a beautiful and painful evolution that life let’s us experience as often as we choose. In 2019, I set my next year’s intention to focus on healing. I vowed to myself to make it my happiest year yet while healing, if that was even possible.
I recently discovered my love for ballroom dancing again and started teaching dance fitness. It became another form of therapy by expressing emotions through different styles of dance.
In my healing work, I focused on forgiving others so I could be at peace. But I was now at a place where forgiveness no longer felt like an option. I remember forcing myself to forgive someone.
I wondered if forgiving this person meant losing more of myself that wasn’t there to give.
Dust Un-Settles It
The day arrived that I dreaded, I would no longer force myself to forgive. I wouldn’t. What other options did I have? After all, as a young child, forgiveness was weaved into my skill set like a reflex. It goes something like this:
You hurt me – I forgive. My wounded soul says it’s okay no matter what you’ve done, I forgive you.
As the dust settled after “forgiveness,” particles of dust made its way into my lungs and guilt fused its way into every fiber of my being. However, I noticed a person moving on with absolution and living their best life. That person was not me. What was this costing me so someone else could feel okay?
Only this time, it was different. Someone’s negligence resulted in a loss that shook me to the core when my step father didn’t return home after a car “accident”.
How would I forgive someone who indirectly hurt me?
This person’s actions hurt my step father to a point of no return.
How is forgiveness even possible?
Is it even mine to offer?
After this experience, I made it a mission to connect through healing. You’ll hear me talk about forgiveness relating to this event in the interview. I am honest about where I am in this process. I own it.
WTH was I about to do?
Around March or so, I was invited to an event called Rise Up that transitioned to the virtual space to keep folks safe from the global pandemic. I continued my personal work in therapies (multiple therapists), did my daily Rise Up homework, and taught dance fitness classes.
I discovered that I inadvertently signed myself up for a public speaking challenge. What in the actual hell was I about to do? I gathered my thoughts and mapped it out on paper. Graph paper. I filled each of the boxes with my topic: dancing through life with grief. That was the gist of it anyway.
This would be my first time publicly talking about this topic. I wasn’t sure how I’d even share this without my tears being louder than my message.
My message would be laced with I’m still figuring this out, but that in the midst of grief, you’ll survive somehow. It’ll be a dark place that hits you when you least expect it, but you’ll survive. You may find yourself involuntarily leaving tears for cleanup in aisle 9 after seeing a John Deere tractor baby toy in the middle of Target, but you’ll be okay.
I’ll attempt to motivate you with what I found that helps me live day-to-day and what gives me hope again. I’ll share all these things even though I have a secret that I’m carrying around: I still cannot forgive yet.
My accessory to crime, er, time
My unwillingness and inability to forgive someone became my new ball and chain. It wasn’t quite the size of a wrecking ball yet, but it had aspirations to be that one day. Maybe even be featured in Miley’s next music video.
I lugged that son of a glitch everywhere I went. I wanted to give myself freedom from this experience, but I found my new accessory as part of who I was becoming instead.
I was taught that forgiveness was a gift for me so that I could move on with my life. I dreaded it because I couldn’t even muster up the strength to sound out the words “it’s okay,” which was my go-to for you are absolved for your actions that harmed me directly or to someone I love.
Leave Toxic to Brit’s Hits
Now I’m left here with the fall out of whatever transpired between two humans. Now that the settling dust filled my lungs beyond capacity, the dust infiltrated my heart and other vital organs (not gallbladder, obvi). I knew I’d really be in trouble if sepsis occurred… which is like when the internet goes viral from toxicity but in your blood stream.
A new pattern emerged where I’d beat myself up about not forgiving this person. Because what kind of person cannot forgive? That goes against everything my worldly teachers taught me: religion, society, snail mail chain letter, my kindergarten teacher, the golden rule, and so on.
gOLDen rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
I learned, by personal experience, that when you are in a cycle you cannot see that you are in it until some other idea, person, or intervention interrupts this cycle. You are too busy filling your own body with dust and bad juju to even notice the levels of toxicity.
I also believe there is no time lost. What I mean by that, is however long you are in the cycle is exactly how long you need to be there. You don’t lose anything by being in that space, your awareness becomes a new way of living. When you know different things, you can choose differently. That’s where this interview comes in. Miri was that outside person and idea that helped me out of this “I can’t forgive so I must be a terrible person undeserving of healing” loop.
I first met Miri as we prepared for a Speak Off challenge during the Rise Up event in March 2020. I was beyond thrilled that I could interview her a few months shy of when we met. You’ll notice this interview is like two friends having a conversation. It’s like you get to be the butter(fly) on the wall and hear some of our most sacred thoughts. Before you check out the interview, I want to formally introduce you to Miri!
Miri is a powerhouse who leads with intention. She discovered new opportunities after 25 years as a marketer and entered the world of Fashion Design. Her commitment is to the women she serves. After learning about Kintsugi and feeling empowered by its message, Miriam decided that her brand will be a source of hope and support for women.
Her tenacity is empowering. She will keep going for the gold, pun intended. And in this case, gold means healing. In the interview you’ll hear her say, “I am Kintsugi.” Hearing her say this echoed in my thoughts and encouraged me to figure out what that means for me.
It’s time for a new golden rule
While Kintsugi is newer to me, I remember seeing something circulating on social media. The concept sounded intriguing and pretty. Because, well, I like gold, and not in the Austin Powers’ Goldmember kinda way. What I didn’t realize is how to integrate Kintsugi into my life.
For me, my Kintsugi is…
One of the key takeaways for me is that Kintsugi can be metaphorical for us. It doesn’t have to be actual gold. For me, my Kintsugi is dance. Dance has healed me physically, emotionally, and mentally. In the future, I am sure Kintsugi will continue to teach me new ways of healing and being.
Healing can also be…
Thankfully, after interviewing the beautiful Miri, I was able to learn new ways of healing by examining old beliefs, taking my metaphorical broken pieces, mending them with gold, and creating something more beautiful than I could have imagined. The dust in my soul transformed to gold and I can breathe again. Healing is a continuum and not a destination.
For the complete interview, press play and view it here!
More about Miri… In 2020 Miriam wrote a Book Heal with Gold which was endorsed by Dr. Tal Ben Shahar and other big names. Her Heal with Gold course is coming out in early 2021. She runs a live, free show on her Facebook Group Heal with Gold, where she interviews inspiring people to provide hope and support.