As someone who has spent a lot of her life feeling like a powerless victim, tossed this way and that at the mercy of traumatic events I didn’t seem to have much control over, it seems to have taken some time to realise that despite all this I can make choices that will lead me in a new and healthy direction, one in which I feel the power to design my life and create happiness, even when conditions around me are painful or harsh..
Some events in my life and experiences I will have no power over, that is just the way it is to be a human being alive on this planet. There are great transformational events that I just don’t have any choice in: when a loved one dies, gets sick, suffers from a mental illness or if and when a disaster hits. There are some things I cannot control, for example your feelings and responses to me, to painful things you may be going through, to hidden events that have shaped your life that I may not even know about.
There are also things in me that I don’t seem to have a lot of control over, primal feelings of pain and fear and anger, but I am learning that there is an attitude that I can take to these things that gives me some kind of power. For me that attitude is to embrace myself and my feelings in love, not judging whether they are good or bad, but giving them a space to be felt and transformed, rather than fighting with them, trying to deny they are there or ignoring them. Its amazing to me how when I practice this kind of self acceptance my feelings transform.
This morning I spoke to my sister who is being operated on for breast cancer on Tuesday. When we first spoke her voice was fearful, soft and low. I felt her to be in a very difficult place. She told me she is wracked with nausea (which I know to be fear). “That must be really painful for you” I said. “I can understand that you may be feeling that way.”
I noticed what was going on inside me as I remembered that I was powerless over her feelings. I noticed how much I wished it could be different and when I stayed with that feeling a feeling of deep sadness began to bubble in me. I could feel tears, echoes of this time of year when Dad was under the knife for cancer all those years ago. As I sat with this feeling and just felt it, it flowed through me and it passed. We were able to have quite a lovely conversation. At the same time I felt sad too for I realised all the times she had tried in her own way to be there for me as a sister, how much, at times I had pushed her away or felt burnt by her misunderstanding. Underneath all this I just felt both our desire to love and be loved.
Yesterday I was immobilised for a time with the painful feelings my own body was trying to contain. I managed to move through those too and took the creative steps to take care of me. I took Jasper to the park and played, went for a coffee and then took myself off for a healthy lunch at a new café. I came home and my digestive system went into rebellion. I was conscious of two invitations I had received to be with others yesterday and of my choice to be alone and take care of me. I felt my body pulled this way and that as I questioned my choice to be alone. In time I returned to peace and regained my equilibrium as I explored the contrary feelings I experience around the issue of being with others, and being alone.
It was clear to me today that the consequences of making these choices yesterday helped me to have a much better day today. I woke up feeling like I had moved through something huge. Today I sat eating a lunch I prepared thinking of some things. This thought came to me out of the blue:
Resentments mark the place for me where I feel like a victim.
How many times has my resentment blocked me off from feeling the true power I have to give myself whatever my hurting self was so burned up about not getting from others. Regaining my power requires me to look in a new direction from that past painful burning ground.
I then thought of how in designing myself a beautiful lunch. a tin of tune with brown rice and quinoa, a side salad of cucumber, tomato, capsicum, fetta and mint, had given me joy. I thought of how I have the power these days to design my life and self nurture, how I have developed the capacity to be alone and be with my feelings even when they are painful and hold my own hand. I had a huge wave of awakening as I considered the lonely journey of my child self and I took down a picture of me that I keep on a shelf in my kitchen at age 4 holding my toy koala and cried. I then felt that happy child in me who witnessed so much pain and went through so much darkness emerge from the shadows dancing and singing..
Today I realise that my way of thinking runs 180 degrees away from how I was feeling yesterday. “My life lacks meaning, why am I even here, what is the point, I’ve stuffed everything up.” Today I see those thoughts don’t show the true reality although things DID get stuffed up, it was all part of the journey to lead me to here.
With all that is going on at present I know I will continue to have good and bad days. I will watch them pass, while I am in them I will be present for myself. I will centre within and listen deeply to my inner voice to learn what it is I need on this day to design a life for me that nurtures me..