At times I need to let go of ideas or hopes or dreams I have of how life would be ideal. I am having to let go of the idea of having permanent fake teeth in my mouth and accept that from here on in I will have 3 teeth on a plate that is then inserted into my mouth.
When I saw the dentist yesterday he was very slow and measured. He wanted to make sure “I was entirely ready” to have my tooth out and cope with the denture. I gathered from what he said that so many people could not cope with it very well and he was worried as to how I would react having to see myself every morning with no front teeth when the denture is out. I must admit that before I went yesterday my inner child or inner self just cried and cried and told me she doesn’t want to have the tooth out and have to go through this hurdle to wear and denture and be a gummy shark with no front teeth! And while I can hold her and my hand through this I KNOW I have to go through with it and feel the pain. I had to tell my child and inner self that sometimes I have to go through something I don’t want for a higher reason or for the sake of better physical or emotional health. It was the same feelings I went through when I had to face breast cancer. I felt like Jesus in Gethsemane pleading with God to not have to face it, but I did and I survived.
Facing this yesterday and letting myself fully grieve and have all the associated emotions was painful but ultimately good. I was able to get myself dressed and get to the dentist and I cannot tell you how many times I have cancelled out of dental appointments before. But it also made me realise that I have also avoided heaps of things that it would be better if I had faced, and that there were times when I needed to let go of much loved or needed attachments that were actually holding me back and I could not. I wanted to be the nice girl and do the right thing, or at the very least not abandon others who were in pain. That was a positive motivation but not when it led to the loss of my own inner needs and happiness.
Today we had a heavy fog. As I write this the first rays of sunlight are only just starting to shine through at 11 am. And today I was thinking about another kind of FOG which obscures the sunlight for me : Fear, Obligation and Guilt. I was thinking of how many times these three have stopped my own individual Sun essence from shining forth, from allowing myself to separate and go for the good things especially when others were suffering. Another thing I noticed this week is how my Mum unconsciously evokes these kind of feelings in me by telling me about how my sister is going through some emotional struggle. The assumption she makes is that my sister is weak and cannot cope and then I feel drawn in and as though I need to do something to help my sister when really what she is going through is about her and I struggle along silently with my own problems and others in my family rarely reach out to see how I am coping.
I opened the post intending to write about letting go and my insight earlier into FOG while doing yoga stretches is associated. I need to be much more aware of letting go and realising when fear, a sense of obligation or guilt are motivating my actions or alternatively limiting them.
In the case of fear I have not always been able to recognise that is what has been imprisoning me. I think the accident I had it 2005 has left me with huge fear/trauma imprints about moving forward or taking any action and subconsciously this fear prompts the panic attacks I have around 5 to 7 pm every evening and to a degree the problem I have with waking up in the morning.
This morning I remembered to be extra conscious of making sure I had my attention on the breath when trauma flood had me pinned. I was aware of the funny cartoon in Bev Aisbett’s book which portrays the panic attack as funny carton dragon who hovers in the shadows and sends up all kinds of thoughts. In my own case it isn’t just thoughts that prompt my attacks there is a stored vibrational charge of chemicals in my body that wake up every day in the morning. I then get extra focused on my body and find it hard to bring my energy into the day. But thinking too which runs along negative lines can also hold me back.
I read a older post on a site earlier about how one survivor of an eating disorder which spoke of how ED as a voice tries to keep the person thinking along negative lines. It will see all the things that are wrong. In this way it keeps us trapped and from seeing what is actually good. I am noticing more and more these days when my focus is pulled toward the negative so that I can then put my energy on something beautiful, good or positive. Yes there is a lot of pain and negativity in people and in the world but we don’t have to allow it to capture us all of the time, or at least I am realising that I don’t have to.
I can also let go of the sense of obligation I feel to take care of others in my family and realise that there is a force beyond me that is meant to help them. I am not put on earth to give all of my energy to others who are suffering. I can show support and care when I am in a strong place, but otherwise at times my need to help comes out of something else and may even be a projection of a neglected part of myself that in fact needs my own care. It may even come out of guilt I have or a belief I am not worthy of a happy, free life and that is not fair, for I am worthy of these things, but thinking that I am not does keep me bowed under, or most definitely has in the past.
I think that in some families joy can actually be a quality that is shamed. We can be shamed for being full of life, or different, or full of energy or happy. We can be made to feel that if others are suffering we need to suffer too, or at least must not present them with the challenge of a happy, free person for whom things are going right if they are having problems.
I am now identifying this kind of thing in myself. I am aware of the joy killer that lives within and dampens me down with all kinds of negative heaviness. I actually am feeling more and more lately I want to let that killer go and get that negative energy out of my head. I want to let go of fear, obligation and guilt, they were such strong conditioning agents of my Catholic education and come to think of it we have Jewish background on my Mum’s side three generations back and at times I feel that heaviness as a shroud that can be limiting and life denying when it focuses on obligation to family, rules, oughts or shoulds.
And outside my window now sun and blue sky has been revealed as the fog has slowly cleared away and so I want to go out and embrace the day with my dog. I am so grateful that now I no longer spend days and days and days in immobility and pain. I am so grateful for the life energy I feel returning when I face up to the tough stuff in stead of running away and find that when I let of certain attachments to ideals and hopes something else can present itself to me, something that may a precious gift hidden within it that I may never have been able to imagine myself or experience if I had not said yes to and embraced the necessary pain involved in the letting go process.
Post script :
After posting this I found the following in Bev Aisbett’s book on panic attacks listing the things which are required of us to recover and it was an interesting read as she touched on what I was writing about above:
In order to effectively make changes for the better you will need to set out to achieve the following goals:
An absolute belief that you deserve to be well, happy and loved
A complete shift of focus from being a loser to being a winner
A conscious awareness of choice
An ability to just BE
A total commitment to wellness not illness.
Just writing this triggers my inner negative voice but I will put it out there, as I feel it speaks to what a new approach to my life may be asking of me.