Today, I found myself in the middle of a mirrored lake on a little row-boat. I watch and hear the morning come alive with the fragment of light given by the upcoming sun. The morning fog rises from the lake as if it’s breathing its breath of life up from the water. I hear signs of life shuffle their way into the day, singing out for the sun to come up and shine on them and so the earth song and a new day begins.
Feeling the pain of the world draining my heart, I am here and ready to pour all of the pain out and refill again with something better. Anything better.
As I sit in the boat, taking in all the peaceful scenery around me, tears fill my eyes. I can’t even put into words what I feel. Other than that the overwhelm of the collective heart and soul of the world breaking and crying out, and I can feel my own crying with it. I know that I can not help heal anyone or anything until I fix the holes in my own heart and soul first. I cannot give what I don’t have and right now, I have nothing. The darkness encompassing the world has surrounded me, but I will not let it take me too. I must fight. The light inside of me burns strong and so long as it is going, the darkness can not come near. The hate, anger, and confusion of this world live in the darkness and I must be the light. My light MUST light others, but it can not if I allow it to go out.
Knowing that I must give myself the space to heal, here I sit. I must wash out the bad, and refill with good, with love. I must fill it beyond the top to have enough to overflow into others and keep filling them and myself so that we can together overflow love and heal the soul of the world. We must heal ourselves and help others to do the same. Healed people heal people. Hurt people, hurt people. This is my calling. This is all of our calling- we feel it within the very fiber of our being, in very specific and unique ways.
I ask myself this one question. “What do I need, right now? What would heal my heart and make it whole again like this stone?” The answer comes all too quickly for me.
Love, it’s all any of us have ever wanted, needed, desired, craved, and dreamed about. A pure untainted, unconditional love. Not a lustful love, or a crush kind of love. Not a temporary love, but a deep and everlasting, wholesome love. One that no matter how hard things get, it’s there unwavering and without question. A love that is always by our side, goes ahead of us and has our back, one that surrounds us. One that flies with us when we soar being the wind that lifts us higher, and the one that picks us up when we crash and burn, kissing our boo boo’s and encourages us to try again. “Nest time you will certainly get it!” One with boundless grace, endless wisdom, and ultimate understanding. One that truly loves us, all of us, not for personal gain, for this or that, nor this part, and not that part of us, but all of us as a whole. Knowing that all the parts of us are what paints our beautiful portrait. One that appreciates the masterpiece that we are. One that will pass all the tests of time. An innocent love, a powerful love, an unfailing love.
I accidentally knock over my back in the bottom of the boat, and some stones I picked up on my walk to the lake fell out. I pick up the largest stone and look at it with love. I appreciate the strength it has, to be here, to show up as it is, when all the forces of the world came against it, to create it, it embraced it to become what it is, and it is strong and beautiful. Just like me. Just like you. Freeing healing tears roll down my face as I ponder these thoughts I hold the stone close to my heart and feel its coolness against my chest. The stone warms up as I hold it, as if it is feeling my love and pouring love back into me.
I look down again and notice a paint pen in my bag from a previous project and I take it and on this larger and now almost hot stone that I have just poured my heart and tears into, I write this one thing that I want the most. LOVE… in the most beautiful hand-writing I’ve ever written.
I set it aside on the other seat to bask in the fresh new sun that is making its way into the sky. I watch the clear line of light, coming across the lake headed towards me and scaring away all the darkness. I think about how that is our job. To be such a bright light in this world that no shadow can exist in our presence. I listen to the beautiful sounds of the morning as the world wakes up from its slumber in the darkness. The birds are singing, insects chirping, nature, and all the forest animals doing their respective morning works, revived, refreshed, and renewed. The sun line is getting closer and closer to me and it’s finally here. I close my eyes and let the sun hit my face and feel its warmth go down my body as it pokes up over the mountains; it’s light warming me from the inside out. I feel the sunlight and imagine it is pouring it’s love down my body and filling me up. Mmmmmmmm. Gosse bumps and more beautiful releasing tears.
I feel at complete peace in this beautiful moment. I look around and too feel revived, refreshed, and renewed. I look down at the other five small stones at my feet. What shall I do with these stones? I ponder for a minute. What things are holding me back from receiving love or even blocking it? What do I need to let go of to fill and overflow with this beautiful thing that I want most, that the world needs most?
