In one of my previous ramblings, I came to a few realisations and posed a few questions toward self, which I have been mulling over and sitting with… A lot has happened since then. My attempt to make sense of these mulling-overs (is that even a word…) has had my first attempt at an art piece morph and shape shift and looking very confused (LOL!). Layer upon layer of self-reflection and feeling being relayed onto canvas in an ordered sort of chaos. Unprocessed hurt and trauma has to go somewhere, right ? (Oi … the carnage and torture that comes with being committed to healing generational hurt and trauma and speaking truth (she laughs, but not really). I do believe that all of this will be better unraveled with therapy (never the worst idea).
The process of self is not an easy one if you are a deep feeler and thinker. It leaves one open to potential hurt. It leaves one… deeply, deeply vulnerable. Inner voice constantly taunting me from within. Ha, ha – gotcha! You are a ‘deep feeler and a deep thinker’, ‘you’re a sucker for humanity’ and ‘you are way to understanding’ (all great qualities to have but this can also be harmful if not channeled and guided correctly). The problem with this is that being too understanding will undeniably and inevitably always lead to an abandonment of ‘self’ for the sake of others… This is not sustainable – and also grossly unfair toward self and the world. With holding the essence of who we are just to please, diminishes our own light. Rather than draw closer to self, the path to authenticity becomes clouded. An intricate boundaried balance is required.
When this has been a “way of being” for most of one’s life, however – the process that is ‘self’ is interrupted and the heart and mind just cannot endure or sustain this long term and this often has extreme consequences, not only for self but for others as well. The possibility that we expose ourselves to treatment that do not align with our morals and values ultimately causes us to abandon self for the sake of others – which almost always leads to further fragmentation.
Let’s talk a moment about managing triggered responses. How do we take control back in a moment where we feel anxiety is taking over and we feel “at the mercy of” everything that we desperately would like to not think about? These show up in various ways. A smell, an image, shoes, physical similarities, tone of voice … a sound. This can be extremely overwhelming and scary. The body will let u know that you are in a state of fight or flight. Heart races, a feeling of being ‘removed’ or floating, followed by numbness and shaking, nausea and a general feeling of helplessness. It is scary to say the least – but you absolutely CAN take ownership of this with practiced self-awareness.
With the onset – close your eyes and take a moment to accept every single feeling and sensation that you are feeling. Notice your elevated heart rate. Notice how your breathing increases – the mind will automatically want to return the physical state back to normalcy but in personal experience this is only going to worsen whatever it is that you are experiencing. You must literally accept whatever you are experiencing in the moment – FEEL every single uncomfortable sensation and once you are aware of what is going on physically, shift your entire focus to your breath. A conversation with self is also not the worst idea. Questioning whether the physical response is because of present or past that momentarily filtered into your reality, will help ground you back to the moment and assure you that there is no actual physical threat.
I firmly believe that if it were not for my knowledge of breathwork which I naturally am able to tap into by now (square breath, lengthening the exhale in relation to the inhale) I would not have been able to endure many of the triggered responses I have luckily mastered and processed – My knowledge attained from that served as my saving grace. In my classes I often would suggest how your breath is the very first gift that you were given when you came into this existence and that it is the very last thing that will leave you as you exit this existence – The breath truly is so much more valuable than we think, ESPECIALLY in moments where anxiety and panic sets in. Learning to connect to your breath in a moment-to-moment basis really is a superpower that every single person can gain access to.
What I do know is that healing takes time and can’t be rushed. Trying my utmost best to be patient, compassionate and forgiving with and toward myself has proven to be extremely hard but also beneficial in allowing the process of healing to unfold naturally. Journaling helps tremendously with the process toward self, as does my layers of paint that I lather onto the canvas to express and create some visual representation of what is going on in my mind and heart and I am committed to doing this more. I find it extremely therapeutic. The courage to put it all out there (new expressions and current ones) is scary but in some way, it solidifies it and makes it “real”.
We are presented in every life transition with a choice – We are not dismissing the path or events that led to where we find ourselves in the moment no, not at all. These happenings bring awareness to where it is that our own work lies as well, so that we can draw closer to self. It makes us richer, fuller, wiser a little bit humble. More compassionate toward self. One must understand the why within self that leads to us navigating life in the unique and often messy way that we do. Once the why is understood, mindful choices can be made.
It would seem to me that I am no longer fragmented, just scared. And there is nothing wrong with that either. Showing up scared is what life’s challenges are all about. Wherever you DO decide to show up, if you show up and however you decide to show up. Decide to do it for yourself and know that your messiness is only messy to those who don’t understand – you are beautiful in your brokenness in every single way, and you are capable of more than you realize. Even though we must have a “fallback”, the right guidance, and a safe space where we can unpack all of life’s happenings, we need to ultimately also be able to trust that the decisions and choices we are making are the right ones for us, so that we honor both self and others as we learn to stand firm in our decision making. Learning to trust one’s own inner guidance takes some practiced awareness, but is absolutely essential to the healing process.