I Am Not My Pain

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A deeper layer of my pain body has come to visit me yet again yesterday.

Part of my journey has been to learn how to exercise again, and not have this healthy stimulation elicit a trauma response. Roughly 5 years ago I came to the decision to finally listen to the pain in my body and I took a break from all strenuous activities. I had gotten to the point that I would cry myself to sleep at night and wake up in tears from the pain and burning sensations that I felt in my body. I was so stiff that it would sometimes take my breath away to even move.  The simplest activities like house work or lifting a water bottle onto the water cooler was too much most days. The only exercise that I did for a couple of years was to just walk. Walking felt good and it helped lift my mood.

My emotional pain was locked underneath all of the physical injuries and traumas that my body had endured. I was in a constant trauma state and so physical healing was not occurring. My body was in a serious crisis.  I had also become intolerant to a lot of things in the world around me. The pain and inflammation in my body was being exacerbated  from my reactions to the food I was eating, the environment around me, and the energies of others that were constantly bombarding me. I had very little filter or boundaries to the world around me. I did not understand yet that I had the power to say no to what entered into my space.

I completely changed my diet, no gluten, dairy, corn, soy or nightshades for a couple of years. I still mostly eat like this today but not as strict as I once was. I did many alternative therapies to bring my body back into balance emotionally, energetically, and physically. I just kept trying one thing after the other, inching closer and closer to wholeness. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I had thought that I had jumped off the cliff into a deep dark abyss that I would never come back from! There were times when it took a month to get myself back from the trembling psychotic state that I felt like I was in. There just was no other option to me other than to just keep going.

Next I began to incorporate yoga into my life. I kept my practice to a gentle meditative form of yoga, and my body cautiously began to open and unravel. Some classes I still pushed myself too hard and I have since learned how to find that place of stillness in each posture, and not push myself into pain which was one of my patterns. A few years ago my body was feeling better so I wanted to start working out again and building back up my strength and endurance. I found again that I had to stop. I discovered that when my heart rate would be elevated, the next day I would feel like I had been run over by a bus even though I was very careful and gentle. I would feel so stiff, sore and utterly fatigued. I had hardly done anything! The emotions of frustration, depression, and worthlessness would appear as well. My mood would plummet. My nervous system interpreted all sensations as danger! I would sometimes feel like I had reverted back to a child.

I continued to work with many different type of therapists, and I learned how to be more grounded and present in my body with healthy boundaries. My nervous system began to recognize pleasant, safe healthy stimulation from that which would harm me. I began to feel safer in the world. I unwrapped layer by layer of pain until I got to the core of my trauma symptoms buried deep in my pelvis. A big shift occurred and when I tried again to exercise about a year ago, I was ecstatic at the difference I felt. For the first time that I can remember, I felt so energized and alive. My muscles felt awesome and strong. This is what you are supposed to feel like after you exercise, I proclaimed in joy!! I honor and respect where my body is and I know when to stop and what my limits are.  I am still strengthening and repair old injuries. There is such a freedom that comes with movement and I am opening into it at my body’s pace.

In January I also noticed that another shift had occurred in my energy field, and I was no longer living in a post traumatic stress disorder state. I have begun to really feel at home in my body and not as easily attach to the sensations or emotions that I am feeling as being who I am. This brings me to yesterday and something that I have been observing in my body during yoga for the past couple of weeks. I have noticed that my quad muscles are becoming unhappy and if I hold a asana a little too long and I become nauseous for a couple of hours afterwards. It’s like a deep trauma memory stored in the cells is being stirred up as I work to strengthen them, and they are fighting back. On Monday I tried a new class at the gym which was too intense for me at the time. Yesterday I felted the old sensations flood back into me like I had been in the fight of my life. The pain, fatigue, anger, hating my body, why the hell is this happening again?!

It took me the day to work through what my body was speaking to me and I’m still sitting with it, but I woke up this morning in a peaceful place. My body is still sore but that is ok. I had to come to accept that is was needed for me to sleep in the afternoon for an hour, and I didn’t need to feel guilty or weak about it. These sensations I was feeling where not typical for me anymore so I took the time to sit down and listen to my body. I stopped judging it, blaming it and found the place in myself again where the week before I held such gratitude and love for my body. I recognized that part of the reason I am so careful and put limits on what I do is because I am still in fear of feeling that physical pain in my body again. I was partially associating that pain to who I was as that was my identity for so long. It was like neon lights flashing from every cell of my being… Pain, pain, pain. I am Pain!

