Posts Tagged “breakups”

Let My Pain Be…

suffering in love

Hi there, Uma here and man am I ready to write this post! From my own personal experience and recently talking to several people in the past few weeks i have been incited. And of course, what better way to deal with it than blog about it? (blush)

So here’s the thing, I am going to make a statement right now and it may have you in agreement with me (keep reading) or not (no shame, abandon post now) but it has to be said because I am really tired of the world’s insensitivity to people that are hurting. I say world because I am not calling anyone out in my personal life (you know who you are) and for people I have been talking to, it runs the gamut from family to lovers to friends to coworkers. It is just not ok.

Listen….we all have something we are dealing with. If you are walking around with not a care in the world, no luggage, no pain and no suffering, really move on, this is not the post for you.

This post is for the people I KNOW are suffering and doing so silently because they are afraid to speak up or share because they are tired of the judgments and criticism. I am choosing to be the voice of these people today. So here…we….go….

  1. My pain is my pain and try as you might, you will never know my pain

I met a woman at my studio who came in to talk about some matter in her life with her relationships. However, the more we talked and the deeper down we went, we touched on the fact that she was molested as a child. I held space for her as she talked and talked and talked about it until she couldn’t talk anymore. I was intently listening and very involved emotionally as I felt for her but at the very end, she said something to me that made the hair raise up on the back of my neck. She said, “Thank you Uma for listening. I guess that’s all I really wanted, to be heard and not be judged.” I told her that was preposterous, who can judge her in this situation? To which she replied, “My ______ (family member) told me to get over it because there was no penetration, only touch.” Shock.

This is the world we live in. A world where we are so insensitive that we allow crap to come out our mouths and hurl it at other people. Now you see why I am incited? Oh but wait, there’s more stories like this to come.

Here’s the thing folks. You cannot RATIONALIZE someone else’s pain. How do you even begin to justify that?! When you try to rationalize something, you are consciously analyzing the thing you are rationalizing. You are completely out of the field of emotions, where the pain is stemming from.

The next time you are blessed to be in the presence of someone hurting (I say blessed because clearly they trust you enough to share their pain with you) do one of two things and ONLY these two things:

  • Have compassion. Listen intently with your heart, maintain eye contact and relax the face. Allow yourself to listen to what they are saying and when you do say something, do it to bring forth encouraging words and not to respond. Most people who are hurting are not looking to you for advice but some form of comfort if even only temporarily from their discomfort. You would be amazed how little is required from you to do so much for someone who is hurting. All you really have to do is sit quietly, listen and lend an ear. Most times when you do this, people will tell you they feel amazing after. They feel lighter and really they are because energetically they have chipped away at the block of pain and they can feel it.
  • If you are unable to provide space for someone because you are busy, tired, selfish or egotistical then do the following: Have compassion. Say something gently to let them know that you understand this is a source of hurt to them and you are unable to hold space for them at this time or forever, whichever your cold heart desires. It could look like this: “I am so sorry to hear this is affecting you. I can hear the pain in your voice, this must be something very deep for you and I am so sorry to see you in this amount of pain. I need to be honest with you, because I love you and respect you, I don’t think I am the right person for you to talk to about this. For my own personal reasons (I am dead on the inside) I cannot provide a safe and warm place for you to open up and share and help in your grief. I hope you understand and can find someone to share this with because it seems like you have to talk about it and not keep it in.”

2. I am not hearing YOUR advice about MY pain if your advice includes YOU more than I

Sigh. So, we are creatures of habit and usually our habits are shown in our speech. You can tell a lot about a person from their speech and how many selfies they take. A couple of months ago I met a woman at one of my workshops at my studio. She came with a friend and it was a workshop on “Letting Go”. We talked about relationships and how all relationships had a natural end. Most times, people tend to stay longer than they are supposed to and they then experience suffering as a result as the relationship no longer holds value for either participants. This woman was in awe. Clearly the workshop was hitting home and I noticed it in her eyes but I didn’t want to draw attention to her so I kept talking and made sure to keep my eyes roaming freely around the room. Finally she spoke up to say what I suspected, this talk was exactly what she needed because she was in an on again and off again relationship with someone and she is now seeing it clearly for the first time. Well, no sooner had she said that when her friend started jumping up and making a real show of herself. “Omg I have told you many times, over and over the SAME thing Uma is saying!” As the conversation continued between me and the woman in front of the class (I had her consent to use her personal situation as an example), her friend would chime in every time I said something that resonated with the woman. “Yep, I said the same thing.” “Yep I said that too.” And on and on this went until she finally got the woman to admit out loud to everyone that she was right and she had said the same things to her over the years.

