My eyes were opened recently to many of the ways in which I create my own suffering, including how I’ve created this separation story that left me feeling lonely and disconnected for much of my life. Now that the blinders are off, I find myself driving on Highway 1 or hiking in the coastal hills or among the redwoods, with my mind drifting back to ways I’ve inadvertently hurt people, and through that unintentional hurting, how I’ve hurt myself.
Looking back is like a knife in my heart. Oh God, did I really say that? Did I really do that? How could I have been so insensitive when I love that person so much?
It feels like grating my heart with a potato peeler.
I never meant to hurt my college boyfriend, who wanted to marry me before I was ready to get married and who wound up taking the diamond ring he bought me, placing it in an oyster shell, and setting it out to sea. I didn’t mean to hurt that friend who wanted more of me than I was able to give at the time. I didn’t mean to hurt the people who tried to help me with my business before I was quite ready to be helped. I didn’t mean to hurt my mother and my brother and my sister and pretty much everyone else in my family who I adore.
It’s enough to make you think you should just cloister yourself in a closet as a public service to keep yourself from wounding others. But part of me knows that’s no way to live.