Holy Shit I Love You (or belly, chest, exhale 2)
“Holy Shit!” she heard her own voice exclaim as she poured the hot water over her peppermint tea bag into her favorite mug she got when she went to see Harvey by herself on broadway third row back stage left for $47. “I love you.” And in every cell of her body she felt it. “I love every single part of you.” she knew she had said it before and she knew she would say it a million times again as she knew she would, of course, forget. She was open to never forgetting it again but having taken almost 40 trips around the sun, she severely suspected she may at least a few more times in what would hopefully be a very long life, forget it. “Holy shit, I love you.” she said again softly touching her own lips preparing them for the scalding hot liquid about to travel down her throat.
She had traveled just hours earlier. Traveled the highways and byways of her own consciousness. Guided by a master of air pipes, a master of space creating, a master of musical manipulations, a master of unconditional reflecting love. “Go for it tonight guys.” He had said. “Are you willing to lose control?” he had said. “Are you willing to let it all go?” He had said. “Belly, chest, exhale.” He had said. “Allow yourself to have the experience you have.” and she did. From the minute she walked through the door….
Material. The faces in the room, the first notes, the twelfth breath, her throat began to tighten. Belly, chest exhale. To release single, she had intended, to release the notion of alone, to release feeling inherently unlovable. To call in partnership, yes in a man, of course, it was after all, all she had ever wanted. But she knew, somewhere in there she knew, it wasn’t the man…. But right here, right now, right then in that moment, the tears flowed.
Having listened to her trusty guide and wishing her intentions set a sweet goodbye never to think of them again memory after memory, feeling after feeling came rushing through. Longing, desire, wishing she could be seen the way she wanted the first love of her life to have seen her. Wishing she could always be seen that way by the men she had wanted to look at her. Hand in hand with the knowledge that their view, that gaze, would ultimately never be received if she could not look on herself that way, that gaze would never fix anything as nothing ever needed to be fixed.
Her throat tightened even more and when he said “now let out a primal scream.” she could not, she was crying too hard. And then she heard her own voice say, it’s ok, I got you, you can let it all go, you can - a loud cathartic scream interrupted the river of mascara filled tears that had been draining out of her closed eyes and it felt amazing. She came back to the breath, tempted to cry forever she heard that voice again inside herself. It’s ok, i got you, come back to the breath. Belly, chest, exhale.
God the word came rushing through in between rhythmic exhales. It’s not the man, it’s god - I want god. And as if they had never stopped, the tears returned along with a million more thoughts and memories and feelings all at the very same time. Though one stood out, and it was one that visited her frequently in that room on Santa Monica Blvd It wasn’t a thought though it was a who and she materialized instantly the moment the combination of his words, “let yourself receive the love”, and hers, God - i want god, mixed themselves into her ear drums.
Cindy. Her aunt who had left this physical world reality game in 1984 when she was six. She loved her aunt. Her aunt was one of her most favorite people in the entire universe, multiverse, multiverses, alive or dead. She was sunshine, she was warmth, she was band-aids and kisses, she was the mother of her other favorite people. And oh my gosh did her aunt love her. Never ever did this woman, well at the time, girl, feel anything other than entirely lovable when she was with her aunt. At least that’s how she remembered it.
God never left you sweet girl she felt her aunt say. You think that god left you when I left you, you think that love left you when I left you. You think all of that was left behind in the catacombs in rome. She felt her chest heaving. Belly, chest, exhale was unavailable in this moment, tears were unavailable in this moment. this moment was for something else entirely. It wasn’t my love. It has never been gone from you. And in a way I have never been gone from you. But believe me, leaving you was never something that was easy for me to do. Leaving here was not easy.
And then her beloved acting teachers appeared behind her aunt in full support, in full agreement. Nor for us, leaving you was never an easy part of it and oh my gosh are you lovable and not, ever, ever, ever, ever alone. And then all together, in perfect unison with the man leading this room of breathing people, her current, very alive teacher, very alive messenger of the truth, the golden holiest of truths-
Let yourself receive the love. It’s there. It has always been there. It’s yours. It’s you.
The music shifted, it slowed, her tears did not. her heart cracked wide open the memories still rushing in like the grand rapids. Every memory of a time she had ever wished a boy, a man, a lover to love her, every time she had laid with a man, peered into his eyes, opened herself to love even if only in her mind, and let’s face it - it was a very many lot of the times only in her mind - she let her heart crack open a little more and she filled it with as much love as she could muster. She could see herself in each scene, and she could see them, and she slipped into them and said directly to herself, you are beautiful, i love you, i am here. And she saw herself the way she had always wanted them to see her. And she let herself be seen. And she said to them I’m sorry.
And she cried for every time she every deemed herself unworthy because of the size of her body, the bags under her eyes, the thickness of her thighs, because of not being chosen by the person-du-jour here, because of being different, being not enough, being not the right person. As if there were such a thing. She was she. And she was the best she there was.
And if she wasn’t she she would not have met the people she had met, she would not have gotten to love the people she had loved whether they loved her back or not. She felt waves of anger and loving occur deep within her all at the same time. Anger that she had ever felt that way that she had ever forgotten who she really was. Love for all of the amazing miraculous people she had ever been lucky enough to call friend, to call family, to call lover, to call foe, to call ex, to call at all who would always eventually in their own unique way remind her.
And then she felt it. She felt it clear as day flowing through her, flowing out of her, flowing into her, flowing all around her. God. Love. An endless abundant river of light, an endless abundant river of love that encompassed all of her emotions, all of her fear and sadness and rage and ideas and notions and misbeliefs and visions and….all of it. Things that she hadn’t even thought of yet, people she hadn’t even met. This river absorbed it all and transmuted everything into the most glorious gold stardust and merged itself with the light pink clouds of unconditional compassion and then fell like snowflakes into her, melting into her skin and filling her entire body with a feeling that defied words.
“Everyday it’s a gettin’ closer,” she heard “going faster than a roller coaster.” And she knew it to be true. “Love like yours will surely come my way.” She knew it already had. And the tears flowed again. And she welcomed them.
She knew she would not be miraculously different when she walked out of that room. and she also knew growth was a process not an event. For one moment at the start of class she wanted to release every single thing from her past and leave the room as a completely new person. But now as she was staring at her true colors loving them, receiving love from them she knew she would never be anything other than completely her. The sum total of her parts forever blending, forever merging, forever growing with whatever was added to her simultaneously available blank canvas. Thank god.
And she was always open to the miracle. Like standing in her kitchen pouring hot scalding water over a little bag filled with mint, letting her memory visit a recent time when a soul friend would make her tea. When this friend loved her and nourished her heart. “Holy shit I love you.” she heard herself say for a moment mistaking these words as only for her friend. Very quickly though she realized that while yes, those words were for her dear sweet wonderful friend, they were also for her. Every I love you she had ever said, and my gosh has she said a lot of them, and every I love you she will ever say, and she knows there will be many, many more, is hers. They are for her. They live in her.
She stood in her kitchen and realized, there’s no such thing as goodbye, not really. It may be sad when you have to leave, or end something that is loved and that’s ok to be sad. But it doesn’t mean the thing leaves, the thing lives in me, the thing is me. I am the thing. Holy shit I love you. And she felt her belly fill, then her chest followed by the most delicious exhale. Smiling she let the hot water travel down her throat past her heart into her stomach warming her whole body and went to bed ready to see what the heavens had in store for tomorrow. Knowing no matter what it was, she had her breath and she had her love.
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