…or how to get over or get through or get past or get beyond whatever has been plaguing you without having to commit murder or become a monk on a mountaintop or anything else crazy or drastic before you can feel better 😉
“Whatever you accept completely you go beyond, if you fight it you’re stuck with it” — Eckhart Tolle
Most of my life I was trained to believe that the way you get over something was to keep working through it. Keep processing the feelings, just keep working at it…just try a little harder, talk about it a little more. Maybe a little kindness and compassion toward yourself and that person who is breaking your heart…then work some more on those feelings, process process process…more tears, more struggle, more rar-rar-rar.
But you know what? Sometimes we’re supposed to walk out rather than continue to hang on.
We never ever need to suffer our way to peace. It’s not a requirement that things be really really hard before they can become easy.
And so when my friends come to see me asking, Why does this keep happening to me? How do I get over this? How do I get past it? I share my little dinner party philosophy with them:
Say thank you when you’re ready to leave.
Let’s pretend you’re at a dinner party
At first, it was lovely. There was delicious food, yummy wine, and great conversation. Perhaps there were fun games, fun people…maybe even a little smooching involved! Dancing! More wine! Fun!
Or maybe it was the other way around, you really didn’t want to go in the first place. The food sucked, the wine was like vinegar, and everyone was drippy. Nobody talked, no games, definitely no smooching…
Either way, now it’s late and you’re tired and you’re ready to leave.
So what do you do?
You usually express gratitude and then leave. You make some compliments about the evening, the meal, the place and you wrap it up. Maybe you help with the dishes, maybe you help with the coats…but no matter what, you are making your way toward the door and you feel happy to be going home.
Nothing can deter you. You are clear you are leaving.
Whatever the situation in your life, if you want to leave it or transform it you have to say thank you. No arguing, no justifying. No defending, no bitching. No more story telling. No whining.
You must be clear.
You have to choose.
You must have the eye on the prize.
When you’re ready to leave, you have to say thank you. Otherwise, you will stay.
Most of us have a hard time leaving a party without saying thank you and good night–it’s just the thing you do when you’re ready to leave.
Thank you for the delicious food, it’s time to go home. Thank you for having me, it’s time to go now. Here are the dishes, here is your coat. Thank you. It was very nice. Goodbye!
So using the dinner party analogy on one of life’s challenges you’d do the same: Thank you so very much for all that I have learned from this experience. Thank you for the time we spent together. Thank you. I’ve learned a lot and now I’m releasing this.
No matter the situation no matter how hard or horrible or evil or yucky or unfair it was and no matter if nobody else on the planet understands your point of view, if you want it to change, you have to say thank you and then choose to leave.
If you’re really ready to transcend this thing–whatever it is–you have to find the gratitude for ALL it has brought you.
You must get yourself to the place where you can be thankful because you can see that your life and journey has been profoundly changed by this no matter what.
For years I struggled with a story of feeling betrayed and even ganged up on by the ones who were supposed to love me and for years I worked on it.
I just kept at it. I kept going to therapy and talking about it and you know what? This was a pattern that continued to happen. Even with new people. The old ways would continue. And for years I worked with different helpers trying to get past it and I gotta tell you, in all of the advice offered and all of the practices suggested–nothing really ever worked to transform this issue at the core. Not at the core.
Until I finally decided to practice an attitude of gratitude. I became thankful.
YES, even for the shit. I said thank you.
I learned to accept it completely and then I could go beyond it.
Thank you for helping me to see that I deserve better.
Thank you for showing me that I am allowing myself to be powerless here.
Thank you for letting me know I could do better.
Thank you for consistently being yourself instead of who I keep trying to get you to be.
Thank you for helping me to awaken to my sacredness.
Thank you for helping me to know that I can speak my truth.
Thank you for showing me the importance of boundaries.
Thank you for helping me to see that my time is valuable.
Thank you for teaching me to go where I am celebrated.
I wanted it to change and so I began saying thank you.
It wasn’t easy.
I didn’t (and still do not) do it perfectly.
But I got free. And that’s what I wanted: freedom.
And that’s what I remember when I am upset: freedom.
I want to be free.
More than I want to defend my position, or try and get you to love me…I want to be free.
You can’t just say a fake thank you. You can’t pretend it’s all love and light when you really want to kill that person. We have to find a way to process our upset about what’s happened. Do the necessary anger work. Do the work of grieving. But please, do all of this with the intention of moving through and evolving out of the issue. Do you see? If we don’t also choose to transform, to evolve, we will just stay put. And years and years and years will go by in that place. You might make a little progress but you will continue to slide back into the same rut.
You have to be courageous and willing. You have to be interested more in your freedom and joy than you are in being right or hurt or even defending yourself. You have to be willing to take responsibility for your part in what keeps happening. Clean up your side of the street. Do your work. All with an intention of moving forward. Just like how at a dinner party, you may help clear the dishes and get the coats…
This is how you get over a broken heart. This is how you move on from a relationship. This is how you leave a horrible toxic job. This is how you stop being hurt by your sister-in-law… this is how you get through it.
Say thank you if you’re ready to leave. And then leave. And be excited about what’s to come, and the adventures you’ll have…the new people who are coming in because you’ve released the others from the inner circle position inside your heart.