Thursday, December 16, 2010

How can any of it be wrong?


I have had this feeling all summer and now into the fall. For the last ten years, I have completely, willingly, and with my whole heart supported, advocated, and provided over half of my services to The Jones Center on a volunteer basis. Granted I learned, grew, and was afforded a profession that prior to The Jones Center I didn't have. Nonetheless, as my contracted ended at the end of June, the Director, who meant the world to me and more, and I, completely dissolved our relationship.

Now, she says very little to me; if at all. Most remarks she makes are in the form of polite daggers which kill me even more. This has been a huge hurdle to overcome because as much as I feel "Rotten" about it, and as much as I try to accept the fact that someone who I looked up to, respected, admired, and cared for is settling with being a stranger to me, I come right back to the same place. I feel that there is a doorway...I don't believe that everything that I've learned, experienced, and all that I've accomplished was in vain. I just am burdened with understanding really how someone you trust with out question, has become someone who breaks your heart with out question. So, what do you do once you accept that you feel rotten about something that you can't change? LOL Jen


Dear Jen,

Thank you for writing. It sounds like a mysterious situation.

I've been mulling it over for some time, and I want to focus on one angle: your experience of feeling rotten. You said, "What do you do once you accept that you feel rotten about something that you can't change?"

Jen, I can't say for sure because we have not been talking about this in person, but I suspect that you have not truly accepted that you are feeling rotten. Now wait. Before you feel that I'm shoulding you or placing more pressure on you when you're already struggling with feelings, know that's not the deal. In fact, I want to offer you space, permission, to just get into what YOU are experiencing.

There's really nothing else we can do anything about.

Even attempting to analyze the other people involved in the offending situation can't really be done with true understanding if we aren't fully experiencing, without apology, our present feelings.

So I recommend to you, my friend, that you just let that rottenness come when it arises. And get yourself quiet, still - even if it's just for a moment here and there - and drop into your body and feel the sensations of rottenness arising and doing whatever it is they're doing. This is a gateway that we rarely allow ourselves. It's a doorway whose key we don't realize we have.

See, 'cuz the thing is, we can't possibly know what's going on with the other person. And it sounds like your friend probably doesn't know either. We think we know why we do things or act certain ways, but we don't.

Which is relieving in a way, because then all there is left for us to do is experience.

So I invite you to take a little time and get still and quiet and let those feelings rise (arise? arrive? let it ride?), without any judgment on how you should be feeling or what you should be thinking. From the meanest and angriest to the saddest, most fearful or loving: they're all sensations that you can watch and feel move as waves, arising and always returning back home.

I'm curious whether or not you've talked with your friend about what may have gone wrong for her. Still, the most fertile ground is within the experience of your own sensations, without added stories.

It's courageous and a-typical and, paradoxically, so worthwhile.

I can imagine it feels pretty rotten, and I suspect there's some relief in there too. But don't take my word for it.

Thank you for writing and sharing your experience with us.


If questions arise from this writing, please email