At the end of the Great Gathering this summer, I noticed how difficult it is for people to say “goodbye.” Most of us have been indoctrinated to either end an experience with the help of affection or with the help of conflict. What is sad about this kind of programming is that it is repeatedly inconsistent.
Nobody will argue against the fact that touch is important for healing and learning. Experiments have been done showing how positive affection can literally enhance the intellectual development in children. Kids are naturally loving and aren’t afraid to show it. Yet, what is unfortunate is how as a Society, we’ve created boundaries (laws) based on sexual abuse rather then looking at how detrimental the “lack of touch” can be on the global population. We’re afraid of consequences and it’s those fears; which lead the way.
I’d love to see a Society; which believes in empowerment and allows “power / medicine” to lead the way.
On the other hand too many people today hide their passive aggression; their fear of conflict; and their unresolved behind their hugs and kisses. Affection seems to be tangled up in decorum and it’s no longer easy to trust it. I’ve always been the kind of person who welcomes hugs and kisses. Even as a child my mother always used to say I was easily affectionate with a happy-go-lucky character. There’s no doubt I’ve always believed in the power of “touch” and I don’t like the idea of being suspicious of it. Yet, in recent years I’ve tried to be more aware of the personal stories; which are interwoven in polite affection.
I found it difficult at first to refuse hugs and kisses when in social circles. Obviously, it’s always uncomfortable to go against indoctrination or to go against the grain (so to speak). No matter how much easier it has become in recent years especially after the potential deadly flu epidemic a few years ago, I still have to ask myself the question each time I take a step back: “What do we all stand to gain from questioning our programs?”
From my perspective I believe we can all gain from bringing presence and consciousness through our actions and behaviours.
I’ve always been extremely hypersensitive. Through my childhood and adolescence I was also exceptionally emotional. So much so that I often isolated myself in order to find some peace and wellbeing. In the presence of others I often found it difficult to find ME. It seemed the world of others always seemed to saddle my personal reality. It made sense to me when I learnt through Sacred Circle tradition that we are burdened by our collective experience.
Through trial and error; observation; and the help of traditional shamanic practices, I quickly came to understand that it’s easier to manage hypersensitivity when one takes the time to be present and conscious; and doesn’t shy away from making strong, decisive choices. In the end, it’s not about how you are perceived or judged by others; it’s about you survive day in and day out, 24hours a day, 52 weeks a year – in your own presence.
I believe we should all be taught to be responsible for our actions and reactions; but most of all we should be taught to be respectful and responsible towards our personal stories. If we walk into each relationship and each experience with the attitude to learn and to heal; to own what is ours and to be ready to stand strong – then, we don’t burden others and we adopt a programming that caters to empowerment. As soon as I started to live my life with this kind of discipline I stopped having headaches; and I stopped getting drained of energy in social circles. I find it’s a lot more pleasant to be in the presence of others when you can trust that everyone is doing their best to take care of themselves.
G and I often tell our workshop participants to stay alert on the last day.
“Nobody wants to end a phenomenal experience with unresolved whether it appears through affection or conflict.”
Inspired, I thought it could be beneficial at some point in the next year to give a workshop on “the reality of goodbye.”
Goodbye is a reality; which permeates everything we do.
I believe it’s important to be conscious of the “goodbye” reality because it’s at the bottom of feeling “gratitude and abundance.” We don’t need to be dying to have a bucket list or to be sick to realize how precious life is. We don’t need tragedy to grow into wisdom; we need consciousness. When my kids were growing up it seemed important to teach them about “goodbyes.” Every year they would have to say goodbye to teachers; they would have to let go of friends (girlfriends / boyfriends); and as they grew up they would have to let go of some parts of themselves… They would also have to deal with failure, mistakes, humiliation and betrayal. It seemed important to teach the kids how to deal with “endings.” I wanted them to look back in time and feel no regret, no guilt, no shame and no envy towards others.
Death is inevitable but it doesn’t mean it has to eat at us.
These days I meet too many young people who can’t handle heartbreaks. More and more people actually consider physical death over dealing with “goodbyes.” Or they start the bad habit of drinking and smoking pot. Love is no longer a mysterious gift; but a reality most people can’t trust anymore. It’s easier to get on medication then, to deal with the anxiety of the reality of “goodbyes.
I’ve come across a few people who struggled with “abortions” or “suicide.” In many instances people suffer through experiences they don’t understand. Unceasing dark questions are what keep us up at night. It helps to believe in “something” and to have some kind of understanding of how life works. I’m not saying our perspectives should be rigid and accepted as the ultimate truth; but I am suggesting that without roots of sorts it’s difficult to grow and to branch out.
Often it’s our belief system and our morals along with the experiences that cross our path that allow us to grow, to learn, to heal and to change. There has to be an archive of observations; confirmations; and expectations in order for us to move beyond it all. It has to start somewhere.
Nobody should be afraid to ask for help
and to open up to new perspective.
Often times, we get answers in the most unlikely places.
Make a dot and start there!
And don’t be scared of moving beyond the dot to somewhere new.
Yesterday, I was telling my daughter: “There is no such thing as wasted time or wasted efforts.” I explained to her that whatever we experience in life serves a purpose. It may not be apparent in the moment why we need to live a certain tragedy; or develop a certain skill; or even meet particular people; but in time all falls into place. It’s important to trust and to have faith in the your story and the story of all others. We’re only one small piece in the big puzzle. Where one ends someone else begins. All goodbyes open doors to welcoming moments.
P.S. Butterflies are wonderful at GOODBYES.