The Basics Really

I’ve been watched

Havi has done it again. That is – gone ahead and stuck her finger on the button. Hit the nail on the head etc, etc.

She put it like this:

“What I wanted for my husband was for him to receive from therapy what I had: the ability to take personal responsibility for stuff in your life not being exactly the way you want it to be.

What my husband wanted for me was for me to be an entirely different person.”

Huh – Who’d have thunk that she had a crystal ball and had been watching me all those years?

Actually it’s spooky when someone goes on to describe in perfect detail exactly what had been going on in your life.

That she came to it whilst talking about a book on Non Violent Communication is beside the point. (Yes, I do own it – it’s good. I agree with Havi, the poetry makes your ears/ eyes/ brain want to bleed.)

Or maybe it is the point.

Somehow it ties into what I’ve been thinking about tonight. When I was reading it my brain started shooting sparks and going ping, ping, ping!

Recognising the hurt. Acknowledging the hurt. Giving the hurt the space and time it needs to heal. Basically, letting the hurt have the space to feel legitimate without it ruling your life.

Going a few steps back.

Freaky Therapy

I’ve been having Craniosacral Therapy and finding it very effective. Weird, even freaky, there is no way I understand what goes on during those sessions, but it works.

I cannot explain, for instance, why during my first session my therapist put her hand under my liver and I started immediately to feel anxious and then spent the next two weeks releasing a huge amount of anxiety using a very effective technique of imagining my worries as rocks that I throw in a river, or pond, or sea. Finding huge amounts of energy now at hand to use feeling happy, not anxious.

Or why, in my last session when she put her hands between my (very tight) shoulder blades, I was suddenly aware of how unsure I was as a child, how I yearned to feel special, how I carried these through to my adulthood, even though I didn’t need them anymore.

Then, realising that a certain someone who has been relentlessly in my thoughts for months, isn’t there because I’m yearning to see them again, it’s not nostalgia, it’s hurt. Great big gaping chunks of hurt that I haven’t given enough space to heal.

I recognised how I cannot move forward, or recognise that their actions were not personal, or forgive until I recognise the hurt I feel; compassionately allowing myself the space to get over feeling like I had pieces ripped out of my person.

Impatience – well hello again

I’m a rusher. I’ve written about this before. I find it challenging to give myself the space and time needed to just come back to myself.

If you were thinking about this as an actual physical wound it would look like this:

I cut myself. No panic, no judgement – it’s just a cut that needs to be looked after.

So I clean the wound by flushing it out and stop the bleeding.

I apply antiseptic stuff (probably vast quantities of tea tree oil) and then I bandage it up, or get it stitched or whatever.

I carry on being exemplary in my wound care – I make sure it doesn’t get infected and that the new tissue knits together. I give it Reiki and generally take care.

The bruises subside, the stitches come out and the skin is healed over.

TA DA! All done yes?

No.

My scar is still red and inflamed; the new tissue is still fragile and tender.

Scar tissue is still forming. The wound is safe from infection but it’s still not completely healed.

It takes months, even years for the scar to turn silvery and become as strong and supple as the skin once was before. It will certainly be a while before I expect to be able to take the same risks with that bit of skin that I used to.

Why should it be any different for emotional boo boos?

Communicating Non Violently with My Self

By recognising the scar is still healing I can stop pushing to make progress.

I can stop, step back and ask myself gently what my needs are, dialoguing with my fears and hurt along the way in a way that does not threaten them me so that I may seek the best solution to the situation.

If it means that I must stop and feel the hurt that’s been bubbling under the surface and getting in the way of me trusting another person again, then that’s what I’ll do.

But I’ll be safe while I do it (that’s keeping the dressing clean and the antiseptic going).

I’ll have support along the way (the checkups at the Doctor’s) and I won’t be pushing myself to heal faster (avoiding over use and strain.)

As ever – the motto is “Gently does it.”

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Decisions, Decisions

I am betwixed and between this morning, having gone to bed asking myself to imagine having no fear when it came to romance and also my job.

