“Your ego is not your amigo.” ~Michael Bernard Beckwith
The rest of that week reminded me of a time I’d attempted to surf in conditions well beyond my level of expertise. Each time I managed to surface above the whitewater of my ego, another challenging experience pulled me right back under.
When I finally got safely to shore, I caught my breath. My heart rate slowed to its normal pace. Then I looked at the sea I’d all but drowned in and thought, “That doesn’t look so bad. Maybe I should go back in!”
In this case, the safe shore was an oceanfront hotel and jumping back into the whitewater involved trying to help my boyfriend get out. That wasn’t going to happen – he was in too deep. I’m a good swimmer but I’m not trained to rescue others. I’m a life coach, not a lifeguard.
The details of those days might read more compellingly than anything I’ve written here so far, but the purpose of this blog was never entertainment. I will greatly summarize the rest of the drama in my next few posts so I can get to the good stuff: the healing.
That week in Florida, it felt more like I was acting in someone else’s script. The director handed me pages of scenes I didn’t want any part of and explained the background.
“Every single unresolved interpersonal challenge you’ve had in your past is going to get triggered this week. You’ll recognize some but most will just be buzzing around in your unconscious mind. You’ll project most of it onto your boyfriend. He’ll be doing the same with you. And…action!”
“I don’t want to play this role!” I protested. “I don’t want to fight with someone I love. I don’t want to completely lose control of my emotions. I don’t want to rage and scream and slam doors like an angst-ridden teenager. I’ll go to that sunrise Kundalini yoga class on the beach and see some dolphins. But the rest of this script sucks! You must have cast the wrong woman – I can’t possibly play someone this unevolved!”
Yet I managed to do so – and rather convincingly. I even tossed a key to my boyfriend’s home into the parking lot behind him. Convinced by his own script that I’d been meaning to hit him with it, he kicked me out of his place.
I wasn’t sure I had enough available credit remaining to get to the airport the next evening let alone book another hotel stay. But I knew the level of anxiety I was experiencing was about much more than monetary stress.
I reached out to a couple of friends who are EFT coaches, both of whom availed themselves to me that day. I am forever grateful for those sessions, which unsurprisingly revealed that the level of anxiety I was experiencing did not actually stem from what was happening with my boyfriend.
My dramatic emotional reaction showed this even went beyond unresolved feelings from past romantic relationships. His words and actions were now triggering severe fear from my childhood, along with other deeply repressed emotions.
One of the coaches even helped me trace my cough and high fever, only the second illness I’d experienced in over a decade but noticeably the second in a month, to a serious bout of pneumonia I’d had as a kid. I couldn’t yet associate a life event, but knew there was a significant connection.
The next morning, I dragged myself to the yoga class. Kundalini and the sight of dolphins playing so close to shore helped pull me into a higher emotional state. I reached out to my boyfriend.
Unfortunately, I did so by text, where so much can be misinterpreted even when you speak the same primary language.
I thought he broke up with me via his response.
He thought I broke up with him via my ensuing “It’s better to have loved and lost” Facebook post.
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