Folks, I know you need validation. Heck, we all need it but you getting validation at another’s expense is not pretty. It is actually downright ugly. If you are the friend who gives people advice and they never take it…..you need to take a step back and realize it is one of two things:

  • Either you are not giving sound advice and people realize that and just don’t pay attention

 

  • OR you give GREAT advice but they cannot use it because it usually comes attached to some form of validation for you. My pain is your victory and that is not ok. I know I am rubbing a lot of egos the wrong way right now but hear me out, this can be very helpful to you and people in your life. How to tell if you are doing this? Easy!

– If you give advice to people and they don’t follow it and what you said will happen, happens….you usually follow that up with a big ole serving of “I TOLD YOU SO”

– You give advice to people and they decide to follow you on it and then suffer the consequences of you holding it over them for the rest of their life. It sounds something similar to this “You should be THANKFUL for me because of ALL I DO FOR YOU”

Ok there is no judgment here, Lord knows I have used these techniques too so if you are guilty of these behaviors, just admit it and make amends within yourself to be better about being a better person to your loved ones. What is the appropriate way to give advice? I have no clear cut answer for you, what I can share with you is what works for me with my clients that allow them to take my advice:

  • When I hear a person’s dilemma, I verbally mirror back to them what I am hearing. Sometimes people don’t understand just how crazy they sound until it is mirrored back to them. “So what I am hearing is that you are frustrated waiting by the phone for him because the relationship is on his schedule when he is not with his wife?” Ahhhh, revelations. BUT if you do this, please do it with an honest questioning voice and not one dripping with sarcasm. Hold that for the comedy club.
  • I like to put the power in the person’s hands. Why would someone feel motivated to make a change when it is advice from me? It is much better for me to make a change when I made the decision by myself. So in my sessions, my role is less of an authoritarian figure and more of a sounding board to get them where they need to be. I can make suggestions, but I do so lightly and put it back in their court. Something I would say sounds like, “Ok so these are the two decisions you are faced with. I am not telling you which to choose and in fact I am not even telling you to choose. What I am saying is to process. Process where you are at right now and when the time is right, you will make the decision that is right for you.”
  • Have empathy. I like to let clients know I understand where they are at and empathize with them. That sounds like this, “I know you have to make a decision between the two…and you know what? Take as much time as you need because if I were in your shoes, that would be a difficult situation for me too. I can see and understand now why this is painful for you and how much you have suffered as a result. I know though that when you make a decision, it will put you in a much better place than where you are right now.”

 

I can go on and on about respecting other people’s pain and suffering but we will stop here now. I feel like I have gotten it off my chest lol, I do feel lighter. My hope is simple. Read this and practice it. If you know of someone in your life right now who is hurting, make a commitment to be there for them as much as you can. I say that last part because there are a few people out there who do like staying miserable, but that is a topic for another time.

If you like this blog post and would like to hear more about pain, suffering and unrequited love or maybe ask me personally your own questions into your own situation, come to my event on Sunday February 7th at the Intuitive Wellness Center in Burke. It is called “Love Redefined: Understanding Today’s Relationships”. For more information and to RSVP, please visit:  http://www.meetup.com/thelotusandthelight/events/227974559/

Until next time, have a Namaste and stay beautiful inside and out

Love and light,

Uma xo

 

 

 

 

 

Posted on: January 11th, 2016 No Comments

Holding Space for those in need

children-hugging

I came up with this article because as of recent, I have been feeling like I am holding space for just about everyone and everything going on. From my boyfriend, to my close friends, to the riots in Baltimore to the present day elections in my home country of Guyana….I am doing what I can do in situations where most people feel helpless…I am holding space.

What does that mean exactly? To hold space means to be available mentally, emotionally and spiritually for someone or some event while the person or event is happening. You are lending your energy to it and providing positive energy and vibes for everything to go smoothly. It doesn’t mean you bear the burden of another (thats another technique and another blog), it simply means to allow the person or thing to happen as it is going to naturally happen and you do what you can to provide a safe environment while the events occur.