Imagining no fear with regards to romance was no problem – I could imagine my heart being open to new beginnings, ready to experience the excitement and newness of it all without worrying that it’s all going to end shortly, happily trusting that love would be there to support me unconditionally. It did make me consider maybe letting my guard down a smidge.

Imagining no fear with regards to what I do every day – whole different story. Here’s my conundrum. I have always had something of an entrepreneurial spirit. I left school at 16 to begin my own business and I’ve had several shots at it with varying degrees of success.

Until I decided, for lots of reasons both logical and illogical, that it would be best if I just got a proper job and earned some money.

After all, that’s what people do isn’t it?

What’s more is that I really enjoy my job. It’s a great environment, better team than you could wish for, I get to argue with people and outsmart them if I can. I thought I had found a niche where I fitted. I was very sure of this.

But this year, there has been doubt. I’ve been feeling for a while that a change in my life in general is needed and so we’re thinking of moving – brilliant. But where, when, why, how? All these questions which need to be answered are still hovering about nudging me for attention. I can’t decide.

Then, of course, there’s been the six weeks I’ve had off slowly recovering my energy. Which has been more than enough time to think, more than enough time to realise that my creative spirit is feeling very stifled, very rejected and unloved.

Yesterday I got out my sewing machine and I took my sewing box off the shelf. I took out the dress that has been lying in that box cut, but not sewn, for four years and I started to make it. It’s a complicated process, there’s lots of hand stitching and some stuff I’ve not done before. It’s actually two dresses, once lace creation and one slip for underneath. I’ve really enjoyed bringing this gorgeous piece to life, but I couldn’t help noticing that when I took the box down my thought was, “Do I dare?”

Ask that about my life, about making changes and the answer right now is, “No I don’t.”

Once I was fearless and I believed in my dreams. Now I’m only conscious of making the rent. It makes me a little bit sad.

Between Resentment and Trust

Have you been told, time and time again, that respect is earned and not given freely?

I most certainly have and then I had it demonstrated most clearly to me by the society I lived in that it was a one way street.

In other words, I had to earn the respect, but I had to give it out unconditionally if you happened to be an adult, of any sort, even the despicable bullying, lying type of adult.

This is not my sob story of it; the sob story is far behind me now. This is my appraisal of the relationship between self, respect, trust and what the lack of creates.

When respect is not returned you feel very little.

For me, growing up being answerable to everyone and unable to question anyone led to me developing something of an inferiority complex.

I automatically assume respect for people, because of course that is my way, but don’t assume the same respect to be returned, again because this is my way.

Then I get frustrated when people don’t listen to me or treat me like a child.

The irony is quite amusing actually – the human psyche proving once again to be massively fallible.

What though, is respect without trust?

I’m coming to see that the respect I afford others is a childlike one and not a true respect.

In other words, I’ll try not to offend, I’ll be polite, I’ll not pry, but I do not trust. Once more this has something to do with the authority figures that were present during my childhood. You see, the adults I had to respect could not be trusted to act in a manner that necessarily gave much heed to the respect given to them.

When you respect someone, you trust that they know what they’re doing, that they can be trusted to act in a way so as to avoid hurt, to be adult and responsible for themselves.

Respect recognises that each of us is a divine human being.

With that recognition comes the trust that I so often miss out on.

I do not trust people to act like adults and to be responsible for their feelings and instead I find myself worrying that they are going to think such and such, or not do whatever, or do do whatever, which will put me in a bind and then I’ll have to sort out the problem again. I begin to act out of disrespect for them – resenting them, not wanting to talk to them, worrying and wanting to cringe away from the situation.

I’ll find myself sulking and sinking into a good ol’ blame cycle. Before long – BOOM – it all comes out after being bottled up how this is all their fault.

I’ve taken the story in my head and found reality in it, whether it really is there or not. I’ve disrespected and distrusted and so I’ve not seen the behaviour which is respectful or deserving of trust. I’ve only seen that which I have told myself to see.

Respect recognises that each of us is a divine human being.

