Finding time to know, right down to your bones, that mistakes are okay and that when your heart is open nothing is lost, is a life lesson that gives you access to energy and insight that you didn’t know was possible.
I’ll never forget, many years ago, first reading the following brief poem by Walt Whitman. In it, the Good Grey Poet offered powerful wisdom cloaked in the simplest of forms …
Sometimes with One I Love
by Walt Whitman
Sometimes with one I love I fill myself with rage for fear I
effuse unreturn’d love,
But now I think there is no unreturn’d love, the pay is
certain one way or another,
(I loved a certain person ardently and my love was not
Yet out of that I have written these songs.)
You see, it’s not what happens (or has happened) that matters, in the end. No, what defines us and shapes our path is how we respond along the way.
I like to think of it as a 3-step process:
- First, open your heart to the lesson in the moment. This doesn’t take away the pain or loss that you may experience, but it fundamentally changes your relationship to it.
- Second, explore the new insights that the situation presents. Ask yourself what you need to let go of and what you are learning that you will carry along on your journey.
- Third, validate your efforts! This is so important. The work you are doing is difficult and often solitary. You need to be your own best friend and cheerleader. Really celebrate what you are doing – let yourself feel warmly toward yourself!
When you open your heart to life’s lessons and whatever feelings accompany them, you are recalibrating the “size” of things. You are, in effect, saying, “I am bigger than this and I can deal with it and learn from it.” This is a fundamental tool in owning your life and not letting change, loss, disappointment, frustration, or overwhelm get the better of you.
You place yourself in a position of great power when you know, right down to your bones, that nothing is lost!© Copyright 2011 Paula Eder, Ph.D.