There have been at least 3 times in the past 10 years where I left a community b/c of what I view as a break of integrity in the leadership and it’s left me feeling alone, standing alone. This week, as I was reflecting on my relationships and things that were left unsaid and untold, these examples came up, and I know that I have some work to do around this- Why do I feel the need to hold people to such high regard? I know I have always done this, but WHY? If I’m going to be loving and compassionate to all beings- why have I not allowed these people to be HUMAN and complicated and multi -dimensional? But if I do accept everyone warts and all, does that somehow perpetuate things I don’t believe in , morals and values that are so deeply aligned with my heart? Is this just a way I isolate myself from others when I get too close? Am I just too afraid of conflict or arguments to keep having conversations about it? OR do all things TRULY have a beginning, middle and an end? Is it okay to let people go from your life? Even if it’s lonelier on the other side? What about my questioner tendencies? I have never been with to just go with the crowd.. does this impact how I see the world?
AM I “punishing” them, b/c I punish myself when I “mess” up? If our relationships outward are mirrors for our inner relationship.. what do I have to learn here?
As I wander into this, my face scrunches, my stomach churns, SHIT. I have so much more work to do.
I had a wonder progression mentor and friend. We had been through a lot together in our teaching community and as activists in DC Public Schools. I truly admired and looked up to this person, she taught me SO MUCH. After we had a major traumatic work incident which left us on opposite sides of the field, I never saw her the same and she lost respect for me. I resigned from my position, I believe she saw this as weakness, I believe I did it on moral principle b/c I was not okay with how the entire thing had been played out.
The relationship ended and I have not heard from her since.
I never reached out again, nor she to me. This relationship was a major part of my daily life for many years, I adored this person and when it all fell apart, I was destroyed inside. I had dreams about her for years, coming to talk to me, forgiving me. Ended that relationship put a huge wall between me and my entire career and work community. I was isolated and so many of the people I worked with, respected and admired, I never saw again.
Many years after that, a similar tale. I was heavily involved with a very wonderful community that I adored, that I had given my heart and soul to. I believed in the teacher/leader and felt very much a part of something very special. I gave my heart and soul over to it.. actually, too much. As I began to spend more and more time with this person and this lineage, I saw things that frightened me emotionally and I began to question some things of integrity beyond what our experiences were. I allowed this person’s teachings and thoughts to deeply impact MY thoughts and actions. I found myself wondering if she would accept X about me or Y about me. I found myself scared of the approval of this person and I found myself not really connecting with the direction that the practice and the teachings were taking me. Something did not feel right, and I was too scared to stand up for it at the time. Eventually, there was an upsetting situation which brought a lot to the surface. I could no longer be affiliated with something that was saying one thing and yet, doing another all while I was in my own inner turmoil about why I was even still hanging around. Again, leaving the mentor, teacher, leader whom I had grown to love and respect and admire, and walking away from a community of relationships that I really valued. Leaving this felt extremely painful. Again, dreams full of conversations that were never going to be had, stomach tightness when I think of what went down. The whole situation foggy and unclear b/c all parties and all sides have never fully been heard. Shutting it all down, at the time was the easiest way out of it all. I just needed to run away and gather myself and find myself, I had become so caught up in the whole thing- maybe my ego? My identity? My intuition cried out- PLEASE! Take a break, take a breath, you are in here, love- find yourself!
This past year, again, I saw something “behind” the curtain that was deeply disturbing to me, and I walked away from a community that brought a lot of joy and ease into my life. I really did not give this person another chance, or an opportunity to explain b/c I just really wanted to hide from it all. This time, it has left me- again, on my own in many ways. I do not say anything mean or unkind to this person, or this community at ALL! but.. I know in my heart, it did not feel right to have this relationship continue. This time, it was not about me or an integrity breech that happened to me, but rather- someone else. I saw the impact that this person had on someone else, the inappropriate behavior and I put my foot down. No, I won’t be a part of this community anymore.
And so here I am. I know there are MANY more examples of this but these 3 are the ones that are floating around now.
What if I was approaching 40 and had all of these smoothed over- would that feel better? If today was my last day here on earth, would any of these matter to me? Or would I be able to truly let them go? Is it time to write some letters, pick up the phone and have some courageous conversations? I’m just questioning the integrity, my own expectations and what’s under this all? Is it okay to chose a life holding tight to believes that it leaves you on your own?
How have I been small minded? Judgmental? Do I feel likeI have to be right?
As I move into 2018, I want to explore this. I want to be part of a healing, loving compassionate world – especially as I PONDER Harmony for my word of the year.
Harmony to me, is living in the wholeness, the fullness of our lives, and If I am going to be honest, these are some of the darkest, most painful episodes that I have had the past few years-so that means, for inner harmony- I must be