Sometimes people don’t get along. I’ve had several people in the last weeks come forward and say “I can’t come to the potlucks anymore, because I’ve had this/this/this happen with some person, and I’m not sure I want to face them. I feel uncomfortable to be in the same room as them.”

It hurts my heart every time, and I encourage them to work it out.
It hurts so deeply, and it seems so simple to just sit and talk and work it out.

And I get why they don’t want to come.
It sucks to be in a room with someone you have unresolved issues with.
It clouds the whole room, and it can wreck a whole party.

So for most people, they just stop going. In fact in our culture of pain, isolation and addiction, it seems easier than not to just tune out, move on, not call back, not show up, and say goodbye to the people who we disagree with, or who have caused problems for us. Sometimes saying goodbye to whole communities, relationships, and friendships along the way.

I know the pain of this.
I’ve travelled, a lot.

I travelled as a way of escaping from really caring about anyone,
or avoiding getting so entangled that anyone would really push my buttons.

I’ve had a lot of 2 week best friends.

What I found was that no matter where I went in the world, the people around me showed up in the “archetypes” of my subconscious. A new best friend, a new lover, a new difficult conversation, and new greatest subconscious pain, showed up where ever I was and made me face them anyways.

It made it easy to see,
and easy to ignore,
as “Maggie” showed up in country after country,
asking me to heal the wound I had with her.
A different face, a different background,
but the underlying pattern the same.

While anyone who I didn’t like could be done in 1-6 weeks,
and with friends changing all the time anyways,
it was simple enough to just move along,
find a new group of friends.

When I returned to Calgary this year it was to stop that pattern, to move through it, and to find friends who I really really loved, people who I cared about deeply, and who I cared about so much that I was willing to do the work, to stop running, and really experience the depth of relationship that comes with pain and finding a way to love again.

I’ve found that in the love I experience with the people at our IVN community potlucks and it’s beautiful.

And today it’s my turn to face my own version of that moment
and stay “let’s sit and talk instead of splitting up”.
It’s scary, and painful, and vulnerable,
and sometimes I want to run and hide from it,
and give up and form my own group,

or go back to being alone.

The kind of healing I’m talking about takes DEEP vulnerability, it takes a willingness to feel pain, it takes a need to look at ourselves, to see where the pain is, how that causes us to point fingers, and to heal the deep pain inside of unworthiness that made us want to lash out or ask for help in the first place.

The beauty of that reconnection, the passion of love long lost and rekindled, is a beautiful thing. Captured so gorgeously in this short film… and in the experiences, I hope will happen tonight.

Also published on Medium.

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Elena Harder. Courage Catalyst, LifeStyle Artist and Joy Hacker. Elena created JoyGasm to heal her experience of postpartum depression, self sabotage, overworking, people pleasing, and an abusive alcoholic relationship. Since then she’s helped hundreds of others meet their JoyGasmic Self to heal broken hearts, remove negative self talk, eliminate stress, fear and depression, and bring immense joy into daily life. Her current personal records for longest standing greeting hug is 22 minutes, longest continuous solo laugh 26 minutes, and longest collaborative laugh at 1 hour 45 minutes!