“Mirrors and Medicine: Taking the Steps for Healing Heart, Mind, Body and Soul” by Pheonyx Roldan Smith (originally composed in Bali, Indonesia on September 08, 2012)
“The pain body is the emotional aspect of egoic consciousness. When the ego is amplified by the emotion of the pain body, the ego has enormous strength – particularly at those times. It requires very great presence so that you can be there [in] the space also for your pain body, when it arises. That is everybody’s job here – to be there, to recognize the pain body when it shifts from dormant to active, when something triggers a very strong emotional reaction. At that moment, when it does take over your mind, the internal dialogue, which is dysfunctional at the best of times, now becomes the voice of the pain body talking to you internally. Everything it says is deeply colored by the old, painful emotion of the pain body. Every interpretation, everything it says, every judgment about your life, about other people, about a situation you are in – will be totally distorted by the old emotional pain.” -Eckhart Tolle
I received G’s email back in July of 2012 in response to a simple inquiry to his well being. I was aware that he had recently returned to Asheville after a stint of working and self-exploration overseas in Europe. I really just wanted to say hello and let him know that I was thinking of him and wishing him well as he moved onto the next phase of his journey. I was under the belief/impression that the journey between us was karmic water under the bridge, and despite some deep pains, much healing had taken place.
I think it’s part of my Aquarian nature… if I can, I want to keep the windows and doors of communication open with my exes. I know… I know… I can hear some of you thinking now, “Well, you MUST be crazy.” LOL… but seriously, I don’t want hard feelings, bad blood, and old shredded karmic threads left between me and my “long-lost” lovers. No matter what, so it seems. I’ve always been that way. I truly believe that in due and proper time, AND if we allow them too, AND we do the work that we need to do, that eventually all things do heal. You may not love what happened let alone have come to like it. But if you get it, you’ve learned from it, and as an awakened/ing being, that’s the part of the process you truly come to appreciate. If not, well then, carry on. I believe that with enough practice and surrendering the simple truth of what is, you will.
Nothing is ever as bad to hate someone forever. There are beings who have walked this planet who have suffered some of the most unimaginable torchers and atrocities and have still been able to find forgiveness and compassion. You see, everything is here to teach us as much about ourselves as it is through our relationship with others that we learn the most. As well, forgiving does not necessarily mean forgetting. It’s part of the healing process for me… forgiveness. Communication is an important piece for me. However, communication is a two-way street and this most recent ex in question had been running one way in the opposite direction for a while.
It had been two years since our paths passionately crossed, quickly came together, blazed through for approximately three months, and forked off again onto distant trails in the world. Yet, that gnawing (and sometimes annoying) still small voice within me kept pressing. Come one. It’s been almost two years already. Just reach out and say hello. the voice persisted. I knew if I sent an email this time, I also sought a response. Previous hello’s in the prevailing year had gone unanswered. I didn’t expect any those previous times. I knew G’s soul. I knew/know it was going to take him a while to learn how to heal from it. I get that he has big work to do here on the planet. One of my other big practices on this planet is patience. I get that I get A LOT of opportunities to learn that one as well. I’m still practicing. However, this time I desired a kind a hello, a decent thank you… any response really. Just something. In truth, the silence was bugging me.
Another thing I constantly remind others… watch out what you wish for, you just might get it. This I know… the Universe always says “yes”. Maybe not how, but always yes.
The response that finally arrived from G with a finger pointing directly at me. The judgment (aka the accusation), nothing less frightening and horrid to my being than being accused of rape. In fact, that’s indeed what I was accused of… “spiritual rape”. More metaphysical mind you, not the physical kind. The alleged victim, my formerly aloof ex-lover, now stood also as judge and jury, which immediately sent me into my own sense of despair and victimhood.
How could this be?! How could he accuse me of such a thing?? Me, of all people?! Have I not suffered enough by the hands of this beautiful but tragically hardened being?! My heart ached. My mind stiffened in shock. Even my body became tender and sore at the thought that somehow I had failed to love unconditionally the one person whom I was attempting to love the most… unconditionally.
I needed some additional outer guidance, so I pulled my Angels of Atlantis cards. I know… I know… how “new-agey”. Don’t judge… I’ve got enough of that going on. Besides, I needed to see what the cards had to say in association with my own inner thoughts and emotions. I love these cards because they’re simple, straight-forward and easy to read. The deck is based on the archetypes of the archangels. Yes, the same ones from the Hebrew and Christian Bibles as well as other ancient texts. The cards themselves are by no way religious or associated with any belief system beyond the belief that the energies of a league of what many refer to as Guardian Angels do in fact exist. But more importantly, there is a word, a thought, an idea, a concept of being that coincides with each card, which in turn coincides with a message for the one receiving the reading.