Ah… that would include me wouldn’t it? …yeah… *looks at feet*

Could it be that it’s not all their fault? … I guess… *shuffles feet a little self consciously*

Could it be that the person I’m not really respecting and trusting is myself? …s’pose… *looks around at all the blank spaces, trying to see who’s being spoken to*

Could it be that if I detach slightly, I’ll realise that the story I’m telling myself about them and their whys is all in my mind and that if I remember to respect and trust them I
begin to feel calmer and more sure of myself? …c’mon, it can’t be that simple…

Oh but it is! …ah, bugger…

If I trust myself to act as an adult, to take responsibility for myself, to act in a way so as to avoid hurt, to know what I’m doing and why because I’ve taken care over my decision, well then – how can I doubt myself? I’ll make mistakes for sure, but you can be guaranteed that I’ll learn from them. I’m doing absolutely the very best I can, and that is all I ask of myself.

I’m only human after all – divinely human.

Exploring Love Part 3 – “Their shit? My shit?”

A while back, whilst writhing in emotional pain from a break up that I had absolutely not wanted to happen and blaming myself for the most of it (as is our want), I happened upon a revelation. I called this the “Their Shit/ My Shit” solution.

Basically it acts on the premise that pretty much everything
another person does that affects you is done because of their shit. Not yours.

It. Is. Not. Your. Fault.

It. Is. Not. Your. Problem.

Obviously, sometimes is does cause a problem for you and that problem may be very much yours to sort out. But that person did not, for instance get angry because you’re a totally despicable person who deserves nothing less. They got angry because their shit was triggered by the situation.

For me realising that I had been broken up in a thoroughly confusing and hurtful set of circumstances happened because of his shit, rather than me being a total failure at anything resembling a relationship, brought an enormous amount peace to the tumult.

It allowed me step away from the blame game I was enjoying torturing myself with. It helped me realise I couldn’t have changed the outcome no matter what I had done and it allowed me to reassure myself that I had acted as I would have wanted to act.

Simples. Also very powerful.

Now, whenever I find myself in a paranoid spiral of self doubt and wondering if it’s all my fault I am able to just ask, “My shit or their shit?” Instant detachment. Lovely. Really rather compassionate all in all.

So I’ve been finding this a really powerful tool for dealing with my present stuff. I hadn’t really considered applying it to the past. You know, to heal all the hurt of the rejections I felt so keenly.

This is where it all becomes part of Exploring Love.

I’ve been doing these fantastical and amazing meditations where I’ve been able to feel myself as complete love. Gradually this has come to me being able to feel this whenever I just stop for a second to open my eyes then open my eyes again. I’m irrevocably hooked.

Whilst this has been going on two books have practically walked off the shelves of the bookstore and into my possession.

The first is called “The Gospel of the Second Coming” by Freke and Gandy. I bought it initially because it seemed like a pretty hilarious piss take of the New Testament; something that is always going to get my attention. Whilst it was hilarious, it was also filled with a whole bunch of stuff about feeling a part of the flow of love (which they call Gnosis) and realising you’re the universe and actually the author and the story. I was all, “Huh! Wasn’t expecting that. Cool. I been and done that all by myself – I’m quite cool.” Pat on back awarded.

Then my eye was caught by this tiny (and horribly expensive in my opinion anyway – don’t buy it from Borders, buy it from somewhere else for less) little book called “The Mastery of Love” by Don Miguel Ruiz. This one was filled with a gazillion bits of things I knew already but needed reminding of, as well as some shit hot amazingness that I hadn’t considered before. I had many, many Ah HAH! moments reading it. Pretty impressive for such a little book I thought.

One of the things it reminded me of was that rejection (erm, my greatest fear probably) is all
their shit. Especially when that rejection happens when you’re a itty bitty chiddler. It doesn’t make the hurt go away, but it does do one helluva lot towards sending the guilty “It–was-all- my-fault-and-I’m-obviously-a-horrid-horrid-person-because-they-did-[insert appropriate action]-to-me-and-they-wouldn’t-have-done-it-if-it-that-wasn’t-so” feelings running away with their tails between their legs.

