He left me, I found my Heart Centre

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I didn’t really believe he was gone until I burned my toe in the bathtub.

Or maybe it was when I listened to the door slam. Or when I ran over to my bedroom window to pull back the curtain. Or maybe it was when I watched him get in his car and drive away. Or maybe it was when I stared at the empty parking spot that used to not be empty.

But I’m pretty sure it was when I burned my toe in the bathtub. After that my heart starting talking.

Talking. Actually talking. Not the kind of talking you do in your head. Not the kind of talking you do just to hear the sound of your own voice. Not the kind of talking you do to practice a speech or a pick-up line or sexy role-play or something. Not the kind of talking you do when you’re singing out loud because that’s singing not talking.

Talking talking. The kind of talking you do when you’re sitting with someone you love, your best friend or your Mother. The kind of talking you do when the need is so great you don’t even realize you are talking. Where the words flow out not because they should or it sounds good, but because they have to.

You know how if you stare at something long enough you start to become like it? Back to me and the parking spot. The parking spot wasn’t a lot of things really, it was a parking spot, it was mostly just empty. I was a lot of things but suddenly I was mostly just empty too. Like my heart was a plug attached to a string attached to the front door. When he left he pulled it. Empty.

And cold. Suddenly I’m cold. The kind of in-your-bones cold. Curse-word cold, the kind of there-is-only-one-cure cold. He left and I was empty and I was cold and swearing and I knew there was only one thing for me to do. Get in the bath. I will counter what is cold and draining. I will make the water go past the round safety thing under the faucet. I will fill.

I turn the knob to the right. More right. Righter. Hotter than usual. I’m getting emptier by the minute, I will feel.

I peel off my clothes and pause.

First to look at my naked body and because I’m sad have really unproductive thoughts.

…………

Second to get colder. The colder I am, the sweeter it feels to slide in. I know I really really need to feel sweet so I make the pause extra long.

…………………..

I make the pause too long.

Because the temperature of the water increased and because the temperature of my skin decreased, I burn my foot. Any strong physical sensation can be used as a tool. I hear myself say this in the 9:45AM class this morning. Feel your skin, feel your sweat, feel your right big toe, press it into the mat. Any physical sensation can be used to bring you back to the present moment. Remind yourself that you are right here. You are right here.

I scald my foot and I am reminded:

It is 9:45PM

I am in my bathroom

I am going to take a bath

He left me

He left me

He left me

He left me

He left me

I am alone

I am alone

I am alone

I am alone

I am alone

…..

9:50 I get in.

I reach for the bar of olive oil soap. I run it over the legs I shaved with him in mind. Combined with the almond oil body butter I put on this morning, it creates a white film. I don’t care because it’s soft.

The water is warm and I start to feel. The tub starts to fill and so do I.

I reach for my heart. I actually reach for my heart. I actually place my hands on my chest, just left of the center. I grip hard, the soft soap in-between what is hard becomes hard with it. I grip with force like I have it. Like I can hold it. Like I can have and hold it.

And then the words start. The sound clear, the soap, it is my microphone. The words start coming out, like water from the faucet flowing through me. I didn’t make the conscious effort to speak. I didn’t make the conscious effort because I wasn’t speaking from my head. And whenever the words bypass the brain, they come from the body, they come from the heart. They come from the heart and if you place something soft and natural like olive oil soap against it, you can hear it more clearly.

My heart is talking.  Not in my head or in my body but out loud. Lying in the bathtub, my heart is talking. Sound reverberates off the mustard-coloured tub and the mustard-coloured tiles, the acoustics are everything but mustard, they are fantastic. My heart is talking. I am the last act, the final act, the act in this toilet-room cathedral. What everyone has been waiting for. By everyone, I mean me. Or my Mom, who always wanted me to be happy.

My heart is talking. Not in my head or in my body but out loud:

I love and I let go. I love and I let go. I love and I let go.

I love and I let go.

Over and over and over again,

I love and I let go. I love and I let go. I love and I let go.

I love and I let go.

The repetition starts to sound nice, kind of upbeat even,

I love and I let go. I love and I let go. I love and I let go.

I love and I let go.

Paul Simon-ey.

“I love and I let go” becomes the chorus from my favourite song: “I know what I know.”

I speak from my heart and my head listens.  My head, the part of me that identifies with being in pain. The part of me that intellectualizes the fact that it is before ten o’clock on February fourteenth and I should be covered in chocolate or getting my feet rubbed or getting my feet rubbed in chocolate or something.

I speak from my heart and my head listens.

When he walked out the door, my fight or flight response kicked in. My heart started to beat louder, faster, because it was feeling. It was feeling and it had something to say and I let it.

And because my heart is a heart and every heart has a lot of really great things to say especially when it starts to sound like Paul Simon, I calmed myself down.

My inner world moving fast but I am calm. I feel alive,  full of pain but centered. I lay in this naked stillness and I am at the core of something whole.

The good thing about real pain is that it makes you feel. From the inside, from the centre of your chest, it makes you feel. It reminds you where you heart is. It reminds you where to lead from in Camel, to soften in Sleeping Hero. It reminds you where to sing from when you’re alone in the tub and you start to cry.

And because it is from the inside, it reminds you you are whole.

So,

When he leaves you

When she leaves you

When your fish leaves you

When your frog leaves you

When your cat leaves you

When your dog leaves you

When your turtle leaves you

When your baby bird leaves you

When your grandmother leaves you

When your great grandmother leaves you

When your brother leaves you

When your sister leaves you

When your mother leaves you

When your father leaves you

When your father’s father leaves you

When your mother’s mother leaves you

When your roommate leaves you

When your curlingmate leaves you

When your soulmate leaves you

When your dinner date

When your mall date leaves you

When your high school sweetheart leaves you

When your mistress leaves you

When your employer leaves you

When your lawyer leaves you

When your mailman leaves you

When your ice cream truck driver leaves you

When it seems like the entire world is leaving you

You will not leave you.

Run the bath. Grab some soap. Feel your heart centre and sing.

HeartCentre2

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2 thoughts on “He left me, I found my Heart Centre

  1. Well another thought provoking piece of writing – rich with colour, imagery and detail.
    A time to cry, laugh and reflect and move to a much deeper place.
    Thanks for another wonderful piece of writing and sharing something so personal. We have all experienced heartache of a breakup but not many of us can express themselves the way you did. Thoroughly enjoyed. I will have to read this again and again to capture all the details in your writing.

    Madeline

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