I pull cards from time to time. Sometimes for fun. Sometimes for ice-breakers at the beginning of classes and workshops. Sometimes for a very specific purpose for clarity, understanding or to help shed light on a path towards clear healing; such as it was this time. Sometimes I pull just one card. Other times more than one; usually three, five or seven. On this day, a day that I had a few things to say to G, I felt called to pull five. Here are the cards I pulled (hover your mouse over each for further descriptions). They appeared to me exactly in this order. Upon receiving them, I knew exactly what I had to do. I knew I was already doing it. Now, I just needed to complete the process.
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“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” -The Buddha
Upon receiving G’s email, like most people accused of something they know they did not do, my first reaction was shock. Then my pain body began to wake up. The next level was a deep sadness to the fact that I clearly felt I was not being seen for the true nature of my being. Not then, and apparently not even now, two years later.
As I worked through these levels of self-awareness and attempts to understand (and there was a lot of long, slow, intentional breathing going on, by the way), along came that dear old friend, Fear; who just happened to bring along his dear old friend, Anger. In truth, that was a bit of a surprise to me at first. Together, Fear, Anger and I did the dance of a hundred dances… spinning and turning within the mind around the series of events which have played out between me and this ancient soul whom I’ve known for so long in the greater scheme of infinite time and space, but only for a moment’s glance in terms of Earthly time in that summer of 2010.
The period of physical romance between us lasted less than three months. It was beautiful, highly volatile and tenuous. Big things can arrive in small packages of time as well. However, the karmic lessons and transformative healing opportunities have gone ocean deep and mountain high on a soul level. The first six months of healing after our separation were the most intense I’ve ever experienced, even for a seasoned veteran of relationship-reeling such as myself. During pretty much all of 2011, I worked hard to let go of every old pattern around attachments and “needs” that I ever had around relationships. It was a year of deep and profound progress and huge growth opportunities in trusting the Universe in its knowing. I was able to process a great deal during that summer and fall while volunteering at The Omega Institute for five months. What I got out of that experience has forever changed my life as well.
The following year presented an increased capacity of flow towards healing. Again, eventually in time all wounds eventually heal. No doubt, 2012 was a banner year for me in terms of life-altering, full-on growth experiences along with turning 40. I’m a day-before-Valentine’s baby. See, it’s all about relationships. I also launched a two-to-three-year long journey to travel and teach around the world. I was determined to not carry the energy of the old into this new work/play/world of mine. Over the course of the most recent two years, I had achieved a much greater sense of my Self and clearer understanding of my old karmic life patterns. I was good. Life was good. l felt good about where I was and what I had learned about myself and was able to let go which is why I felt strong and courageous enough to reach out and say hello to G and ask for the sake of simply reaching out in hopes that after two years he too was at a similar place.
However, looking back I now realize that deep down, somewhere in that yet to be understood place, I knew that there just might be one or two lingering bits and pieces left to deal with. And thus, my soul body (aka, higher self) cried out for final clearing. Apparently Ya’ think?? So, I sent an email to G also asking for some acknowledgment of some other messages I sent previously in the year. The response I got back was the subject of what I outlined above… the spiritual rape. On one level, I could hardly believe the response. But on another level, I looked at the calendar. It was annual anniversary time of July, August and September. Yup, perfect cosmic re-cycling time. And so it was confirmed… on a soul level I knew I had some last bit and final work to do with one of my closest soul mates, most stubborn adversaries and greatest teachers.
However, the message from G arrived while I was still in the Philippines and up to my neck in teaching and healing work with others. I had to table it. I was in the middle of teaching a ton of workshops, running life coaching appointments and helping plan the two-day OHM Talks 2012 summit in Manila. There was just too much going on with me there to allow for proper reflection and response. I pushed it to one of the back burners of my mind. I needed time. More importantly, I needed space. Space I knew I would have once I arrived in Bali.
My first week in Bali was set aside for some fun exploration time with a new friend and fellow traveler. Chip and I were introduced through a mutual friend and after a few long-distant skype conversations, we decided to meet up in Bali. He happen to be doing a speaking tour in Singapore and considers Bali a bit of a second home to his busy life in San Francisco. It was obvious that there were some things for Chip and I to explore on a personal level in terms of friendship and chemistry. Again, the Universe works in perfect and mysterious ways. So, I said yes to the offer to hang out. Upon arrival though, I felt I needed to share with Chip bits and pieces of my story with G, and that I needed time and space to work on coming to completion with that. He was immensely supportive and understanding. No pressure. No expectations. We allowed ourselves to live and enjoy ourselves in the Now.
