Rejection – Pain -♥- Sweet Juicy Heart at the Awaken Studio Toronto
A voyage through pain, from many sources, to a simple discovery.
Today. Monday June 13, 2016.
Today a day of feeling so much grief, so much loss and so much pain.
Yesterday was a full day. Holding space for a gathering of men sharing from the heart, at the same time, containing my knowledge of this terrible, terrible rampage of hate and violence and murder and compounded by the weirdness of being separated, for the day, from my husband, my love.
There were so many emotional and thoughtful elements yesterday that I went to sleep with a huge burden of emotional confusion. We had spent the day speaking in our ritualized circle and what I came away with, were twinges of memory around family and secrets and how mostly it was to be a gay boy child. Spending dinner in a quiet gathering instead of what was usually a raucous and vocal group. After cleaning up, I had of course, looked at social media and read the reactions of anger, seen the pictures of the gatherings and witnessed over the internet, the pain that glowed in the candlelight, being present to the terror and the fear and horror of not knowing who was alive and who was dead. As I prepared for sleep I wondered why I was feeling so detached from the events of the day. I was numb, a state unfamiliar to me.
In the night, I dreamt, dreams that I can not remember. I woke up with a resolve to not dwell in the ever repeating world of the “news”. I resolved instead to spend the day in introspection and wondering about my own feelings and my own process. I began the day, fixed myself a cup of coffee and looked at the newspaper. Unrolling this printed bundle of stories, the first that I read was the tormented and powerful text conversation of a mother receiving the love of her son, as he told her he was going to die and begged her to call the police and get help. The day turned solemn. All seemed hollow after reading of this parent’s love. My heart opened as I realized that I know my mother loved me in this way.
Going with my husband to lunch and not being able to speak with ease as we have in the past had this terrible confrontational conversation about gun control in the United States. We totally misunderstand each other and this creates some level of pain within me. The reason we go to lunch together is to prepare ourselves for the counselling session that we will be attending as a couple. During lunch I wonder how things will go. Just after lunch at the counsellor’s office which is just across the street we begin our conversation. My mood being as dark as it has been in a long time, my emotions running in a rich and dense pulse through me and my wanting so much to be understood.
We proceed in the session. Our conversation is deep and the love that we have for each other very present. The pain that we each had a sharp and constant draw of the blade. Our conversation continues, our understanding deepening our connection, solidifying who we are together. The sharing we create assisting each of us in going a little deeper. Our conversation falls from the torment of the present to the pains of the past.
Through the conversation the depth I reached was not surprising, as much as terrifying. I think I truly scared myself as I revealed the suicidal thoughts, the dark and horrible pain and the frustration of not sensing that I could reveal myself. The pain of being in relationship and not feeling that I could be me. The truth came out. The truth of hurt and loss and self-deprecation and sublimation of self to get acceptance and love. The joyful and uplifting part was that no part of this torment was actually coming from my husband. This torment came through me and my own process, and is a direct result of the many rejections that I have experienced and felt in my life.
In this session, I discovered that rejection can create pain, in the mind and in the body. That from rejection, humans can feel pain on emotional and physical levels. This pain not unlike the pain that comes from a cut or other physical violence. This pain, in me, so awful and so old. This pain connected in the most surprising places. Places that I had not connected before. Places that I thought were far in the past and if not from the far past that I had dealt with and survived. These rejections that had caused so much pain came from the rejection of who I was as a boy by my father, a myriad of rejections as to who I have been in my life as a male, rejections from contemporaries of my body and my way, of being and finally the most visceral rejection by the director of the American corporation that I had worked for over a five-year period.
All of this caused me to seek out some information about rejection, emotional abuse and pain. My quest for information, not surprising, given the myriad bursts of pain that I feel. Pain that is intensified when I am insecure about who I am. This pain can become greater when I am in the visceral act of separating myself from the perpetrator and the agents of the rejection and ostracism. I wondered about how this connected in a historical way, especially with my father, the experiences in school and the life I lived as a gay boy in a small rural setting. The information for me, from me, was that over time and space those old pains had settled. The new pain, the pain that I felt the strongest, was the pain and emotional violence from the most recent abuse. The cause of this pain and the perpetrator of the rejection was very obvious. Next was to search for the trigger of this newest wave of emotional pain.
I thought that the trigger was in something to do with colliding groups and conflicting values, all present in my day on Sunday and with the group that had gathered and all the energy that was brought forward looking to family connections. My next discovery was surprising. The pain that I have been feeling is not connected to this old pain, the pain comes directly from being told, by the director of the school that I had worked for, that I was “IRRELEVANT!”. The pain was being inflicted on me by the voice and actions of that inhumane, corporate director who said that what I cared for did not matter. Who I was was irrelevant. That my vision and my dream was not relevant to his business or the community that I was working from. The subsequent corporate bullying and the legal threats that ensued, were all backed up by the director’s partners, created an intensification of the pain then, and now.
All this emotional violence, the pain of isolation, the pain of having my voice muted and the pain of ostracization were flooding in me. I had worked so hard to contain the discomfort and distress perpetrated by my tormentor. The wound that I had so carefully addressed was irritated by all the recent vulnerability and was running close under the surface. The most painful part was that further below was the volcanic pain of being in the face of hatred and rejection. This intense pain of rejection and isolation was deeply triggered by the senseless hatred, violence and murder unleashed against the innocence of a group gathering to share in the dancing and loving and pure joy of being themselves in that nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
The conscious spirit streaming in me that needs to be myself, clashed with the historic message that I was not allowed to be who I truly was. This message of rejection most recently delivered by that managing director, I had worked for and then reinforced by his business partner. This rejection subsequently compounded and further reinforced by the forced ostracism and shunning by many of those I had worked with over those five years. My voice had been silenced. My vocal chords cut away by the threat of legal action.
Time has not healed this slash. My anger at being silenced and shunned has not dissipated. The wound has not been salved by loving self expression. The hurt and pain has not been replaced by the good works of years of dedication to self and conscious acts of self care. The flow of love that has calmed the pain of all those decades ago, has not calmed the hurt from this most recent rejection. The pain of that rejection inflamed and intensified by watching the senseless hate filled murder of those who are like me, those who were simply being themselves.
I wonder now, several hours later, what self-loving acts it will take to let me be myself, free of the pain of conformation. Secure in the fact that the world that I create loves me and accepts me. Will it be more of the practice of kindness, compassion and grace that I instill in the groups of men that I gather? Will it be more of the excitement and joy that is created when I can work with a man and create an experience that fulfills his deepest dreams? Will it be more glorious dancing? Will it be simply in the beauty of self expression and the great freedom that unfolds when a gathering of men can come together and practice loving kindness with both themselves and others?
From my musing today, I know that there are somethings that will ease over time. There are some things I will never forget. I know that there are somethings that I can forgive. Finally, I know with all of my heart that I simply can not forgive the senseless violence that is perpetrated on the earth, I can not forgive the murder of innocence nor the slaughter of fellow human beings.
I know, in every atom of my being that I deserve to be on this earth. I know, that my voice and my love will persevere through all of my work and all that I create. I know, with every fiber of my physical form that those who dare to be themselves will never be extinguished, will never be eradicated from this earth.
I look forward to the day when life is free from pain and we can be gloriously loving, gracious and kind human beings.