Sitting in the large conference room filled with people, I did not really know what to expect. My mother is the guru of 'world religions' and every year she is always learning something new and different, which eventually extends like grapevines into the whole family. Whether it was Landmark Education, Living at Ease, Kabbalah, this year for my birthday she bought me tickets to a weekend retreat on something called Deeksha. The name by itself sounded naughty and all I know is it is a cross between yoga, meditation and 'oneness.' Being familiar with my mothers adventures in spiritual growth, I was releaved that it was indoors lest I find myself naked in front of a camp fire looking at my vagina with a hand mirror speaking affirmations to the 'yoni.' Seriously, with my mom you never know. So I came prepared with a weekend travel bag full of clothes and toiletries, a blanket and a round neck pillow, rice cakes, peanut butter, apples, soy milk, protein shake mix and most importantly, an open mind.
The evening started with an introduction by a Westerner named Doug who traveled to India on his quest for enlightenment. He was the boy genius you read about in magazines, earning a small fortune at a young age, well educated and surrounded by material trappings but unhappy. Doug thought he would go to India on an exploratory adventure of self discovery, he tried to convince his parents that he would never do anything crazy like give up his high paying job in America to become a monk... but he did. He began teaching us about an old Indian stone tablet over 10,000 years old that divides the 'evolution of spiritually of time' in four sections. We are moving out of the spiritual period that governs technological advancements and materialism in which our mental and religious belief in 'God' is abstract, based on logic more than a personal relationship with the Divine. Mankind is moving into a new spiritual era as of February 11, 2011 and people will begin to experience relationships with their 'divine' in a much more powerful and personally intimate way. The evening culminated with Deeksha, in which people who were 'blessing givers' went person to person, placing their hands on the crown chakra and 'blessing' each individual with unconditional love, healing and mercy. When the blessing giver came over and placed her hands upon my head, I could feel a warmth travel through my body into my heart and the tears began to stream down my face.
One of the blessing givers who stood over me that night was a trainer for the Oneness retreat. The next morning she pulled me to the side to give me some words of wisdom, " When I put my hands on your head yesterday, I'm an empath and I could feel in my body the tremendous amount of loss you went through this past year. In private, I want you to lay down and mentally go through every loss you have experienced recently and ride the wave of suffering that comes up for you so you can release the blockages in your chakras through your body and move past it because it is a heavy weight on your soul and you really need to grieve."
In the privacy of my room, I laid there and took myself back to late October of 2009 when my partner of four years went home for a wedding and a mutual friend of both of ours, an old crush of hers told my partner they really felt like they were 'Ross and Rachel from friends." I could understand an innocent crush on my partner, she is beautiful...so I let it slide and did not worry about it. Little did I know, the old crush flickered like an ember and after a night of partying and drinking together they shared a kiss. My partner then admitted afterwards to her best friend that threw the party, if anything were to happen to us, the old crush was Plan B. The next night, my partner disappeared for the evening after the wedding. Her and the old crush had plans together, that were supposedly canceled but in my gut I knew something was terribly wrong. This is when loss occurs in the conversations of when a partners tells you 'nothing happened, I did not answer the phone because I was sleeping.' Or does loss occur the next morning when my partner and the old crush make a promise to each other "not to let anything come between their fourteen year friendship?" Personally, if I have to promise any of my ten+ year friendships that they will not lose my friendship that probably translates to a) where did I hide the body or b) we slept together and we don't want things to be akward between us and effect our friendship. Old friendships built on stability and trust don't usually warrant those kind of promises unless something serious occured. How did I find out the truth? The love confession made it into the three pages I read of my partners journal. Followed later by alot of denial and " I think I want to relocate back to my hometown. I don't want to get married or have a family." The loss in not listening with clarity. Here came the wave; the sorrow, the betrayal, the break in trust...by both my friend and my lover. It felt like a hurricane moving through the soul, crashing down into physical tears.
The loss, it came again when I found out my closest friend had cancer and I spent December in the hospital; the illness, being with being scared for her, the tubes, the surgeries, the thought of losing another person I loved after my best friend had passed was enough to bring me to my knees. The loss, that while this was occuring- my partner, whose emotional support I needed, was writing intimate emails with another old crush who lived less than four hours away from New York City. The loss,
' oh, it's nothing really,' as this former flame confesses an attraction still exists between them and the feeling is acknowledged as mutual. The loss that creates breaks in trust, riding like a wave tossed at sea that dashes my faith in my partner against the rocks. I wear it well, like the fashionable grief of a Prada coat.
