Night & Day
Believe it or not, my spirituality was born out pain and anger. Thirteen years (unlucky 13) in an abusive relationship and I had finally dug deep enough to find the courage to free myself.
I could ask why God punished me during that period, but that is not my nature to blame … at least not for long! My glass is half full and refillable! Almost seven years later, I recognize that:
- like attracts like and;
- out of the ashes of that negative experience, came a stronger, smarter, deeper and more positive Lisa
The first part of this story is realizing that like attracts like – which is NOT victim blaming – it’s about accepting my responsibility for my role in that relationship or any other relationship, even if it is only a brief exchange with a stranger at a stoplight.
I met my ex a month after my Dad died. I had left one job for another, my father diagnosed with stomach cancer the day I resigned. I lost touch with friends and my support system, while trying to prove my worth in a highly competitive field. And I loved my Dad very much. After a nine-month battle with cancer, he gave up. I think our first loss of someone that close to us is the hardest. We just aren’t prepared for the void they leave in our lives. Needless to say, I was at the lowest point of my life.
Thirteen years later, I walked out that door and never once looked back. But I did crawl through its dark corners and poke around. I had to understand HOW and WHY this abuse happened to me. Why didn’t I see it? Why didn’t I do anything? Why did *I* think *I* could fix it? It was my first – and only – exposure to an abusive partner. I did counselling and read, researched and tried to understand on my own what made him tick. I had to crawl through that quagmire before I could put my own life under the microscope.
One month after I left, I read Verbal Abuse by Patricia Evans. I had seen the book, been drawn to it – yes the book did call out to me- but I chose to ignore it at the time, never picking it up because I wouldn’t have defined our relationship as just verbally abusive. He didn’t use some of the words I associated with verbal abuse so it wasn’t on my radar. I finally bought the book in paperback … and was completely unprepared for the effects it would have.
It was like this man had taken Abuse 101 and passed all the tests she noted in the book and said all the lines she listed. I was floored. Completely sidelined. I had been duped. Framed. Even worse … betrayed by my own internal belief system.
RAGE doesn’t even do justice to the depth of my ANGER. I was FURIOUS. MAD at him. MAD at myself. Viciously ANGRY at the world. That feeling encased me in a black shroud of hate and anger. I was so completely turned inwards, that I almost didn’t recognize how my thoughts, feelings and words were mirrored back at me. If there was ever a time where I truly hated the world, and it hated me back, it was then. Anger spilled out where ever I looked; on the roads, at the grocery store, in all of my relationships, even with my dog. Carly reacted to my anger with her own. For the first and only time, I saw my sweet chocolate lab puppy bare her teeth and growl at someone.
Angry people seemed to pop up everywhere, and made me more angrier. Aggressive drivers pulling downright scary manoeuvres far beyond the norm. People doing everything to make my driving experience “hell” and I gave it right back to them. Aggression in the checkout line that almost came to blows. I look back and marvel that I made it through that week safely. Such angry, hateful thoughts in my head!
Then, Matt – only twelve years old at the time – provided the silver lining. He needed a book to read for English and asked me about a book I had suggested called Night by Elie Weisel chronicling his Holocaust survival. While searching online to provide him with a summary, I found a discussion between Elie and his Rabbi. Elie raged at his Rabbi about the Nazis – and how he wanted to round all of them up and torture them. His words seethed and bubbled over all the injustices waged against Jewish people. Elie ranted vehemently until his Rabbi said “Oh. So you have become one of them.” … and just like Elie did, I understood.
(Side note: Read this excerpt from Wikipedia’s entry on Night by Elie Weisel … how eloquent!
Night is the first in a trilogy—Night, Dawn, Day —marking Wiesel’s transition during and after the Holocaust from darkness to light, according to the Jewish tradition of beginning a new day at nightfall. “In Night,” he said, “I wanted to show the end, the finality of the event. Everything came to an end—man, history, literature, religion, God. There was nothing left. And yet we begin again with night.”)
I realized that I was spreading and perpetuating hate and anger … and I didn’t want to be that person. Right then and there in that moment, I chose love and compassion over hate and rage. I forgave my ex. No, I will never forget nor will I spend another moment as his partner in that dance of anger. But I let go of all the rage I was feeling. I love the inspirational quote that says “holding a grudge is like taking poison and expecting the other person to die” – because that is very true! That kind of hate kills you from the inside out.