I changed my question to my body from why why why…(because in asking, I was just yelling at it and not waiting for a response anyways) to what do you need from me? I learned a few things that I was not being truthful to myself about. My body needs more water and I need to tweak my diet again as I am showing signs of being too acidic. I acknowledge and understand that I need more rest right now. I have been telling myself that there should be no reason why I don’t have more energy, I need to be doing more, getting on with my life ect. but in reality, these last 4 months have been the first time I have allowed myself to just be. I have been able to release many deeply held tears and have been riding wave after wave of emotions as I make space for what I am going to create next. I am right where I did to be right now. I need to ease up on the demands I have for myself.

I had to bring myself back to remember again in a time of great physical pain, that I am not my pain. I release my grip that I have so tightly held on pain. I am able to move once again in this knowledge.

I drew this card yesterday morning and it was the hardest thing for me to do with how I was feeling;  today I understand.

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Reclaiming, Embracing, Embodying Innocence

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IMG_1084Someone recently shared with me that the were able to see an innocence within me. My initial thought to this was one of surprise. Really, how could this be? This made me realize that I had not fully embodied this belief of innocence.
As I open deeper into forgiving myself, I understand that I have still been blaming myself and believing that I was responsible for the innocence (I thought) I had “lost”. The innocence of a child that I told myself I would never get back. The disgust, filth, and guilt I felt for myself because of what I experienced. The horror, shame, and pain I held in believing that I was dirty, damaged, and no longer an innocent child. The burden that I then came to assume, that it was my responsibility to hold the pain of others to make them feel better. In doing so, sacrificing myself because I was not pure enough or worthy of joy and love.
Believing that I was no longer innocent made me feel robbed of the joy of experiencing life and feeling the sensations of pleasure, as I was no longer deserving of it. I felt heavy, burdened, and the weight of it all felt like a suffocating weight pushing in on my chest. It began to get harder to feel compassion as I could no longer hold any more of others pain. There was no space for myself.
There were many things that I enjoyed in my life and yet I observed that in doing these things I experienced little joy. I feel that part of this for me was my inability to recognize my innocence, to feel that child like wonder and excitement. Understanding that it is not my responsibility, embracing my true god-given innocence, forgiving myself, and understanding that my innocence has always and will always be there, has begun to open me back up into the sensations of joy. My perspective on life is shifting again.
Innocence to me feels like a breath of fresh air. As I sit back into this sensation an opening is occurring and a deeper understanding and feeling of love for myself is settling in. I had disconnected myself from innocence with judgement and criticism, separating myself from the pure divine love that I am. Embracing this truth once again, has sent bubbles of joy cascading out from my soul.

Forgiving Myself has freed another chain holding me down!

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Forgiveness, so what does this really mean? I knew the importance of forgiving myself for deeper healing to occur, and yet I danced around completely feeling into it. I knew that I still blamed myself for what had happened to me, and I found it easier to forgive others for hurting me, than it was for me to forgive myself. I just wasn’t quite sure on how to really forgive myself, and so I just continued to sit with this question until clarity came. I now realize that I held a deep buried ancient belief that I needed to sacrifice myself to keep the peace, and so I kept silent and allowed the abuse to continue, not just to me but others as well.
Forgiving myself was a process that I did little by little, day by day. I began to treat myself better, I ate better, changed the critical damaging thoughts that I continuously had running in my mind. I chose people, things, and places that were nourishing and nurturing to me. I made one choice after another that supported me in loving myself.
Then one day a deep body felt wave of sensation, of recognition, that I had punished myself long enough and that I could now forgive myself washed through me. I was not to blame, I was not responsible for the actions of others. I did everything that I could at the time with the resources that I had. An understanding then emerged that I was Alive, and that I was now free to live! IT WAS OK TO LIVE NOW! The voice of my soul pleaded out for me to hear and the recognition resonated in every cell of my body when I became quiet enough, and ready to listen. This message came to me through an interpretation of a dream that I had. How powerful our dreams can be as part of our healing and guidance!
The other part of the struggle to forgive myself, was a belief that in order to forgive, you needed to forget and just move on. I could never forget, so how could I forgive? I have a deeper sense of what forgiveness means now. A definition I recently heard from Wayne Dyer helped put things into more perspective…. Non-Judgement, Non Criticism, Non Condemnation = Forgiveness.
Further writings that I have come across also helped settle this belief I held. It says…”Forgiveness does not mean forgetting, nor does it mean condoning or excusing offenses. Forgiveness empowers you to recognize the pain you suffered without letting that pain define you.”
A quote from Fred Luskin states “At the most basic level, forgiveness is on a continuum with grief. When you’re hurt, or violated, the natural response is to grief. Forgiveness is the resolution of grief.”
Forgiveness is the resolution of grief! To sit with this knowing and feel the weight that has lifted off me as I no longer sit in the puddle of this trauma, is indescribable! Every time I think that I have found such a blissful state of stillness, I sink deeper into another pocket of it.
Forgiving myself has freed another chain holding me down!

