This morning as I was speaking with my sister on the phone, she shared a startling bit of wisdom that she hadn’t realized at the time was so brilliant. A heart attack survivor twice over, she has had several cardiac catheterizations, with the tube inserted through her wrist. As a result, there is scar tissue that remains. She found that when the doctor pushed on it to examine her afterward and during follow up exams, it hurt and she flinched in reaction. She then realized that if it hurt, she needed to stop pushing on it herself. “I don’t push on the boo boo now.”

Don’t push on the boo boo. How often do we pick off the scabs, dig at the wounds and push on areas of our lives that hurt?  Only every day. I know I do it. I explore to the nth degree, all of the woundings and worries I have encountered over the years, all of the shoulda woulda coulda, what if and if only actions I have taken or refrained from taking. I tell myself that by doing that, I can figure out how to prevent them from happening again. Not so.

The truth as I have come to experience it, is that people in our lives will do or say whatever, for their own reasons and perhaps as an offshoot of their own wounds, that have absolutely nothing to do with us. Our sense of worthiness to experience love, attention, affirmation or affection is not measured by another’s willingness or ability to offer those things. Neither is harsh treatment a reflection of our value to the world. I forget that at times.

Yesterday I met up with a friend at The Zen Den.; my office away from home for a cup of tea and talk. We were sitting on the front porch, basking in the early Spring sun and she told me that although she is an extrovert who can strike up a conversation with nearly anyone,  she is also highly sensitive and her feelings get hurt easily. Although most who know me, would easily validate the first, they would be surprised at the second. I haven’t quite mastered the second of don Miguel Ruiz’ Four Agreements.

Don’t Take Anything Personally
“Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

Releasing Resentments Heals Our Hearts

In my way too vivid imagination, I hold conversations with those with whom I have unresolved issues, playing out in my head what I would say and how I hoped the other person would respond. Amazingly, sometimes they do play out as scripted.

Some date back as far as my childhood. I recall an encounter in 6th grade when being teased by a boy on whom I had a tween-aged crush. Many years later, with the advent of, I got in touch with him and shared (laughing, of course) what I had been feeling all those years ago. His response was, “I’m sorry if I caused you any angst. In my family, we teased a lot.”

The next one to go was a memory from around 14 or 15. It had to do with a snide comment made by one of the ‘cool girls’ in Hebrew School in response to my father calling me back into Yom Kippur services when we were hanging outside talking about typical teen fare of boys and clothes. Somehow she and I reconnected and although she didn’t remember the incident, she apologized for her snarkiness.

Yet another was someone else, who in my 20’s owed me what back then was a great deal of money. Fast forward a few years ago and she reached out to make amends. She told me what had been going on behind the scenes in her life back then that contributed to her choices.We have re-established a friendship.

A few years ago, a professional acquaintance did a 180 and pulled support that she had kindly offered before. I was bewildered, since I had thought we had a reciprocal ‘one hand washes the other’ relationship. It occurred without any overt provocation on my part and when I inquired about what had happened, she was evasive. Every time I saw or heard her name, I would cringe. Recently, she came clean and told me what prompted her actions. I have made peace there too.

More recent relationships have brought with them some ouches that I am still healing. I am learning to accept that I am not the center of the Universe, nor am I ready for sainthood,  as much as my petulant, pouting side would like to believe it is so. Letting go and allowing boo boos to breathe has been part of the good medicine that has helped my body, mind and spirit to heal.




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