I think of imploding. Imploding because my new favorite word in 2014 when I had a particularly tough year and everyday I felt like I was internally combusting. To implode means to collapse violently inward and usually as this happens on the inside, nothing can be perceived from the outside. Last year as my world crumbled around me, I maintained a smile on my face the whole time. Imploding.

Imploding happens in my circle. My group of people are actively seeking enlightenment and a better way to live and to be. This means they are actively going after their old belief patterns, changing born-with behaviors and addressing the triggers that occur in their daily lives. They are not blaming others for their hurt feelings, they are accepting responsibility and understanding that no one can hurt us, it is our perception that hurts ourselves. As fun and exciting as this sounds, it is not easy work. To accept responsibility for your pain is painful work. You have to go into it, process it, analyze it and ultimately come out stronger than before because you overcome it. As this happens, the world can seem like a dark and unfriendly place and this is where you can come in for your loved one. You can hold space.

So how exactly do you hold space? There are many different ways to do this but ultimately the general idea is to be present and be available for that person emotionally and spiritually. It does not mean a physical presence at all. Recently my boyfriend lost a very good friend of his and he imploded. It was a sudden death and the shock was too much for him to bear along with his grief. He withdrew into a cave and for one week I didn’t hear from him but I still held space for him. Energetically I reached out to let him know I was here for him when he was ready and physically I gave him space to deal with the pain he was experiencing. That too is holding space.

Here are some more ideas of what you can do when you have someone near to you suffering or experiencing a traumatic event. You can even do this for events , like I did for the recent Baltimore riots:

1) Keep your ego out of it. 

Ahh yes ego, the world revolves around us and its all about us…on a regular day, however whenever you are faced with a situation where someone is hurting, the attention naturally has to turn to them. You don’t offer your opinion at this time. Even though you have had great success with coping skill #1, #2 and #3, it is not what they want or need at this time UNLESS they ask you for it. What a grieving person needs is your time and your ear and for the conversation and energy to be about them. Not you. Also whatever they are going through is unique to their path and your opinions do not count. This is not a time to be assertive or efficient, life lessons rarely come with an efficient plan, it is meant to happen to mess up your plans so you can go in and process what is happening. At this time save the advice, “I told you so” and reprimands for some other time…or better yet never. Hurting people don’t need more hurt, they need acceptance and this is what you can give at this time.

2) Give only enough information they can handle

I recently experienced this with my boyfriend. The one mistake I made during his time of grieving was trying too hard to act normal and keep life going because I felt it would help. What happened unfortunately was he became overwhelmed with the to-dos of our days and social commitments we made before the death of his friend. When someone is hurting, life slows down. They do not have the energy or stamina to keep going with regular day to day activities, so be mindful of this. After that one week of no communication, when he slowly came back to me, I was mindful to only share with him information he needed to know at that time. I went ahead and started canceling our plans with our friends for get togethers and dinners because I wanted to buy him some more time to release and to heal from his recent upset. This is what you can do as well. When you are in this situation, become proactive and shelter your loved one from the world. Only relay information to them that they need to know. They don’t care if you make dinner or order in, little tasks like that you can handle on your own. The more time they have to themselves to handle the situation they are in, the faster the process and the sooner they can make it out.

3) Allow people to make their own decisions and trust their own intuition

This is a hard one for stubborn and domineering space holders and yes I am talking about myself. I feel I know everything! So when my loved ones hurt, it is a challenge for me to shut up and listen to them devise ways of how they are processing and what they plan to do. It never, ever meets my standards! The lesson here that I learned (the hard way) is that the situation came about exactly for that reason. For people to learn and grow and trust their own intuition, they have to be placed in some pretty hairy situations that requires their cunning and tact to bring them out of it. When you step back and just lend your energy to the situation, you do several things for the person experiencing this issue:

– You don’t take their power away by letting them make their own decisions

– You make them feel safe enough to fail because you are not judging or condemning

– You allow them to have different experiences and feelings than you and that makes them feel unique and empowered

Tragedy and upset doesn’t have to tear someone down. It is a perfect opportunity to build someone up stronger and better than they were before. Use these tips wisely and you and your loved ones can make it out of difficult situations peacefully and with more consciousness than you had before going into it.

As you choose to hold space for someone or some event, it is important to remember to see the unifying factors that bring people together not the dividing factors that rip us apart. It becomes a choice of are you acting from ego or spirit? Are you trying to help or further complicate the situation?

