"If you were talking to your future daughter right now, what would you say?"
Updated: Mar 2, 2019
While studying Yoga, I learned about 'samskaras'. Samskaras are considered a karmic inheritance of mental and emotional patterns that we will cycle through over & over again in our lifetime. Essentially they are the things that have happened in the past that have impacted us psychologically-- becoming segments of trauma in the body. When we revisit similar situations that trigger those same emotions that our brain and body remember from those recurring, traumatic times, we are reminded that there is a wound, a samskara, there that needs to be dealt with-- not avoided.
I'll open up about my personal samskaras in depth in another post-- but today this is in regards to a close friend of mine. She's really hurting. And quite frankly... she has BEEN hurting silently for a long time in her relationship.
We sat across from each other and as I listened to her, giving her the space to open up and feel her feelings, I had a lump in my throat holding back my own tears just from seeing hers fall so quickly. It isn't easy watching someone you love go through something painful. But it's even harder when you feel like you have been waiting for this moment to come.
I think there are a lot of people out there, like me, that have a friend in a relationship with someone that they truly feel isn't their 'person'. I have felt it in my gut one too many times when I've watched her cry, vent, and feel her feelings that this just wasn't 'the one'. It's almost like I had a sense of guilt hearing her troubles and feeling her sadness... I felt like I had done a disservice to her by not sharing my full opinion about him and their relationship a long time ago. The 'no bullshit' realist side of me had always felt that push to tell her how very black and white I saw everything on the outside looking in. But the 'yogi' let-her-go-through-her-own-shit side of me has believed that more often than not, some people need the 'Universe' to pull them apart from the things they cling so tightly to. Sometimes that meant things had to go really horrible, and sometimes that meant they had to be shown something really great in order to realize it.
I felt like there were a hundred 'DO NOT ENTER' and 'WRONG WAY' signs sticking out blatantly in her roadway as she continued to drive the car ignoring them. That is how I envisioned it. I felt like she truly just desired to see and believe that this dream destination existed behind the signs... where somehow... someway... things were going to be different if she just continued to drive past them.
Eventually, the car was going to run out of gas since there were no gas stations along the way to fill her back up. Eventually she was going to feel and be so empty that she couldn't move any further without dealing with the situation at hand.
She felt suffocated.
She felt trapped.
She felt exhausted.
She felt she was at a dead end.
...and she was, at a dead end.
When we ignore our samskaras and convince ourselves that things will pass, things will change, and things will get better on their own... things go wrong. The Universe will find a way to put those same obstacles in your course until you deal with them head on. Until your back is against the wall and you have no option but to feel every feeling-- to think every thought-- to speak every word. At some point you will be forced to deal with what you have been avoiding. And unfortunately, it's similar to ripping off a bandaid with a bunch of hairs attached to the adhesive. You can either embrace the short term pain right now in this moment, or you can go days-- months-- years expecting the adhesive to wear off.
What if the adhesive doesn't wear off? What if it just gets stronger and binds itself tighter to your skin? Are you capable of handling the type of pain that will come with ripping off the bandaid? Can you fathom the kind of stickiness and the hurt you will have to endure in order to separate it?
Too often with relationships and love we look at the logistics of things, and we lean into them tightly.
Ask anyone who has gone through a divorce.
They know this all too well.
Whether the sex was still great,
or it was the fact that they had 4 beautiful children together,
or that they bought a home in the place that they always dreamed of living in,
or the holidays and birthdays were always spent at their in-laws house,
or they were inseparable with the family members,
or their bank accounts were meshed together...
Dude-- it's messy as fuck.
Every divorcee understands it more than most people. They know the pain of the conversation of:
"This just is not working out."
"I don't feel excited or in love anymore."
"I still can't let go of x, y, z."
...but they also know the pain of knowing that after that conversation... they still have to deal with shit together. They still have to be with this person through better or for worse, through richer or for poorer... Logistics will always be there. And there is only so long that we can lean into the logistics as a reason to stay, as a reason to believe that things will improve, as a trust fund that someday, eventually we will feel loved the way we need to be loved. Logistics remind me of someone who can't see well without glasses but refuses to buy glasses... WTF. YOU ARE CHOOSING TO BE PRACTICALLY BLIND WHEN YOU DON'T NEED TO BE. YOU CAN SEE IF YOU WANT TO!
So if it's this simple, why do we hold on?
Because having the real conversation is made out to be this scary, awful, intimidating thing. We are usually told that if we have nothing nice to say, we shouldn't say anything at all. Or that it's best to just sit still and look pretty, because the rest of the ugly will fade away.
When it comes to love, our wants, and our needs, there is no negotiating. If the person you are with doesn't acknowledge and put effort into the areas that make you the thriving, passionate, glowing, loving person that you are... I don't believe that that is love. I believe that is security.
Fuck the logistics.
Fuck how long it takes you to separate bank accounts.
Fuck how hard and sad the conversations are to have about why you aren't fulfilled.
We need to enforce our list of non-negotiables with love.
We need to set boundaries and set the bar higher of what makes us feel fueled and adored.
We do not need to settle and stay stuck out of fear.
So, I gave her one tight hug before she left.
I reassured her that, sometimes, people are supposed to stay in our lives for a chapter or two, not every character needs to stay along for the whole novel.
But I also asked her...
"If you were talking to your future daughter right now, what would you say?"
She kind of laughed even though her face was soaking wet and her glasses were fogging... "I have to think about that".
I don't know everything about love, I don't think anyone does. But I think what I do know is this friend of mine is full of so much sunshine. I witness her dropping everything the second someone needs her. I see how much love and effort she brings to the table in every relationship in her life. I watch her consistently gift the most sentimental and thoughtful gifts. I hear her strong voice that is rooted in making everyone happier, more positive. And above all I feel the meaningful hugs she so so tightly gives. I don't think she deserves this idea that someone is supposed to spend hundreds of dollars on her, have crazy wild sex every single day with her, or that she needs to pampered by him every minute of the day. She deserves more than those unrealistic ideals. She deserves someone that doesn't try to dull her flames, she deserves someone that takes those flames and creates a wild forest fire. She deserves someone that sees all of the adventure she craves and the careful, open, non-judgmental, listening heart she needs by her side. She deserves someone that makes her feel seen. She deserves someone that makes her feel wanted and beautiful without doubt.
If he makes her feel that way,
if he can at the very least bring those feelings to the table,
he is the one.
That is love.
To my friend: I love you. I see you. I hear you. You can glue a broken plate back together but it will never be the same plate it once was-- remember that.
This is life without the filter.