How much value do you place on your inner world? It seems to me that our modern world seems so externally focused. There are thousands of media images and stories, advertisements, a host of information on what to wear, eat, read and watch and we can so easily become distracted by this and loose touch with the quiet centre of knowing within us that I wrote of in poem the other day.
I know that when I got into recovery for addiction what was really behind my addictive hunger and longing was a desire for connection with my inner truly felt self. I also desired to connect with others at a deeper level, but had no idea of how to do this. I now see that from a young age I was impinged upon by so many forces around me and then all the traumas hit me and my family from 1979 onwards within this experience there was not a lot of communication going on. Everything got forced inside.
My life fabric was torn apart abruptly by the accident I had at age 17. However, as I consider this and the events that followed, my elder sisters cerebral bleed and psychotic breakdown, her abandonment and suicide attempt, my own fractured and tumultuous relationships that ended in terminations and then my father sudden illness and death all within a space of 6 years, I see that the outer life was being fractured for a reason. A very deep transformation of patterns was taking place.
All of these events, from the age of 17 to 25 took me inwards and downwards, I sought the pain medication/relief of alcohol and other drugs, while at the same time not really liking or enjoying this path. I was spinning out into a world and life I did not like, nor truly feel a part of and I had so much trauma and many broken threads inside. I now know that I was created to be a person who looks deeper and who had to go on the painful journey of cutting the ties that bound me and prevented me from knowing and living my own truth. I had a lot to recover and discover while not really knowing what the journey was about I had to embark upon it, nevertheless and learn by experiencing all kinds of things.
There are days like yesterday when I am besieged by tormenting inner voices which persecute me. This is what they say:
You’re a failure, a waste of space, why don’t you just end it.
Everything in your life falls apart.
Look at all your failed relationships
You aren’t working now, haven’t worked for years
What are you contributing to the community, to life?
On and on the voices go. They hurt me and they hurt my body. I am seeing today that they don’t see the inner truth of who I am and what I have undergone, they are tyrants, remnants of a lot of other voices in my family and the collective. In them I most especially hear the voice of my mother who had never seen nor valued the inner world of feelings, nor understood the journey I embarked on in sobriety when I decided to put more value on my inner journey than into my marriage to someone who was a worthy person with lots of beautiful qualities but very shut down emotionally and threatened by my need to uncover my inner self and grieve. (This is not something I saw but close friends around me saw this and told me so, after my ex husband and I separated.)
Today as the light has returned to me and I can view myself and my life with more depth and compassion I can see that I no longer want to side with these judgemental, nasty voices against my self. What I see is that that they don’t see the value or richness in anything really and to the extent that I give heed to prevailing social norms or ideals I loose touch with my True Self and live as a False Self, going through the motions and pretending to like or connect with what I truly do not.
I have recently been reading a wonderful book What’s Behind Your Belly Button : A Psychological Perspective of the Intelligence of Human Nature and the Gut Instinct by Martha Char Love and Robert W. Sterling. I bought it recently after hearing about it last year, as I have been experiencing a lot of painful gut symptoms when digesting food over the past few years. Reading it is helping to realise that within my body there is a vast intelligent brain which lives inside my solar plexus that holds the key to my true feelings and which I need to tune into in order to feel well.
The authors explain how through their research they came to see that people suffered from feelings of depression in exact proportion to how disconnected they were from this source of deep wisdom within their bodies. They explain how our culture has taught us to over ride this part of ourselves with the so called “higher brain” in our head. It is not that we do not need to listen to the higher brain but we are only psychologically healthy to the extent that we can allow the signals from the gut (or enteric) brain to inform that so called higher brain. In our culture we tend to suffer from a higher/lower brain split. The gut brain and its signals are ignored or over-ridden. Many of us have been conditioned in this way.
It seems to me that this gut brain connects us deeply to bodily truths from our very earliest days in the womb. It may even connect us to our ancestral experiences. This part of us forms before the higher brain in the womb as we develop and holds the key to our primal based cellular memory.
The authors outline a process of Somatic Reflection through which we can connect to this gut part or ourselves and use it to inform our hearts and heads. This is the path of true individuation that leads us away from reliance on external wisdom, edicts, judgements and mores, inwards to the messages of our spirit and soul which is seeking to unfold its deeper essence on this earth.
I entitled this blog : To Rest, To Dream, To Imagine and from the path of writing I was led back down to my tummy and to the gut brain. When I rest quietly and tune in to my inner body I connect to deeper truths beyond my mind.
As an inward oriented person I need also to listen to my dreams which show me important insights into my life. Listening to my imagination too which lives in my body gives me powerful symbols to dream on and explore in my blogs and life.
Yesterday when I was down on the floor again after being pulled this way and that with my digestive process, deep grief bubbled up. My therapist is taking a months leave and I was not fully aware of all that was being triggered on a primal level for me. Grief bubbled up when we spoke and she offered me support from another therapist who then called me and with whom I connected and was affirmed by immediately.
My therapist had said these word to me : “It seems at the moment so much is being held inside, words and feelings that you cannot speak.”
As I was crying and feeling the comforting relax of being held and affirmed I saw the image of a mermaid lying on the beach, from her mouth she spewed up oceanic substance, water and other debris that had deeper ancestral and collective elements. I felt and recognised my own body that is still deep in a process of releasing grief and other feelings buried deep in my tissues for years and saw a powerful metaphor for that in this image.
Last night I had a powerful dream of my sister who is now dead and suffered from so much repressed feeling and abandonment. She was on a bed all swollen up and blue trying to give birth. There was a dark blue midwife there. I reached out to touch her forehead checking to the midwife to see it was the right thing to do. She was in so much pain. The midwife then transformed into an Islander man who sitting on my sister trying to force the child out. It had abuse echoes on some level, was he helping or hurting her **. The truth is birth is painful. This morning I was drawn by this powerful image of birthing to see the wisdom held in dreams that speak of our bodies deepest truth unfolding.
It seems to me that in this life many of us must be born psychologically a lot further down the track and the gestation and birth is a protracted labour that we must participate in consciously by becoming aware of who we really are and how our experiences have both defined us and blocked us from unfolding our true essence. Finding and living that is the life task that is of highest importance it seems to me. It is not just for us but for the collective too this transformation. And so I must value and never denigrate my need to rest, to dream to imagine and the decision I took all those years ago to find and live from my inner self.
Post script. ** After posting and re reading this I had a powerful insight about the man on my sister’s chest. Yesterday I started to read a book on Ancestral Line Clearing, the author used meditation to connect with ancestral imprints from ages gone by, I had the realisation that the man on my sister’s chest was the weight of past ancestral pain from my maternal Great, Great, Grandfather and his time in New Zealand as the man on my sister’s chest was like a Maori. I just had a gut feeling of tears and grief as this came to me and chills on my skin. We can connect with our ancestral imprints that ask to be known so they can be healed and released.