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Day 374 – The Unbroken

December 29, 2014

Hi.

Good afternoon. It’s just about 3:00 pm and I’m sitting at my desk in my living room in my apartment in the middle of Los Angeles.

My desk is in my living room now. My desk has been in my bedroom since I moved into this apartment three years ago, as I have almost always shared the apartment with someone else. I used to spend most of my time in my room or in the kitchen, but now that I live alone, I have discovered that I actually have a whole apartment that I can roam around in! And the living room and little office space seem more appropriate to work in than my bedroom. I like the living room.

My home is becoming a sanctuary of sorts, and I have been hiding out here for the past two weeks. My dining room table is covered with fresh sage that a dear friend brought for me, and my kitchen smells like the flowers that my sis and bro-in-law left in the courtyard recently.

I am feeling Blessed and Loved and Grateful.

In the past couple of weeks I have left the apartment to go to doctor’s appointments and run necessary errands, but mostly I have been home praying, reading, eating nourishing foods, taking care of my skin and hair, watching the final season of my new TV obsession and crying my soul out.

I know. I have been crying a lot for a long time, but it’s OK with me. When I embarked on this journey, I didn’t really know what I was getting into. I was just trying to find a way not to cry every day. I didn’t realize that I would be led to an exploration of the deepest parts of myself and that my healing would entail me confronting and releasing resentments and pains that I have harbored for as long as I can remember. We’re talking about unforgiveness that has been in me since I was a little girl… It has all been coming up and there has been a lot to cry about.

What happens is, you open a can of worms. Most of us like to keep the can shut because we know that whatever is in there might make us feel uncomfortable. But whether you look at your deep-seated issues or not, they are still there. And although we can live relatively normal lives without really dealing with the things that keep our faces frowned and our foreheads furrowed all day; without really looking at the things that make us want to be so busy doing things just so we don’t have to be alone with our thoughts, eventually life gives us a blessing and some small thing makes us crack. It’s normally something that we’d never think would make us crack. I mean, we’ve been through tougher things.

Why would me breaking up with The Old Prophet cause me to be balling my eyes out for hours at a time? I’ve never actually weeped like that in my life. And I wasn’t even in love with him! What happened to me in the past couple of weeks, though, is that I cried for everyone and everything that I had never cried for before. My heart was busted open for real and every man who had ever uttered a word of Love to me, every fantasy of being anyone’s wife, came flashing before my eyes. Every one. And I felt the separation and the loss of so many connections.

The last image that flashed before my eyes was my first love. And I realized that I had never cried over him. Can you believe it? We were together for seven years. I fell in Love with him from the moment I had seen him. I was 16 years old and working as a cashier at a department store at the time and he was ten years my senior. He came to my cash register and said, “Yo. I like your vibe.” It was the first time I had heard the word vibe, but for some reason I felt bold and womanly with him standing across from me. “Vibe?” I asked while looking directly into his big, brown eyes. “What’s that?” We just stood there and looked at each other for a moment. Deep in each other’s eyes. He asked for my number and I gave it to him. I lied and told him I was 19 and studying English at the college. We exchanged numbers. We called and talked for hours that night, and the next day, while I was in the stock room of the department store, he walked in and gave me a big hug. I hurried him out and then he gave me letter. A Love letter. I don’t remember it all, but I remember this line “I don’t know what the future holds, but I know that I want you in my future.”

It was the first love letter that I had ever received and he was my First Love. He was my first everything. He’s hardly even been mentioned in this blog, but he was my everything. Our relationship started off as pure love, but before it was over it was only characterized by pain and he set the tone for every relationship that I’ve had since. He did all of the horrible things that you can imagine a man could do to hurt a woman: cheat, threaten, lie, belittle, call names, disappear, take my money, try to sabotage me, etc. I didn’t grow up seeing what a healthy relationship between a man and woman looked like and he was my first boyfriend, so I didn’t really know that I was in a dysfunctional abusive relationship until I was deep in it. During one of his disappearances (he was in the army and had gone overseas and just stopped writing or calling and didn’t respond to my letters or calls) a lovely woman called me on his behalf. She said that he had asked her to give me his address. She gave me the address, and it was the same address that I had been writing to for months with no response. “What is your name?” I asked the woman. “My name is Mrs. Such and Such,” she responded. “I’m a friend of Him.”

