Moving the bad out for the good to move in.
When I was living in Melbourne I had my heart bruised like mint for a mojito by a bartender, who I now realize was far better to me in my fantasies than reality. Charlie Maginness, a healer, practitioner, and entrepreneur told me to go to Kiki Chi, owner of Energy Queen. I am a believer in experiencing all sorts of expertise, and in a time of need I always dive in headfirst. This experience would be my go to share for scuba-deep friendship conversations in my life to come.
It was one of those, I’ll make it work situations. You do whatever you need to do to get there, and at some point along the journey you question why you are sitting alone on a bus so far from your known path…but here you are. I wasn’t sure if I had found the house at first, but eventually I realized the subtle side screen door was my entrance. Kiki was already waiting for me to arrive and quietly brought me into her small flat. It reminded me of my Asian relative’s apartment in Brooklyn; it was dim, and decorated sparsely, with floor mats to sit on and dark wood furniture. The flat’s hole-in-the-wall feel evoked the healing spirit of a little Asian apothecary. I sat on the floor, and watched her disappear and come back to hand me a small cup of green tea. I was under this experiential spell, and was half-convinced I’d be able to tell my own fortune if I kept staring into the little tea leaves.
“It’s not that you are bad, but there’s no room for the good to go” she said. Like a vacuum, let out what you’re holding onto inside to let in the good that’s waiting at the door”. She wasn’t wrong. I am a Scorpio (without the vengeful bits) and in my youth would fall into a bit of that tortured artist habit. Kiki’s comment was a gentle way of saying, stop feeling sorry for yourself as it’s doing you no good. “Close your eyes…now I want you to start at the beginning. Where does it start? Picture his face. Tell me when you see him. Now tell me when his face starts to change” and she began her healing. I don’t know what she is saying or doing, but after a minute I tell her when his face starts to shift. “Now, I want you to think about what you gained from that relationship experience. Say thank you for teaching me whatever it is you learned. Picture handing him a yellow flower.” “Now the next face…” and so we went, as I continued sipping what I still consider the best green tea of my life.
I got back on the bus, and half-way home I realized that I wasn’t sad. I was fine. It sounds like magic, I still feel that way now, but it’s true. Over the course of the month, I attributed my ability to forgive to my self-practice of Kiki’s technique. I am an all or nothing person so I decided to create a big ol’ swimming pool of the past and dive in, hoping to come out on the other side lighter. I went to a restaurant, sat at a table for two hours, and started writing down the A-Z of each story, and when I arrived at Z I closed my eyes, pictured their face, handed them a yellow flower, and said “Thank you. Because of you I am stronger / smarter / … and I forgive you. Good luck.”
As Kiki would say, you will never be happy if you don’t forgive first.