Monday, April 30, 2012

Feed Your Soul, Heal with Love

Just about 2 years ago, I went through a painful experience in life. I broke up from an almost 4 year long relationship, which really extended to an even longer deep friendship - the kind that the best friend forever commercials are made of. During this time, I had relied too heavily on receiving food for my soul from this one person. When there wasn't enough food for him to give, I was dissatisfied while all the food I was giving, was being trashed away.

At the time, I didn't know how life would change and how I would adapt to this brave new world in which I was by myself and didn't have someone to lean on. What I didn't realize is that my support system had been kept out by me for almost 4 years. That summer, May 2010, I was overwhelmed by the love and care my friends offered. People I hadn't heard from since college to those whom I did count as my close friends - I could not imagine a more meaningful blessing in life.

2 years later, I spent the weekend with my best friend and her husband in LA. While we had a great weekend of hiking, partying and beaching, when I landed back in Chicago I was a new person. My batteries had been replaced, not just recharged. You know when you have old batteries - they need more frequent and more and shorter-lasting charging - it's just time for new batteries then!

I was calibrated back to a laughing person who knows no other emotion as well as she knows happiness. My mom told me growing up that I never cried as a child. I did grow up with a small share of challenges - from my parents building their career from scratch to the arguments and differences, which could hopefully have led them to understand each other better over time, alas, the opposite was true - they drifted further apart. All through it, I was one constant happy force, as my mom puts it, who brought happiness to moments we still treasure from a couple of decades ago.

Two years ago, and possibly even during the relationship, I became a jaded and skeptical person. I had run out of any love and happiness to offer. I stuck to the concept that when my own jug is empty, I have nothing to give to others. And then I took time to heal. I built a list of things I wanted to do. Places I wanted to see. Experiences and memories I wanted to build. And it helped. But it wasn't all of the answer.

When I returned from LA, the love I felt, the genuine messages telling me how much I was missed, the posts to common friends about how nice it was to meet me, reconnected me to the former me - or should I say, the core of me. I had added layers of fear, skepticism, disbelief, detachment, negativity, and a lot of layers of worldly feelings that made it hard for me to dip into our core - of purity, faith and happiness. I also realized that happiness is inside of each of us and all we need to do is find people, things and events to help project and express that emotion. The more we do that, the more we realize how happy we really are and are meant to be.

I also realized how important it is to invest in yourself. And to surround yourself with love.