Heartbreak and closure redefined

I recently had an extremely healing experience with closure and although it was highly personal, I know that the benefit of sharing my story should transcend my fear of opening up to you.

I have been doing hypnotherapy and it is by far the most incredible tool that I have ever discovered. It is a great way to correct old habits and develop new ones because your subconscious mind is in sync with your conscious mind. I have only just begun and it has already facilitated so many miraculous changes in my life that I plan to write about very soon. Today, however, I want to write about the closure that I was able to give myself during my last session.

Even if you are not a believer in hypnosis, you can still use this technique. Bear with me.

If you know me, you know that I was closed off to the idea of a romantic relationship for a really long time. After spending a couple years in an unhealthy relationship, I promised myself that I would not waste my time or anyone else’s time until I knew that I was where I wanted to be professionally and emotionally. I viewed men as distractions and the half-year that I spent in Costa Rica taught me so much about the world that I had almost forgotten about love. I even went as far as to have a gold, Cuban style bracelet made with the word “patience” on it in Hebrew, which served as a reminder of the promise I made to myself (in front of my ancestors- because I am Jewish and Cuban) that I would not be lead into love.

While in Costa Rica, I took all of the energy that I had previously spent on others and I dumped it all into myself. I was in the best shape of my life, I had learned so much about the world and my place in it, and I discovered my passion for writing. I felt more stability than ever before.

Only a few weeks after I returned to the states, I met someone. Despite every block I had put up, it felt right. It felt like God was guiding me to him. He spoke my language like no one ever has. Every day with him was the new best day of my life. It was the first time I ever felt real love.

And then it was gone. He was gone.

At the time, I did not have the understanding of love that I do now. I felt like he rejected me after I had shown him my soul. I missed him. It is crazy how quickly and intensely we can develop tunnel vision. When I pictured my future, I could only see the many ways I wanted to love the same man over and over again.

After coming to terms with the end of our time together, I was unable to think about him without feeling horrible.  I spent about a week in bed. I had lost my enthusiasm for life. What was once the most positive experience I had ever had quickly became the most negative one.

When I finally picked myself up, I needed constant stimulation. If I had a few seconds in my head, my thoughts would wander to him. I felt angry- at myself, at him, and at God. My chest would tighten and my anxiety would consume me.

At the end of my last hypnotherapy session, the amazing lady that I am working with asked me if I had gotten closure about this relationship. I told her I had not. She asked me to close my eyes.

“I want you to picture his face”, she said. I realized I had not seen his face in so long. My heart was racing. It felt too real. I saw his beautiful eyes. They always looked like they were searching for something and no matter what his mouth was saying, I could always see his essence in his eyes. They were so stunning.

She asked me to picture what I would say to him. At first I was angry. I wanted to scream at him. I wanted to explode and I wanted an explanation. But then she directed me to think about all of the gifts he had given me. This man had taught me how to be open to love, how to feel love and how to give it, he taught me about the things I want in a relationship and the things I do not want, he inspired me, he gave me the strength that developed from getting through my first real heartbreak, and I would not be the same woman I am today without him.

I thanked him for everything. I pictured what he would say back to me. He thanked me too. It felt so good to hear his voice.

I gave him a hug and I felt his warmth. It was a symbol of my forgiveness. I forgave him, I forgave myself, and I understood why God sent him into my life.

In this moment, I realized that closure is nothing more than changing our response to a past event. We feel like we need closure when there is an unresolved, negative feeling about something. But all we really need is the will to change our thinking.

 It was weird letting go of my sadness. It had consumed me. I did not know what I would think about if I was not sad. Speaking for myself, sometimes I forget that it is okay to be okay. Each day since this moment has been better and better for me. I feel whole again. I can find true happiness in my days. I can look back at what I had with him and remember it for its beauty, while still understanding the lesson that it gave me. I have allowed myself to accept that people flow freely out of our lives, the same way they flow into them.

It was really difficult to write this piece and I hope that it reaches someone who needs it. If anyone wants to talk deeper about this or learn more about hypnotherapy, please feel free to contact me. This stuff is not easy but it is easier when we do it together 🙂

The split screen that split my patriotism

It is forty-two minutes into the first debate. I had to pull out my laptop to distract myself from the pit in my stomach.

I have spent a lot of energy standing up for Donald Trump supporters. I believe in democracy and freedom of speech and I think that internet users should strive to create a safe environment where we can all exchange our ideas.

But the concern I feel watching this debate takes precedence- even over my patriotism.

I got a CNN alert today telling me that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are virtually tied in the polls. How can this be? How did Donald Trump destroy his republican opponents so brutally? How is he holding up against Hillary? Why are we still standing for this?

