When I started writing this post it had been 3 years, 8 months and 10 days since the bomb-drop of October 18, 2014. I never thought I would recover, never thought my heart would heal. But to my surprise it had healed…at least that’s what I thought. There will always be a scar and the wound is tender if poked, but I believed the past was firmly behind me. I had written…I’m hesitate to say it out loud for fear of jinxing something…but….here goes….MY. HEART. IS. HEALED!
Well, I thought that old heartache was gone, I really did! It had been weeks, maybe months since I felt that, way too familiar, pang rear its ugly head. I was confident that part of my life was over. I didn’t expect buying new underwear at Costco would cause such a reaction in me. It happened after I got home and showed my purchase to Husband. Thankfully I don’t get triggered like I used and I’m now able to recognize what it is and let it go much faster. And to my husbands defense, he did nothing to cause what was happening inside my head & heart. He was supportive and understanding as we worked together to help me get through it.
When your partner has any type of affair it’s tough. I don’t care if it lasted one night, a week, several months or years, it’s one of the most devastating events a relationship can go through. Infidelity wreaks havoc on your self-confidence, causes trust issues and is just plain tough to get past. In my situation, his affair was 10 months long with a woman 18 years younger. In counseling sessions Dr. Parker would remind me that during Husband’s affair the other woman had information I didn’t have and used it to entice him even more. That’s where the underwear comes in, I’ve never been a thong girl, just too uncomfortable to me. Tried them once but walked around constantly feeling like something was wedged where it shouldn’t be! My underwear choices have been on the more practical side with comfort my number one priority. But…I have always tried to find pretty when looking for comfort, just not the all out seduction inducing kind. Maybe I should have paid more attention in that department. But, and Husband would 100% agree, just because your wife doesn’t wear a thong does not make it OK to cheat! So…when I brought my pretty cotton underpants home I had a flash of what she must have wore and how my choice of undergarments lacked in the sexy department. Ouch!
Get Rid of the Sediment
Each morning before I meditate I read the days message from The Book of Awakening by Mark Nepo. In his June 18th message Mark writes…“After years of struggling to let my painful feelings out, I’m learning that the other side of this, which is just as essential to my well-being, is to NOT let the hurt or depression or anxiety set up camp inside of me. …the purpose of surfacing these powerful feelings is to continually empty my heart and mind of its sediment, so that new life can make its way into me.” The sediment Mark talks about had set up house in my heart and spirit. I felt I needed to shut down to protect myself and stay safe. Buddhism and other doctrines will tell you the exact opposite is what you need to do. Acknowledge, look at, explore and release those negative feelings. It’s a challenge, but with focus, dedication, patience, kindness, self-care and a little help it’s definitely doable.
Pema Chodron the famous Buddhist spiritual teacher talks openly about the emotional trauma infidelity in her marriage caused her. She divorced her husband but she experienced the same fear, rage and pain most of us deal with when experiencing this kind of upheaval. And like many of us, she tried lots of different ways to heal herself. Lion’s Roar published an interesting article Pema wrote entitled “Transforming the Heart of Suffering” which discusses one way to not only heal yourself but also help others in the process. It is a Buddhist meditative practice using your breath called tonglen. I have read about tonglen and practiced it myself with wonderful results, each time feeling lighter, more open and compassionate. Wikipedia describes tonglen as Tibetan for giving and taking, or sending and receiving. Read Pema’s article, it will explain everything simply and completely.
My heartache IS mostly gone. There will be other setbacks but each time is less dramatic, shorter and I know I will get through it. I am no longer shut down, numb or wondering when another shoe will drop. I am open again to love, joy, compassion, I have my sense of humor back and can feel every emotion. I am living life again and it is glorious!!!
Till next time…
Peace & Love,
Great article!! it’s touching to hear about your journey. I’m so glad you’re on the path to healing.
I also LOVE Mark Nepo and Pema Chodren!! They’ve helped me so much along my own path!
All the best to your with your healing,
Thanks so much Bryn! Loved your article in Tiny Buddha. I worked for many years as a Juvenile Probation Counselor helping kids with mental and behavior health issues get back on track. Tough but rewarding. I admire anyone with a passion to work with troubled kids. Glad you went back. We have lots in common!
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