On the last year of a long & hard journey

Now, I’m not a big one to dwell on the negative, or the need for healing, but sometimes it’s important to share this part of our journeys.  It’s not all about glitter and rainbows, and the tough stuff is often what makes us the best teachers.

I’ve been feeling a shift in some difficult stuff I went through, recently, and thinking about how long it can take to heal from a deep hurt.

My first nonprofit venture ended really, really badly.  I lost a lover, a lot of friends and huge amount of confidence, and felt terribly betrayed by people I’d trusted.  I thought I would never recover and the hurt went right to my soul.  Lots of ouchy.

This was six years ago.

I remember a housemate of mine telling me it takes seven years to heal a broken heart.   If he was right, I’m in the last year of healing from this experience, which feels pretty accurate.

I’ve moved through the process of forgiveness, letting go, seeing the positive and moving on.  All the stuff you need to do, all the stuff that seemed impossible at the start of this journey.  I’ve learnt a great deal about trust, openness and the fact that people aren’t always what they seem.  I’ve let go of a lot of bitterness and anger, though there’s still some to go, if I’m totally honest.

Of course, this has only been a small part of my life story for the past six years.  The rest has been much more interesting, and uplifting, and generally splendid.

My wildest dreams have been very busy blossoming!  The things I thought I had lost, I have regained and then some.  I sometimes feel a great sorrow that, if those people back then had been what they seemed to be, and believed in the dream we were creating together, they would have been sharing this dream with me right now.  I also realise that I’m very, very lucky they aren’t!  

I have treasured the friends that did stand by me and have forgiven the ones who didn’t, understanding that they are no more perfect than I am.  I’ve got over the need for the apologies I will never get.

The last and hardest hurt was that, after being duped by a man who pretended to be spiritual and kind, I withdrew and detached from my own spirituality.  Every time I tried meditating, or anything like that, at the back of my mind was the sense that it was all a lie.

That hurt isn’t completely healed yet, but it’s getting there.   The other night, I realised the medicine I need.

I thought I had found a teacher, a genuine person who I could work alongside to do really positive things.  What I had, in fact, found was somebody who manipulated people’s spiritual awakening for his own ends – money, sex, social status & power.

These ‘gurus’ are not uncommon and anyone on a spiritual quest is going to encounter one of them, eventually.

The worst legacy they leave is the inability to trust another teacher.  To tell the difference between human fallibility and outright deception.

The other night, I realised the answer in one of those flashes of inspiration.  The only way to find the teacher I was looking for, is to BECOME that teacher.  To become everything that person wasn’t.  To step into the role of what these charlatans pretend to be, but to do it for real, from my heart & wounded soul.

To become my own idea of a guru – honest and open about my shortcomings and humanity.  Diving deep whilst keeping grounded in humour and fun.  Being clear on what I need and expect from people.  Keeping my promises to those who count on me and, if I mess up, to say sorry.  To never, ever betray the trust that is placed in me.

I can see so much healing in that, for me and for those I teach.  The thought of it excites me & makes me all glittery and rainbow-y 🙂

Like most things, it seems this last stage of healing, is an inside job!


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On the last year of a long & hard journey — 6 Comments

  1. glad to hear you have come to such a positive place, life is tough at times Jani, and deep hurt takes a long time to recover from. Delighted you have found peace with that. hugs S x

  2. Thanks for the hugs! It’s a choice isn’t it – find peace or carry the bitterness. I’m not up for a life of bitterness, got too much joyous fun to have 🙂

  3. The ‘friends’ we loose along the way are not really friends though are they? not that its any easier to get over. Seems to be a lesson on appreciating the true friends, but I find it harder to trust as a result.

    So glad you are doing so well, I think you are already teaching and helping many.

  4. I used to be a regular churchgoer, very sure in my faith and like you I felt that there was a support network around me, but my husband had an affair, and it killed our marriage and that is when I discovered that all my friends were only there if I lived the life they thought I should. They wanted me to continue with the marriage, to forgive and forget and when I chose to divorce it seemed that I had done something that was not to be forgiven, in fact the minister, who had been up to that point a compassionate caring man, suggested I was on the route to hell.

    I was fortunate that I realised that happily married men don’t have affairs, it is my proudest achievement that I did not dissolve into bitterness, and that I realised my two children, then aged 3 and 5 needed to look up to and have a positive relationship with their father. They actually had to ask me when they were 18 why I had got divorced because we seemed such good friends. It wasn’t easy, I had no family support at all, and a full time job that involved being on call 100 hours a week. I was sent the most wonderful girl in the form of a hungarian Au-Pair and she really did give me all the friendship and support I needed, we are still friends today.

    Like you, I lost my faith, I could not fathom out where my God stood in all this, I find it hard to go into a church community and feel a slight unease at the friendliness that seems on offer. However, I don’t think I was ever abandoned, God or the creator was there for me at every step, sending people my way to take care of me, (like my au-pair). While I did not talk to him for years, I don’t think he was ever very far from me, patiently waiting and loving.

    My spirituality is removed from Christianity, I don’t feel comfortable with the element of condemnation that appears in the bible, it is so contradictory from the unconditional love that comes from the source, the connection I feel with nature, and the gentle bubbling joy that we should all feel because that is what we are.

    Like you, forgiveness takes time, like peeling an onion, we have to let go in stages, more importantly we need to forgive ourselves, for trusting, or our judgement, one of the biggest things I have had to forgive myself for is not speaking up for myself but I learnt tremendous things about who I am – despite tremendous pressure, I still remained a caring compassionate person – but the lesson I needed to learn was to be as compassionate to myself as I was to others.

    They say the best revenge is to live well, and I believe that with my heart, it is so important not to let yesterday steal any joy and happiness from today.

    Thanks for sharing, it has really been uplifting to see that I am not the only one struggling and more importantly, overcoming.

  5. What a beautiful response, I’m so moved by the similarities in our journey. These hard times do, I think, teach us far more than the fun stuff!