It has been said that as you grow older you grow wiser…the irony of it all is that I believe I knew the most when I was born. I’ve just forgotten. I am in my sixtieth year, yet feel I am thirty, so maybe I have retrieved half of the life I had lost to a strict “born again” religious upbringing that puts you in a black and white box of what you should believe and feel.
I have come to believe that we have needed that “safe” box because of our insecurities about being loved. We ARE afraid that we ARE not loved. So, we reach for love in a being called god. As we all know, religions have divided us around ‘who knows god best.’ We have lost love and respect for each other, even fighting wars over whose religion holds the truth.
I have had the fortunate (or unfortunate as some would perceive) journey in life to be married four times. It’s like being reincarnated four times in this present life. Some of us humans have experienced regressions to past lives, and I know I am an old soul. My karma this lifetime brought me thru a first marriage to a man who came out to his gayness our sixth year together: two beautiful daughters fostered ongoing love despite the church’s admonishment to not have them exposed to their father. I knew better in my heart!
My second marriage ushered me to a cliff where I hang-glided away from my religious box…I began to fly into a larger realm of love. A few years later, this husband died of cancer…I was not meant to be married one time, or two.
My third marriage rocked my caretaking boat for a man who smoked and drank, making intimacy difficult on the feeling level. We went to marriage counseling, and he said I had to accept him as he was. I had to fly to higher love.
My fourth marriage felt like my soul mate and was the most painful. I regressed into being a stomping toddler, and screaming baby. Yet, I functioned well in the world as a psychotherapist and as a single parent much of the time. My husband was too depressed to work for a couple of years until we flew into primal country. I shut down my private practice for a year so both of us could attend the Primal Center in California, 3,000 miles away from our home in Ithaca, NY. This became my salvation to learning how to truly love. This is WHY we ARE on this planet….to EVOLve, by learning how to keep the LOVE that babies ARE born with, alive. Just look into their eyes! What do you see?
They stARE at you…with wide-eyed (I’d) openness. There is no fear. They smile with abandon. They grip your finger with trust. They FEEL all their feelings without reservation. They cry and giggle. WHY is it that we ARE drawn to their joy?
Children are curious about the simplest things, like an ant crawling along the sidewalk. They voice the wisest statements like my three-year-old granddaughter while picking up pretty stones on the beach: “I’ll put this rock back in the water so it will grow.” Emily knew water is essential to growth as I have found out that tears ARE for all of us in order to LOVE, everyone.
My fourth marriage triggered repressed rage and anger that became the surfboard into an ocean of tears. I had fought with my mother all growing up about the rigid rules of our “born again” religion, as well as over defending my father whom I felt she unfairly criticized. During one of those fights, my mother yells, “He’s not your father!” I was sixteen, so stunned that I could not remember what I did after hearing those words, for many years. I was left alone with my pain. When in my thirties, I asked WHY no one talked to me after running out of the house, crying, she said,
“I thought you’d just get over it.”
I did not just get over it. My once very close relationship with my father, who had adopted me, by signing his name on my birth certificate, became less close, less trusting, as I would not let him hug me as I had before that secret was revealed. It still makes me sad that we could not work through those painful feelings together. My daddy-dad, as I now refer to him died suddenly of a heart attack when I was 31.
While I was in nursing school, he wrote detailed letters to me weekly, this one on April 7, 1969:
“Since you have been delving into psychiatry and have, as a result gained greater insight into your own makeup and the things that motivate you, I had hoped to have an opportunity to discuss your reaction, or rather, a particular part of it, to me, with you. It did however not materialize and so I am wondering about it in this letter. Please do not feel compelled to answer if you’d rather not. Your answer would in no wise change what or how I feel about you – my love for you and my concern. There is, however a reason for your rather strong reaction to physical contact with me and I was just curious, if you had come to grips with that, or discovered the reason for it. I must be quick to point out, that I do and always will respect your feelings on the matter and that I will never press for, or expect a change. Above all, I want you to feel entirely free in my presence and do know that I have no complaints. It is, on the one hand, a matter of curiosity and on the other, it might be a little easier for me if I knew the reason. There are still times, when I have had to make a real effort to keep my distance, since by nature I tend to be demonstrative, but it is an effort I gladly make if you prefer. (No, daddy, I don’t prefer NOW! As my tears now state) Above all, I want you to always feel free and at ease. Well enough of that.”
