Push, push, push

Masterchef Australia is currently on tele here in Oz and the refrain push, push, push is heard nearly every night but its a reminder to me that sometimes I just need to rest, rest, rest because I can push and push and push to have to get things done and sometimes its coming out of anxiety or critical energy.

Earlier I wrote a post that touched on positive self will, I guess this is action which is line with Self that tries work in a balanced way to both project us into the world, but at the same time tell us when to rest, go easy, or take it slow. In childhood I never got to experience relaxed happy times with my parents.  It was a very duty bound home full of responsibilities and in some ways this can be good but not when it interferes with my ability to relax, let go and have some fun!

After getting into a rage last week about being stuffed around by the dentist and that arking up all my head trauma, I then got reminded of how it felt to be around family energy.  Just this morning my brother called from America.  He is go, go in the garden nearly put his back out by digging in the front yard.  “Just be sure to take care of yourself”, I said.  Then when I had to share about my dental trauma there was absolutely zilch emotional reaction or connection just a dull heavy emptiness and as so often happens after I got of the phone to him I found myself in tears.  My family are JUST SO SHUT DOWN.

Later my sister called to say that in training this morning her personal trainers dog jumped on her and soiled her nice clean leggings,  I just wanted to say ‘get lost’ she said.  I considered this with a calm irony.  I just said “Wow I can almost sense Mum’s flared nostrils from here!”    I remember how my dead sister would never let my mother remove old flowers from her room and how she loved the story where Mum visited a family friend’s farm and got upset due to ending up with chicken shit on her shoe…this delighted my sister.

I have empathy for my Mum though, to be left that alone when you are young and then to feel the only way you can find value or worth is by taking control, keeping everything perfect and looking good is very sad on some level when it costs a heavy price in being able to just let loose, laugh at chaos and have some fun.  I get anxious just thinking about the chicken shit, to be honest but I think that is a conditioned reaction.

I allow my own dog to jump up when he wants too.  People at the dog park don’t mind, I know some would consider it not a good sign, a sign of ‘bad manners’ or inadequate training. I see it as a sign of how affectionate he is and how much he loves people, and having him has re-connected me with that part of myself which so long ago went into hiding in a home where we were conditioned to think more about how we looked on the outside, than about how we felt on the inside and must keep genuine needs and interest locked behind a wall of fear or shyness.

Today, once again I am not going to push, push, push.  I just had a moment where I realised I was pushing and then felt really, really sad and an inner voice just said to me “how bad could it be if you just relaxed for a while?”  So for the first time in over 2 years I sitting in my faded floral chair in my small dining room and writing this.   It feels GREAT!

I know I can overcome my childhood conditioning.  Day by day I am learning more about it.  A constant theme in therapy is about how the inner critic pushes and savages me and I am learning to let go.  I had a positive dream last night in which I was being expected to make a meal at an event where there was already a lot of food, I decided in the end not to make anything even though I felt guilty.  I see that as a good sign.  The other positive dream image was that I had met a lovely man and he got undressed to get into bed, I was about take off my jeans and then I felt I wasn’t ready.  I got into bed next to him and said.  “I’d like to take my time to get to know you before we sleep together.”  He was fine with it.  I am nearly crying as I write that because sadly due to low self esteem and lots of emotional intimacy hunger in my teenage and younger and even older adult life I have jumped into bed with partners far too soon, and in the last relationship warning signs were there at the start that he had narcissistic issues and I overrode my own instincts when he asked me to have sex as I was so lonely.  This dream seems to auger really well for boundary issues.  Maybe my ‘no’  and self esteem muscles will get stronger in time.  Maybe I no longer have that same hunger due to my inner work and can now be a lover to myself, first, maybe I am learning to practice self care.  The dream sure seems to be saying just that.  Thank you God.

Letting go of fear, obligation and guilt

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.

Force of love

AB.jpg

Force of love

Pushing me on

Rising like a tidal wave

From deep in my soul

Is calling me home

Is saying for the first time in my life

You belong

You are here for a reason

Remember all the seasons

Which you weathered

Beaten down with paralysis, fear, agony or pain

And the days on which your soul rose again

From a pile of ash

You were either being cleansed

Or shaped for some new purpose

Do not fear any more

Sweet darling

Trust yourself

Trust your life

Trust others

And know that deep inside

You have the capacity to weather

Any storm

And that you have finally solved the puzzle

By recognising

How much peace is found through surrender

That deeper surrender that only comes

When you learn to let go

And open your heart and being wide enough

To embrace all feeling

Allowing it to have its way and move through you

Carrying you on with the force of its power

And its love

Like a tidal wave

To a new shore

From where you will look back

And realise

How necessary everything you went through was

To the evolution of your soul

What if?

