Sunday, January 17, 2021

Wordless Reconciliation

It had been a week since my Dad had died, and I was heading down for the funeral service. My back was not healed enough to make the drive all at once, so I broke it up with a hotel at the halfway point. When I was packing for the trip, I felt compelled to bring my Sacred Path Cards by Jamie Sams

Four months previously, I had received emails from my brother that hurt me deeply. Since then, he and I hadn't had any direct communication. Trying to resolve the issue via phone or email didn't play out well in my mind, especially since my emotions were still quite sensitive. While we were both active in supporting our Dad as he went through Hospice, all communication was with our sister. My brother's work schedule was such that his visits and mine never overlapped. 

Tomorrow my brother and I would be seeing each other for the first time since the email exchange. I was concerned that I hadn't made as much emotional progress as I'd hoped. I knew my brother had a good heart and a deep love of family, but the things he'd said to me made me wonder if that still applied to me. I knew that I had allowed his words to hurt me, and that I have a choice in that. I also knew that my ego was part of my problem. I'd tried processing my emotions numerous ways, but I couldn't let go of the desire to have him acknowledge how much he had hurt me.

A few weeks before, I had picked up the Sacred Path Cards. I had done three different readings so far and every reading, even the one where I just pulled a card out of the deck, gave me the Give-Away Ceremony card. This is a card about releasing, letting go, making a sacrifice, and surrendering. I knew this card was referring to the situation with my brother. 

I had arrived at my hotel a bit later than expected and I was tired, but I needed to do a card reading before going to bed. This was my last chance to get myself in a better state of mind before I saw my brother the next day. I opted for the Sacred Mountain Spread. This is a five card spread where the first four cards represent areas where a limitation or denial has been set and needs to be resolved to move forward. The first card I turned over was the Give-Away Ceremony card. I was surprised to get this card again...and yet not surprised. 

The card in this first position means "you are being asked to look at what you feel you cannot achieve in the card's lesson, hence your limitation is made clear for you." I knew I had to disregard my ego. It was time to let go of the need to have him acknowledge my hurt feelings. Those feelings were valid and needed to be seen, accepted, and honored, but that only needed to be done by me. 

As I was lying in bed, I brushed aside all the hurtful words and our differing belief systems, of which there are many, and focused instead on his soul and its connection to mine. In doing so, I was able to feel the love and goodness at his core once again, and I felt my heart finally start to heal. 

When I woke up the next morning, the release had happened. I no longer even needed to discuss with him what had transpired between us. The one remaining thing that I didn't know, was whether or not he had any continuing animosity towards me.

When we met in the parking lot at the church, we both greeted each other the way we always had, with smiles (behind facemasks) and heartfelt hellos. I didn't see or feel any change in his attitude towards me at all. This made me wonder if he even remembered the email incident and the things he had said to me. Perhaps he had been able to let go right away, while I struggled with the after effects for months. Regardless, I was glad to see the love in his eyes and hear the gentle greeting he always gave me.

The day went well and it was nice to have our whole family together to celebrate the memory of our Dad. When the time came for goodbye hugs, my brother and I embraced like we always did, and then he did something he'd never done before. He held me a little tighter and a little longer and said to me, "I love you, Jenne." In that action, I felt the words "I'm sorry" without needing to hear them. My feelings had been acknowledged, and all was now resolved between us.

Michael Singer points out the importance of separating your personal, emotional reaction from the problem at hand. Our emotions will always complicate and aggravate a situation. When we encounter a problem and respond with emotional upset, we now have two problems to contend with...the original problem, plus our emotions. When we learn to promptly accept and release our emotional reaction, we are then able to give our full attention to resolving the problem and we will make better decisions. 

Through this challenge, I've learned that true resolution comes by going within. I had to learn to acknowledge and let go of the "stuff" I'd acquired during my life that made me so sensitive...the hurt, betrayal, and insecurities that had built up over the years. The more I am able accept and release these pent up emotional states, the less other people's words and actions will bother me. In The Untethered Soul, he says, "Break the habit of thinking that the solution to your problem is to rearrange things outside. The only permanent solution to your problem is to go inside and let go of the part of you that seems to have so many problems with reality." 

My brother's words were not about me. They were about what was going on with him. The more I can release my emotional triggers, the more of a positive effect I can have on the world around me. Situations on the outside will regularly present themselves to me. By doing so, they are asking something of me. My intention going forward is to try make every moment that passes before me be better off for having done so. To achieve this, I have to let go of my emotional baggage and face every situation with love, understanding, and compassion. Not an easy goal for sure, but definitely worth the effort.

I have since done a few more readings with my Sacred Path Cards, and the Give-Away Ceremony card is no longer showing up. Soon it will be time for me to work through my next limitation, but until then I'm appreciating the newfound peace I've attained with what I've learned so far.

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