I’ve been on this spiritual transition/ journey of sorts. I’m parting ways and making peace with my past demons and unrighteous living. I am letting go of the negative, the doubts, the guilt, the regret, the sadness, the frustration, the anger, the disrespect, the disappointment, the hate, the judgment, the discouragement.
The thing is, I’ve been on this journey for some years now and I have learned that there are stages and levels to all journeys, particularly lifelong journeys, like spiritual journeys. And, there is a higher level to the spiritual journey, one that can only reach when they have fully endured all the necessary tests and qualifications that deem them fit and adequate enough to embrace the next and most important phase of the journey.
This phase is multi-fold and one of the final aspects of it is the purging stage, in which one must purge themselves of all past misgivings, misdeeds, and wickedness.
I am learning as I go, how and what my personal purging stage will manifest as. There are days that I’ll be listening to a song, having a very innocent conversation, or responding to a question, and it will dawn on me, something that changes the very essence of how I understand some, part or all aspects of my life. I’ll be sending a text, letter, or email, watching TV, talking to God or just sleeping and an enormity of emotion and grave reflection will come over me.
A few months after my miscarriage, while I was spending the night at my ex partner’s house, I woke up randomly in the middle of the night, overwhelmed by a significant feeling of sadness and grief. Almost immediately, I was torpedoed with a spontaneous outburst of involuntary hysterical crying that wouldn’t stop.
Quite suddenly, I was overwhelmed with the lack of mourning I went through following the death of my baby, and every emotion, thought, and feeling I’d buried came to the surface. He had no idea what was wrong with me. And I could do nothing to explain. I could only cry. I had to. against my will. I had to cry out all of my pain out for my baby. I cried for over five hours. Into the wee hours of the night. And after that, I made peace with the death of my baby.
That was me purging myself of the most significant pain I’ve ever known. I had held in my tears, pain and sorrow for months, and in effort to move forward on my spiritual path, my soul pushed them out. My purge, without permission, excavated all reminding pain in my heart and soul, for my lost child.
One day, while sitting on the train, reading Iyanla Vanzant’s Peace from Broken Pieces for the second time, I had just reached one of the many times she discusses her daddy issues and their affect on her romantic life. This time around, I understood her challenge at the beginning of the book, for us readers to read her story as a shared story and not something outside of myself.
Thus, I was unwittingly prepared to see every piece of my story in her re-appropriation of her own pieces. As I sat and read, the thoughts, memories, disappointments, misconceptions, personal lies, core beliefs, all flashed across my mind, like a movie, showing me the truth of my life experiences.
It wasn’t until the next day, while I was crying over the realization that my partner had lied to me again, that it clicked. It all made sense. I wasn’t crying over him. I was crying over my daddy. I was crying because if my daddy never loved me, then what man would? Then, I remembered that line from my poem, Black Girl Lost, and it all really clicked.
I was searching for my daddy’s love in these men. That’s why I was chasing all these boys and men, all these years that didn’t, couldn’t, wouldn’t love me, appreciate me, deserve me. I thought of Drake’s song, Fall for Your Type and my famous question of why I always kept choosing the same type of guys.
Those guys that were too mentally immature or too emotionally mature from heartbreak and distrust issues, to give me my proper respect. In any regard, I always ended up doomed before I even bothered to acknowledge the familiar seed of desire, growing in my heart.
But, that night, as I lay there, realizing he really wasn’t coming home, and that I still loved him even though, it seemed to me that he clearly hated me, I understood that this was the last time I would cry for someone or something like this. So many nights, I’d cried myself to sleep trying to face these “fake revelations” I considered truth, that he didn’t want me, love me, need me, or care about me.
The actions and behaviors leading to these “fake revelations” might have manifested differently, but ultimately they always led to the same feelings of emptiness, guilt, regret, and raw, pure heartbreak.
I understand now, that none of the feelings I was experiencing were characteristic of what love or lack thereof, my ex had for me. My doubts, my fears, my insecurities, and fears, were all my own stuff, controlling my emotions, as they had been all my life. My own core beliefs and personal lies were driving those tears, not my exes absence.
Of course, his lies, dishonesty and dismissal hurt me. Immensely. But, no one, and nothing, is capable of causing me pain, but myself. People will always emit their own shit into the air, it’s up to me what I choose to consume for myself and what I choose to dispose of.
If I am in a relationship with a person that lies often, always evades the truth and responsibility and who shows little ability to empathize or show consideration of my feelings, the pain I might feel from their actions is not because of what they do. I am in pain because of what I am doing to myself. Because of how I let people treat me. I am not hurt because someone I love hurts me; but instead, because I love someone who hurts me. I am hurt because, the one person in the whole wide world that’s supposed to protect, love and nourish me has let me down; and that person only could be myself.
I know this now. Because of my purge. That night, I cried and cried and cried. Not because I was down but because I was cleansing. I was purging. I was letting it out. And it was okay. Because by God’s grace, I’d never have to do it again.
Purge, my friends. Let that stuff out! Cry loudly, scream obnoxiously, throw carelessly and let it all go! Embrace all of your emotions. Courageously. And then, do the most important thing; leave all that stuff there. Right in that moment. Let it go and move on. You deserve what comes next; unhindered joy.
**Originally Published: April 30, 2014