I can’t stop feeling. I am feeling everything I’ve ever felt and everything I’ve never felt. The tears are pouring out of me like Iguaçu Falls and my body is shaking and I feel as though I’ve been cracked open. Every emotion that I could possibly experience is just seeping out of me, sometimes creeping, sometimes gushing. These are the “good” emotions too – the happy ones. I can flip from tears to laughter without even a hiccup and feel both oh so completely as they vibrate their way through my body. I’ve become one big raw nerve ending, and everything that touches me makes me quiver. And shake. And then tremble. This feeling of being so so alive is wonderful. I am really, truly going through the most amazing and remarkable period of my life, and I feel the blessings all around me. I’ve met the most fabulous people over the past few years and gained a few friends that have become the cornerstones of my existence. I have opened up and blossomed and stepped into my power, and I’ve done it by being wholly and authentically ME whenever possible. Even when I thought that the fear would paralyze me, I have just stepped through it, one tiptoe at a time.

All of these layers that have been lying dormant for many, many years are rising to the surface as I slough off the epidermises of numbness and scales and armor that protected me for most of my life. Each piece of patchwork in my shield is the result of some little slight: the many times that I was asked if I’d stuck my finger in a light socket growing up, being laughed at for having to wear a head gear, the names I was called, not getting picked for the team I wanted to be on.  It was created for every time that I was felt ugly and less-than and insecure and inadequate. It helped me through the big stuff too: the rape and the mixed-up bag of heaviness that followed that, the too-many losses of friends that I have experienced, the break-ups, my divorce. It all felt like so much noise, and the only safe way to deal with it was to pretend it didn’t matter – to shut it down, laugh it off, solder on another piece of metal.

I became really good at creating distractions that could deflect things off of my shield. I picked up addictions like candy at the drugstore, and I created chaos around me so that I would never, ever have to look at the mess inside of me. The more the storm outside me flared, the safer I felt inside of me. I projected images to set up around me of things that I thought I’d like to be: fun, adventurous, courageous, a world traveler, exciting, open-minded, and happy. I was and am those things, but the irony is that I created that persona because I was so afraid to show the world how scared, lonely, isolated, and sad I was. I threw the outfit over the armor every day and carried on.

When the pain got to be too much, I let go. Just a little bit at first. Committing to not taking a drink or ingesting a drug was the first step. I didn’t do it to start feeling things; I did it because I couldn’t manage my life anymore, and because I was afraid that I’d fail my son. It surprised me when I started to drop back into my body. It felt tingly, and I sensed that a teeny tiny part of that armor had melted away. Quitting smoking followed and then coffee and various things in my diet that I’d used to comfort me and hide me. With each molting and shedding, I felt just a little more alive. I started crying more and I started belly laughing more. I started telling people that I loved them, and I really meant it all the way through my being. I did a lot of healing work and gave myself over to it authentically, allowing Spirit to work her magic on me. I watched as a lot of the shame and guilt that I’d allowed to weave its way into my armor began to fall away. I began to honor myself in a way that felt like I’d come home. I fell in love and I fell out of love. I grew and I continue to grow. And with every passing day, I have been allowing myself to feel just a little bit more.

Which leads me to now: Here I am, crying and crying and crying, the tears rolling down my face in my meditation this morning as Deepak talked to me about miraculous relationships, sliding down my face and into my ears this morning as I lied in Savasana, rolling off the tip of my nose as I drove home from yoga, and hovering in the corner of my eyes as I wait to clear up the heartache that is really a heart bless. Crying and laughing, I let go just a little bit more today. I calmed my grip on a fear that has been dogging me all month, and then I released a love that was remarkably important to me but that now no longer serves either of us. I also let go of my friend Paul that made me laugh every time I saw him and that transitioned unexpectedly last week taking his laughter with him. I put my trust back in the Divine that everything is going to be okay, and I released the need to try to control it all.

I wouldn’t trade this pain for the world, because it is me. It is more me than anything has ever been me. It is wrapped up in this deep knowing that I AM what I AM. I am all of it: the sorrow and the pain, the laughter and the often inappropriate sense of humor, as well as the incredibly compassionate, empathetic, and loving healer that reaches out a hand to anyone that needs it. I am so grateful to know myself so completely that even this pain comes to me as a blessing that I AM here – right here, right now, sharing with you so that we may have this moment together. I love you and I thank you.