I woke up on Friday feeling not quiet myself – groggy, bored, directionless as the weekend approached. I was hungry for an adventure. I called my friend, Michael, and he asked me how I was feeling.
I responded, “Bored – not sure what to do this weekend.”
He asked, “Well, would you like to fly to Portland today?”
Practicality set in and I said, “Ha! It’s too expensive for a last minute flight across the country I’m sure.”
“Well I would like to fly you here today – if you would like to come.”
The immediate response in my head was, “No, it’s too much and what if you lead this man on – I just don’t know how I feel about him. I want to protect him and me. Maybe I should get some friend’s opinions?” Then another emotion spoke in me, “No! You don’t need anyone’s opinion, so get out of your fucking head Liza. Take a risk and maybe something great will happen if you face these silly fears.” I decided to take a chance, and said, “Yes, I’d love to come to Portland today!”
Within a few hours I was packed and boarding a plane. The adventure I was craving was delivered and about to be filled with unexpected, eye-opening experiences. I had met – well I might even say manifested – Michael on an airplane about 6 weeks prior, and he’d flown to see me a couple times already, I was enjoying my relationship with him so long as I stayed out of my fear-filled head. On this flight, I decided to ask the Universe for, “A girl who I could share incredibly deep conversation with.” And true to the law-of-attraction, a girl sat next to me and a couple minutes after we took off we discovered we had some similar stories. Alexa had just become a therapist and was incredibly intuitive. She immediately started revealing deep rooted issues from my past that I had completely stuffed away. This was pretty shocking to me as I spend much of my time reading self-help books, talking to wise, intuitive people, meditating and journaling. Just when you think you know yourself – Bam! Someone reveals all the negative mess you shoved deep down inside.
Alexa said, it seems like you’re numbing yourself to a lot of issues from your childhood, parent-issues, and things that happened in your marriage/divorce and protecting yourself from the possibility of pain in new relationships. As I told her my life-story, after all we did have 3 hours to kill, she revealed that I had blamed myself for my divorce and was even now trying to take care of my ex-husband, still holding onto the responsibility of making him happy. I had stuffed away the rejection issues I’d been through and the feeling of abandonment through my separation. I do indeed have a “Savior” mentality and always want to fix and help those around me, first blaming myself for any problems. Which I tend to think of as kind, loving and what we “ought to do”. I almost started crying when I told her about the details of my marriage and how it unraveled. She kept saying, you have to feel the emotions – it’s good to admit you were rejected and to be upset about it. I had just been so damn forgiving, because I wanted to attain this idealized image of myself, that I skipped this feeling hurt step all together.
On the next flight I was handed two free drink coupons for simply asking about the Steward’s day. I thought well, I’m not up for a drink – but I’m sure someone will want these. I sat next to a woman who introduced herself as Debbie, and who by her body language and sighs I could see was going to need the drink! She confirmed my hunch by thanking me with, “This is so kind that you’re giving this to me – it’s been the worst week of my life!” As our conversation evolved, she divulged that she was returning from a trip to “help” a family member. I could see her – just like me – taking all the responsibility of this person she dearly loved – feeling as if she could some how “save” them. That it was somehow her job to save them. All the weight of the world was on her shoulders.
So, I asked her, “Is it your job to save her?”
She said something like, “Well, she’s family and if I don’t help her no one will.”
I further questioned, “Has this person always had these problems?”
“Well…yes. But it’s my job to help her.”
“Is it?” These words slipped out as if they were not even my own – I could tell I was being guided to have this connection with her.
Debbie started crying and the conversation deepened. I could tell we both needed this. She was indeed a mirror to me – I saw so much of myself in her. Carrying the weight of other’s she loved, trying to save, protect and help them. Clearly, we both had the exact same control issues and the savior complex. After discussing several common philosophies we shared including manifesting, law of attraction and a belief in past-lives, she said, “what you’re saying reminds me of the book, ‘A Course in Miracles’.”