For me, I want to help. I want to be the one that people know they can come to without fear of judgment or condemnation, that I would provide a safe space for them to implode (or explode) and  no matter what happens or what I bear witness to, I will still accept and love them as they are, not as how I want them to be.

Start today creating safe spaces. You will be amazed at how much you can help by just being and not doing.

Love and light,

Uma

Posted on: May 11th, 2015 No Comments

The lemons of life….sour is also a taste

heart in barb wire

I love conversations where I learn things. Well it goes back to my love of learning….I feel so empowered and enlightened when I learn something new. I guess this is part of the reason why I am on the spiritual path…always trying to figure out stuff and learn more stuff to become better at stuff. Stuff….its what’s in all of us.

I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who is still reeling from the effects of a breakup that they clearly did not want to happen. This person (for the sake of anonymity let’s call them Susan) had a rough marriage and came out of it and jumped into a rebound relationship and then left that to float around in the dating scene (heart closed and intact) before finally getting into an emotionally rewarding relationship with a spiritually aware person.

Feeling safe, Susan allowed her guard to drop and allow this person into their life. It was wonderful…in fact she will probably tell you she lived more in that one year of relationship than she ever had in her life. It was exhilarating and exciting and she became so consumed with the person and the relationship that she started to neglect other areas in her life, including her kids, her work and herself.

We all know how this ends because at some point in our life, we have all been here. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, and even though my friend Susan took a chance and risked lowering her barriers for love…it unfortunately did not work out for her. The person she was seeing was more spiritually mature than her and knew they were in her life for a lesson…to teach her things, to spend time but eventually to move on and continue on their path.

My friend is heartbroken and months after the breakup, they still are mourning the loss of the relationship and the loss of love.

I listen to my friend go over and over in her head all the things she felt the relationship brought….always adding more importance and specialness to it than it really was. She would begin to lie to herself that this person was more and brought more than they really did. How do I know she is lying? Because the story changes.every.time. First when we would talk, she would talk of their intimate moments being so…well so beyond life. But then as the months passed and time healed most wounds, my friend would come clean and mention here and there that sexually they were not as compatible and there were issues in the bedroom. I listened but said nothing.

Susan would point out how much of a soul mate this person was for her and how they had so much similarity and interest in the same things but then as time passed, Susan would remember how she could not be herself (wild and crazy) around her friends when she was with her partner because her partner was more reserved in behavior in social events. I listened and said nothing.

See the thing is, Susan couldn’t accept a fact that many people today still struggle with. It is something common I hear at the end of a relationship when I see the broken hearted struggle to make sense of it all and struggle to apply importance to what just happened.

What we can’t accept or what we have a problem accepting is this….We opened our heart and allowed someone in and it didn’t end happily ever after.

There lies the grief and the shame….the betrayal and the hurt. We loved and we lost.

It goes against everything we are taught, doesn’t it? I mean most movies these days have happy endings. We are told if we take a chance, it pays off. So we do….clutching our pearls and descending the tunnel with nothing more but a wish, a hope and a prayer. For some of us it works out (congratulations by the way!) but for most of us, we are left bewildered and wondering “WHY ME?”

Susan is at a place in her life where she met someone AMAZING but this chick is closing this person out! She is giving them a hard time, overthinking it and constantly comparing him to her past partners. We can thank Susan for her trials and tribulations because its her sorrow and distress that brought on this blog post. So enough of Susan for now. Let me explain and expound on this for those that may find themselves in this situation. You know me…I never met a bullet point I didn’t like, so here we go…..

1) We need to stay away from happy endings (trust me, I get to use this line more as a massage therapist than ever!)

The truth is, many of us are not content to be in situations where our needs (physical, mental, emotional and spiritual) are not met. It is not enough. Happy endings only come if you stop pushing. Will you ever stop pushing? Absolutely! When you meet the one person or situation where your needs are met, you will absolutely stop; however, you can’t sell yourself short and stop short. You have to keep going.

If Susan had been honest with herself and her mate from the beginning about what she liked, what she didn’t like and what she wanted…the relationship would have ended earlier. The truth of Susan’s situation is they are not matched. They are not equally yoked so someone was always at a disadvantage. In addressing the differences, communication could have ended the relationship in a peaceful, quicker way and the pain Susan was feeling now would have been more manageable.

