I will never forget when I was in the first grade, a close friend of mine, (let’s call him He-who-will-not-be-named), said “I hate you!” and proceeded to attack the hair on my head like his life depended on it.
He didn’t let go until my playground guardian angel, which in this case was a teacher’s aid, came over to dissect He-who-will-not-be-named’s little claws out of my carefully sculpted bowl cut.
It was the cat fight of the era according to the popular playground posse.
And when one goes to Bellville Number 5 Elementary School in New Jersey, that holds some weight.
We were both sent to the very terrifying principle’s office, which reeked of Parliaments, and suffered some kind of ridiculous but loud scolding.
Looking back now, the principle’s ferocious yelling did not really address anything but instill fear which had no chance of remedying a broken sacred friendship.
However, I was not really bothered by the hollow consequences of scholastic authority.
The real suffering for me was that I could not shake from my consciousness that someone intentionally sought out to hurt someone else’s which unfortunately was me in this situation.
As a very sensitive ‘artsy’ kid, I just could not let it go.
A week earlier, we were such good friends, talking about putting on a play in my basement called The Beast And The Servant (I think my mother still has a copy of this thirty three year old timeless masterpiece somewhere).
The next minute, I was his nemesis…his target.
My heart hurt which I did not even understand at that age.
I just knew something in my chest felt different than it did the day before and that change did not feel good.
What did I do?
Was I a bad friend?
Was I a bad person?
How could someone that I once played, laughed, and talked with about some deep seven year old stuff hate me so much that there was the desire to hurt me?
Thirty three years later I still do not know why He-who-will-not-be-named lashed out like he had. We never had the discussion and no one at that time really addressed the issue other than what we did was bad and not to do it again.
I even think we were given detention in separate rooms and never encouraged to talk it out.
There was no communication between me and He-who-will-not-be-named ever again after that.
I guess this was my first introduction to the now common act of ghosting.
I never really received any actual answers to some of those questions which haunted me as a child.
But at forty years old and many gray hairs later, I have done some extensive homework trying to understand why humans behave the way they do for my line of work and is the basis for the way I teach.
I have come to the conclusion that those in pain have received pain, and unconsciously cause pain when triggered.
Even when those things that trigger another are not known by the triggee.
Well, a lot of time has passed and I am lucky to say, that I have not been in any kind of physical altercation since that first grade trauma.
However, I have experienced many other ways that we go about hurting each other.
There are, of course, the global issues which are reprehensible and heart breaking.
But there is also a silent epidemic in which we have allowed ourselves to become complacent.
Our silence is a weapon that can cause a lot of damage.
Our inability or unwillingness to communicate can equally be injurious.
Hiding behind screens allows for miscommunication that could literally destroy relationships.
Even something as simple as a conscious choice to not be supportive or even celebratory for another’s accomplishments can be wounding.
There are so many weapons we use, consciously or unconsciously, that are just as damaging emotionally and spiritually, as He-who-will-not-be-named’s infamous hair pull is physically.
Despite what we may think or even remember, we all have one thing in common…our desire to live a happy, healthy, peaceful life.
We are all doing the best we can with what we have and are always trying to improve our circumstances.
These circumstances shaped the world in which we perceive and cause us to react based on how we are triggered.
However we go about doing that is based on the accumulation of our life experiences and, at the very core, how we received or did not receive love.
This becomes deleterious when these triggers remain unconscious, taking control of our psyche and therefore our actions, allowing us to repeat patterns that are not necessarily in the best interest for ourself or our relationships.
So we never take a moment to look at the full spectrum of relationships to understand how we can truly be affecting another.
We become so one-sided in our needs, that our actions become the very thing that keeps compounding the very cause of why we began responding the way we do.
We get into a viscous cycle of our unconscious pain-body and forget that we are the very thing that keeps it alive.
If it sounds complicated, it is and it isn’t.
It is complicated because we are addicted to our wounds.
It isn’t complicated because our wounds are only trapped energy that can be released and healed through the power of magnetic intention.
But in order to have the intention, there needs to be the awareness and then the will to change.
And in my case, as would be the case for any of us, that awareness and will to change has to start with me.
No matter how much it can hurt at times, I HAVE to keep my heart open without the expectation of someone else’s heart being open.
I HAVE to forgive without the expectation of being forgiven.
I HAVE to find a way to know that my interpretation of events may not be the only truth of what those events are or what caused them.
I HAVE to allow myself a compassionate understanding of circumstances, even when they hurt, without the expectation of compassion from another.
I HAVE to keep inspiring, encouraging, and supporting, without the expectation of being inspired, encouraged, or supported.
I HAVE to find a way to keep loving without the expectation of being loved.
I HAVE to take responsibility and accountability for my experience in this life.
Maybe others will take a similar path. I hope so but I cannot expect that result.
We have free will within our mind about our experience and the choice is individual based on that chosen perception.
Looking back now, I know He-who-will-not-be-named must have been in pain that day. Maybe something happened at home.
Maybe he was going through something treacherous and did not know how to cope.
Maybe he lashed out at me because he knew I loved him as a friend and it would be ok.
Maybe he lashed out because he needed me and had no idea how to ask.
Maybe he just needed a freakin’ hug!
Maybe had we understood these simple yet complex issues…
Maybe if we had a chance to open up a dialogue addressing the root of the pain…
Maybe He-who-will-not-be-named and I would still be amazing friends thirty three years later.
But that did not happen and unfortunately history cannot be rewritten.
So to my friend in first grade…as the Ho’oponopono prayer goes…
I Am Sorry.
Please Forgive Me.
I Love You.
Thirty three years later, I am thankful for that confusing incident.
It has been an amazing on going learning lesson.
He-who-will-not-be-named was never really an enemy.
He was a teacher.
And so we all keep on going and learning along the way…
PS, I never forgot your name, my friend.