When first wife and I broke up, I was devastated because I believed in my commitment to her and I did not understand what happened between us. I remember the moment I told her after 4 months of therapy that went nowhere that I had to move on with my life, that it was over. At that moment she first tried to get me to stay even though 4 months earlier she had made the first move to leave. But then we knew it was over. We shared with each other how much we still loved each other. “Yes that’s what’s hard about this!” Then she told me that women will love me. That moment of honest sharing after months of struggling to figure out how to keep living together was the most healing moment in our relationship for me. I did not consciously know I felt unlovable. How did she know to tell me that women would love me?
Another time one of my teachers once told me: “Don’t you dare take anything personally!” Wow! Years later, I am somewhat better at it… but every time I dig myself into an emotional black hole, you can bet I took something personally!
Some words we hear or tell ourselves are painful… The only way to heal from this that I am aware of is to stop trying to ignore them and push through… Instead we need to recognize and feel deep within that these words are lies… When we see/feel the lie, we can finally stop holding on to the negativity and the truth comes.
Our negative self-talk came in place of accepting some painful feelings resulting from one or sometimes many experiences. Freedom comes from accepting those unbearable feelings. Freedom comes from being able to laugh at our own insane self-talk — not take them seriously. Freedom comes from realizing that this life is not about you, it is about the love you are able to share and if you are worried about you, people will feel you as withholding love… Don’t withhold your love!
The Thin Line Between Being Healing and Giving Advice
The other side of receiving is giving healing words and that can be very close to giving advice. Most of the advice I have been given did not work for me. The reason is that people tend to give advice without getting to know the person they give advice to. It is not because something works for you that it will work for someone else. Why not? Because we each have our journey and our lessons to learn. So before trying to be helpful to someone it is important to get to know the person, to be curious, to care that the help we give is not to make us feel better but to really help the other person. If you have an attachment to whether the other person uses your suggestions, you are giving this advice for your own benefit. If it is something you need, don’t disguise it as a suggestion: know what you want and ask for what you want. If it is truly a suggestion, then you will know because you will to be willing to let the other person do exactly what s/he wants to do and be there to support him or her whether s/he is following your suggestion or not!
I think the best advice to someone is when the other person really feels heard and when it benefits everyone else around that person as well…
A Healing Offering
Talking with the other person is not the only way to know what is likely to be helpful. Here’s the story of a little old lady with Lou Gehrig’s disease who kept everyone awake at night.
A friend of mine, a nurse, worked in a hospice overnight. I was awake one such night and felt like calling her. She picked up the phone and told me she was having a hard time with an old lady with Lou Gehrig’s disease screaming and throwing her orange juice at her bedroom window requiring all her attention and waking everyone else. My friend was usually calm, full of love and joy with her patients, but right then she was overwhelmed.
I told her I would meditate on it and I’d call her back 15 minutes later. She told me she’d rather call me in case anyone was able to fall asleep in the meantime.
In my meditation, I wanted to connect with this little old lady. I wanted to know how she felt inside. So I tuned in to her. We learn this technique as part of Sat Nam Rasayan, a healing modality taught in Kundalini Yoga according to Yogi Bhajan. It is no deep mystery, we can all do this and perhaps some of you already do this without knowing it has a name!!! When I tuned in to this little old lady, I felt as though my body was on fire. I asked myself what it would feel like if instead of orange juice she drank water. The agitation went down. I asked myself what would happen if she touched the grass with her bare feet. I felt cooling and peace. So when my friend called back, I told her: “The orange juice agitates her, instead give her water, it will cool her down. And if anyone can take her outside during the day so she can touch the grass with her bare feet, that would be very helpful!”
I had my doubts that anyone would have the patience to do this. That was not taking into account that my friend is so nice that no one can say “no!” to her and the love the family had for this little old lady… A week or two later, I had a call from my friend, she told me someone wanted to talk to me. It was the daughter of the little old lady who kept every one awake at night. The daughter thanked me. She told me that she and her family did just what I suggested everyday taking her outside on her wheelchair and taking her shoes and socks off to let her touch the grass with her bare feet. And, since then, her mother had been sleeping 2 to 4 hours every night. And everyone else slept much better as a result in the hospice!!