Very recently, my relationship became road rash on asphalt and I was forced to take a long hard look in in the mirror. Damn, I didn’t like what I saw. The woman that looked back wore an empty expression from the walls she’d built around herself. This protective barrier of brick and mortar kept her safe from pain but had grown so high she wasn’t giving a wonderful man the love he deserved.
So I decided it was time to make a change. A huge one. And it was beautiful to finally open my heart and life, experiencing emotions I’d locked away. But it was too late. This man I’d kept at bay for so long was leaving me. He wanted the connection I’d failed to give. I argued and begged but his mind was made up. We might have a chance in the future, if we worked at truly building a partnership. But in the meantime he was moving out.
He is leaving today. The pain is overwhelming.
Three nights ago I awoke at 3:00 AM. Tossing and turning. Trying to navigate the rejection, fear, uncertainty, and hurt. For a tortured half-hour I lived in anger, resentment, and the pain of the past.
And the wall of indifference rose up around me. Again.
I felt myself harden. Then a voice in my head shouted NO! You will not live in that lonely place any more. You have finally let those walls down and it has been beautiful.
So I began a mantra. “I let go of anger, resentment, and the past. I open myself to love. My heart is open.” At the same time I held a vision of my chest open like an unbuttoned coat letting in a breeze of love.I repeated, “I am open to love. I am open.” again and again.
It was weird; after a while of repeating this mantra to myself there was a shift in my thinking. The walls of indifference I usually hide behind crumbled and my heart began to soften. The more I repeated it, the softer I became.
I’ve managed to stay open for a few days now. I pray that I can continue so that someday we can build what we should have had all along.
Laurie Woodward is the author of The Pharaoh’s Cry, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky from the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, as well as the middle-grade Forest Secrets. She co-wrote Dean and JoJo: The Dolphin Legacy and was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet, and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at artania.net