Safe Haven

Healing is not linear.

Perhaps what is not commonly talked about during grieving is: the intense, razor-sharp reminders of the trauma associated with the person you are grieving. Because, relationships are not black and white. You could deeply love someone that has deeply hurt you.

Healing is not linear.

Some days are harder than others. They require much more self-regulating strategies beyond a meditation or even a walk. On days as such, like today, I go to my imaginary safe haven until I have convalesced enough to soldier on again.

On a meadow of luscious green grass, overlooking the ocean and the city, I hide.
Eyes closed, warmed by the gentle morning sun, my heart slows to the cadence of waves ebbing and flowing.
I take some deep breathes, inviting the crisp, dewy smell of early summer to fill my lungs, to displace the anxiety that parks stiffly there.

Her sadness was ceaseless, but she kept it quarantined in a governable little quarter of her heart. It was the best she could do.

The Signature of All Things
Memories are also a good place to hide


Our Warring Self vs. Loving Self

The beauty of the world which is so soon to perish, has two edges, one of laughter, one of anguish, cutting the heart asunder

Virginia Woolf

Within most of us, there is a lovingself, and a warringself. While our loving-self endows us with bottomless source of love, our warring-self shelters our hearts from the sometimes abrasive and hostile world. Undeniably, both of them serve a critical purpose in life. However, in order to not sever and wound the people we love, we need to be able to discern when to let our loving-self surface.

Hardened by reality, it is common for us to forget how to lay down our warring selves—especially when we are with those who are closest to us. We sometimes find ourselves in heated conversations with fingers pointing, guns blazing, occupying as much physical space as possible, only to camouflage how small we actually feel inside.

“Why can’t you just see that I am hurting?” We scream loudly and hopelessly in our heads. But only in our heads.

So HOW do we stop our warring, raging-self before we irrevocably damage the relationship? HOW do we summon our loving-self amid such blinding emotions?

It only takes a split second—a willful, courageous split second—to picture your loved ones as their child-selves: benevolent and hurt. Hurt. Because after all, anger, frustration, and resentment, are all byproduct of hurt and fear. If we can take a moment to see beyond the warring-self of our loved ones, then we could change the trajectory of the conversation, and even the entire dynamic of the relationship.

No, it is not easy. But nothing worth fighting for comes easy, does it?