When we are in chronic pain, or even an episode of acute pain that seems to go on and on, who do we share that with, can we even expect to share and does it make it better or worse to convey to loved ones what we are going through? Yet, do we need that outlet of saying it like it is and not feeling so isolated in our experience and, if so, where do we get that from, without stirring up the pot to make ourselves feel all the more defeated from over-talking it. This conundrum is familiar territory to anyone who lives with pain, chronic illness, even the disillusionment of daily chronic fatigue. Sharing some home truths, perhaps some helpful perspectives, from my own experience of this highly emotive topic.
It's a case of, like the old adage says, dancing like no one is watching and allowing the sacred to emerge. You will find it's that elusive feminine aspect and she will swell at being allowed the free rein to express as she chooses...no particular movements or correct postures, no positions with names, no routines to follow...just exactly as she likes to express. Allow her to have her say and she will bring all the most disparate aspects of you together into a new kind of coherence, imparting the kind of strength that is an inside job. It's a female thing; we have known about this forever and we used such movements all the time until mass amnesia caused us to forget all but what was channelled into the sparse remnants that became the separate dance modalities that are enjoyed by the few today (far outbalanced by such widespread self-consciousness that most women bearly allow themselves to move their bodies fluidly at all). This is their forebear...and she's really wild! When we break the bands that hold us so rigid and proper, so apologetic and stiffled, so self-doubting and humiliated, we spill over our own edges and such healing flows out of us that we need no other source. In fact I recommend doing even just five to ten minutes a day of this kind of free-flow dance or even just arm and hand movement to music to all women in search of healing and wholeness; self-consciousness put aside, you might be amazed at what comes up out of yourself.
Women do this especially well; we tell ourselves we have to keep our unruly emotions in check and are almost too afraid to give them full rein in case we offend anyone or lose people's good opinion but what if the release of those locked away emotions is the very power we seek or holds the key to our transformation; at the very least, our healing?
I used to think that tipping the balance of my recovery involved staying unfailingly on the positive side of a tug-o-war that had me desperately pulling every experience to the 'positive side', the most 'optimistic' interpretation, giving everything the 'happy' spin. All that did was give me rope burn. Lately, I've gone into myself and said very little rather than admit how much I was suffering. When we mute ourselves in our times of need, this leads to a sort of malignancy where we turn everything inwards and gnaw away at our own centre, our very life-source. It happens for a variety of reasons, perhaps to protect ourselves or others from hearing 'our stuff' - which amounts to an almighty blockage on our ability to self-express, which is the crucial first stage of any sustained healing process. There is no place for pretence or politeness where avoiding malignancy is concerned, we all deserve to be heard - both when things are going great (yay, lets celebrate) and when they have become an almighty struggle. Enacting this process is - quite simply - an example of unconditional love in action; delivered as love and honour of self and in the form of the reciprocated love of anyone who takes the time to hear you when you are in your darkest place. Let it all out and love yourself, love yourself and love yourself a little more for all you have been through and let that knowing empower you as you realise you will never abandon yourself, come what will. This exercise in 'saying it like it is' was a powerful one for me, it brought a lot of positives to the surface and turned into a ceremony of honouring, releasing and healing some very deep trauma from my cells - the process of which I share in this week's blog.