The loss, I sing it out in the recording booth in the studio. Have to channel it creatively, it has to go somewhere, let it get lost in a painting in the lyrics of a song. The loss upon seeing the AIM message my partner lies about sending to a married friend, who happens to be cheating on his spouse, while living with a mistress. The breaks in trust. The wave of loss comes crashing down, when my childhood friend Brandy, the only daughter of my mothers best friend, suddenly dies in her sleep on her mothers birthday. The feelings of grief for my mother, her heart heavy for her best friends loss. The loss comes when my partner goes to Los Angelas on a business trip and spends every night out with her lesbian boss till almost midnight. The exhaustion of wanting to sleep, when on the east coast it's after midnight. I am sad at the death of my friend and want to not spend the night talking on the phone after midnight. Here comes the wave of loss in needs not being heard, when after six nights the last night is spent bowling with the boss again and a breakdown ensues when she stays in her bosses room drinking and gambling till dusk.
The loss, like a rain storm falls when I bury another two friends that year. The loss when my favorite art teacher and oldest friend gets upset and stops talking to me because of my artistic interpretation of the mosque at ground zero titled, 'Love is my Religion.' The loss when summer arrives with the sunshine and my partner and I sit in couples counseling, trying to be with the defiant attitude only to discover my partner and the old flame from December are writing each other again behind my back while we were in counseling. The loss of realizing my partner trusts and confides in an old flame whose into sleeping with married people and has never held a long term relationship. The breaks in trust, even while being 110% all in, my partner is revealing intimate details about our partnership like an emotional flare gun sent out to rescue a ship lost at sea. The breakdowns, the heated arguments, the grief of pulling away from someone you care about.
Another wave of losing someone else, a beloved family member. The finalizing of my work contract, the loss of employment, the financial stress before the holidays. The tsunami of emotions upon discovering while one a trip with my partners family, by divine intervention and a need to pay my phone bill. Upon borrowing my mother-in-laws laptop, in which her email happened to be open and I stumbled upon a 'email request by my partner' for her mother to write the 'old flame of december' and say they cannot talk anymore. The loss in a betrayal that occurs upon reading the email exchanges between the mother-in-law I adored and the slutty mistress I despise. The loss in trust, in explanations of breakdowns that 'nothing ever happened' and 'emotional affairs don't matter.' The arguments that result in the slight of my lovers hand, something I have nerver experienced until now. The wave of grief that overcomes me through all of it as I go home to find out my baby sister is being beaten by her husband of ten years, to reveal an eye and heart that is black and blue. The heartache I feel for her and her three children.
The rest of the holidays are good, there are shreds of happiness in my nephews smile, in friendly faces and my close friends remission. Here comes the loss again peering it's head around on New Years day, when we are at a bar and my partner proceeds to give 'our number' to someone who has been flirting with her all night. The loss when my counselor says I am suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. No, I'm not as focused as I use to be, the road home is blurry and my compass feels broken. I'm worn down like a sand dollar crushed by the waves of sorrow. The realization that the trust and faith in my partner to learn and grow into a better person is broken, the loss in the recycled arguments and unresolved toxic emotions. This wave of loss, it's like a shark eating at the soul, I have known it well enough to drown in the sea of it. The loss of trying to 'make it work,' rises like a wall of water then it crashes down in the form of a amicable break up. The acceptance of the loss of my lover, my best friend, my home and a possible out of state relocation days before my birthday and Valentines. I cry soul cries so hard, my neighbor knocks on the wall and the door to check to see if I am alright. I cannot respond. I cannot move. The tears ebb and flow as I pack, they flow over me like a river, my hair is wet and my eyes are swollen...the resignation to 'fight' but instead to 'flow' into the future...whatever it may be. I am in need of a miracle, in allies and support to get through these difficult times. The loss in admitting I need help is not easy to accept.
The acknowledgment of the overwhelming pain, the willingness to look at it, finally washes through me. My heart has been placed in an emotional blender on puree, but my wings are not broken, only bent. Laying in my sorrow, something amazing happens, a blanket of Peace falls over me, comforting my soul. Finding the courage 'to be' with all of the loss has set me free. The future is full of possibilities and I have no idea what is next.
I am a lotus flower unfolding, seeking a new place to grow.