Broken heart.jpg

Something in my heart seems to have unlocked over the past 24 hours.  I sense the shift came today when I finally accepted I needed to have my tooth extracted.  I made the call to the dentist and she picked up while I was only 15 seconds into leaving a message.  I knew last night that I needed to accept due to the infection in my tooth it must come out.  I immediately stopped experiencing all the push pull symptoms in my body and I sensed a well of love from deep within but also all around me as I moved into surrender and acceptance.

I went outside to do some cleaning up of leaves and the thought came to me : what if I view every single thing that has happened to me as part of God’s plan to open my heart? What if I said an unconditional ‘yes’ to it all and stopped fighting it and complaining about it?  What about if I turned any pain I have over to a loving power and asked for the strength to endure?  What if I shifted my focus from how things are affecting me to how others are affected?  What if I opened my heart and just embraced life?

This morning I had the news that my sister’s daughter in law’s Dad is dying.   It wont be long now that he will end his struggle with cancer.  This afternoon I rang my sister as I knew she would not share the news with me, that she would keep it to herself but all the love I had in my heart made me want to be there and let my sister know I am here if there is anything I can do.   And I am aware that when my Mum opened up to me about it and spoke of my sister’s pain and distress, she was also suffering and being reminded of how it was to have lost a husband very close to her 60th birthday, too.

When I spoke to my sister she told me how cut up her son was. “I know everyone thinks he is a hard person, but the truth is, Deb he is so soft inside.”

I told her that my first therapist had once told me something I feel is very important.  She told me the harder the exterior of a person, the softer and more vulnerable they really felt inside, they just often have a very hard time admitting it and may have developed that hard shell like the proverbial crab to hide a tender underbelly.  I know this about my nephew that he is SO LIKE MY SISTER.  They both have strong Pisces energy opposed by Virgo, the Virgo side of being very organised and literal minded hides or defends in some way against the intense Piscean sensitivity that is so open.  I thought of what must be being triggered for my nephew at present.   He was only four years old when my Dad died and he was so sad.  He had these huge brown eyes that would look you in the soul and when Dad died this is what he said with tears in his eyes when he found out “why did he have to go and do that, we wont be able to go fishing anymore”.   I think his youngest son is now around the age that my nephew was when he lost his own grandfather.

Death makes us vulnerable.  It is the one thing that comes to us all sooner or later.   My heart goes out to my nephew and to the pain he is feeling in watching the wife he loves go through pain.  They live a very long way away and so that is putting pressure on them as my nephew’s wife left for the long trip to be with her father while my nephew stayed behind, unsure of when to go himself, unsure of how much to expose the children to.

As my sister and I talked about it this afternoon we were able to share about how we also struggled with death.  I offered to be there if they need any help at all with the kids, for it seems that these days due to the fact I have worked through a lot of my own pain I want to be there if I can and if it is needed.  If it is not then that is fine too.  And I am also becoming aware that working to accept the way things are is much easaier in the long run.  Surrendering to life’s wave, opening my heart and becoming willing to ride the tide of feelings which move me outside of former comfort zones of self protection erected against those things I can not ever really protect my self or someone else from is in the end a far better way to live in this life than just holding on and sucking in all the pain and energy in fear and resistance.  It appears to me that an open heart is a brave heart, it is the heart that is willing to be broken so that in and with the breaking new life and energy can enter and enlarge the heart’s expanse to accompany more of the good stuff, compassion, acceptance and unconditional love.

And I am beginning to understand that there is no pain that is too large to hold if and when we surrender it in open hearted non resistance to a loving God or Goddess energy that is always there ready to hold our hand and help us transform through the pain

Human.

 

When hope has gone

Butterfly.jpg

I have known

Hope dashed on the rocks of harsh reality

Too many times

To be a superficial person

I have known

Those who told me

Such breaking didn’t hurt

Was just a flesh wound

When it went soul deep

Is it any wonder I get confused?

