We can all find that we twist ourselves into knots at times. Feeling someone hurt us, wanting to be seen as valuable, loved or maybe it’s to avoid someone’s anger toward us or their discard. It could be a million other reasons we make ourselves into a pretzel to try and be seen, heard, known. Loved.
We tie these knots ourselves – no one is doing it TO us. What cinches the knot ever tighter is when we are looking for these things from someone who is not living in their heart, but from their wounds or ego. We twist ourselves ever tighter in the hopes that they will somehow move back into their wholeness and truth and see us from love. This is certainly our attempt at control and it can become an especially ginormous energy drain in these kind of dynamics.
I recently happened upon a podcast with Fr. Greg Boyle and it would seem like a synchronistic event, coming right at the time I needed what he is all about... You can decide to live in love’s energy which will loosen the knots you’ve twisted yourself into. How? That practice is to see everyone’s unshakable goodness. A genuine and unconditional positive regard shown to all – even those who disagree with you. When I do this it opens up the gate for me to also give this to myself.
This is not some pink paint, unicorn, rainbow, toxic positivity answer to finding your way back to yourself. Quite the contrary. It's not a destination, it’s a practice that you have to repeat nearly every breath, all day long for it to get traction. When something is true, you can feel it. It lightens your load, you can get your legs underneath you. “Loving from a place of no matter whatness” feels like truth to me because it feels good when I do it. Demonizing people or things is always the opposite of the truth. That’s why it feels so crappy after that white hot moment of satisfaction. It just takes more and more demonizing in order to feel okay if this is the path we take.
The way to a kinder, more unconditional love for myself is to also have it for others. Yes, even those who you’ve tied yourself up in knots to get them to see your inherent goodness and refuse to do so. These are simply wounded, unhealthy people who have forgotten who and what they are.
If we carry around a pack of victim cards with blaming, justifying & self-righteousness – we disempower ourselves and make loosening the knots in ourselves much more difficult. We can either live from a place of woundedness or open heartedness.
Fr. Greg says that being resilient is about how you choose to see. Long after experiencing a traumatizing event or relationship, you can continue to see that event, relationship, person as traumatizing, and it will be traumatizing. Or you could see that it was an opportunity for growth and learning. There’s no denying how hard things can be sometimes. The way out to the place of resilience, the place of restoration, the place of not allowing your heart to be hardened by resentment relies on one thing: forgive everyone everything.
This is what frees us from our self-imposed prisons of anger, hatred, & resentment.
What about boundaries? It seems that if we truly get in a place of loving from a place of no matter whatness for ourselves as well as every other being, it kind of takes care of itself. Sure, there will be those who aren’t ready for what you have to offer them. When you are in your love energy, you’ll know when you’re starting to tie yourself in a knot and choose to stay in your wholeness – with or without distance from the unready person.
This isn’t a check the box, get it done kind of thing. It’s a practice that will help loosen the knots so you can find your way back to your true self. Take just 50% of the energy you expend twisting yourself into a knot of some shape to gain the approval of someone else and aim it at seeing the unshakable goodness in others and in yourself. Something beautiful will come out of it no matter how things unfold. Guaranteed. This is what hope feels like.
Sandy Edie Hansen
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