Monday, January 24, 2011

Hurt so good

An interesting observation was made about me the other day that really got me thinking. I was told that I seem to have the opposite kind of trust issue than the majority of people. Rather than having a difficult time trusting others, I have the ability to trust, very quickly and very completely, in the people I let into my heart. Heck, maybe the last part of that sentence needn't even be there, seeing as how I've chosen to write a blog wherein I share stories of a most personal nature, the stories of my heart, with whoever happens to be reading. Regarding my blog, the way I see it, I don't expect any sort of adverse reaction or negative consequence to come from sharing and trusting so freely. Quite simply, it is a cathartic and creative process for me, and my little band of followers seems to enjoy what I have to say, so win-win. As for trusting the people in my life, I operate under the assumption that anyone who I have connected with is there as part of a Divine plan, and I take an "innocent until proven guilty" approach. I strive to find a way to embrace whatever and whoever comes my way, anticipating the best and not wasting my precious time and energy worrying about what harm might befall me by being so trusting.

Naturally, I get hurt.

By being so trusting I expose a very real and sensitive vulnerability to those close to me. I let them in, and for the ones who really matter, I actually hand over a little piece of my heart. I trust them to cradle it gently, but they're only human and sometimes they crush it; sometimes they crush me. It isn't intentional. It isn't malicious. It's life. It's love. We are all guilty of this. I can't think of one person, even revered saints and sages, who has not caused some sort of emotional harm to another human being. It is our nature. We can't help ourselves. Many times, the hurt comes about, at least in part, because of circumstances beyond either party's direct control. While trying to do right in one area, we cause harm in another. By trying to alleviate our own suffering, we provoke suffering for the ones we love. It is part of the human condition.

Last week was a trying one for me. My heart was already raw and aching from the end of my relationship, and much of my inner strength was going toward healing in a healthy way. Inwardly, I was two steps away from tears falling at just about any moment and caught up in processing a lot of different emotions. Outwardly, I was doing my best to own my decision and surround myself with the love, light and laughter of my friends, and as much yoga as I could fit into my schedule, so as not to fall apart. And then not one but two of my closest, most trusted friends dealt me enough of a blow to break the shell wide open. The tears fell for sure. Neither one of them did it on purpose. Neither one of them would have chosen to cause me any sort of harm if they could have helped it. They were both trying to make what they believed to be the best choice in a challenging situation, and it just happened that their decisions led to some suffering for me.

In the face of this turn of events, I had to ask myself whether what transpired was really so egregious, or if it was my own expectations of these individuals, the trust and love that I'd placed in them, that was the real cause of my pain. Had I not opened myself up to A. or to these two friends, could they have ever hurt me? This kind of thinking is how I imagine people begin to develop the more mainstream kind of trust issues. It seems like a very dangerous downward spiral from there, in my opinion. Instead of getting onboard for that particular ride, I found a different perspective to consider. Thanks to loving and trusting all of these people, I got to face some of my own crap and engage in the process of healing and growing. And since I was a little too in control of my post-breakup hurt feelings, the situations with my girlfriends ended up providing me what I needed most: release. I needed to cry big time. I needed to just let down my guard so I could feel the pain, sadness, disappointment and grief fully in order to begin the process of moving on. As I do, I become even more aware and appreciative of how incredible each one of the people in my life is, how much they bring me, how much I want to keep loving and trusting them, hopefully for our mutual benefit.

I could never live my life as an untrusting person. I'd be too afraid to miss the opportunity to feel, to connect, to experience all the juicy, messy, fantastic, wild goodness that opening your heart brings. I know living this way means I will get hurt from time to time, and I accept that. I accept that because it means I will love, and be loved, in ways far more powerful than the hurt could ever be. To me, that is more than worth it.

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