Why I Share Who I Am

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I sit here at my keyboard a little apprehensive in writing this, in introducing to you who I am, and why I’m sharing. My inner critic, my ego, are once again badgering me with self doubt and criticism. The truth being that I feel like I have just woken from a deep sleep and the memories of the past seem like a fuzzy dream. I am almost 40 years young and feel like I have just begun to discover and accept who I am.
I met my husband in high school and we spent almost 22 years together before our paths separated. I spent the first half of our marriage traveling and working with him on the pipeline before I started down my path of exploring what spirituality was to me and tip toeing into my healing. The depression, anxiety, and alcohol abuse had held me hostage in a deep dark pit. I tried to make myself disappear by starving myself, and hiding from the world. I wanted to die. Nothing traditional that I was trying was helping me, but I kept searching. I hit rock bottom and my journey into alternative therapies and energy healing began. It was the first turning point in my life. Over this time, I gathered tools and resources to enable myself to transform. I have learned how to help myself.
It has been mostly in the last 5 years that the depth of growth and change has occurred in my healing, and who I am has emerged. I felt like I just existed before now, that I was only occupying space. In this time of my life, I was only concentrating on my own healing. As I discovered modalities that helped me, I took training in them so that I could also share it with others. I have found what has worked for me, and then have brought this with me in my practice to help others on their own journey.
The knowledge that I share is from my own experiences.. It is the knowing that has risen up within me when I became able to be still enough within to hear the quiet voice of my intuition. It is also the information shared and passed down to me from my teachers, mentors, and healers whose paths I have crossed over the years.
I share who I am to inspire you, to open you to new perspectives, and in the hopes of the possibility of leaving you feeling as though a breath of fresh air has washed over you.
Each day brings new infinite possibilities. It is a crazy beautiful life to which I have just opened my eyes to see.

 

How Writing Helped My Healing

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I began writing poems when I was a teenager, and at that time I had no intention of sharing them with the world. I sat in countless therapy sessions in silence as I was unable to voice the emotions and stories that were stuck swirling in my head. Writing these poems was the only way I could express the pain I was feeling and give a voice to my story.  Then I went through a number of years in which I fell back into silence about the abuse, and the poems I had written were buried in the bottom of a drawer.

Five years ago, I began to open deeper into my healing process. My body would no longer allow me to keep the secrets buried and the emotions unacknowledged. I ached constantly with physical pain in my body from holding onto the emotional pain, from not speaking up and from reliving over and over what was done to me. I lived in a hyper vigilant state. My nervous system was so sensitive that everything in my environment began to feel unsafe to me; I would rather stay hidden in my house. I could not tolerate being in the world. Noises, smells, being in crowds of people, and food all began to make me sick. But as I heal from the experience I had in my childhood, my physical body is also healing.

Over the last couple of years, as I began listening to the messages my body was telling me, poems began to start flooding the pages again. My words began to fill me with comfort, courage and hope instead of the despair I had once felt. I became quiet enough that I could hear the truths being spoken to me by my soul.  I was being shown what I needed to work on next: to accept, acknowledge, and put into perspective. I listened, and piece-by-piece, I began to reclaim myself.

I then reached a place in which I knew that the next step in my healing journey was to release my story and share it with others.

In speaking up through my poetry, the energy of the story that still had a grip on me let go. I feel free for the first time, and I am no longer defined by what had happened to me.

I wanted to help others through my words. I never believed that I would feel “normal” or that I could feel peace. I thought I would just have to find a way to live with the pain and feeling of being a damaged, worthless person. I had started to believe that I would never be helped—that it just wasn’t possible. I want those that are in that deep dark place to know that there is a way out. It is possible! I share the pain so that you know that you are not alone. I share the pain to help inform those people not touched by abuse to understand a little bit better about what we have gone through.

Most importantly, my intent is to spread hope: to say that life does begin again, and love, joy, and laughter are absolutely attainable!