I could probably think of a hundred, but I only have five stones, so what are the five main things blocking me from being open to receiving and overflowing in love?
I hold the paint pen steady and close my eyes and ponder deeper. What are the feelings I feel when I think about love? It should be all warm and fuzzy, right? I have tons of feelings around the word Love, and yet none of them are warm and fuzzy… except for when I think of the “idea” of what it would feel like when I get it, if I ever get it, if it’s even real. Everything else… well, it’s not so great, for me LOVE HURTS!
I write on the first smooth stone in all caps… as if this stone could shout it out because that is how I feels inside. This stone represents all the pain I hold inside, all the pain I have been holding inside for far too long. Pain from desiring to love so much, pain from the feelings of rejection it has brought by not attaining this mystical thing. Pain from the dejection of family, who should have loved me and didn’t, whom I’d given my heart, and they didn’t return it… when that was literally their only job! Pain from friends who have taken all my love and never returned it, yet, when I stopped giving it, they turned against me, showing their true selfish desires. Pain from misunderstandings, betrayals, gossip, from people who have said or done things that have hurt me deeper than they will ever know. Pain from me not forgiving them. Pain from me repeating and reliving the situation in my head again and again.
Pain from all the time’s others have let me down, and more so all the times I’ve let myself down. Pain from never feeling like I’m ever enough. But enough for who? No one even measures my worth except for me. Why is this even a pain in the first place? I am good enough. Shoot! I’m great! My worth lies in God’s value of me alone and within my value of myself, which should only match God’s because He made me!
And so, the true questions are… Am I who I want to be, the person inside? Yes, I feel I am. Is there more growth to come? Of Course! Am I a better person today than I was yesterday, last week, last year, or even the last decade? Absolutely Yes! Then who is it that I measure my worth against? How is it even measured in the first place for us to ever think we aren’t enough? I can not be compared to anyone, just as they can not be compared to me. They are who they are, and I am who I am; it’s not even a comparable matter. What an interesting and freeing thought! My worth is not even measured in earthly standards, nor will it ever be, and if it is, it will always be worth nothing as everyone only sees their own worth, and even then, it will never be seen as much as it is because God only measures in Love. He is the ruler, I am not. So, therefore, from this moment forward, I will never measure, or compare again, I will ONLY see myself and others in Love.
This stone with PAIN written on it is clearly smaller than the big stone. This “problem” is clearly smaller considering how big Love is. I could physically use the big stone to crush the little one if I wanted to. But I could also mentally use Love to crush and remove pain at any time I choose too! How freeing is that! How can I allow these tiny stones to be stopping the purpose of the big stone? They can’t. It’s all in my head! It is merely a shift of perception. WOW!
… so… being done with it, I drop this first stone into the water, and I watch the word “PAIN” melt away as the water dissolves the paint right off of the stone, making it fresh and new again. I feel my own pain melting away as the paint disappears. I take a deep breath in and breathe any pain I feel leftover inside out, letting it dissolve into the atmosphere and disappear with my breath. I feel the weight of the world lifted off of my shoulders as it dissipates. The weight was far heavier than that little stone. I watch it as it sinks all the way to the bottom and lays perfectly comfortable at the bottom of the lake. Wow, that was freeing.
I pick up a second stone and stare at it for a good while thinking deeper into the word Love. What other feelings does it bring up?
On the second stone, I write the word “Anger.” Why am I angry? I’m usually a very happy person. How can a happy person be angry? Well…
I’m angry that love is so easy to give and so hard to be returned. I’m angry that people who should have loved me didn’t or chose not to, or chose to love other things more than me, such as addictions, possessions, lovers, or stupid things. I’m angry when people choose other people over me, bad people, ones who do nothing but hurt them, when all I’ve ever done was give, help, and love them. I’m angry that when I do share my love with someone, they either misunderstand it, reject it, and me or try to turn it into something else in their heads that is shallow and stupid, taking its pureness and innocence away. Or when they, knowing my love for them, walk away as if I didn’t even matter, to begin with, and even worse telling me so, as if I’m some wild animal being let go in the woods that you need to yell at to get to go away…
I’m angry that we do not live in a world where people can love each other openly without someone turning it into something pervy or shameful, limited by their own minds and intentions of their own hearts to see the intentions of mine. I’m angry that people can’t say I love you without feeling weird or being treated as if you’re dying or want something. I’m angry that people use love as a bargaining chip, only saying I love you if they need something, or using it against you saying “if you love me, you will do things you don’t want to do” or as a bribe saying “I will love you forever if..”