And just like that, I was free. The cloud lifted. Feeling guilty for unleashing my demon out into the world, I looked for ways to reverse that darkness. I became the most courteous driver I could be, smiled and talked to everyone I stood in line next to, offered kind words and help when I could, enjoyed “pay it forward” moments like buying the coffee for the person in the car behind me in the Tim Horton’s line or offering a dime to a stranger who was short ten cents for her ice cream. No expectations – just being kind and considerate to anyone or anything that crossed my path. And you know what? The people who crossed my path were kinder and more compassionate! My energy matched theirs …
I started reading the Secret and the Law of Attraction and realized it was true! While the book simplifies the whole positive begets positive message, it’s on the right path. If you aren’t ready to call it spiritual, it’s a good place to start.
The kinder I became, the more kindness I received. That energy or vibration attracted like energy. It’s not just a chance meeting … this energy intricately and seamlessly weaves the threads of all our lives into cords of similar vibrations. It determines everything, including who you rendezvous with at intersections. Isn’t that a sobering thought? We aren’t as disconnected from this universal experience as we thought. Even an island touches the sea.
Think of someone who has fallen out of your life, and you will see where your vibrations no longer synchronize. Like water ebbs and flows, we match up with those at the same water level that we are at.
It was a heady experience. To suddenly understand that I have much more control of this ride through life than I realized. It’s much more than getting up in the morning and going through the motions of your physical life. Take great care of your spirit as well. The boundaries of our bodies are well defined, but what if the intangible aspects of our being are less defined?
As I said earlier, this does not lay blame at your feet for all that goes wrong in the world. God gave all of us free will … and sometimes that free will is not kind.
Ever had that feeling that something isn’t quite right? How do you instinctively know something or someone is bad? What if … their word, thought, energy, vibration (whatever you want to call it) really did bump up against your word, thought, energy, vibration? Sure, we can try to explain it by one of the other senses, but sometimes you just know something isn’t right …
While still in my abusive relationship, I turned to running to alleviate stress. One morning I got up extra early to get a 5am 5k run in before work. While along Harwood, I instinctively knew something was up. I turned around and sure enough, there was a guy running towards me. It took all of .3 seconds for pure fear to surge through me – that pin prick in your veins as adrenaline hits your bloodstream – to know he meant me harm. That second suspended itself in space and time. This dude wasn’t dressed for running, had his hoodie up and I knew he was coming after me. I shot across the street into a residential area … and he followed. I zigged and zagged through a few streets before I saw someone coming out of their home … I ran that way and my follower took off in the other direction.
I can analyze that run six ways to Sunday and explain that I heard him or saw something … but deep down I know it was a visceral gut reaction to something else. I felt it.
The scientist in me wrestled with that thought for years! HOW did I feel it? Did something crackle between us? Did I pick up his evil intentions like a radio signal? How? This wasn’t the only time I had an experience like this, but it had a profound effect on me.
We all agree that a positive attitude brings forth good results. That means more than pasting a smile on your face and saying you are positive, all the while dying inside. You have to dig deep and feel it, think it, visualize it and live it.
You can’t donate $2 to a beggar, all the while muttering under your breath that they are probably completely healthy individuals and just too lazy to work. That isn’t charity. We have all seen those stories of panhandlers who fake it and make a killing. But what about the ones who aren’t faking it? Give with a pure heart when you can. Without judgment. If they are fooling you, that is their cross to bear.
You can’t fool God.
Don’t believe me? Try it. Try for a week or longer. Change your response to whatever is making you angry, frustrated, resentful, mean or give off an otherwise negative experience. Find some way to lift yourself up above it and react with genuine happiness, patience, compassion and love. For people, for animals, for the environment. Start with smaller experiences. Live with gratitude. I wouldn’t have been able to reverse my thoughts in my bigger problem – my abusive relationship. But curiously enough, that resolved as I put a different energy out there. Your vibe does indeed attract your tribe.
I can guarantee that your world will be a better place.
One of my all-time favourite TED talks is Amy Cuddy’s “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are”. Watch it and understand how we can change our own mind …There is so much I can dissect in Amy’s talk (future blog post!) but start with the tiny tweaks. Fake it ’till you become it. Keep filling your life with happiness, patience, compassion and love … and that is who you will become. I also invite you to think about how this message transmits to others once it leaves us … It’s more than just our verbal and non-verbal language.
Please drop me a line and let me know how your good vibrations make your life better!
Fresh up tomorrow are some of the books I’ve read and techniques I’ve used to explore this positive energy experience.
Read the Fox blog: Hear what the Fox really has to say
© Lisa Jobson 2017