The Angel Behind the Pain
Ones I’ve hurt,
Playing the Victim…
My eyes are open.
You did the best you could
With what you knew.
How can I
Hold that against you?
Pain has a funny way
To be someone
We don’t want to be.
Let us, together,
For one another.
Let us choose to see
And, in so doing,
Own our projections,
Heal our pain and inauthenticity…
And set ourselves free
To be the Love
We were made to be.
Pain, when left unaddressed, has a way of breaking us, humbling us, and bringing us to our knees. This is a story of what deep seated heart pain and distortion is capable of doing if one fails to own it and heal it.
It’s my distortion…my pain—distortion and pain that I spewed and vomited all over those dearest to me. It’s most definitely not pretty—it’s ugly. But I felt God whispering to me to share it, so I shall—even if I feel emotionally naked and so utterly vulnerable it frightens me.
I pray this small story brings healing and a sense of unity and solidarity when it comes to being human to all who read it. Everything in life is a gift to help us grow—circumstances and situations provide us opportunities to either choose to be love or fall out of love. “There are no mistakes in life, only lessons. There is no such thing as a negative experience, only opportunities to grow, learn and advance along the road of self-mastery. From struggle comes strength. Even pain can be a wonderful teacher.”- Robin Sharma
To preface, I try to live by the universal truth that “nothing outside of the self exists” and the universe is a mirror. This means all of my circumstances are my inner self projected outside of me to invite me to learn and grow to be greater love through self-reflection, correction, and refinement of those non-loving aspects of my consciousness. Basically, in terms my Guru has used, every circumstance or situation in my life my soul wanted, needed, and chose to create for my learning to grow into greater love. However, I veered sharply off course from this truth during an argument between my husband and I. (A disclaimer: Nothing outside of self exists means I am responsible for examining how my inner world creates my outer world. I can only control me, so that’s where my focus is. Since this was a cocreation with my husband, he is responsible to examine from his end, why he was triggered and what lessons and gifts he can glean from this experience to grow into greater love. We both have vowed to do better as partners and parents as a result of the following circumstance).
It happened during my first several weeks as a new mother. I still had not owned that my son’s crying, upsets, and seeming endless pain was a reflection of my own. After an extremely trying day of doing everything in my power to ease Kai’s pain, I was at my wit’s end. Brandon, upon coming home, came into the bedroom as Kai was crying. I gave the baby to him helplessly and said through weariness and a heavy heart… “I think we have a difficult baby, honey…he is always upset and nothing I do seems to fix it…”
Brandon, set off by these words said sternly…”We don’t have a difficult baby, Jessica!”
I replied, “But what if he is?”
Brandon sharply yelled, “Fuck you!” And stomped out of the room with Kai.
My heart sank with more pain and grief as his words hit me like a brick wall. I had the inner thought, “I’ve got to feel and move my energy before talking to him—this is my pain and nonlove towards myself being reflected back to me through this circumstance.” However, I allowed myself to fall into victim consciousness and it is that state of being that led me down a not so pretty path.
I quickly pursued my husband as I felt victimized by his words. He was walking Kai back and forth through the living room and patting his back to calm him. I stayed in the doorway of the kitchen. My heart hurt and I said to him, “That wasn’t very kind of you, babe…and sometimes I do feel he can be difficult…”
Brandon coldly shut me down, “FUCK YOU! I don’t want to hear it, Jessica!”
His words felt like an icy gust of wind so devoid of love. In my mind the inner critical parent screamed at me, “You’re a piece of shit! You’re not worth my time! You’re a fuck up!” Honestly, it’s how I have talked to myself (ergo—why my soul created him talking to me in this way) but I didn’t own it at the time.
I lost it and yelled bitterly, “I’m just a fuck up, then! I would be better off DDDEEEAAAADDD!” And I lunged for the knives on the counter. Brandon barreled through the gate and grabbed my wrist hard and his penetrating, wild stare scared me. “Don’t you FUCKING DARE!”
I dropped the knife and he held me like this for a minute before he let go and pulled away. I crumpled to the floor bawling as he left me in the kitchen. After a few minutes, I pulled myself together and tentatively went towards him and asked to hold our son. I felt heart broken and just wanted to hold my baby. Brandon, however said hotly, “No.”
I felt like I was punched in the gut. “Please I just want to hold him. You know I’d never hurt him.”
“Give me my son!” I cried.
“Hell no! I’m not going to give you him.”
“Brandon give me MY BABY!” I demanded and I went to reach for Kai but Brandon pulled away sharply and yelled, “NO!”
I snapped. I felt anger—hot and bristling in my consciousness. I went into what I call a “rage attack”. What I said next I honestly did not remember until Brandon told me later that night after our fight…I must have blocked it out. I felt primordial rage. I screamed at him vehemently, “I will kill you! I WILL FUCKING KILL YOU! I HATE YOU! I HAAATTEE YOOOUUU!” And I grabbed a large glass bottle of avocado oil and threw it at the sink (even in my rage I wouldn’t have thrown it at him or Kai). The glass avocado oil bottle hit the sink and ricocheted out of it and smashed into little pieces all over the kitchen floor—avocado oil spewed everywhere. I crumpled to the floor and sobbed. Shame, grief, humiliation, self-condemnation, and guilt made their home in my heart. Brandon was stoic. He said stonily, “Jessica, I want a divorce.” And he walked away with Kai into the bedroom. I didn’t blame him one bit. I knew I had majorly screwed up.