I’m angry that people turn romantic love into something unpure, unperfected, unfeeling, ugly, violent, or awful when it should be passionate, intimate, and the most beautiful part of our lives. Something that makes time stop, the world disappears, and souls intertwine. If you cross lines, you throw away a friendship, especially if it can never be more. And because I befriend someone with my whole heart, I feel rejected when they know they’re throwing away our friendship by crossing the line, that I wasn’t worth respecting nor keeping in their lives. As if I didn’t matter to them more than just for one thing or for their needs only…
I’m angry that people can’t share their true feelings for one another openly, that we have to be made to feel alone in all of our feelings when feelings are what makes us KNOW we are alive. They should be celebrated and cherished, not hidden, and squashed, driving us all mad. We are not zombies; we are not made to go around like robots turning our feelings off.
I will NOT be an empty shell of a human. I refuse! I WILL give everyone a safe place within me to be accepted for who they are, to be free to feel whatever they are feeling, and to help them understand them, find their source and turn it into something good for them and help them heal if the feelings are hurting them and celebrate the ones that help them. I will love them no matter what they are feeling, even if it is against me, and give them a safe place to talk about it and hopefully resolve any issues and misunderstandings they might have. I am and will be a safe place for everyone I meet.
I WILL let go of my anger and counteract it with love, forgiveness, and freedom and dive deeper into becoming a safe place for all, hoping that, one day, I may have a safe place for myself within others. Many others, not just one, because I know first hand having only one safe place will exhaust that person pretty quickly!
I drop the Anger stone and watch as the paint and my anger melt away into the water. I watch it fall all the way to the bottom, and as it rustles up the silt, it clears the muck off of all the stones around it. Giving them a fresh view of the light above through the water. Freeing them, I’d like to think. I close my eyes, and I pray that I can be like that stone and clear the muck from the eyes of all those around me so that they can see the light again as I drop help them drop their anger, clearing the muck the world has dirtied up their view with.
I already know what to write on the third stone; I don’t even have to think about it.
I write rejection because I constantly feel rejected in different ways by the people in my life, people I care about. Some are not full rejections; some are simple push aways such as – “I’m too busy for you” or “you are the last thing on my list” type of rejections. Some are just “I don’t care about you like you do me” rejections. Most are unsaid. But actions truly do speak louder than words.
I feel rejected when I’m taken advance of. I try to be open, loving, and helping with everyone and encourage them at all times… even if they are hurting me. I will forgive and make excuses for their behavior, possibly lying to myself for them, causing an even deeper rejection than they even gave.
I know I shouldn’t take it personally, but I do. Simply because I try to do so much for others, they will never even know about or understand. I don’t flaunt it about, bragging or saying anything at all most of the time. I’m just secretly working behind the scenes, lovingly taking care of everyone without them knowing it. Helping them out, lighting fires in their hearts, fixing problems, or helping them fix theirs. Allowing it to be them and not me. I just want everyone to feel loved and appreciated because they are special… to me. I try to live a life where everyone’s life is better than before they met me. I want to give everyone a brighter future. It would be an honor to have people think of me and smile and know their life is better because I’m in it. Who doesn’t have those #LifeGoals, right?
How else do I feel rejected? I need to make sure I get it all out so I can let it go. I need not leave a single root of rejection behind that can grow into a big blocking tree again. So I dive deeper… Sometimes I may feel rejected when I try to express my feelings to others, and they run away. If I don’t tell them what they mean to me, how will they know? I feel like everyone should know how great they are, how important they are to the world. So I tell them… and then they get weird… Maybe it’s their own convictions, their own lack of self-love, or they misunderstand and turn it into something it’s not, or even worse, mishear it and dirty it up! Like how people get weird around compliments.
