The Best Man
by Beth Blair
October 15, 2017
It is funny what sparks the heart, what awakens the emotions and brings healing. I was scrolling through social media and I saw a friend’s post about celebrating his 25th wedding anniversary. I was in the process of sending the quick like and happy anniversary…and then it happened…the emotional gates opened and my heart, like the Grinch’s, grew three sizes that day…I saw him…the “Best Man” …my best friend from 8th grade through… well, several years of twists and turns of adolescences friendship, dating, sex, drinking and into adulthood (and then some).
I sent the groom a private message expressing my well wishes and was glad to see his young face, and the “Best Man’s” too…some things never change. You see, in this one moment, my life was reordered. I acknowledged a Truth I kept locked in a box, the box was my heart, for more than 35 years… “Best Man” was my first love. Others in my life may have known this, and that’s ok…I am owning it now. I had given that title to another boy, but that was just bullshit deflection and avoidance of an emotionally unavailable girl, who had many traumas to shut those emotions off. The only emotional expression allowed for many years were anger and sarcastic expression. Sure, I laughed, cried and had many ways to express experiences, but love was not something that I acknowledged as something I could have. I really am getting an up-close understanding of what it means to be emotionally unavailable. Sad to say, I am just now acknowledging this about myself. I have accused the men in my life of being just that… emotionally unavailable. I guess I will take that Mirror from the hand of the Universe and take a good look at the archetypes and messages I was getting spoon-feed by the Divine for years to heal my heart and soul. You see, I’ve got work to do here on this earth and have been working very hard to heal from what I thought the issues were…Well that side of the street is cleaned up (or clean enough) …now let’s move to Lover’s Lane and give that a good sweep!
So here is the sticky wicket…to really jump into this…there are some not so pretty things…there are stories that are not mine to share and shoulda-coulda-woulda…DIDN’T… so this is not the romance novel of girl meets boy, loses boy (or shoves him away again and again, with him choosing to go several times too) only to find him years later…this is the heroine’s journey into herself for owning her shit! Some of the trauma is directly mine and some is collateral damage from what I saw or experienced in my family and life. Now in my head there is a voice saying, “please don’t feel sorry for me.” It is also assuring me and you, dear reader, that everything is and will be as it should be. However, there are some unfortunate events. I don’t think there is a person on the planet who hasn’t experienced something that falls into the category of traumatic. Here is the thing…I will not diminish my experience because someone else has had it worse. Trauma is trauma…it certainly is not a badge to be won or a competition of stories and comparing battle scars.
Now the question comes, which way to go? I was out running errands and a children’s book caught my eye, Dr. Seuss, “Oh the Thinks You Can Think”. Thanks for the road sign, Universe. Yes, the thinks I can think…take me on many journeys and this abyss is going to be a deep dive. Well, I could go back and tell the friendship, dating story…but what does that really do? Not much, although the experiences are very valuable. What is really funny to me is the deflection, avoidance, diversion and all that is happening inside my head…Oh, the places I don’t want to go…Oh, it is right there…I can almost touch it and still, I look away! I have been “trying” (avoiding) writing this for days now. With each thought, something is shifting inside. It may be the best practice to pull this band-aid off slowly…and maybe just maybe the deflections and detours are valuable to the process because I am totally owning doing it. Most times, when deflecting or avoiding something the word denial comes up. This is not the river in Egypt! I am welcoming this process. I am staying in and I am inviting you into this experience with the hope that it is more than useful to both of us.
My closest friend is my conditioned tendency to run…to leave before I am left…to shut off…to not feel. Now here is the poetic humor of my life’s work…I help other with their felt experience. I use energy, that flows through me to help others (Reiki or Healing Touch or Chi). I have intuitive information drop into my head as guidance for others and I coach people with somatic experiences, feeling their bodies. What I am realizing is this energy is not like your favorite jeans, once put on you don’t feel them. My ability to help myself lies in my willingness to feel and experience, from my heart, all of this. I am Dorothy and I have had the power to heal all the time, I am the ruby slippers. There is no one coming to save me, heal me or help me. It is time to STOP waiting! There is no knight on a white horse, no prince charming, no superhero swooping in to save my day. There is not a person on the planet that can love me enough out of this… except ME. This doesn’t mean I haven’t received love from others or will not in the future. It is like those blue jeans, I haven’t been feeling the love by choice. The simple science of not feeling your clothing is because the brain would go into overload if we felt everything we experience at once. We take in way more information and sensation then we realize. When dealing with trauma, we train to protect, to numb out, to desensitize ourselves for survival. As I sit here typing, I can simply think the things I think and feel my fingers on the keys, feel my flannel pjs on my legs, feel the carpet under my feet and feel the tension in my body as I hold my breath in anticipation of feeling the feelings that are unfurling inside of me.
Back to “Best Man”. If I accept my feelings and ability to love deeply, then I can LOVE myself into the deepest expression of myself and awaken the powerhouse goddess and her dragon that lives inside my heart. She is a warrior that is fierce and tender, coming to share compassion in this world. She is here to teach and guide others to healing…walking with them in Love. She is here to experience great love, because she knows great LOVE. She is LOVE. “Best Man” modeled many faces for me over the years. He was that friend that I could confide all the heinous things that happened to me and around me, and how he saw me never changed. He could still look at me, seeing me and look in the eyes without either of us turning away. We could still laugh, lay in the yard looking at the stars or hangout on the guard rail at the end of the street. He was the guy that I thought was going to ride in, not on a horse but in a shiny Camaro, to stop a wedding, to save the day, to rescue the princess. The funny thing is, I never communicated my expectations or my bogus need to be saved. He was also the guy, that I measured every other guy in my life by…and because we left each other time and time again…I knew that I would have to leave before these other guys would leave me. So, I did. Well, none of that has worked! Let’s reframe, rewind, take off the rose-colored glasses and look at what my life has brought me…
If I acknowledge my ability to experience great love at 16, then I can experience it at 51. I CAN love myself enough (emphasis on “I”). I have always loved myself, but not ALL of ME. I have worked and worked to face the things that have shut me down. I am now ready to extend Love to the darkest recesses and receive Love. This is the practice I am now training in. When this experience came up a few days ago, I had the realization that I was numbing out. I could feel it. Now the thing about being numb is that you don’t feel. Well, I was feeling it and in that feeling I intentionally brought my awareness to my heart and verbally requested to open it. It was so very uncomfortable. I would hold my breath, I would sigh, tears came to my eyes and I would fight to choke them back….and then…I felt the spark, the bubbling begin and I started to open. Things started to happen, people started connecting, responding to requests that had been unanswered…I was feeling, I was seeing and I was being seen. I own all the archetypes that “Best Man” has modeled for me and continues to model for me. I appreciate all the aspects of myself that are opening, that I am meeting and have had inside of me all along. A mentor once said to me, “I can’t wait to see you once you realize you already know all that you need to do the work you are here to do. When you step into that powerful realization, there is nothing that will stop you!” I think I am taking the steps into this very sacred ground and for this I am eternally grateful. Certainly, there is more work to be done.