Burying the Past
As I begin this post, I am bitter, vindictive, and filled with profound and deep sadness. It is time to release my dream of love for a certain man whose name begins with Z. Because I have walked the spiritual path for some time, I know that I will never be able to release this relationship from my current emotional state. I can only release this relationship from a place of love and gratitude and acceptance.
So how can I get myself to gratitude from bitterness? As I ruminated on this issue over the last couple of days, I devised a strong shamanic prescription—I am going to take a very big dose of my own medicine.
1. Accept that the man I loved is dead to me.
2. Honor the beautiful and sacred feelings I carried with me these past two years.
3. Prepare and conduct a burial for the relationship.
4. Trust that Pachamama will heal these deep wounds, and plant seeds from which will grow new love.
Accept that the man I loved is dead to me
Although Z is not literally dead (his body is still walking around and talking), he might as well be dead because the man I met two years ago hasn’t been engaged in a relationship with me in quite some time. I have to bring myself to let go of my inner fantasies and reveries of the past, and the only way to do that is with facts. So I take a piece of paper and make two columns: Positive Interactions & Negative Interactions. Thinking back over the last two years chronologically starting when we first met, I add facts to each column. I do this without judgement—this is not an exercise in judging how mean Z has been from my perspective (although in my current state of mind, that is very tempting). This is an exercise in being honest with myself about the quality of this relationship as it has progressed over time. This is about getting myself to see this relationship with clarity…as it really has been…not how I wanted and dreamed it could be. And frankly, after reviewing my list of positive and negative interactions, I think I never allowed myself to see the real man—I think I clung to an ideology of him formed within the first few months of our relationship, and later chose to ignore the ugly as things went downhill. Not only did I choose to ignore the ugly aspects of him, I went one step further—I told myself that the aspects of him that I found ugly were my fault. For example, when he would criticize me for ‘over-communicating in true Kerri fashion’, I believed he was right and tried to change myself so he would like me better.
(It is wise to keep this list handy in case your brain decides to trip back into fantasy land.)
Honor the beautiful and sacred feelings
Regardless of the facts of this relationship, the truth of my heart is that I loved this man, or the ideology of this man that I created. I have to move this energy out of my body. I print out pictures of Z, and of the two of us together. Then I enter sacred space where I allow myself to feel all the mixture of emotions that arise when I think about Z, and as these emotions arise, I blow them into the paper photographs. I transfer the emotion from my body into the photographs for safe-keeping, acknowledging these feelings as one might remember a loved one at an actual funeral. By doing so, I create a physical manifestation of the emotions that can be released with a burial. The final part of this step is to destroy all other energetic symbols of this relationship: photographs (digital and print), emails between us, text chats, and so forth. The only energetic symbol of this relationship that remains must be the photographs that embody my emotions.
Prepare and conduct a burial
I am burying a loved one, and although there is no “body”, the burial process is just as real and sacred. I dig a hole in the earth, place my lover inside (the photographs that embody my emotions), and surround him with rose petals. And now it is time for the eulogy. This is where gratitude finally arises. If he actually died, and I was at his funeral, what would I want to say about him? What could I thank him for? As gratitude arises, I blow into the rose-lined grave the intentions I hold for thankfulness. It is in this moment that Spirit speaks astonishing truths.
Thank you for teaching me my heart could overflow with love again. After a long drought, this was a luscious experience.
The desire for your love inspired me to walk a path of healing after my divorce, so that I could one day be loved by you. I started on my spiritual path to earn your love, but I received much more than I ever dreamed—I found myself, my voice, my shamanic path, my purpose as a healer and writer, and self-love. A million thank-you’s would never be enough for these precious gifts.
In the end, thank you for showing me how much I’ve grown and learned since we met.
I allow my tears to spill into his grave, releasing the gratitude from my body and giving it to the Pachamama. A beautiful dream has died…and I am laying it to rest with the wisdom that this dream inspired me to begin my personal journey, and now I’ve outgrown the dream. I can let it go.
Just in case my squirrely brain gets other ideas later on, the headstone allows me a place to visit to remember this dream, to release any remaining attachment or express any newfound gratitude as the weeks and months go by.
Trust Pachamama to heal these wounds
Working in the earth is sacred and powerful magic. We sprang from the earth, we are nourished every day by the earth, and we will return to the earth when our time is up. Pachamama mulches decay and transforms it into new life. There must be death before birth can occur. I trust that Pachamama will mulch the energy held in the burial for my lost love, and as she transforms that energy into new life, I will feel new love swelling inside of me. Someday, the seeds I planted today will grow into a romantic relationship that matches my heart’s frequency and feeds my soul.
Rest In Peace Z.