After 10 days of sharing space, getting to know one another and exploring some of the local sights and sacred sounds of Bali, Chip flew back to the states to continue both his work and his own journey of exploration of old and new ideas for discovery. I moved into “The Hermitage”, the name I gave a little writing cottage set up on the edge of one of the many rice fields which I rented for the remaining five weeks just outside Ubud ( which is Balinese for “medicine”) near the tiny village of Batuyung (not sure what that word means; probably “take your…” LOL); and soon it was time to go inward. It was time to deal with that which was stirring underneath. That which needed to be addressed so that I could move to the next level of clearing.
I actually began writing the letter to G just a few days after Chip arrived, on August 9th, another auspicious date on the calendar for me for the past three or four years. However, somewhere in the early morning of August 12th I awoke from a deep sleep and some active dreaming around 5am and felt pressed to write some things down. The moon in Aries was on the move again. I could definitely feel it.
In the pre-dawn hours, as I sat on the porch amidst the Balinese bamboo and banyan trees, I felt a door or a window to my soul opening. I looked out beyond the threshold of it into some strange new world. A bird on a branch. A flower in a pot. I saw these things sitting all around me, asking for permission to be seen, like something deep down in me that wanted to be recognized. And so I did. I wrote and released what came through. Some of the sadness wanted to be expressed; and so I expressed it. Some of the anger (actually, all of it) wanted to be expressed; and so I expressed it. The confusion, I let it go. The self-judgment, I released all that could be acknowledged. Apology. No, not yet. I wasn’t quite ready to play the victim. Or rather, I was not willing to play the victim anymore! was the thought that occurred to me. I’m done with that. I’m done with being accused of something I know in my heart of hearts I did not do… to be seen or remembered for someone for who I am not.
However, I have come to realize the nature of human beings, especially when their own pain bodies have themselves been engaged in conversation. I knew I could not deny the truth of G’s own experience any more than I could deny the sun to shine, or the Earth to spin upon its own axis. I could only share what was true for me in that specific moment which he referred to which took place nearly two years ago.
I had to let go of the question of why he waited so long to even bring it up to my attention. Perhaps he didn’t know. Perhaps it was a new revelation for him only recently realized (although I doubted it). Perhaps someone else guided him to such a conclusion. I didn’t know and may never, but what I did know was that which was true for me in the situation was the complete opposite side of the coin of his experience from intention, to facilitation to completion… or what I thought was completion. As much as the ego of my pain body wanted to let loose the hounds of vindication and to defend its sense of honor as a perceived loving and sentient being, I also had to remind my self that the Truth need not be defended, but merely shined a light upon for others to decide for themselves whether or not they are able and/or willing to see.
So, I commenced with the long and arduous process of shedding some personal light upon the other side of the situation. That side of the coin which was my own experience and ultimate Truth for me. The process looked something like this… Meditate. Release. Write… Meditate. Release. Write.,, Meditate. QiGong. Yoga. Release. Write. (LOL…. you get my drift.) This process had not taken up all of my time, but a great majority of it during those first couple of weeks in the Hermitage. And interestingly, other writings, fueled by this process of connecting with the essence and strength of my own Higher Self in a new and powerful way, began to flow through me. It all poured out… channeled messages from my spirit guides, old poem revisions, new poems, a few new dream journal entries, and deep and very clear reflections about life and the many relationships we tend to bear in the process.
But each day, when it was time to write, I would come back to the letter to G to review what I had written in previous days before. Is that true? I would ask myself when something of questionable authority would arise into my awareness. Am I really saying that because it’s true or because I want to be right? I wanted to be sure. I had to speak beyond any shadow of a doubt.
It you’ve ever asked yourself that question when it pertains to an internal conflict of story, you know how difficult the process of discernment can be. The battle between ego and soul is a complex and difficult one… until it’s not. But the Truth is really simply, when you learn how to listen. I listened deeply and with full intention to fully express it.
Let me tell you… I have assigned this exercise to many a client in the past. It has many names… the “I Love You Letter”… the “Thank You Letter”… the “Forgiveness Letter”… and it is no easy task, mind you. The concept is simple enough… write what is truly on your heart and mind. Tell that person to whom you are writing whether it be a parent, a loved one, a spouse, a former partner, whomever; tell them EVERY THING that you’ve EVER WANTED to say but for whatever reason (usually for fear or shame) you never have. No holds barred. The anger, the sadness, the frustration, the confusion, the hurt… write down ALL of it.
