Gentleness

It is so important to know what we value in life. Part of healthy self esteem is knowing what we value and taking steps to ensure that we are living in line with our true values.  I have come to recognise lately that what I value most of all is gentleness.

I have been having another vulnerable day today. I decided last week to go back to a local chiropractor who uses gentle breath work to help me to connect to trauma.  On the table today I was given instructions to use the hands placed on the body to breath into three different points on the body : throat, heart and solar plexus.

From here it did not take long for my pain and trauma to arise, the chiropractor at a certain point let my body go through its unwinding process and my limbs move around a lot, without support my body would have dropped to the floor but she gently supported me as my body did its twisting unfurling dance.  I have not ever been able to go through this twisting process with someone before, usually it happens at home when I am alone.  My body contorts and twists a lot especially after eating and some days this trapped energy that is trying to release in its frozen state leaves me trapped for days.

The chiropractor encouraged me to move which was not part of the Body Harmony therapy I was having last year, as the session was completing it was hard to walk, I felt very dizzy and nauseated. I also began to be full of doubts about the treatment.  I was longing just to have had a quiet morning alone at the park with my dog as we did yesterday, not to have to have all of these traumatic images arising.

Towards the end of the process I had another powerful vision of my inner child.  She was in her yellow dress with bows in her hair, holding her favourite toy, a little koala bear and dancing.  There was sadness in knowing all she has endured and there was happiness in the sadness at knowing I was reclaiming in some way my connection to her.

After the session I went home to collect Jasper and we went to the park.  We were alone on the little dog side and I was feeling very tearful when a lovely girl who walks dogs for a living arrived to the big dog side.  “How are you today?”, she asked,  I just burst into floods of tears. I told her about my breast cancer and that tomorrow I have to see the surgeon to find out about the operation, how hard I was finding that prospect, that at this point when I still haven’t fully healed my past trauma I have to undergo more. At the same time I was apologising for crying.

She was so kind, gentle and validating.  “It’s natural you’d be feeling so sad”, she said.  We spent a gentle 40 minutes together in the park under the trees playing with the dogs.  I was aware I didn’t have much conversation.  At home now having made lunch it occurred to me how healing it is to be around softness and gentleness.

What hurts me most is harshness and criticism.  I was reading today about the part shame and criticism plays in co-dependency, in lessening our self esteem, in raising our anxiety level, in making our life fraught with tension and unease.  And alternatively how much we are relaxed by kindness and gentleness.

There is a lovely blogger on WordPress called Gentle Kindness.  As the topic of gentleness came to me today I was thinking of her blog.

I know I have a difficulty with self criticism.  I can also be critical of things that happened to me that hurt me.  They most certainly hurt and were damaging, how much they were intended I am unsure.  I know I cannot heal these harsh things that happened to me.  They did traumatise me and at the moment I am very aware of this pain.  Healing asks me to become aware and this is a process, but healing also asks me to be gentle with myself as I go through this painful process of self realisation.

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