“The wounds of the past have sacrificed the heart. The mind has cramped closed. The body has entrophied in hard-bellied distrust. But the feeling of loss, and being lost, eventually gets our attention and we see that no one can make us happy but us. And we begin to take responsibility. We begin to build the capacity to respond instead of react. And we focus on our resistance and recognize that relationship is work on ourselves. Taking “the whole catastrophe of relationship” into your merciful heart and investigative mind so that the next one will not be a repeat of the last one.” - Stephen and Ondrea Levine
When I was still trying to save an unsalvageable marriage, my counselor told me “your relationship is action and reaction.” I had no idea what it meant, but later on I was to see that we did react and not respond to everything the other did.
There was so much I pushed out and pushed away. I was unable to take the issues and the faults and my own issues into my “merciful heart.” I was too busy judging and being judged.
I was the walking wounded. I was so cut off from myself because of past wounds and betrayals. I could not soften up or trust anyone, let alone myself. I was hard and bitter and played out my inner torment in relationships for quite a number of years.
The difference between being the hard-bellied distrusting person and the open person who found soft love, was a lot of stepping back and stepping away from judgment.
I stopped judging myself harshly and stopped allowing others to do the same. I had my teachers, my shoot-straight-from-the-hip teachers who taught me about me, but they did not judge. They were straight up and sometimes harsh, but never cruel.
I learned to step back, to take responsibility for me, to soften to me and eventually to others…to stop cutting myself off the way others had…to stop disdaining myself as others had…to stop hiding the parts of me I thought others might find offensive.
I eventually accepted all of me…and took responsibility and softened my heart. It required a lot of time alone…a lot of time to quiet the stormy mind and the whirling dervish within…a lot of time to observe myself, my thoughts, my actions and my feelings…I had to give myself time to heal and to be replenished by me and only me…after I took these steps to melt my own heart and take down my own walls, I found my true love.