That I question what is real

What I feel

And what do tell myself

As I wrestle deep within the schism

Such things created

This fissure deep inside

Hope lies vanquished here

I don’t think it will return

I am older and wiser now

I need to like and trust who I am

I must now love myself

For amidst this wreckage

This is the best of what is left, really

My soul has known hope dashed

Against the rocks of harsh experience

So many times

That now I must never cleave

So far again

From my what my soul feels

And knows

Deep inside

Tough day : trudge on

I had one of those days today.  You know the ones where metaphorically your soul feels like it is wearing cement boots and you are being forced to walk through quicksand or heavy mud?

It came after another session in therapy where I travelled down so deep into dark times of my past and then told my therapist I was a coward for not being able to make an independent life in England, despite the fact I suffered a major head injury and had other forces conspiring against me.  Her response opened up the floodgates as I saw HOW HARD I can be on myself for my past failures.   She was just so compassionate and caring with me it really brought me undone.

Then we had a grey, cold day.   I had a commitment to get my car out to get a quote for repair of damage sustained a few weekends ago when I over ran my boundaries, it was perhaps another reminder of how I get over extended then I looked around home and felt even more overextended and completely exhausted.   I lay at one point on the floor in the bedroom wrapped up in my doona watching the few remaining leaves that have not let go of the tree flutter in the breeze and wondered why some leaves let go easily and other don’t.  Lots more was going on in my head and I was in a deep place of sadness. I felt as though with my strong Neptune I can no longer fight against the fate of being a caring person who loved her family so much she had to stay close but often felt like she fell out of their minds.  I felt the love beating in my chest that will always be there, maybe I never got back as much as I gave.   Maybe I will live with regrets for the rest of my life.  Maybe some days will be hard always.   I really prayed today to be able to meet everything with acceptance and love.  I am tired of fighting.

I then thought of how our ancestral name was actually Trudgeon.  When you break that down it reads trudge on, the metaphor and association to feeling like I was wading in a cesspit with concrete boots was not lost on me and in some way I saw the humour as well as the deep tragedy in it.  Later my Mum called and sounded so tired and her voice was breaking.  I haven’t had the energy or time to take her over the chicken soup I made on Sunday and promised her.  I have had to take care of me.  I cried after I got off the phone and then felt my energy return.

Yesterday I was sharing with Katina how my dog Jasper often sits silently by my right hand side with his back to me.  It is as though he is my protector and he is simultaneously reading my energy and standing on guard.  I was sharing how that kind of loyalty moves me to tears some times and I said to Katina how I saw that is the way I have often been with my Mum and my family.  It was hard to let go when I knew they were in pain but maybe they never even expected it of me.  It was me who chose that option.

Outside of what I was feeling today I know there is another part of me.  It is not always accessible to me.  The light, playful, happy, dancing, gregarious side can go to ground on the tough days as I feel myself trudging through life.   The only thing that sustains me is the realisation these heavy feelings have come and gone before.  I don’t live in them as much these days and the slow approach of the shortest day and winter is probably playing a role in the way I am feeling.   I wrote a post on loving my body earlier.  I will probably post it after this one.  I was searching for an appropriate image for it but by then it was nearly 11 am and I hadn’t had breakfast which was kinda strange seeing the post was about caring for my body and being connected to my body.  However blogging connects me too.  I provides my feelings and mood with an outlet which means not everything stays locked up inside.  On the tough days I give myself a hard time for feeling paralysed and forget I am still a work in progress and that I must keep remembering to honour progress rather than perfection or other self punishing ideals that don’t speak to the full truth of what my heart contains and has gone through over years both in and before recovery.

Goodbye to the meadows

Meadows

When the losses of your past possess your soul

It is so hard to let go

When memories of those connected times

Of months you spend surrounded by natures gift

Living as you did

On the brink of the meadow

Cycling at twilight

Through cow parsley waist high

Return

And you think of how much promise there was

And how much unravelled

It feels as if your heart couldn’t expand wide enough

To fully encompass all the tears and pain

And yet there is some sweet relief in finally being able to feel

The true reality

That has been caged and locked down

Deep inside your heart for so long

Today you said to me

This is you saying goodbye to Jonathan

Yes, and I can never go back

So I must cherish what memories I can

And be grateful we had that summer

Where nature’s gifts surrounded us

Before everything shattered

And the dark night came down

Like a heavy blanket

Separating us

From connection

From love

Robin I remember you

I can never go back

But in my mind’s eye I watch you hop along the fence

And cry with remembering

How much your gentle presence

Was loved

“if we were not capable of laying our desires to rest, returning them to pure energy, we would be enchained forever, prisoners of what we once held dear.”

Gray Crawford