You must, however, write from the place of how YOU feel about those moments in the NOW. It’s not about blaming or pointing fingers. It’s not about hashing out and slicing further open old emotional wounds. It’s not about how that other person MADE you feel. It is true, in fact, that no one can “make” you feel anything. However, they can trigger emotions within us that REFLECTS something we are already feeling deep down inside. The letter IS about you personally owning your feelings around it all in current right now; and if it’s a negative emotion, trust me, it probably goes wayyyyyy back; but the trick is to find the point of origin and work on shifting everything from there while working from a current space of self-awareness, personal compassion and intent for healing and perfect understanding. If you aren’t willing to see that, you won’t. Yet another Universal Law… one can not see what one is not willing or capable of seeing.
So, the question is, are you willing? And if you are willing, will you be brave and honest enough to allow yourself to see what most desires to be shown? Only you can decide.
If you decide to try this exercise (and I do hope you do), I encourage you to write as if it was the last letter you were ever going to write to that person; as if you had one final chance to say to them what you want them to know… the good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly. The most important part is to be completely open and honest with yourself throughout the process. One other bit of advice… write also as if you might never give the person your letter. Strange logic, right? Welcome to working with the subtleties of the egoic mind.
That tiny little clause gives your ego a little bit (just a little, not too much) of wiggle room to feel comfortable enough to let it all hang out in the letter. It allows a bit more room for full “freedom of expression” once the egoic mind knows (or believes) that what you think and feel about this person may never actually be SEEN by the one you are writing to. Then, I say, after the letter is complete, and once you have said all that you have needed to say, you can decide in the end what you really want to do with it.
Look, the writing of the letter is the exercise that holds the most power AND the most magic. The steps taken through the process of writing allows you to achieve steps towards personal freedom from the pent-up anger, pain and frustration of never saying what you for so long have been avoiding to say… even if it is only for yourself. Whether the “recipient” of the letter actually ever gets to know what you have laid out there is in the end irrelevant. The act of forgiveness is more for the forgiver than the forgiven. BUT if in the end, you realize that the ultimate karmic step can be achieved by letting the receiver know ALL of it, then it can become one of the most singularly powerful gifts you can choose to bestow… to you both.
“To heal” means to bring two things that are separate back together. To become whole, no longer separate, once again. This is as true for external healing as it is for what’s been injured and/or separated within. I’m not talking about mending any other relationship right now other than the one you have with yourself. The process of releasing angers, worries, fears, doubts, confusions and whatever else lies around the circumference of a fractured relationship is something that allows us to meet our Self in the middle and to heal what needs to be healed. It’s not so much about healing the fractured relationship outside of us, which is clearly only a mirror for the fracture that lies within us, the one that requires the most healing.
Although, avoid getting caught up or attached to end results. Just write the darn letter. Let the Universe take care of the details of how the healing will come about. Trust me, It does a pretty good job of taking care of what we most need. Remember, in the end, the Universe always says “Yes”. ”How” and “When”? Well, those are an ultimate matter of trust, but in my own experience, it’s always given in the right and perfect time. Exactly when I’m truly ready for it. However, right now this is about you. I’ve done (am doing) my work, and for now it is complete. Which is why I’m telling you all this. The letter is your doorway back to the place of wholeness, but on a new level, before you became separated from your Self and chose to go on this long journey of remembering.
Okay, now some gentle reminders: One, write it ALL down. Don’t hold back. Be completely honest. Take as long as you need to write it… hours, days, weeks, etc… but be sure you write it all down. You owe it to yourself. For most people the process of writing about angers, frustrations and fears comes easy. Most people are pretty apt at knowing those things right off the top of their hot little heads when the time comes to listing them. Many have a long litany of frustrations that can be copied and pasted throughout the regular rigor-n-role of their daily lives. But the second part of the exercise is often something more daunting, and for some will sometimes stunt the process before it begins…
I ask each client, after writing down all their pains and grievances about the other to then, and only then, record ALL the things which they are THANKFUL for about that very same person who has been the primary cause of their profound pain and frustration. Now THAT’S the kicker! Most people look at me like I just grew a second head. It’s often difficult for most to conceive (at first anyway) how the same person who has been the source of so much fodder for their own suffering and pain could have possibly given them any fruitful gifts deserving of thanks in the end. “What are the valuable lessons you have learned from coming into contact with this being?” I ask. “What is that you NOW know more definitively about your SELF that you could not have known before going through the pains and heartaches you have suffered with and by that being?”
The process takes time. I’m not saying that everyone gets it; especially on the first go-around. Hey, I’ve been doing this type of work for a long time. I even teach it, remember? And it still took me nearly a month to write down all things I had to say. Of course, I knew I would be giving the letter to G, even if it was the last thing I did before either one of us left this mortal plane. The process works. And the pain and anguish of moving through that process helped me strengthen core muscles of personal belief and a garner a greater level of compassion for other beings still in pain, especially those still choosing to play in the egoic game of judge and victim.