After the sobbing subsided, numbness overcame me and I slowly picked myself up off the floor and began cleaning up the glass and avocado oil—which was no easy task. My body was shaking from the rage attack and it made the task of cleaning up the colossal mess difficult. It took all my concentration and efforts to scrub and mop the floor over and over to get the slippery oil cleaned up—however it was still slick even after mopping it five times, but I decided to let it go.
Again, grief, guilt, shame, and a deep sadness overcame me after I wasn’t focused on cleaning up the kitchen. I knew I had some serious retribution to do for Kai and for Brandon. Brandon came out of the room with Kai and handed him to me. I asked him later on why he gave me Kai then and he said, “I knew you had gotten the anger and rage out and I knew you wouldn’t hurt him”. Brandon then said he needed time to think and he went back into the bedroom at the other end of the house.
With Kai in my arms, I looked at my beautiful baby and felt my heart break. A baby so innocent, tiny, and precious didn’t deserve this broken, ugly version of me. I felt hot tears streaming down my face and waves of grief overtook me. Emotion poured from my heart, so much so, that I felt it coming off me in hot waves—if anyone has had a huge emotional release you know the feeling. As I sobbed, I pulled a bath. I felt the water would help cleanse the heavy energies that swirled around my heart.
While in the water with my precious baby, I wailed. I said to Kai , “I’m so sorry, baby. Mommy’s so so sorry. Mommy’s so sorry for hurting you and daddy. Please forgive me. Please forgive me! I love you so very much and mommy should never have lost control like that! I’m so sorry. Mommy’s so sorry…I pray you can forgive me and that you are instantly healed from any trauma this may have caused you! God, please, if this is my only prayer you answer, please allow me to carry the burden of any pain Kai may have received! Please light a fire under me for this to be the last time I ever lose control! I can’t—I won’t!—ever put my baby nor his daddy through this again! I’m so sorry…”
I sobbed and sobbed and as I was looking into my baby’s beautiful eyes, he did something that created an unexplainable, instantaneous healing in my heart—he smiled, big and wide, his eyes shining with pure unconditional love. My heart exploded in such overwhelming gratitude and relief that I cried even more. With awe, I pondered, “How could this beautiful baby—most perfect, little human being—forgive me so easily?” I felt so loved and so humbled…And he kept smiling as tears streamed from my eyes. I quietly said to him, “You are my everything and I vow to do my absolute best to NEVER EVER do that again to you, your daddy, or anyone else!”
I kissed him tenderly and held him to my breast. I allowed the water to wash away the night’s pain from him and I as I imagined us being reborn anew. A new conviction made its home in my heart—a conviction to choose love—no matter how hard it is and no matter how tempted I am to do otherwise.
I also imagined sending healing, loving energy to Brandon as I knew he wasn’t ready for conversation. It took a few weeks to clean up the emotional residue left from this night with Brandon, and I had to do a lot of forgiveness work to forgive myself, but Brandon has forgiven me now and we aren’t divorcing which I’m very thankful for. Again, Brandon has also looked within to see why he was triggered in this situation and we are growing more loving as a couple on this journey of parenthood.
Looking back, this situation was a serious wake up call that drove me to really take a hard look at myself, my life, and my creations. I am not proud of the human being I can be when I fall into victim consciousness, projection, and irresponsibility with my own pain. It breaks my heart that I said those words to my husband—to my son’s father—in the presence of our son… And I can never take them back even though I wish I could with every fiber of my being.
There’s a quote by Rumi that states, “What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.” I believe it’s true. Everything is a gift. If I had been living by this tenet when my husband had yelled at me then I could have pondered, “What is the blessing? What is the message?” And I would have discovered he was merely showing me an aspect of my unhealed self. Even more masterful, I could have simply seen that my beautiful baby was not being difficult at all but was being an enormous gift by reflecting my pain that I was refusing to own, feel, and heal. I was the one being difficult by refusing this invitation to grow into greater love. If I had been proactive in my healing and looking at how my inner reality was creating my outer reality, I could have avoided this colossal mistake altogether. From this place comes true healing as the outer world only changes if we make the changes within and that’s where my true power is. “Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” – Rumi
And if everything is a gift and if anything good can come from this circumstance, it’s that it shook me up so much so that it’s spurred me to be extremely diligent with my healing. It truly brought me to my knees. I’ve got to heal—if not for myself then for my son who deserves the most healed, loving version of me—he’s my inspiration, he’s the wind beneath my wings, he’s the one who lit the fire beneath me to change.
And I intend to do just that day-by-day, moment-by-moment. It’s my hope and prayer that one day I will have pulled the pain out by its roots…but for now I will live by the mantra, “Each and every day, in each and every way, I choose to be greater and greater love no matter the circumstance…Yes, I am an angel behind this pain and I choose, now and always, to be the love I am made to be—especially in the face of nonlove and adversity.”
To end, I pray this sharing has painted a picture of what the lack of accountability and responsibility for our own pain can lead to. Sometimes our biggest f-ups are our greatest gifts and are the clarion call we need to change for the better.