I used to think it was because of entertainment. I hastily reasoned that Americans enjoyed seeing his outrageous behavior on the television so much that they encouraged his candidacy. I thought that we had been so socialized to crave stimulation and that we struggle so hard with keeping our attention focused, that a candidate like Trump was the inevitable product. But the desire for entertainment is not nearly a strong enough motivation for what has happened. No.

It’s fear, racism, sexism, and twisted idolization that has fueled Donald Trump’s entire campaign.

The more I think about it, the more I realize what a genius strategy that is. Fear is such an incredibly powerful emotion. In Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, safety is theorized as the second most important need for human beings. Donald Trump is making us feel unsafe and when we are fearing for our safety, we are not able to move on to fulfilling the rest of our needs (belonging/love, esteem, and self-actualization). Our entire world is flipped upside down when we are scared and that is exactly what Donald Trump is hoping for. In a period of globalization and technology, we have no shortage of tragic news reports. These are his tools. He plays these up, terrifies us, and cashes out on it.

ALLLLL of that aside, my problem with Donald is not Donald. My problem with Donald is that there are way too many people in this country that like him for the wrong reasons.

There are men who are terrified to see a woman lead the country. They are so scared of egalitarianism and changing power dynamics that they hate Hillary. There are white, privileged Americans that are terrified of immigration and the impending “majority minority”. They have been WAITING for someone to come along and “make America great again” (as if it’s a terrible thing that women and African Americans have rights now). If America is not at one of its greatest periods right now, when was it great? When there was slavery? When women were property? When? Tonight Trump said, “African Americans and Hispanics are living in hell”. Yes, Donald, yes they are. And you are encouraging it. You pestered and humiliated and BULLIED the first African American president for five years to turn in his birth certificate to prove he was an American. You were SUED for racial discrimination. Do you realize that you are running to lead forty-three million African Americans?

But even worse than that…. There are men sitting at home rewatching Charlie Sheen YouTube videos and thinking about how awesome it is that macho Donald loves “winning!”

This guy had Dr. Oz read his testosterone levels on television. And people dug that. People truly, truly like this disrespectful, dominating, hardheaded, money hungry archetype. BECAUSE IT REPRESENTS SO MANY AMERICANS. People identify with him and idolize this behavior. And that is what makes me sick. When I think about the rest of the world, I cannot fathom another country having a potential leader like Donald Trump. The rest of the world is so pervaded by pain, human rights atrocities, and disease that they do not have the luxury of understanding a petty candidate like Trump.

Rant over.

Understanding your dad as your love guru

Male or female, your relationship with your dad is the most impactful relationship that you will ever have.

It is the relationship that teaches us how to love.

“Luke I am your father”, says Darth Vader. NOOOO! For some, Luke’s response gives us the right emotions… But feelings aside, our fathers are in every cell of our beings.

Growing up in a patriarchal society, we are all socialized to pay close attention to our fathers. We observe how they portray gender, how they act in relationship with their partners, and how they act in relationship with us.

For boys, fathers become teachers. They show you how men are supposed to act.

Is it okay to show emotion? When and how much? What should the power dynamics between men and women look like? Is fidelity important?

Sometimes we try to not become our parents but we become them anyway…

At first thought, it is natural for many of us to resist this. Our parents certainly are not perfect and learning from your father does not always mean that you will mimic him. While you are observing these traits, you are judging them. Some things will teach you what NOT to do but most will be the very observations that shape your core. My best friend always tells me, “the things we don’t like about our parents are actually the things we don’t like about ourselves”.

For us girls, fathers are the expectation setters. They are our first loves and we are programmed to choose men who resemble them. We strive to replicate the familiarity of that love and we repeat the relationship patterns that were embedded in us at a young age. The way they love us and the way they love our mothers and/or their partners teaches us about the love that we want to receive. We observe how they demonstrate love, how they handle conflict, and what their views of fidelity are. They shape our femininity, too, by demonstrating gender and power dynamics in the household.

I’ve also found that the tensions and insecurities we have with our fathers often transfer over to our romantic relationships. “Daddy issues” are not something to joke about and men can have them too. They are deep-seated feelings that guide many of our thoughts and actions. For people who experience reoccurring relationship problems, the solution is often found in an understanding and resolution of problems from childhood.

The way fathers love their children matters. Women, choose wisely! Men, love with intention!