Why does the rejection ring louder than the relationship? Why is it the thing we remember instead of remembering the good? That is a choice, isn’t it? I can choose to live, being thankful for the times I have with people. I don’t ever want to hold anyone back. I am working too hard to help them push forward. I like to help people go wherever their winds take them, even if it’s in a different direction than me. I cheer them on from afar! I know that if they’re meant to be in my life, then their wind will one day blow my way again. I wish everyone well. Rejection comes when people just leave, with no goodbye, they just disappear, as if I never existed at all. Say goodbye or until we meet again, dadgum it!
I feel rejected when I need someone, and I reach out, and everyone’s too busy. It seems every relationship I have is a one-way street. Me, giving and them taking, all flowing in the direction away from my heart, no one caring enough to refill me back. Can they not try to return the same help and love as I continually give?
I’ve gotten so used to that rejection that I have become that person for myself, which is probably a good thing. I’ve learned to take my own advice, read my own writings. Asking, what would I do or say if I were advising someone else? But… it’d nice to have someone to talk to, to work problems out loud as that tends to work best for me. I know that I probably exhaust people being that I’m so entangled and complicated. It makes them run away… CAUSING my own rejection! I am learning to gauge my flood gates. These days, I only reach out when I need it the absolute most. And even then, it seems impossible to find someone to listen to my madness. Isn’t that what friends are supposed to be for? It is getting rarer and rarer to find true deep friendships these days, it’s a dying art, and it’s so sad. We are all feeling that loss. Look at the suicide rate and crimes of passion these days. It’s alarming.
So do I need to be more careful and give where I need to give, and not get attached to limit myself somehow only to attach myself to others as they do me, but if they are limiting themselves like that as well, then are we not missing out on something great? Someone has to go first. Someone has to trust first. Someone has to love first. I choose that to be me. I choose to love and trust first. I choose to be in control of it all; therefore, no one can really reject me because I am and will be a safe place for all. So if they reject, then they are rejecting their self and a great life ahead. I will be ever steady and a strong source for them. So That I am not the one being rejected. And I will make sure not to reject anyone else.
I will be unapologetic, authentic, and caring for all. Rejection is not a choice because I am not a choice. Choose me or not; it depends on you. I will be a strong tower for all.
I feel everyone should know their value! There is not enough of that in this world. What can I do to help people to see my heart? How can I avoid them rejecting me and my big heart and big dreams? How can anyone not see that what I’m doing is for others’ good and that I never have a selfish motive or intent? How can I show my love for others without someone taking it as something different? Am I showing something different than what’s intended? Am I confusing or unclear, or are they misinterpreting my intentions clouded by their own judgment and stains in their own hearts?
If I hide my heart from others, am I not rejecting myself? How can I express myself in a way that is not misunderstood? I know that everyone assumes things by the reflections and thoughts of their own hearts. How can I be more clear and help how they perceive things from me?
Do I become like everyone else and start to reject those who reject me? Or be the better friend and show them by example what a friendship looks like? Does that leave me open to being continually taken advantage of and rejected?
When people who reject me in my time of need come around needing me again, do I still help them when they need it next time? Yes. Always. Is that fair to me when they drop me when they’re high and expect me to drop everything when they are low. No. Is becoming like everyone else and not caring about anyone or anything an option for me? No. I don’t know how not to care. Should I only care about people who care about me? That would be about 3 people in my life… and boy, what a sad and lonely life that would be!
Should I just not help anyone and keep this beautiful and loving gift to myself? No, I will persevere because it IS my gift, and gifts are made to be given. To see what others need and help them before they even see it is an amazing gift. I can use it to help others see how to heal. I need to learn to use it to heal myself and not “need” anyone else. When someone is around, it will be a bonus, and I won’t exhaust them. I have to stop rejecting me. I can and will make sure that I will never reject anyone else for fear of them feeling this deep, deep pain that I feel.
I will continue to love and help others, and for me, I will plug into the only source that never rejects me, never leaves me, never forsakes me. Never lets me down. Never takes, only gives, forgives, and loves. Jesus. I will also start praying that He sends me people in my life that can do the same because I can’t bear the pain of only being taken and rejected anymore. I imagine He feels the same as me. Think of all the people who reach out to Him in their time of need and then ignore Him when things are good, taking the credit for their deeds instead of giving Him the glory. Then, falling on their face and crying out to Him again and again, with no thank you’s, just neediness. And He is faithful and just to forgive us time and again, and in love, He scoops us up, dusts us off, and helps us again and again. Knowing that we are just taking advantage over and over. I will follow His example and be that for others and make sure I’m grateful for Him and all He does. I’m sure He does more in secret that I will never know about, and I will start being thankful for that as well. He probably had to assign triple the guardian angels to me as I’m kind of all over the place!
