I always thought of blogs as being narcissistic, business related, or as my sister's, a way of keeping in touch or memorializing.

But, by necessity, I am learning a lot about myself. I find I need to get my thoughts out, and it helps me to know that someone else will read them. So I have created this little space for myself, to express the things I have trouble saying (be it emotional or physical trouble), to share what I'm going through, and what I'm learning through it.

I absolutely welcome comments. It's nice to know how people relate to what I'm saying.
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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Synchronicity and Paradoxes strike again

I had a wonderful session today with my therapist. We celebrated what we both feel is a major integration of several weeks, if not months, worth of work. It seems that Tree of Life, the film, acted as a catalyst for me. As I wrote earlier, it had a huge impact on me, and having now read some reviews, it seems it had the same effect on several critics as well. What I didn't realize was how synchronous it was for me to see it at this moment in my life, considering the journey I'm on and the work I've been doing in therapy.

As I mentioned in my earlier post, the film deals with the past that we carry with us. It shows snippets of life as we remember it - it is really, more than anything, a collection of memories and impressions. And in those impressions, I saw myself, I saw my parents, I saw my sister, I saw our children, and our cousins, grandparents and aunts and uncles, and I saw them all as children and as parents. The movie showed me my childhood and my son's childhood in such a way that it helped me see beyond the hurts and pains that fertilize each and every life.

Last week, with my therapist, I left behind a great deal of pain that I carried with me, from my childhood, from my adolescence, from my relationships, from my adulthood and from my parenthood. Many of us do that - carry the pain with us, not knowing or wanting to let it go. Anyone who has felt the bitter numbness of a deep depression knows that pain is better than nothing. Pain can be a reminder that we are alive, that we exist, and that we matter. But there is no reason to carry it along, lugging a heavy burden, day after day, in fear of forgetting the darker times before the light came back.

Today, I was able to answer her question "How are you feeling right now?" with an answer that threw us both for a loop - "I'm feeling good, but today's been a really bad day health-wise." And the thing is, it was. The air pressure dropped drastically today and I had a busy morning. All day I've been struggling with my energy, and feeling odd in the head, I'm pretty sure I have a headache (I can't always feel them anymore), and my body when she asked me was feeling very heavy indeed. And yet, my spirit was light.

I wish I could convey how it feels to knowingly occupy the space within a paradox. I was, and am, feeling simultaneously light and heavy, full of energy and exhausted, bright and dull. It is a truly amazing place to be.

We decided that this is the result of my being open to notice and action when all the little pieces of my life pointed the way. It's what happened when I took the opportunity to let go of Mommy-guilt today in "forcing" my son to go back to camp this morning, even though he didn't want to; when I acted assertively to defend him against a barrage of misplaced adult disapproval; when I engaged with my sister and her children on a low key with no expectations and an open heart this weekend; when I stood my ground with my own self; when I decided to look at life as the series of moments that are all I am likely to remember in a week's time.

I realized when I was talking to my therapist this evening that the film encouraged me to look at life in that way - as a juxtaposition of random important and unimportant moments that may or may not connect. Snippets of experience, if you will. A traditional narrative, which is the view I have always held and many of us do, is all about the details of what happens - what he said, what she said back, how she held her hand, how he turned away, what happened when, and in exactly what order, and how one thing led precisely to the next, building up to a climax. But this movie was not like that, and life is not like that, and I am realizing just how much energy I was spending trying to make it fit like that, every day and every minute; finding causes and solutions, making judgments, casting characters, and trying desperately to follow each thread of the narrative until its climactic conclusion. But, as one reviewer of Tree of Life noted, life is actually anticlimactic by nature. When we go, the world, time, it all keeps going. Nothing stops, or ends, except our moment.

I have found a new source of energy (not physical, obviously, I'm far too sick, and the fatigue is physiological in nature) in this new spiritual and emotional approach to life. Just because my body is broken, does not mean I have to be miserable, and although I was already partway there, I feel like I made a huge leap this week.

My body is messed up bad. I've gained 20 or 30 pounds. My head spins. My heart is inconsistent. I can't tell if it's hot or cold. I can't stand up for long. I'm starting to get muscle spasms. It does not feel good to live in my body. But that doesn't mean I can't be happy, and let my spirit soar, and let me tell you, I want to let it soar even further, just to compensate!

1 comment:

  1. There seemed to be endless obstacles preventing me from living with my eyes open, but as I gradually followed up clue after clue it seemed that the root cause of them all was fear.
    ~~~Joanna Field~~~