Well, no, not enough of that! At this very minute my tears ARE making me awARE once again of the fact that I am grieving that hurt: daddy-dad and I never discussed the pain of our physical distance that demonstrated our emotional distance – our fear – to be truly vulnerable with each other. With everyone.
My father, as we all do, had his repressed pain, his fear of rejection of my love, so much so that he would “never press for or expect a change.” It is WHY I now believe that to press someone is a very loving action….to take the time to face our fears of being rejected so that we can fly into the sky of deeper love, where there are no obstacles to our ability to love. As I have continued to grieve my past pain, connecting my tears to my childhood feelings that ARE triggered by present relationships, I have lost all my anger that I had carried around for much of my life. Yes, I still become annoyed, but can now immediately ask myself, “What is the hurt?” I am feeling which is defended and protected by anger.
Then, I express the hurt either in my journal, and/or to the person that triggered it, constructively, if it seems helpful to the relationship growing into more closeness of LOVE; like what happens by feeling the tears of sadness that ARE triggered by reading daddy-dad’s letters which express admiration and love for “what you ARE…that you ARE,” in his 2/12/68 and 4/7/69 letters to me.
When you think about it; your body’s natural desire to cry is for the purpose of letting go of pain, whether it is physical or emotional. Yet, endorphins, proteins with potent analgesic (pain-relieving) properties that occur naturally in the brain, are found only in emotional tears. So, if we hold tears inside because we have been taught not to cry, we cause our body to express other physical symptoms that result in illnesses. If we prevented other bodily functions such as sweating, urinating, etc., we would die. When we don’t allow ourselves to cry – our ability to love dies. We become angry which distances us from loving one another.
What is amazing about this EVOLving spiritual belief of mine is that I FEEL my trust in the universe growing, (which I call the DOU, Design of the Universe) as I feel more trust in my tear-filled-self everyday. A few years ago, after beginning this tear-laden journey, I became awARE of more connections within the universe, even in our language, as can be seen in the capitalized words, where who you really ARE is part of the word awARE. Once we become more aware of our deeply buried feelings, connect them to their source, we FEEL more compassionate for ourselves, which eventually rolls over into compassion for others, instead of anger and hate. (Notice: aWaRe…when we are no longer at war within ourselves – we become who we ARE meant to be – LOVE – like babies are.)
The Buddhists have spoken and written of the “ONEness” we ARE meant to be; yet most of us are not connected to that ONEness that is created by profound LOVE.
A few years ago, I was excited to see within the word EVOLution, the first four letters reflected backwards spells LOVE. Later, I discovered that the whole word reflected in the mirror spells a sentence, our purpose for being alive: NO–IT-U-LOVE! Are you smiling now, like I am?
As the 13th century poet Rumi has said, “When the shell of my heart breaks open, tears shall pour forth, and they shall be called the pearls of god.” Then, you will feel the divine love within your self.
And as one of my male clients said during a session in 2007, “I have to embrace pain and be in love with that.” Margery Williams wrote: “Real isn’t how you ARE made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but really loves you, then you become Real.” “Does it hurt?” asked the rabbit. “Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse for he was always truthful. “When you ARE Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
Then, you will be able to see all the words within “HEARTS!”
You need an EAR in order to HEAR your HERT (phonetically) which brings forth TEARS, that can connect HE to SHE, because they can SHARE who they truly ARE by letting go of HATE, we can EAT of mother EARTH’s rich bounty and be a STAR! When you STARE into each other eyes, you will want to open your HEARTs to LOVE! This I believe whole heartedly!
Washington Irving wrote:
“There is sacredness in tears. They ARE not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable LOVE.”
Now you know WHY my license plate reads: CRYBABE!