So… I say a prayer of gratitude, apology, and need for all of these things and drop that rejection stone in the water along with my many, many tears. Watching the paint dissolve into the water, and my tears fall like rain on the top of the lake to join it, dissolving one by one into the water. The stone falls to the bottom as I watch the last bit of paint wash away. I feel a wave of release wash over me as a cool breeze blows by and makes the canvas of the water new again. I see the three rocks at the bottom cleaner than the others making their own impact as they join the rest.
On the fourth rock, I write the word –
I tend to give my whole heart to things, to people, to projects, to workplaces. Everything I do, I give 1,000%. I never have to be told what to do; I’ve already done it. I never complain. I help everyone on the team and lift them, and never need or seek praise. I just do things because it’s right. Because I am a forward thinker, I am constantly solving problems before they arise. But… no one notices, or even worse, others take credit for my hard work.
Because I’m not a bragger, I allow this to happen. I even listen as someone gives credit to others for all my hard work, thinking they will have the integrity to say it was me or give the whole team the praise I would have done if someone called me out, but they don’t. It’s very frustrating. I don’t need a standing ovation ever for all I do, but a pat on the back would be nice once in a while. Especially on the hard days. Something saying hey, I know that was you, and I think what you’re doing is awesome, keep it up. Shoot, I would be good for like a year! But, people either take me for granted, expect it, or take credit for themselves that everything is running smoother and happier than before while they’re working less… mean while I’m behind the scenes running my tush off, making it happen! I feel like a circus act balancing 200 spinning plates off various parts of my body, hoping nothing will crash.
So… How can I continue to be the behind the scenes hero that I love to be, without being used, or becoming resentful? How can I keep others from taking the credit when I don’t want the credit myself? I just want to be a secret angel, enhancing the lives of all I meet. But, by not telling others, I give up the credit rights, which is fine. I don’t want credit. I just want everyone to be happy. I do tell them it was me; they act as if I’m stealing a trophy or trying to “one-Up” someone, and I don’t like “one-uppers” myself.
If I were to tell others what I’m doing for them… praying for them, shuffling things around for them to make things work in their favor, then it takes the joy and winds out of their sails. They no longer feel accomplished or and turn their wins into losses. I am helping others do things for themselves, and I want them to be proud of their accomplishments and not think they can’t do it without me! If I were to tell them, they would look at me with resentment instead of seeing that they are becoming their best self without hindrance. So I keep quiet for the good of all.
On the other hand… Is it good or bad to let people think they have done it all on their own? If I’m the shoulders they are standing on to see and get to the next level, should they not learn to embrace the teamwork as it is. I should be more open with the “Alone we are strong, together we are unstoppable” mentality that I’m trying to show every day? Over the last year, I have definitely shifted working with people instead of doing everything for them like I used to.
I have to stop allowing myself to be taken for granted. I want people to stand on their own and be strong and learn to work together to be unstoppable. It’s much more fun to celebrate wins together. And to have a team that pushes each other’s limits to have a team that grows together instead of growing apart. A team that tries together fails together, and gets back up together. It seems that I help people one on one, then they hold resentment towards me when they fail. But working as a team, if one falls, we all lift each other.
Failure is a good thing. Fail as many times as it takes to get it right! Just make sure you are learning and not repeating the same mistakes, getting the same outcome. Change what you’re doing until you get it right. It takes a lot of bravery to get back up. Not trying is not an option. And it’s much easier to get back up when you have hands reaching out for you to pick you up.
I also feel used when people take and don’t give back. They get what they need from me and walk away as if I never existed. Like people plug into me for whatever their need, recharge themselves, draining me, and walk away. Leaving my battery dead and not caring that they have done so. I can change that by creating a circular flow between people, always encouraging each other in a group setting. I need to set boundaries and fill my life with people who give as much as they take. Who pass the torch when needed or relight a flame when one goes out. Because I’m such a giver, I just give without expectation, and leeches find me and drain me. Time to break free. To be the light that lights other’s lights. And teach others to pass the light on to the world until it comes back around to me. It’s not serving me to work small. I need to become a revolution; my light is needed in this world on much a larger scale. And by sharing it with others and teaching them to share, my own light will be magnetized and multiplied.