2) We cannot shut down after we opened up

That is the norm I see in people these days, after they experience a breakup they shut down and go in and refuse to let someone else in. That’s so not fair! There are a billion people in the world and a few of them have the combination to that lock on your heart! Those few people want to open up your safe and put more love in…but yet you think all everyone wants is to take and take more and to take it all. This mindset is not positive and serving your highest good in anyway.

I agree with mourning, hell I am the best mourner when things/relationships end in my life! But at some point you have to open your windows, look out at the world with hope in your heart and promise yourself you will try again. This life is meant to be lived and fortunately loving is living. Experiencing love is such a tender moment in life….it makes us feel alive and at home at the same time. Why would you want to avoid that feeling?

Shutting down after you experienced love is saying game over. Its allowing one person to hurt you and close you off to love. It is equivalent to making a cake. To make a cake, you need several ingredients, prep time and bake time. Three steps! Loving one person and shutting down after that is like assembling all the ingredients and leaving them on the counter. You have no idea how good that cake is going to taste because you never completed the steps needed to get that taste.

If you can allow yourself to keep your heart open, trust and be vulnerable after a breakup…you are continuing on with making your cake. Yes you may be sad and it may not feel authentic but trust me when I say, you will be so glad you persevered on to the end result. The cake is delicious and hits the spot.

3) Do not use honesty as a crutch for bad behavior

Ok you are reading this article and getting some good vibes from it. You feel like maybe you can step out and step up your game. You can try love again. So you go out, meet people, mix and mingle and find someone you are interested in. You are excited but scared. Excited because this person looks good and feels good to you but scared because they excite you so much, if they were to walk away, it might cripple you worse than your previous relationship.

So what do you do? You start putting up your honesty stickers. You know what those are! They are LOUD warning labels wrapped all around you meant to educate and inform your future partner, but all it does is annoy and keep them at a distance. Love is not measured out in a measuring cup…it flows freely from the container and someone who is healthy, loving and ready for a relationship will not respond kindly to this metted out kind of love.

While I agree with being honest and explaining where you are in your process (“I just got out of a relationship, I am not ready to commit”) your actions MUST follow your words. Your words may say you are not ready, but you calling and seeing the person frequently…sleeping with them and being intimate with them….that destroys the integrity of the words.

I find with people like Susan…using the honesty stickers allow them a playground for bad behavior. Susan recently started seeing someone new and she is experiencing feelings for this person. However Susan will not give of herself fully to this new person because deep down she craves her ex…she craves what she knows not what is new. She is a creature of patterns and old paradigms.

I explained to my friend Susan this was wrong what she was doing…because in a theoretical sense, what if her ex called her back? Its not hard to imagine, people do it all the time. What if her ex called her back and they went to dinner to “talk” because as Susan says, she needs closure. What if the old feelings came back and Susan wanted to take it to another level? What would she do? She would say to this new person in her life, “I am sorry to involve you in my mess but I did tell you from the beginning that I was blah blah blah.”

Honesty is not an excuse for bad behavior. You treat people well and you do what is right despite your own selfish desires. In the grand scheme of things, how exactly will someone like Susan be rewarded if she indulged in activity like that? Lead someone new on while still wishing to be with her ex? Would it end happily or will she get a dose of her own medicine? Maybe have her ex chose someone else over her?

I don’t know. I really don’t, these are all theoretical questions and we tend to go down this path when we are confused and mixed up about our emotions. My only advice for you dear reader , is to always do the right thing, act with integrity and treat people kindly. Don’t be selfish about your emotions and your feelings and somehow, the world rewards you for your selflessness. I can say that clearly because I have experienced it and trust me, the reward comes back bigger and better than you could have imagined.

So yes the lemons of life remind us that sour is also a taste. There are six tastes and undoubtedly sour is not one of the most favorite ones…..but guess what? There are times you crave it. Too much sweet makes you sick….too much salt makes you thirsty…sometimes all we need in life is a little sour to zap our taste buds, revive our tongue and get that saliva flowing. It is all part of this world and it is a wonderful feeling when we can appreciate what is dished out to us instead of running from it.

To my friend Susan who may or may not read this….I love you, you will always be my friend and I understand what you are going through but I don’t want you to shut down or shut me out. Let me teach you how to appreciate the sourness of life so when the sweet times roll through….we can enjoy it more than we ever knew how to.

Love and light,

~Uma~

Posted on: January 27th, 2015 No Comments