After finishing a challenging, powerful yoga class, I left the comfort of a heated room and stepped into a crisp SoCal, starry night. I looked to the heavens and marveled at Orion and Jupiter. Then, a wave of emotion reared up and washed over with the power of a freight train. A familiar knot formed in my throat and warm tears streamed down my cheeks. I thought of my ex-husband who introduced me to yoga almost 10 years prior. I laughed when I remembered the goofy looks he gave me during the contemplative, resting pose of shavasana. Once our yoga instructor caught him, and I burst out in laughter (which obviously was not appropriate during shavasana either)! I recalled how he would have dinner waiting for me the evenings he decided not to join me for yoga. Then, I remembered the other things – the painful aspects of the relationship which broke my heart and cast me to into a raging sea of pain. I cried as I drove home, feeling angry that I let myself get so upset. I held a keen awareness that my thoughts formed from a primal, emotional space versus the filtered and evolved home of my prefrontal cortex. I called my dear friend Steve.
Me: Hi it’s me . . . (sniffle, sniffle, snotty nose blow).
Steve: What’s wrong?
Steve: We’ll were all f’d up messes.
Me: I know, but I’m feeling particularly f’d up tonight.
Me: I thought of my ex and how we used to practice yoga together. I thought of the good times and the bad times. Then, I started crying. Then, I started feeling angry with myself for crying given we separated almost two years ago. My life is really wonderful. Why did I get hit by this wave?
Steve: Because you’re still healing. You sustained a pretty deep emotional wound.
Me: Well, can’t I heal faster? Isn’t there Neosporin™ for the soul or something?
Steve: No, not that I’m aware of.
Steve: Have you considered being compassionate towards yourself and recognizing the “humanness” of your emotions tonight?
Me: Um . . . I guess that would be more adaptive than my current approach.
Steve: Yep. Goodnight Amelia.
I crawled into bed along with my splendidly imperfect dog. (He only gets to sleep in my bed when I’m sad or sick.) Then, I awoke to my heart pounding with a force that I feared would push through the wall of my chest. I had a vivid nightmare and felt certain my psyche was processing the pain I suppressed in an effort to find sleep at a decent hour. I called my sweet, sister and recounted the story I told Steve, along with the subsequent nightmare.
Me: I am struggling with forgiving my ex.
SS: I get why that would be challenging, but I think you would feel relieved if you could.
Me: I really do want good things for him and to be a forgiving person. I know he did the best he could in our relationship. He brought some wonderful gifts into my life, and I want to unhook myself from this anger. I’m really trying. Saying I forgive him and the actual letting go of the hurt are not currently aligning. Ugh!
SS: What about writing him a letter thanking him for the yoga and other gifts he brought to your life and wishing good things to him?
Me: I think that is a good idea. A concrete step of forgiving.
SS: I love you! You’re amazing and perfect just as you are.
Me: I love you too. Thank you for loving me just as I am.
I wrote a brief note with the aforementioned content, addressed, signed, and sent it. I felt better, lighter and a sense of knowing I applied a dab of Neosporin™ to the wound.
We all have emotional wounds which can get irritated or ripped open when we least expect it. Which ones need attending to? Where might you benefit from an emotionally-healing dab of Neosporin™? What might that look like – grieving, forgiving, laughing, crying? All the above? Whatever your wounds may be, know I’m sending you love and a healing dab of Neosporin™.
Yes, he IS laying on my pillow.