So I have definitely turned this one around, and I can let it go. Working as a team instead of in secret should really help me with this “being used and taken for granted pain,” I’ve been holding. I know that I do not do things for honor or awards or self-seeking or needing approval in any way. And I know that I can not control others, but I can encourage them and give them praise out loud in front of everyone. And encourage teamwork. I can help everyone see their full potential and lift them each in their own way as a team.
I can change my word used to be needed. That is a far better word. I flip my rock over and paint “needed” on the other side, and put an X over the word “used.” I AM a team builder.
I drop my fourth rock, watching as it spins on the way down; the X over the word “used” dissolves first as it is the wettest paint, leaving the rock spinning saying used, needed, used, needed all the way down until it lands where I can see a little of both sides as they dissolve out into the water leaving a small cloud of white before vanishing completely. This rock landed between the pain and the rejection rocks standing up on its side. Showing me that it’s definitely a wall in between them, connecting them all as one.
My fifth and final rock… What is the last thing I can let go of to be open and willing to receive love…
I can no longer be living in resentment for all the things people have or haven’t done to show me how they do, or do not love me, or can’t love me back. I am not in control of them. I am in control of me. I am only in control of me. So what I can do at this moment is FORGIVE.
I paint resentment on the last stone and hold it in my hands. The stone feels cold in my hands. Cold… like my heart living in resentment. Closing my eyes and going through everything I have been holding onto and resenting in my head and heart. I went over each thing and forgave—one by one. The more I forgive, the warmer the rock gets.
I repeat each “crime” against me with an – I forgive ____ for _____. I honor and respect and allow them to feel, however they feel; I can only control how I feel, so I CHOOSE to feel love and forgiveness at this moment for that pain. I release it. My tears fall on my hands, smearing the word resentment on the stone and getting the paint all on the inside my hands, dripping out of my fingers. Watching the paint roll off the rock with my tears into the water and dissolve, I keep going. After quite some time, I searched my heart and could find no more resentment inside. I gently place the rock and my hands down into the cool water, watching what was left of the white paint, my tears, and all the burdens that resentment has carried, wash away in the water. And after saying a prayer of forgiveness to myself for holding on to all these burdens inside for all these years and punishing myself over and over for the actions of others. I say aloud, “I forgive me for all the pain I have caused myself all this time for not letting go of these resentments. I forgive myself and will guard my heart as though my life depends on it Because it does.” And I let it go. I closed my eyes and did not watch this last rock go down to the bottom. I never want to see it again.
I search my heart and find no more pain, anger, resentment, exhaustion, or rejection. I feel nothing but love. I unapologetically accept who I am in this fresh, clean heart who is willing and ready to receive all the love in the world. I choose to keep feeling, caring, and loving everyone else more than others can fathom because I choose to set an example to the world of how to love and be loved. I choose to accept that this is who I am, and it is glorious. I am passionate, I am deeply sensitive to others, and most days, it’s an overwhelming sensory overload. Truthfully sometimes it’s simply exhausting, but it’s beautiful, and I wouldn’t trade it for the cold dead world’s heart for even a second. I choose to feel everyone’s pain and happiness. I choose to feel their heartbreaks, their joys, their desires. I choose to celebrate their wins with them and feel the pain in their losses. I know that it’s a gift and that I can help others because of it. This sensitivity allows me to connects with others on a deeper, more intimate level that some dream of. It is rare in today’s unfeeling and apathetic world and scares some people to death, so I choose to gauge according to their needs, not my own.
I choose to re-light the fire in the bellies of the world and help them to clear out all the things that put out their fires so they can burn brighter than the sun. I choose to ignite the fire for everyone to be out there, fighting for their purpose as if their life depended on it. Because it does. Man’s life depends on us all waking up and going for our purposes and fulfilling our job on this earth! That is love. I choose to love and allow others to love.
So here I am sitting in the boat, with one rock left. Love. So many burdens lifted off me. I feel I don’t even need the boat to float on the water. I pick up the rock and hold it on my lap. What do I do with this last rock? Do I drop it into the water to crush the others? Do I keep it to remind me? Do I put it on the river bank to remind others to love? I think I will…