Like the plum tree, we all have a few knots on our “I” tree where the branches have sharp turns. Many times we may not realize that our “I” is broken because we carefully sealed the break with anything from rubber cement to actual cement and then forgot about it. But now, we realize that there is a knot in our “I” tree, which is causing us pain. We want to uncover and heal that injured spot, but how can we do it?
Step #1: ACKNOWLEDGE – The first step is to acknowledge that something really happened. No excuses. Something happened to you or you did something to someone else. It was real. Dissolve the layers of cement and discover what sent your branch off in a new direction. Denial can never heal.
Step #2: LOOK – Really look at that branch from every direction, up and down, side to side, forward and back. No blame, no excuses, just look. Gradually, your perception will widen, your consciousness will stretch, and you will find yourself looking from a different perspective. Indifference may turn to sorrow, anger to compassion. Feel it, express it, write it. Your looking is bringing you healing.
I went through this process just today. I am in Los Alamos, New Mexico, where I am visiting my brother and sister-in-law. As I sat down to write, I saw a photograph on the piano of our family gathered together on the deck of a cruise ship. To celebrate their fiftieth wedding anniversary, my brother paid for our family to go on a cruise to Tahiti. Our whole family was there on deck – except for me. I had other responsibilities which I thought were more important, so I didn’t go.
I remained in denial about it for the next five years until I saw the family photograph today. “You should have been there,” said my brother. I looked and looked at the picture and, as my vision broadened, I saw how my decision had affected my family, how they had missed my presence, how deeply hurt my brother had been, and I started to cry. “I’m so sorry,” I said. But that was not enough. How could I show that I really do care?
My answer came within minutes. As I was typing this newsletter, my brother interrupted me to tell me about a program he is singing in next October. “I’ll come back to hear you,” I said instantly. At first he didn’t believe me, but then he smiled as he realized that, after all, I truly cared. I put the date on my calendar, and I will be there! I feel better already because I Acknowledged, and I Looked and felt.
Do you have any unresolved situations, any knots on the branches of your “I”? You can heal them if you are willing to acknowledge, look, and feel.
As always, I love to hear from you and appreciate your comments. If you want to explore any of your knots, please e-mail me. I am happy to help. firstname.lastname@example.org