"Please don't go."
Those were the last three words uttered to my husband before he left this world over two years ago. I held on to those words through a series of anxiety attacks and lung collapses until eventually someone brought to my attention the teachings and practices of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) and the idea that each organ in the body has a series of attachments, emotional ones included, with a direct correlation between grief and the lungs. I started reading into TCM and was surprised to find its principles do not include words such as "illness" or "disease"; instead, utilize terms like "imbalance" and "disharmony".
I thought about the words I had latched on to for so long and started to recognize how my own state of imbalance was largely due to my inability to let go of the lingering negative energies related to the devastating loss and heartbreak I endured. This is not to say I was letting go of the memory itself—that will never go away—but its painful release was definitely in order.
Thus, I went on a hunt for replacement words to help guide me toward positivity and healing, and, after several counseling sessions (formal and informal), readings, meditations and personal epiphanies, decided upon the following glorious substitution:
"I love you."
Standing at the End of the Earth
is like standing at the end of the Earth
while the Earth gives you two options:
Go back to where you came from; then, die.
Take a step forward, knowing not what lies ahead; then, die.
your decision, making it not in haste,
but do not befriend a snail’s attitude, either.
who you were,
embracing your present self even more.
your inner teacher,
saving the syllabi of all your educator friends.
it’s only awkward once and then the sillies disappear.
e x t e n d a good laugh.
more than yourself, even if just once in your life.
coming out alive makes you realize things.
the things you realize, such as:
there is no end of the Earth, nor an end to your
Japanese researcher and Doctor of Alternative Medicine, Masaru Emoto, conducted research of frozen water crystals to help prove that human consciousness has an effect on the molecular structure of water. (And since humans are made up of 55-60% water, to show how our thoughts affect our reality.) While some scientists and critics argue that Emoto's experiments fall short of proof, the research can, at the very least, stimulate curiosity into the impactful nature of words, and hopefully encourage us to think twice about what we say to ourselves and each other.
Humans are quite defensive by nature, so you can almost say that adopting a loving approach goes against our instincts. Then again, so often we are created out of love itself! It's a unique contradiction. But the reality is: when we do love and our hearts get broken, we tend to forget why we give so much of ourselves to others, and immediately employ our defenses. We repress, deny, undo, assert, and overcompensate to make light of a situation so that it may remain in our favor. Unfortunately, by doing so, we often add to the unpleasant situation, driving it further forward, which takes a toll on our mood, attitude, and overall health.
Perhaps a better response, but one we forget to use, is a pause. This temporary interruption of our natural defenses is the exact action that can breed love because it halts us from saying things we later regret, stops us from taking action we never intended, provides a necessary gap between our thoughts and motivations to help us form better decisions, and allows breathing space at the exact time when we begin to close off our lungs, in preparation for a bout of aggression.
take a walk
go for a run
ask for help
The best part about a pause is it gives you an out—some time to yourself in a moment where nothing is required. Ironically, this same nothingness invites tenderness into a space between two people or events that may not have existed before. In these tender moments, we actually hold power that can alter outcomes.
Though perhaps unnatural at first, a loving approach to people and situations (yourself included!), much like any habit, can be added in as a regular part of your daily routine, if you so choose. Admittedly, you'll probably spend the rest of your life breaking the old, defensive, and instinctive patterns that have taken you years to develop, but eventually you should start to see and feel the effects of love, even if they happen to be hiding behind a momentary pause.
That's because love is always on point.
Krista Augius of Los Angeles, CA aims to capture the surreal and magical moments of nature, science and mythology as they relate to human perception throughout all of her work. Although mostly a self-taught multimedia artist, in 2006 Krista studied the Mische technique (a Dutch Master style of painting from the 1500s) at a visionary art course in Cadaques, Spain—the hometown of El Salvador Dali.
She has exhibited in national and international art shows and her art has appeared in movies such as Iron Man III and Fast and the Furious 7. Her featured work, "Heartbreak" and "Holding Love in Freedom", respectively, are both created using oil on canvas.
Facebook: Krista Augius Art