And thus, I knew too, the letter was not so much for G. It was for me. He has simply served as a vital and important mirror for me to look at who/what/where I was versus who/what/where I most desire to go/do/be as I continue to move forward. I have stared deep into the reflection of the one within me who once felt abandoned, abused, neglected and in some ways tossed aside and misunderstood. That is not my place any longer. Been there, done that. Ain’t gonna do it no more, as the saying goes. I could not claim as my own truth what G had accused me of. Nor was it about denying the truth. It was about standing within my own and allowing that ultimate truth to be known.
Here’s another make or break tip… you have to choose to let go of the false concept of “right vs. wrong”. Would you rather be healthy or whole, or would you rather be “right”? All judgment, all pain, all sorrow, all anger, all fear, all doubt, is all victimhood… all of it. And what you choose to let in is something much more profound and healing than all of that suffering combined.
The result for me is a pure and complete understanding of my own egoic needs and previous sense of lack I held in my own life, especially around not having a loving, fully connected relationship. I knew it in my heart of hearts. It is that thing I was seeking all along through my interaction with my each and every one of my former partners… complete and unconditional love and acceptance of myself. And it swooped in like a bird on a wing and took seat upon the branches of my inner Soul on the day I completed my final and most complete letter to G on September 08, 2012. Whole, perfect and complete. No attachments. No regrets. Simply Love.
So, what’s done is done. I chose to let go of the reigns of destiny (again) as to what the future may bring to the unfolding of that relationship and any other that my follow. In the end, time also reveals all things to those willing to see, and more importantly, to those who are willing to pay attention to the course of the bigger picture. And although the letter in and of itself is of a private matter, I share the words of the another piece I wrote to him in a reflection a year and a half after our separation. I’ve even left the “to” and “from” blank so you can insert your own and practice with it. I invite you to use it, and hope that it will inspire you to create your own eventually in your healing work with others…
Dear __________, I won’t be afraid to love you with all my heart, because to be afraid is to be in fear, and to be in fear keeps me from fully loving. You taught me that when you left me so that you could go on to learn how to love yourself.
And so I did. And so I also let go. I place my trust that the Universe alone could love me enough to show me how to love myself with my whole heart, too. And just when I thought it was going to break apart once again, perhaps for one final fantastically, seemingly fatal time, it did what you said it would do… it broke wide open and the love of the Universe flowed right through it into everything I touched with it. It was and has been amazing and I have you to thank for that. And I learned to let go of fear because there was nothing there left to hold onto. It served me well so that I could navigate the many rivers of life into this amazing vast ocean of Unconditional Love and Trust.
Thank you for giving me the final push that I needed to launch into it. So, since I do not fear, all that I can do now is love you fully… without fear… no matter what… with all of my heart… wherever and whomever you are now; wherever you shall go; and into whomever you shall ultimately and beautifully become.
love always, the I AM of Me, __________________
Here’s the deal, loved ones. The choice is yours. You can choose to be the victim of your circumstances OR overcome them. Not everyone’s perceptions of the truth of you are necessarily True. That’s not to say it’s not true for them. May very well be so. But now is the time that you have to begin to own your own Truth.
The great master-teacher of self love and compassion, the Buddha, states, “Pain is necessary, but suffering is optional.” If you choose not to suffer the pains of others, then you begin to step through a doorway of new and amazing self-discovery. It will take courage. What you thought you knew will most likely have to be forgotten, or at the least will need to be set aside for some time. What you know within the heart of hearts of you will be tested. If it were easy, everyone would be doing it. But they don’t, and that’s okay too. Let go of all judgment around how you THINK the process is SUPPOSED to work for OTHERS. As the master-teacher of love and compassion for others, Mother Teresa (whose teacher was the master-teacher Jesus), taught us, “Love them anyway.” Let them go if you have too. Let them do their own soul work. It’s up to each one of us to do the work that we are here to do for the purpose of more fully supporting one another.
“The journey of thousand miles begins with a single step”… by step… by step… by step. But there are as infinite many paths up the mountain as there are conscious beings on this planet. Honor them. Each and every one. Find your own, and follow through. And as the master-teacher song-writers of love, the ’80′s band Journey said, “Don’t stop believin’!”
Anything is possible. Don’t stop loving those who are unable and may even refuse to love you back. And most of all… don’t stop breathing. It’s a life saver.
Remember… love enlights. Much more to come. I love you all.
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