for yourself and upholding your standards AND I also believe in being mindful in how we react to or deal with a situation.

T

“Courage can give voice to those who are voiceless. Those of us who have a little courage, we can develop more. I don’t believe courage is something that you’re born with, I think you develop courage and you can develop it in small ways.”
“Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination.”
“If we lose love and self respect for each other, this is how we finally die.”
“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But, people will not forget how you made them feel.”
“The truth brings the past into the present and prepares us for the future. That’s what truth does.”
All quotes – Dr. Maya Angelou

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