Tag Archives for " Releasing "

On the Other Side of the Coccoon

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.


Releasing the Elephant in the Room

When I was in high school, I was raped. Worse than the violation itself was the jumble of harmful emotions that was born of it: the anger, the shame, the fear and the inability to trust anyone that has trailed me through my life. The silence has been the worst. Or maybe secrecy is a better word. Not talking about it, not sharing it, hiding it and hiding behind it. Always hiding. It set up years of obscuring myself from others. And I could hide from anything. Or pretend to, anyway, because I just knew that I was bad. I had to pretend to be something that I wasn’t because I was sure that I was a bad person. So, I would pretend that I didn’t smoke, or that I didn’t really drink that much, and that I didn’t have a drug problem. I pretended that it was okay to have sex with men that didn’t care about me as much as I cared about them. My outward attitude screamed, “Look at me, look at how free I am! I’m fun; I’m open-minded; I’m festive!” because that sounds so much better than, “Look at me! I’m dying inside, and I don’t know how to ask for help!”

More than anything that night, I lost my power. I’m not sure that I had that much at that point anyway. I was only 16, after all, but at that time I was putting together who I might be, and then, after that night, I just gave it all away. I didn’t like how I was or how I looked or what I was like because all of those things just ended up getting me raped. I wanted to blend in, hide, disappear, go away. I stopped wearing make-up, I started dressing down, and I quickly shrank into myself.

Just like that, I gave my power away; I let them take it. And then it blew up the rest of my life, for the next twenty some years. I didn’t know how to say no to anyone. It was just easier to say yes, because betraying myself was better than being betrayed by someone else. I couldn’t be vulnerable in a sincere way. I was just a victim, and that victim archetype swallowed me up and followed me around the world. I was nearly raped in Argentina and then again in Turkey. Nobody could protect me. I so desperately wanted to be cared for, protected, shielded from this terrible life, and nobody could do that for me because I couldn’t do it for myself.

Giving away my power kept me so small. Small was safe. I was so afraid to be anything or anyone because then someone might notice me. My default was to blend in, and not say a word. I couldn’t speak for years, unless I was drunk or high, and boy did I love to get drunk because it felt like I was putting on the outfit of a whole new person. It really was my only escape from me.

All of this giving my power away kept me from expressing who I truly am, and it allowed me to let others define me. It kept me in jobs that were small and in finances that were small. It kept me in a little itty bitty shell, and every once in a while I would poke my head out and feel the light, but then something would come up and I’d stick it back in again.

I’ve had a long search for meaning in my life. It has taken me all over the world and moved me to new places. It has prompted me to read and to learn new languages. It has led me to museums, libraries, and sweeping outdoor spaces. It brought me to yoga classes and ultimately to energy work and a daily meditation practice. With this, I finally, finally, realized that this “meaning” wasn’t outside of me, and I started to pick up those little pieces of my power that I had scattered all over the place and put them back into my self.

I forgave myself, and I forgave others. I forgave them. That doesn’t make what they did okay or even acceptable, but it allowed me to move on. I chose life and living, and I chose to pull myself together. I let go of things that were no longer serving me, and that I was no longer serving. I discovered boundaries and put them into place, and that was when I could finally stop bleeding all over everyone and everything and when others could no longer bleed all over me.

In the end, I came to realize that no one can take from me what I am not willing to give away.

I finally looked into the mirror and said, “I love you, Janet.”

This journey is not without its pitfalls. I still shrink from some things, and I still have trouble expressing my truth with some people. And there are certainly moments when I still give my power away. I am aware of it, though, and I can usually snatch back those little pieces of me before they float off with someone else.

This has been so hard to write, but it had to be written. It was the secret that I was still holding hostage; it was the ever present elephant in my room. It was my last rationalization, justification, excuse, pity party. Right here, right now, I let it go, completely, 100 percent. I reclaim myself and that little girl that I was.