Shoo! Shoo! You nasty blame feelings. Come here little one and have a cuddle that will never go away. You see, it wasn’t your fault at all. Ever.

Being able to look at pretty much every painful memory I have and go, “oh yeah! Their shit.” has been one of the most healing and loving things I’ve ever achieved.

It allows you to step away from the blame and look at a situation with compassion. For yourself and for the other person, because once you stop taking it all personally, you can begin to see their needs acting out in the only way they know how.

NOTE: It’s not always possible to detach, sometimes it just feels too fricking personal. That’s cool. It is always cool to be feeling exactly what you’re feeling at the moment. The important thing is feeling safe to feel those feelings. Compassion, kindness and gentleness remain top of the list for dealing with any ick. Time, as ever, is bloody marvellous for providing any required hind sight.

Little Steps and Giant Leaps

You can count on the fact that if I have not posted for quite some time it’s because I’ve been needlessly diverted from the track of my very important day to day activities by a highly inconvenient assignment or exam of some sort. Honestly, what do people expect these days in return for a degree?

Since my last post, I’ve spent many weeks flat on my back, sleeping, sleeping, sleeping. Some more hours spent reading, devouring books, even getting through two a day sometimes.

I am now on to Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy trilogy of five books (for the umpteenth time in my life) because I’ve run out of new material. It’s a tome that will always be welcome on my bookshelves, being one I can go back to time and time again to marvel at his comic genius and imagination. Needless to say, I think this might take me a little more than a day.

Of course there’s been the inevitable thinking, thinking, thinking. The endless back and forth of my mind between absolutely not believing the doctors, then feeling like a pile of poo and thinking that I’d have to accept the bad news eventually.

One night, I came home from the movies and found myself in my room in floods of tears. Truly the bottom had just fallen out of my world and I was looking bleakly at the limitations I felt imposed on my life entirely unfairly by some stupid sickness that gave no care in the world for who the hell it affected. Feeling as if who I was, who I’ve become was forgotten and I wanted my mummy, a LOT.

A funny thing happened – I got my mummy, as my mummy, for a whole weekend.

Due to a whole number of circumstances, be it distance, boarding school, a host of mis-communicated feelings, whatever, my mum and I have never had the chance to have a real, honest to goodness mother/ daughter relationship.

We’ve been discovering each other slowly for the last two years since she came to the UK and now for the first time that I can remember I was able to be a child in need of a parent.

I cannot tell of the relief of not needing to have to say, “I have a need” or of not having to meet that need myself, but to have that need intuited and met. I no longer felt the need to do it all by myself and I prepared to let someone in to help me even if, or perhaps especially since, it was my mum – the person best suited to letting in when you’re a child in need of a mum!

I drove down the motorway with tears streaming down my face and I heard a part of me shouting, “I need my family to help me remember who I am!”

By the time I drove in the opposite direction there were no more tears streaming down my face, simply a feeling of quiet joy at the amazing weekend we had both had. We shared so much that needed to be shared, we went back through time and cried when we needed to, hugged like we’d not let each other go when we needed to and we laughed, remembered and re-knitted a family that had become unravelled.

Most importantly though, when I woke up the next day back in my home I no longer felt as if I was sick, just very, very tired. My mind no longer accepted that I was broken, ill, and unable to heal.

I realised that all I needed was time, that it was my soul, my “self”, my whatever – the thing that makes me me, not my body that was tired.

I realised I deserved time. I remembered that the world would still be there when I woke up.

I’ve stepped out for a little bit, taken a sideways step to take in the view and let the other walkers on the path carry on their way without feeling a pressure to keep going.

I’ve been listening keenly to what I’ve got to say to myself. I’m surprised by how much love there is in that listening and the talking.

It’s amazing the healing that you can do when you give yourself permission to get better, when you realise that life doesn’t have to be done all on your own, even if that is how you have had to do it for the last ten years.