Yesterday I was mad at the universe because I was convinced that I had started to do the work. I was on my way, I thought, slowly but on my way. The proof of work I provided was going back to yoga, making food for the person I love twice, going to my Turkish classes, doing the laundry and cleaning out the kitchen cabinets. See? Doesn’t that sound like a person who is trying? I called the last 8 (9? 10? I don’t remember) months of my life “a difficult period.” I was depressed and now I was going to come out of it, by trying really, really hard.
And then this happened. And I felt that just as I had decided to start going to the gym, building up muscle and power, the universe chopped off my right leg to speed up the process. And that’s stupid and unfair I thought, because it is a lot harder to go to the gym on one leg.
Today I began to do the actual work, work that required me to do open-heart surgery on myself, without painkillers or any idea of what I was actually doing. This actual work is giving me grace. Real, tangible fucking grace. Like the kind that makes you feel grateful even as you think you might actually die from the pain.
I have not been going through a difficult period. I got a year off from my pain because my partner’s light, and our light together blinded me to the truth of my fears, the loneliness I have been running from for twenty years and my complete inability to accept that I am a good human who has done the very best she could under the circumstances. And that she had to fix herself from age 12. And nothing fixed by a twelve year old actually works again. Adults need to do the fixing, plumbing professionals and carpenters and handymen need to do the fixing.
I have read all the books about self-love. And I never got it. I understood with my intellect that you cannot give away what you don’t have. That you can not truly accept another person until you can accept yourself. I understood that it was important but I just did not know how. Affirmations? Bullshit. Going to the mirror and saying I love you? What the fuck is that and how does it work. A day at the spa? A cup of tea? How is a polished bottom and a warm beverage going to erase 20 years of shame and guilt and self-hatred?
Yesterday I looked at myself in the mirror and said “I hate you.” I really did that. Today, before I found my way into the actual work, I stopped by the mirror and said “I don’t love you yet, but I am going to try because that is the only way we are getting out of this alive.” So yeah, I did the stupid mirror thing. And then I did the work. The start of the work, the first steps towards building a foundation within me that can never be shaken. That is strong enough to survive the house burning down. That makes me sure enough of my own house to help put out fires in other houses, maybe even his, once I am strong enough. Because his house is on fire too.
DISCLAIMER: I reserve the right to disappear back into the dark cesspool of graceless suffering at any moment because I am goddamn heartbroken.