I love a day that is wide open. Today is one of those days for me. But before I go to my studio to paint or continue to write my memoir or drop to the floor for a luxurious session of authentic movement and vocal improvisation, I want to speak to you.
At one point in my life I would have felt anxious about a day like today. I would have run from it. I would have quickly filled my day up with stuff: shopping, friends, distractions to avoid what was surfacing inside of me. I would have run from intense feelings that seize the opportunity to make themselves known to me in the silence and stillness.
I would have run from myself out of fear…fear of my feelings that were too uncomfortable for me to tolerate. The intolerable feelings that bubble up inconveniently in these ‘open’ spaces and times.
I wouldn’t even have necessarily known, consciously, at the time that I was distracting myself. I had been doing the ‘avoidance dance’ for so long that it seemed perfectly natural and ‘normal.’ I had no expectation for anything else or certainly anything better for myself. I was a huge, complex network of adaptations and distractions. Marvelous what we can create to avoid the self really. I see some masterpieces of avoidance in my practice.
I marvel at the way in which people adapt their lives to their wounding. Neglect, abuse, shame and much more, get carried, creatively hidden, from others and tragically, also often from the self. The world gets smaller and tighter, but that seems like an ‘ok’ trade off for a sense of holding it together, coping and appearing normal.
I hear and see this acceptance of limitation in my clients every day. I see people who don’t believe they deserve or could live any differently than the way they do now. They have accepted their lot in life and are prepared to live it out, as is.
Yet they come into therapy with hopes for more. They often can’t even name the ‘more’ that they seek. How can it be named when it’s never been here? Or it’s been so painful for so long that the pain and suffering have somehow become accepted and acceptable. That’s just the way it is.
Yet a small, inner voice calls (or cries) out for more from a place that has never seen the light of day or been welcome in the world.
These parts were possibly squashed at such an early age that you can barely remember it. It’s that tiny impulse twitching in your throat or your solar plexus. It’s that knot in your stomach or the ache in your temple.
Is it longing to be heard and released from captivity? Is it protesting the way things are currently and wants more?
If you’ve always been anxious or depressed, or addicted or driven or lonely or angry or uncomfortable in your skin then, first of all, welcome to the human race. You’re not alone.
And also, I might add from a relationship point of view, it’s these small, knarled, twisted, insecure parts of ourselves that are more capable of loving and being loved than the secure, confident parts that know they are lovable and worth being with. That is, once they are loved and accepted by... guess who? Yes, you!
So, at the end of 2015 and the beginning of 2016, I wish you deeper peace and integrated living. I want you to know that the abandoned parts of you are waiting for you to come for them and bring them in from the cold. They want to be integrated into your life. Their energy and emotional, creative flows desire to be united with you in your everyday living.
I also wish you integration in your relationships. Where your passion and creativity and joy are shared with others and an intimate other if you desire this. I wish for you, your best year yet, whatever phase of life that you're in. Accept no less for yourself and know that more is always possible.
Love to you and all of your parts...the good, the bad and the ugly. They are all merely creative adaptations from past places and times. They were always doing the best they could on your behalf. The difficult situations they had to face didn't come with the help that they needed at the time to make informed decisions. Love and forgive yourself for all past decisions...begin afresh in this upcoming year.