strong medicine

The automatic, natural contact …

emotion

… with his own emotions and needs gives an individual strength and self-esteemAlice Miller

Over two years ago I made a personal commitment to healing.

It seems that some force took that pledge to heart because my life & health since then seems to have been a long series of …

vomiting-out-the-past

… eruptions & expulsions
of corpses.

I never want to go through that again, but nor would I be without what I have learned.

I want to share one technique that has changed my experience of life.

I have certainly done nothing braver in my whole adult life
than this technique.

In 2011 I began a programme aimed at healing CFS (Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). Although I still have the condition, the programme was a godsend.

The technique (which I carefully avoided for many months) involves sitting with pain or …

pain

… painful emotions,
for a period of twenty minutes every day.

This ‘sitting with‘ could be likened to inviting “it” in for …

tea

… afternoon tea & biscuits.

For twenty minutes it sits on your sofa & owing to the fact that you have neglected & abandoned it for years, it smells, looks & feels …

afeared

… really, really bad.

At first it can feel more death-defying than tight-rope walking Niagra Falls

Twenty minutes can feel unbearable.

It burns.

For me the results of developing this ability to sit with pain have been monumental.

I can still recall where I was in my kitchen when I realised that feelings of horror & dread were a daily occurrence for me.

Without warning they would arrive.

Without thought I would enact one of the many

on the run again

… evacuation procedures,
I had put in place over the years.

But none of this was conscious until that day in my kitchen.

I guess by then, I had been practicing sitting with painful feelings just long enough to allow a small window to appear & when that day’s horror feelings washed onto my shores I saw them & felt them, as if for the first time.

They were intimately familiar, total strangers.

I had known & not known them.

The ‘why’ of these feelings does not matter here, but my freezing them out of consciousness, does.

Perhaps one day we will understand the brutal cost of …

frozen

… emotional glaciation.
But we cannot afford to sit back and wait.

On that day in my kitchen I realised that I had already created a choice.

The choice to unfreeze.

So I began to consciously sit with these feelings of dread & horror. At first, there was a strong revulsion as they sat on my sofa, took up ‘my’ time, slurped tea & dropped soggy biscuits, I wanted the twenty minutes to hurry up & ‘dissolve them’.

All I can say now is, that each time I invited them in, it got easier.

Actually along the way my whole life got easier. Every so often I was startled to discover that something that once felt like it was pulling the flesh from my bones, now had no effect on me.

As you spend more time with these feelings, it can be shocking to notice that their intensity is not that strong. This is a real wtf moment – because the urgency to avoid these feelings is GIGANTIC, yet the feeling itself can be …

tiny

… almost minuscule
in comparison.

I think it must be like the elephant tied with a piece of string trick. Our feelings are so condensed within us, that the merest shake of one strand has us at panic, or battle, stations.

When I pay attention to my personal feelings of horror, they are almost always in the left side of my body.  They do not ‘hurt’. They have a very strong link to my senses – so that it feels like I’m looking at something horrible, smelling something putrid & eating something rotten all at the same time. My face contorts with this ‘sensual’ repulsion. But that is often the totality of it.  All my energy then goes into taking …

evade

… “evasive action
to get away from this or that feeling.

That’s it really, I jut wanted to give you a tool that someone gave me.

So potent is it for me now, & often so strangely welcome & comforting, that I can ‘take tea’ with these feelings for up to an hour at a time.

I know that this allowing of emotion is changing something big time inside me, I am curious as to where I am travelling, but content for now just to keep doing the work, because I’ve had enough of exhaustion & disconnection.

If you do decide to give this a go just try to feel the feeling. Once you have connected with it in your body, let go of any meaning – no matter how righteous the ‘reason’ might be, when you invite your feelings in for afternoon tea, there is no room for justification – there needs to simply be you spending real time with these ‘messy, unloved, (non-carnivorous), monsters.’

It takes practice & courage, but the rewards will be all yours.

September 7, 2013. Uncategorized. 27 comments.