My heart feels heavy and my head, cloudy. My mood is melancholy, and yet outside the sun is shining, and the birds are singing. Sometimes I have a reading that sticks with me long after I have hung up the phone and walked away. This is one of those days.
My client came to me looking for closure and comfort from a loved one she lost a long time ago. Unfortunately, I could give her neither of those things. I couldn't connect with her loved one, and God had other things in mind to share with her. It was one of those readings that I wish I could reach through my computer screen and hug her. I could feel her emptiness as I hung up, but I couldn't tell her something I couldn't feel or see.
It is readings like this one where I'm not sure what my purpose is in giving a client information. Usually, I can pinpoint what the client needs and generally the Universe delivers on helping me put a balm on open wounds. Instead, today I opened up an injury that had scabbed up long ago, and I poured salt on it. Near the end of the reading, I felt the need to be direct with my client, but I tried to be more gentle than my usual, "What the hell are you doing?" way of speaking. As she resisted, I repeated the information I was getting, and then I said the same information in a different way. I felt like it wasn't enough, but I also felt like this wasn't the time to do more work with her. The information I received and relayed had to process, and I could see that. Even with this understanding, I still felt empty after saying, "Good-bye." I felt a sadness that I couldn't accurately articulate. My morning had to go on.
I looked forward to my usual Thursday karate class. I thought that of all things to do, karate would help me clear my mind and let go of the moroseness I was feeling from the reading. I went through the motions, unable to shake off the emotion. Even with my brain turned off, the feeling hung on.
So now I sit, still reeling from the reading four hours ago. I wish I could turn off my emotions during a reading, and maybe that will happen in time. The very thing I wish I could shut off helps me empathize with whatever my client is struggling with. I put myself in their shoes, and attempt to explain things from the point of view I feel like they will relate to. When I connect with loved ones that have passed, it is generally a happy reunion and connection. I love seeing my clients' eyes light up when it becomes apparent that I am in fact, connecting with the person they were thinking about. Today, the person my client needed healing from was not only not present, but not a happy person. It's like trying to poke someone when they are on the ground. You can keep poking, but you're only going to irritate the person the ground.
What could I do? I could have easily lied. I could have easily told my client that I WAS connecting with her person, and this person was sorry. It would have given her the closure she needed, but it wouldn't have solved the deeper issues my client was having. But,
I made a promise at the beginning of starting this website that I would ALWAYS be honest and I would ALWAYS allow myself to be vulnerable. I also promised I would never, ever, take advantage of someone.
It honestly never crossed my mind to be anything but honest with my client, yet I did tell her I wished I could have told her otherwise. I wish I could have given her a happy ending. Unfortunately, life is often less about rainbows and more about putting in the work in ourselves and our character. Intuitively I know that once my client works through these struggles, she will be a brighter, stronger person. Intuitively, I know that once she releases the pain she has been holding onto for so long, she will be free.
But, I can't free someone who is desperately holding on to a person that didn't exist in the first place. I know she is aware of this, and I know she realizes she has a lot to work on. Perhaps I was the person she needed to remind her of an ugly past to allow her to have a brighter future.
When we hold onto memories from the past, especially painful ones, it only hurts us in the present moment. Holding onto extreme events does nothing to move us forward, it only holds us back. As I've mentioned before, sometimes we become so used to holding onto the pain that letting go feels unfamiliar and scary. We need to get used to not carrying around all of the baggage.
One of my husband's favorite Buddhist parables is as follows:
Tanzan and Ekido were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling. Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
“Come on, girl” said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. He was fuming. Then he no longer could restrain himself. “We monks don’t go near females,” he told Tanzan, “especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?”
“I left the girl there,” said Tanzan. “Are you still carrying her?”1
Essentially, we need to allow ourselves to let go of emotions and memories that no longer serve us. One monk carried the emotion/memory as long as it fitted for him. The other monk continued to take the emotion for long after the event, and it created more feeling and pain.
What are you holding onto from the past that you don't need to hold onto anymore? What memories can be let go?
How do we let go of these emotions and memories that do not help us anymore? There are a few ways you can try.
1. If you are holding onto pain or anger related to a person living or passed on, try to write that person a letter. Get deep into details and the emotion. Write your truth. When you are done with the message, burn it. Allow those emotions to disappear with the letter you wrote.
2. If it relates to a person no longer with you, try visiting their grave or a spot that makes you think of them. Call their name and speak into the wind. Tell them good-bye. When you walk away, leave those emotions behind.
3. If it's related to a person living, you can also, "block them out" of your life. Remove their phone number from your phone, or block their number. Remove and block them from social media. Refuse to take their calls. Giving yourself space can help facilitate healing, and in that space, you can, "let go" of that person.
Do you have any other suggestions for how to let go of pain or memories? Comment below. You can also comment on Facebook.
Whatever method you use, I wish you peace in your mind and heart. Permit yourself to let go of whatever you are holding onto today, and allow yourself to heal. Only then will you be able to move on truly.