Had a killer day yesterday. It took me a while to realise I had let a few people into my life who just didn’t get it. It’s never an easy time of year for me as there are a lot of imprints round trauma and loss and I am, as yet, still emerging into awareness about so many issues of my life.
The catalyst was this: I love my dog, but yesterday morning, very early, he came in the bedroom and lifted his leg on the armchair and did a huge pee on the carpet. It was his first morning home from the dog minders where he had been running riot with a miniature Schnuazer named Alfie, and so he had been out of his routine.
I flew into a bit of a rage about it and gave him a slap. Funny that as I have just been editing a blog on how repression of instincts leads to repression of the True Self.
As a child, my mothers head was put through the wall by her mother on one occasion. In our family home there was a lot of repressed frustration at times along with perfectionism and quiet a few painful childhood incidents with hairbrushes and wooden spoons. In addition we have multi-generational issues of abuse and addiction on my Mum’s side of the family.
As soon as I had thrown poor old Jasper out of the house I was overcome with sadness and remorse and feeling quite ashamed. He was certainly keeping his distance and gave me one of those “what have you done to me? Meanie” looks from him.
It was all a bit much after everything as I just had a pretty full on operation on my sinuses. Upset and distressed I rang a friend in floods of tears, she then called another friend and half an hour later that friend and her husband were on the doorstep to take Jasper. Lots of tears followed. And a conversation which didn’t really help but only made me feel worse, as well as bad and wrong for having my feelings.
Was it too soon to have Japser home after having this surgery? Maybe, but I live alone and was missing him. Was I sad and frustrated that I had had Christmas all alone due to the surgery and the fact my family don’t really care to be there and give comfort in illness or are sick themselves? Most probably. Had I been dealing with a lot of pain, not only from that but from ongoing family issues including an attempted suicide of a family member in April? Was I over tired. Yes, all these things.
But the greater truth may be that I’m, like everyone else, just a struggling human being who has taken a bit too much on and at times really struggles with expressing feelings and honouring boundaries of self care. Sometimes I get angry and that’s okay because my anger is always trying to tell me something.
I really don’t think I deserved a lecture from my friend about how wrong it is to hit small creatures. I felt upset enough as it is. And maybe I was replaying something from my childhood. I hadn’t been sleeping well due to the drugs I had to take following my op. Being a recovering addict with 20 years abstinence I don’t take well to medications and they make me sick. All that can and did contribute.
There were a lot of tears yesterday and as I looked at the astrological aspects, I wasn’t surprised to see that Sun and Mercury are both coming up to square Mars which is square Pluto….. stirring up all kind of intense feelings from the depths.
Also anger from another abandonment had started my body twisting by later in the evening. As I got into bed I realised I was holding inside my body a hurt that needed to spoken. At about 11 pm I sent that text with the words I needed to say.
Guess what? Where before I was all twisted, I was now able to relax. I had the best nights sleep and woke up to the most beautiful gentle summer day.
Had a lovely conversation with a friend about pain today… Everyone has some pain, she said.. its just do you let the pain become a burden and do you remain open to the joy that is there in life despite the pain? That made me think. Some times pain does eclipse joy but more importantly if we are hurt or in pain do we look inside to explore why and what is happening? And use that information to make choices that minimise our pain so we can move through to joy?
Another question. Instead of freaking out at that moment, can we just accept it and feel it and allow it a place.
I’d like to insert a quote from James Hillman here.
Because symptoms lead to soul, the cure of symptoms may also cure away soul, get rid of just what is beginning to show, at first tortured and crying for help, comfort and love, but which is the soul in the neurosis trying to make itself heard, trying to impress the stupid and stubborn mind – the impotent mule which insists on going its own unchanging obstinate way. The right reaction to a symptom may as well be a welcoming rather than laments and demands for remedies, for the symptom is the first herald of an awakening psyche which will not tolerate any more abuse. Through the symptom the psyche demands attention. Attention means attending to, tending, a certain tender care of, as well as waiting, pausing, listening. It takes a span of time and a tension of patience. Precisely what each symptom needs is time and tender care and attention. Just this same attitude is what the soul needs in order to be felt and heard. So it is often little wonder that it takes a breakdown, an actual illness, for someone to report the most extraordinary experiences of, for instance, a new sense of time, of patience and waiting, and in the language of religious experience, of coming to the centre, coming to oneself, letting go and coming home.
I didn’t take too many painkillers after my spinal op and I was in horrendous pain. But when I breathed into the pain, when I accepted it, and when I touched it with love and mercy it did transform.
For me, someone who has had a lot of pain and at times been stuck in it, I’m finding that solution works best for me.. What we resist persists. When I can stay with things, its easier to make my way to the inner centre, let go and come home.
So today even though I feel the sadness of this time of year, I also feel a quiet contentment too, because I’m choosing to stay home. And I feel grateful that over these past weeks though I have struggled I have grown to and come out the other side through acceptance of pain, rather than a denial of it.
At the end of my day yesterday I had figured out some things and acted on the impulses my body spoke to me. So today has been a better day.