I knew then that he had been getting my letters and I decided to continue with life. In the space of a year I met a sweet guy, the best relationship I’ve ever been in. He was nice to me. He Loved me. We would walk in the rain together and draw pictures together. He would come by my place with cakes and say, “Let’s celebrate. It’s Tuesday!” We were both in school at the time and we studied together. When I would get tired or lazy, he’d come by my place late at night and make tea so that I would stay up and finish my assignments. He knew the story of my First Love. And a year into our relationship, my first love called and asked me to come see him. It had been more than a year since I had heard from him. I was torn, and because I didn’t know what to do, I broke up with my Good Guy and went and saw First Love. I found out that the woman who had called me long ago and had given me his address was actually the women who he had met overseas and married. Years later, I would find out that the two of them also had a son…

I eventually broke up with First Love. The last straw was when I had graduated from college. It was my first year as a teacher and by now he was out of the army and he was a truck driver. We had gotten into an argument and he was going ballistic, cursing and telling me all of the harmful things he could do to me. I went to my bedroom and locked the door. I immediately called my best friend and asked her to call and check on me in fifteen minutes and to call the cops if I didn’t answer. While I was on the phone, he picked the lock to my room and came charging at me. He snatched the phone from my hands and hung it up, cursing at me. I was afraid, but from him I had learned how to curse out men and I had learned that the worst thing that you can do when you’re around a power drunk man is to cower. And so I cursed him back and I must have struck a nerve because he came charging at me again. Just then my phone rang. “Hello officer,” I said. It was my best friend on the other line. “Yes, officer, he just charged at me,” I said.

And then my first love left as I stayed on the phone with my best friend reporting a crime which, thanks to God, never happened. And it was over. Except it wasn’t. I never cried over him. I wouldn’t let myself. And every relationship I have been in since has just been another rendition of my first. Some guy. Some instant love at first sight attraction. Some wonderful heartfelt words. Some action that is almost complete but not quite there. Some resentment. Some mistrust. Some name calling, cheating, abandonment, etc. Some disappointment.

It’s the same old story over and over again. This time it was an Old Prophet who thought he knew what Love was but has only just begun to practice what he preaches. The common thread in all these stories is me. You see, I know that there are women in the world who could never even fathom having the types of relationship experiences that I have had, just as I could never fathom experiencing the things they have been through. If nothing else, the part I have played in all of my First Love recurrent relationships is that I chose to be with them. I chose them. I was never forced or hypnotized. I. Chose. Them. And if we want to get all psychological about it, really what happened is that I chose men who reflected the dynamic that I had with the original man that I loved, who actually wasn’t my first love, but was my brother (not in an incest type way). My brother was the first guy that I had a deep connection with. And he was the first guy to completely ignore me for three months with no explanation when I eleven years old and I had done something he didn’t approve of…

This is the longest blog I have ever written, but I’m not gonna edit or delete it, because I have finally gotten to the root of it all. The First Cause. The First Pain. The First Break. Can you believe that in all of the years since breaking up with First Love (more than a decade) I have never cried over him until a few days ago? And it was only a few months ago that I had finally made peace with my brother…

I remember walking with a friend once, telling him about all of my sad stories. “Laydie, you’re going to be a great teacher one day,” he said. He said that everything that I’m going through is going to be relevant because one day I’m going to help people who are going through similar things and the only way I’m going to be able to help them is because I’ve been through it.

And I agree. I am already a great teacher and I’m getting even better. My heart has broken open at last. Oh, yes! My heart broke open like never before the other day. And guess what I found there? There was so much caked up pain, like ashes. Like rotten cotton balls. No wonder I couldn’t breathe. I cried and cried and cried until the ashes fell away, until the cotton balls and their stench were no more. And guess what I found? My heart! It was still there. There was a diamond at the center shining so brightly. It was still there. I was not broken after all, but I had to let go of all of the stuff I had been carrying for all of those years in order to finally see it.

I am not broken after all. And what’s more, my heart is free again. And what’s more, my mind is clearing up and I can take all of my experiences and make them useful now… There are underlying vibrations that we carry that thwart our very best intentions. If you are having trouble moving forward in life, look for the First Cause. It is always deeper than you think it is and looking at it can be painful. But the pain doesn’t last and the good thing is, once you release the original pain, it never comes back. It really doesn’t. You want me to prove it and I understand. But I know what I know, and I’m telling you what I know. The pain goes, but you have to let it go. You have to let it out and just let it go. I know, you want them to pay. Trust me. They pay every day just by being themselves in their shoes. Trust me. They have paid. Now release them. Allow life to flow again. The pain goes and you will find yourself whole and unbroken. And Free. To Live at Last.

Ameen.

Day 374
The Unbroken

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