Spiritual struggles and the downside of being someone who pushes others

Once I started to understand the law of attraction, it was hard not to center my life around it. In the beginning, there was a lot of instant gratification. I severely altered my energy and the whole world seemed to shift into alignment with me. I got addicted to this. It felt like magic. I told the universe what I wanted and it delivered. I never took this for granted. My sense of gratitude consumed me, which made me feel even more fulfilled.

After some time, however, I started to notice a “funnel effect”. I wasn’t attracting as many people or experiences as I used to. I spent more time by myself over a three week span than I had in years. I started to feel lonely. Was my energy broken?

I recently read two books. Many Lives, Many Masters by Brian Weiss is pretty much all I’m talking about right now. Long story very short, it’s about past lives and what our purpose is while we’re here. From this book, I learned that my purpose is to learn and to change. While I am here, I am supposed to become more enlightened and go through the necessary experiences that will bring me closer to my best and higher self. This often involves suffering. The second book I read was a book about Bodhidharma, a buddhist monk. Bodhidharma says there are four ways to “enter the path of enlightenment”: suffering injustice, adapting to conditions, seeking nothing, and practicing the Dharma. I won’t talk about seeking nothing because I’m not there yet. Practicing the Dharma can be translated as practicing the behaviors and virtues that provide cosmic law and order (doing the right thing). Suffering injustice is huge. As ancient as Bodhidharma and as modern as Brian Weiss, the teaching of injustice and hardship as opportunity is so valuable. Adapting to hardships is what is most applicable to me- learning to allow your life to unfold the way it is supposed to and embrace it without resistance.

Putting these books in the context of my concerns with the law of attraction, I realized that because the things I want most are unshakeable bliss and self-improvement, I am attracting exactly what I am supposed to be attracting. Having more solidarity than I have been used to has already given me so much. It has taught me how to love and take care of myself the way I would for others. It has forced me to think (a lot) and it has allowed me to get to know myself. I feel more peaceful and patient than ever before and I am learning how to love being alone.

With all that being said, I still think there is something to the “funnel effect”. When your inner light is shining bright, you will only attract people and experiences that match yours. It becomes about quality rather than quantity. The things that come into your life will be fewer but they will be more meaningful. When you are operating at your best, you will not be able to accept anything less.

Another thing I wanted to touch on is that throughout this journey, I have learned how terrified people are of change. I am a catalyst. I always have been. I show people things about themselves because I have conversations that matter and because I am not afraid to reveal the deepest parts of myself to others. It has been hard to realize that this is not always welcomed. Sometimes your light is too bright for others. Sometimes the energy and the love you give will be towards someone who is not ready to receive it. Sometimes your balance forces a mirror in the hand of someone who is not ready to look. You cannot take this personally. While some of us may understand the beauty of discomfort, others need to be comfortable.

For those of you on this great journey with me, you know exactly what I mean and it sucks. Relationships will change. You will feel misunderstood. You will struggle with wanting more for people than they want for themselves. That’s ok. Continue to love and accept as best as you can and allow people to flow freely in and out of your life.

When to forgive yourself

I just got out of the shower. I let the warmth hug me and comfort me as the water washed away the dirt left from my day. It feels so good to cleanse. It’s like forgiveness.

I’ve never been very personal on here and I decided recently that I should be. Most of the time, it is the thing left unsaid that could have made all the difference. If I want to connect with you, I have to open up.

I sat down on the floor of my shower and I let two instances run through my mind. Without invading the privacy of others, I will share as much as I can.

First, I thought about someone I loved. Our relationship was never in the light. For the longest time I thought that following your heart was the most important thing. I realize now that it’s not. Your heart is impulsive, malleable, and present. Your mind is calculated, fixed, and predicting. When your heart and your mind do not align, there is a problem. I pursued this relationship, even though I knew it wasn’t right, and I kept pursuing it in hopes that the ends would justify the means. The ends never justify the means. Your karmic wheel cannot distinguish the difference. The right ends will never require the wrong means.

Next, I thought about a relationship with a family member. I am only responsible for my own actions and I have never treated this person with the respect and kindness they deserve. I always feel guilty and hypocritical that I have not aligned my spiritual aspirations and lessons with my behavior in this circumstance. I have let my pride keep me from reconciliation and have once again hoped for a scenario that would justify my means.

I want to correct the second scenario and forgive myself for both. So I started thinking: what guides me to forgive others? If I look someone in the eyes and Know that they will not repeat their actions, I forgive them. I think the same thing applies to internal forgiveness. You cannot really forgive yourself until you Know that you have come to understand your wrongs to an extent that you will never repeat them. Journaling helps here. Meditation helps here. All reflection that brings you closer to your nature.

That’s all. Cheers to my first authentic blog post 🙂