The things our bodies know…

Often, the fear of something is so much more frightening than the thing itself…

I'm slowly realizing how true this is, and I really REALLY love how much braver I'm feeling these days. The fear itself is becoming less and less scary. I've been more brave about allowing myself to FEEL the feelings that come up… about everything. Feeling helps me learn about myself, and let things go.

I'm realizing that the things I've been learning are FUN, and it feel SO good to learn, and to release—to REALLY release them.

The feelings in my body aren't scary anymore. I'm SO in LOVE with my body. We're a team. We are one, of course, but I can see how much my body feels like a small child who needs care, attention and love. And I feel so empowered to be able to give it to myself.

I love being in touch with my body and FEELING it respond to practically everything in every moment of every day.

This whole weekend I've been so much more aware of many shifts in my body, where it is, and what caused the reaction. I'm so in touch with it as it happens—like "Oh! there's something uncomfortable that JUST shifted… where do I feel it? And, what is this?"

I've noticed SO much guilt associated with receiving things. Gifts from others, and things I think I might like to have… I would feel guilty about allowing myself to receive them. Like, J and I stopped at a rest stop. He used the restroom, and I wanted some ice cream. I asked him if he wanted any and he didn't. I stood in line for mine while he went to the restroom. While I ate mine, and he drove, I noticed myself feeling resistant. So, I paid attention to the feelings, listened and associated it with guilt. Like, it wasn't right for me to be enjoying the ice cream without him also doing so. I stayed with the feeling, allowing my body to feel that way as long as it did, and meanwhile gave myself reiki, practically hugging myself to let my body know how much I was there to support it in feeling whatever it needed to feel.

Eventually I realized that I had a belief about things needing to be fair, and if I was doing something, that the others around me should also be doing it, or else it wasn't fair… not equal. I think this goes deeper, but that's as far as I got, and the ache subsided so I could continue enjoying my ice cream. And I DID! It was the best ice cream ever. As I ate it, I really enjoyed watching the sun shine on the green trees and grasses along the side of I95… Such bright colors, and a beautiful sky. I felt loved, appreciated, accepted and so beautiful. He happily sang along to the music as he drove.

On Friday, something came up, that I'm not quite done with, but it felt huge. It's a memory that I've had many times in the past, and remember pretty clearly, but it came from a different perspective than it had come to be in the past:

When I was young… learning to read, so probably about 5 or 6… my parents were recently divorced and my mom was living with her parents. I was visiting her there, and sitting alone in their sun room playing with a stuffed dog.

Around the dog's neck was a collar with a red tag and his name in big, bold, yellow letters. BUTCH

In my head I stared at each letter, sounded them out little by little, and finally felt like I understood the word.  Oh, so proudly, I yelled out what I thought the tag said. Nice and loud so my mom could hear! I was SO excited that I had done it! I wanted to show my mom what I had learned. It felt like such a HUGE accomplishment to me.

Unfortunately, I'd mistaken the U for an I and yelled out BITCH instead. But, I felt SO proud, and excited and totally had NO idea what I had said. I expected praise for doing it all on my own… but instead, my mom came running into the room and slapped me right across the face, from the left to right…

In the past, I'd remember the feeling of joy, the excitement and elation… then when my mom came in, I'd be totally disconnected from my body and viewed the situation from above myself, to my left… not feeling what it was like to be so hurt by my mom—totally outside of myself—isolated—protected. I would sympathize with my mom, and justify her action as being a reaction out of fear of the expectations HER parents had on how she raised me.

I didn't blame my mom… I saw her as a victim of her fear of her parents, and her reaction was based on that…

This time I could actually feel the hurt, and how something inside me shut down in response to it. I felt so betrayed and confused.

Since Friday, there's been SO much less tension in my throat. I feel so much more FREE to express. I sang along to a lot of the songs as we drove, and even felt more open to more conversations with people we were visiting. I was much less critical of how I expressed myself. It didn't need to be perfect before I said it…

It's like I had tapped into the root of a belief I've been holding on to… that my expressions need to be perfectly how another person wants them to be before I express them… or else I'd be punished. But, I never really knew what the others expected… So, I'd resist expressing anything at all, and stay locked up in silence instead.

I don't really understand what happened… I feel better, but there still feels like there's something about this that I'm not seeing… or feeling. Like, there's more to it that I don't see yet. I'm not afraid of it though. I'm so appreciative that my body is willing to work with me now, and I trust that when we're both ready I'll learn more, if it's what's meant to happen…

We're on our way… not sure where… but there's movement. We're journeying.

If anyone's curious about the techniques I'm using to tap into the lessons held within my body… it's called Focusing. It's a very simple series of steps developed by Dr Eugene Gendlin in the 1970's to help people help themselves heal emotionally. I was SO resistant to it at first, but as the book lingered around the house, I occasionally picked it up and read a few pages. Eventually, little by little, I became more aware of my body… I'm loving the process now, and highly recommend it to anyone curious about themselves.

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