It’s a cold and sunny winter day which I safely observe from the clinic kitchen window while I type. Checking in with myself, I feel as if I’m finding my way through a long, dark tunnel. This tunnel has a definite light at the end, with thoughts of “in a few years I’ll be ok”. However, when I breathe consciously and let myself sink deeper into the moment, I can sense the light right now, in my centre, and am filled with gratitude for the reality of soul and Spirit. I notice lately that the light is still there when life seems hard, with almost too much suffering to bear—as I remember to access It!
Eventually I’ll write the details of this difficult time. Right now I need to keep confidentiality for others. But I can describe the pieces that are mine.
There are several, beginning with being more aware of my closed heart for which I compensate with “saviour behaviour”—helping others in order to cover my fear of loving and losing, of getting too close and getting hurt. When I’m in helper mode, it looks and even feels like I’m loving, but as a giver it leaves me free from being vulnerable to loss and hurt; it lets me keep my real heart closed and safe. It explains why I feel uncomfortable receiving from others and often pick relationships where I can (sometimes obnoxiously) help/fix. I sense this as a constant tension in my chest and recently realize a lack of deep emotion for people with whom I want to be close, made clearer because of certain current events.
I also hide any anger I may hold for a close person so that I don’t hurt them. Jim Dowling, a healer in Carp, senses this as a volcano in my abdomen. I experience it physically as chronic bowel problems which don’t respond to any therapies. Inevitably the anger leaks out and hurts people in spite of all my efforts to hold it in but I’ve continued anyway.
This coping mechanism of keeping my heart closed and my anger suppressed has served me well enough for decades. Now it is causing me physical problems, blocking my ability to relate to people I want to love and stopping me from continuing to grow spiritually. My ability to heal is also blocked.
In EMDR therapy with Mary Ann Carmichael, the part that is trying to keep me safe by closing my heart feelings is arising as a frightening demon, a part that I have kept safely under wraps, unconscious, for most of my life. As I am forced to look at this behaviour by painful situations lovingly served up by the Universe, I notice that my most tender longings and self-love are also being blocked, that I am hard and unloving toward myself, that I don’t allow my vulnerable and hurt parts to show themselves and therefore to heal/integrate. I’m split off, unauthentic, partly dead.
At the same time, as this awareness arises, I have solid faith that I can be whole, alive and loving towards myself and others. I am fortunate and profoundly grateful to be able to get the help I need and am taking notes to apply what I’m learning to a restructured ecowellness centre! Skating and cross-country skiing with Felix and friends helps immensely, smile.
may your winter be a balance of inner work and playing in the snow!
ps Two books that I read daily to support my process are: Simple Abundance by Sarah Ban Breathnach and The Presence Process by Michael Brown. Very different flavours, the first more gentle and feminine, the latter rather strict and masculine. For Simple Abundance, I recommend to start at January 1 no matter what time of year it is as her process is progressive, as is Michael’s.