Intimacy, which I like to call in-to-me-see, is something we all long for, yet run away from with a vengeance. We want to be seen for our compassion and love and kindness, but do not want anyone to see our deep sense of inadequacy that drives us to try to be someone we’re not. I say “our” because unless we were raised in a functional home, most humans suffer from a sense of not being enough. This is one of the reasons we work hard at being better, brighter, richer, more successful, and/or have more toys to keep our attention diverted from the elephant in the room.
My memories of how I’ve always felt about myself, are of feeling ugly and stupid, not enough, not being able to do it right, and of always needing more of anything and everything because of the dearth in my soul. I didn’t know that’s how I felt, because I didn’t have the words to express those feelings. There was no one to help me make sense of the hole in my soul, and since I had no way of expressing what I felt, I acted it out. For a long time I did not know that my deep sense of inadequacy was the driving force in my life.
Somewhere along this path of life that I’m on, I read a book about intimacy and how it has to begin with self. My soul stood at attention as I understood the concepts being presented on the page. I saw my need to see me, to pull back the covers, plumb the depths, do whatever I needed to do to journey back to my core and find myself. I have always been on a spiritual path (though I didn’t know it) and I’ve always hungered for wholeness. However, I understood the path as an upward climb, one that would take me to the heavens and allow my soul to soar with the angels. Seeing the beauty of who I am was something I coveted and I went full force into that part of my growth.
A few years ago I was introduced to another concept of wholeness, and this one came through writers like Pema Chodron, Eckhart Tolle, Oriah Mountain Dreamer, and many others. I already had an inkling of what they talked about, and was searching for wisdom and understanding when my teachers began to show up. What I am learning in this phase of my growth is that the way up is sometimes down. Everyone wants to be on a journey where they can scale the heights,sing Hallelujah, and feel good about their kindness and generosity. It’s part of our human nature to want all the feel-good parts of life, and there’s nothing wrong with that. The problem is that we’re taught to embrace pleasure and push pain away, when it behooves us to embrace both. Because we’ve deemed one to be good and one to be bad, we choose the good one and miss the blessing and healing of being present to the bad one, which really is not bad, it just is.
Today is my 70th birthday and the beginning of a new year. I’ve declared 2012 to be a year of going deeper into myself and continuing to uncover the wholeness of me. I’m willing to see, acknowledge, and be present to my fear, anxiety, forgetfulness, and most of all, my gut-wrenching hurt that tears at me and moans like an injured cub. I want to pay attention to the wounding I’ve carried with me for 70 years so I can pour healing balm on those areas of my being. I’m committed to staying with it and letting the healing in. I’m prepared to be even more intimate with myself this year so I can get on with my life’s work.
In 2011, I experienced some emotional cuts and bruises that hurt so bad I wanted to run and hide under the covers and disappear from humanity. I didn’t want to end my life, I just wanted to find a way to ease the hurt so I could live in my joy while experiencing my pain. I’ve learned that the way to do that is to embrace the hurt, let it in, and walk through my day peacefully and quietly while allowing the healing to take place within. I’ve spent some days crying in anguish, and others where I sang all day. I know for a certainty that I can be with whatever is and still walk in peace. I had to find a way to be okay with knowing that there were people out there who did not trust my heart or my motives. As I embraced the hurt and let myself feel it, I found that the sting of being harshly and wrongfully judged brought me even closer to myself and to my truth. My lesson in this? It is safe to feel the pain.
I remember my grandpa saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” What I know today is that this is not true. Once words leave our mouths we can’t take them back. I can easily forgive the people who speak the words; in the blink of an eye it’s done. However, the healing of the wounds that the words cause take time. It’s experiences like these that cause me to pull back another layer and in-to-me-see. I notice that the wounds I feel at this time of my life, feel familiar. The difference between now and my childhood, is that there is someone here to nurture and love me, and to gently let the healing take place, and I am that someone.
At 70, I feel better about myself and life than ever before. Though I may have many days of being down, I know better than to count myself out. The ways I’m experiencing the benefits of intimacy are by drawing into my life beautiful, nurturing friends, and by marrying an angel in a people suit. I’m learning to give up game-playing with myself and others, speak my truth, and stand up for me. I have no desire to be anyone other than who I am, because I finally know that I am is enough. I’m integrating my emotional pain so it can heal, being patient with myself and others, learning how to go slow and wait, and how to move away from people who hurt me. Life is really good and as I begin my 71st year, I intend to keep pulling back the covers and letting myself out for all to see.
Today begins my second year of writing this weekly post. I’d love to hear your comments, and would appreciate it if you would click on the comment button and tell me what you think about my blog. Thank you.