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heavy lifting

liz lamoreux

moon rising

the moon rises over puget sound, 25 october 07

Yesterday, I had a conversation with a friend about a situation in my life that I am having trouble letting go of. Although it happened several seasons ago, when I was in a different place on my path, I am having trouble moving past it and the confusion and pain it invited into my life. My friend said two things to me that keep resonating. The first was that maybe I didn't have to focus so much on letting go of it, which made me think that this experience still has much to teach me. The second was an echo of my own words back to me: my triggered feelings about this event are really about something else.

Today, in the middle of my shower, I had a need to sit on the floor and let the water beat down on my head, neck, back. After a few moments, I found myself chanting, "om namo bhagavate vasudevaya" – a chant that my teacher says turns the petals of your heart.

My chanting increased in volume and speed and I began to rock along with my voice's rhythm. I plugged my ears in an effort to stop all thought and just focused on the sounds vibrating around me.

I chanted until I thought of nothing else. I chanted until Millie stuck her nose around the shower curtain to check on me. I chanted until the water ran cold. I chanted until I felt my heart crack open.

And as I stood up, these are the words that poured into my mind:

I send compassion.
I send apologies.
I send gratitude.
I send compassion.

These are the words I will try to return to when my mind is pulled back to the feelings of confusion and hurt. These are the words I will remind myself to send out into the world.

And the truth is, this is the hard work. It is easier to just wallow in being misunderstood. It is easier to just think ill thoughts about others even when you know there was a reason you felt a connection with them in the first place. It is easier to pitch a tent inside the shit because often we refuse to notice that the shit smells. It is easier to blame instead of honoring that we all do the best we can. It is easier…

The hard part is admitting your need to apologize. The hard part is admitting you are grateful for the experience because now you know more about yourself than you did before. The hard part is admitting what you really feel. The hard part is realizing that you need to forgive yourself. The hard part is admitting...

This is why I call it doing the heavy lifting. This is why I say I will try to do it. This is why I force myself to remember that we are all doing the best we can.

(Deep breath.)

I am doing the best I can.