Now this shouldn’t surprise me, but it still does every time it happens. I’ve been studying the Course for about 2 years and pretty passionately for the last 8 months. It has dramatically transformed how I view the world and all that surrounds me. I rarely find people who have even heard of the book as it’s not an easy read and it reveals the darkest parts of ourselves, which are not a delight to face. So when she said she was a Course student, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. It was no accident I was meeting Debbie and that we were baring our souls to each other – I was literally learning what I was teaching her, or better put – was reminding us what we both needed reminding of.
My last-minute adventure to Portland was already worth the risk with these the two amazing connections I’d made on the trip out! The rest of the trip I was continuously swept off my feet by this amazing man who greeted me with organic chocolate, wine, a rose, and sweet letter. He called me out every moment I wasn’t my truest, genuine self by reminding me, “Liza, I love you just the way you are.” I found myself crying multiple times a day as we dug so deep into ourselves. Most days, we laid in bed until early afternoon reading self-help books, staring into each other’s eyes, filling out self-analysis tests, listening to great music and eating vegan Voodoo donuts. We did slip away for some fun, took a beautiful trip to the coast and hiked Forest Park, but what struck me most was the depth of our soulful connection. I’ve no doubt known this man in another life and we were brought together again to reveal something to each other. Even if it only was for a long eye-opening weekend – mostly spent in bed, making love, eating donuts, and both taking that scary risk of being completely vulnerable.
This man had some serious intuition going on. While at the coast, he suggested three times I go into a particular organic store. I resisted at first because I didn’t want to bore him. Once inside the owner of the shop was clearly irritable, combative and wanted little to do with us. I continued to look past the unknown issues she was projecting, to not take it personally, and finally opened her up and had an hour long conversation about mineralized hydration and natural healing remedies. Michael said, “see I had a feeling we were suppose to go inside – and if you didn’t warm her up, I would have.” I loved how aware he was of everyone around him.
(taken at Forest Park, Oregon)
He later pulled out a book called, “Heal Your Wounds and Find Your True Self” by Lisa Bourbeau. He said, “there’s something I want to share,” and began the intro, “We all have the same mission: to live our life experiences until we manage to accept them and discover and love ourselves through them…When we do not accept ourselves or our experiences, if in other words we continue to feel guilty, ashamed, afraid, judge ourselves in any way, or exhibit any other form of non-acceptance, we will continually attract other circumstances and people to make us relive the same experience…There is a big difference in accepting an experience and accepting the self. Lets take the example of a little girl who was rejected by her father because he wanted a boy. In such a case, accepting the experience consists in giving the father the right to have wanted a boy and reject his daughter. To accept herself, this little girl must give herself the right to resent her father and forgive herself for having resented him. She must carry no judgement towards her father or towards herself; only compassion and understanding for the suffering of both of them. She will know that this experience is completely resolved when she in turn will reject someone without accusing herself; she will have only compassion and understanding for her action.”
(taken at Cannon Beach, Oregon)
I had never given myself the right to resent the situations in my divorce and then forgive myself for having resented it. I skipped right into forgiveness because my Savior mentality wouldn’t allow me to let anyone but me be guilty. What Michael read to me in this book was exactly what Alexa was trying to tell me on the plane and what I was witnessing as a mirror in Debbie. It was pretty shocking to have all of these people and circumstances line up to reveal to me where there was some hidden pain inside that still needed healing. Secondly the book aligned with the risk-taking that I could indeed “reject” Michael or be “rejected” in return, which would go against my Savior-mentality and recent self-protection barriers. Today, I’m okay with the risk to bear my soul, be completely raw, vulnerable and learn a whole lot about myself – and besides, Portland was not a bad place to try this vulnerability-thing out. And if you’re reading this Michael, I’m all about that fear-facing trip to Thailand!
(taken at Cannon Beach, Oregon)