It’s time to release

breathe and let go

After a lifetime of eating to numb almost every feeling I have ever felt, I have so much suppressed emotion lying inside me. My own as well as those belonging to other people I’ve met through my life. Anger, hate, distrust, hurt, pain, anguish, grief.

I’ve not only suppressed my own stuff, I have taken on stuff belonging to other people. I’ve always been a peacemaker. I’ve listened to others talking about the things hurting them. I helped them to make peace with things in their lives. I’ve helped them to make sense of the hurts and attacks from other people. It’s rather ironic that I am carving out a career doing exactly the same thing, really.

I’ve also been attacked by others. It’s true what they say about “hurt people hurt”. I’ve had siblings take out their shit on me. I was bullied at school so much that I went home crying every afternoon. I’ve been excluded, I’ve been made fun of, ridiculed and laughed at. And I’ve felt hurt and left out and worthless and useless and unlovable. I buried it all under layers of sugar and fat.

And I’ve had enough. I deserve to be loved. I deserve to love myself.

So I’ve decided to release all the suppressed shit. I’ve decided that I will change my relationship with food.

When I was asked today to finish this sentence, “food is my …“, my response included words like solace, comfort, safety, security, crutch, home, solstice, end, beginning, reward, payment, centre.

I want my response to be nourishment, energy, support and vitality.

So, as I am asked questions like this and I’m hit with a multitude of emotions my first instinct is to run for the fridge and to go back to those old methods that have got me through for so long. And I also know that they no longer serve me. I no longer need protection. I no longer need to hide. I no longer need to pretend I’m ok when I’m not. And I no longer need food to help me cope.

I have everything I need to be able to live the life I deserve. I have alternative coping strategies. I have the knowledge about how worthy I am. I have a spirit that knows exactly what to do. I just need to allow her to lead. To quiet my mind and listen to her.

She has led me to strengthen my mind, to learn about how my brain works. To learn about how much my body is truly capable of. To learn about how much determination, persistence and tenacity I have, how much strength I have, how much I deserve to love myself, how much worth I have.

She has led me to this point. She has taught me enough to know that I have exactly what it takes to get me through this final stage of releasing all those hidden emotions and the wrapping that has held them secure for most of my life.

It’s time to release. It’s time for freedom.

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Where’s the beauty?

warwick 2

For most of my life I have found it difficult to see the beauty in things. Especially the small, every-day, run-of-the-mill things that millions of us take for granted. The hidden depths in the rock cracks, the dry grass lining the side of the highway, the scenery as you drive over the crest of a hill.

I’ve recently returned home from a very transformative holiday and immersion in all things self-care. And since I’ve been home it feels like I am looking out of completely different eyes. Even as I was driving the scenery outside my car window looked different. The views I would previously dismiss as ordinary were now extraordinary. No longer did I need to have the super extraordinary to see the beauty. All I needed to do was open my eyes.

moonrise

 

So if I couldn’t see these things before my holiday and I could see them after it, where is the difference?

armidale july 2014

The answer is in the beauty I now see in myself. It’s in the things I have always had but never been able to see through eyes unbiased by conditioning and self-hatred. I feel like my eyes have been covered by some kind of mask and my trip away has literally stripped it away.

I can now see the strength I have always held in my legs and hips. I can see the compassion I hold in my heart, the gentleness I hold in my hands, the power I hold in my mind. I can see that I have a whole lot of character in the dimples on my thighs. I can acknowledge that the pain in my knee is a result of the need to protect myself from the angst. And the curves on my waist hold the peaks and valleys of the suppressed emotions of a lifetime.

For far too long I have held it in and denied my beauty. For far too long I have pretended I am indifferent to the image I see reflected in the mirror. For far too long I have conformed to the societal belief that beauty equals skinny. For far too long I have minimised the reach and impact that I have in this world. My body has been instrumental in keeping me whole and it’s time I gave it the credit it deserves.

terrigal2 july 2014

Every hill, every valley, every dimple, every pimple, every freckle. The parts filled with fluid and the parts filled with fat. The parts that have carried me and the parts that have allowed me to learn from my mistakes. And especially the parts that now allow me to recognise and reconnect to the freshness and the beauty I possess.

What was once seen as mediocre I now know as beautiful. As stunning. As incredibly full of character and depth and possession and precision. What was once seen as non-existent I now know as present. As full of character.

terrigal17 july 2014

And what was once ignored now needs to be nourished. Nurtured. Loved.

terrigal9 july 2014

Powerful beyond measure: A love letter to myself

A while ago on my Mindset Effect Blog I set a challenge for people. To write a love letter to themselves. To show themselves some love and document it. At the time I was in the middle of completing university assessments and stated that I would do it when they were completed. I’ve now been away from home for 9 days on a trip to immerse myself in all things self-care. I have learned so much about myself during these days and this morning it occurred to me that now is the perfect time to write my letter. As I sit here ready to write I find myself feeling uncomfortable and wanting to procrastinate on it. There is something about the process that is confronting. I want to do it, now is the right time to do it, and I certainly know that every fibre of my being needs to hear the words that are about to flow out of my spirit. So I will sit with those feelings of discomfort and show myself some love. I deserve it, after all.

moonrise

Dear me,

As an entity you have been on this Earth for 42 years. In that time you’ve been through some serious shit. Some painful, horrible stuff that has suppressed your voice and led you to feel unworthy, unloved and small. And through it all you’ve adapted. You’ve changed. You’ve made it through. There has always been a part of you who knew it was your birthright to take up the space you deserved. There has always been a part of you who knew you were lovable and worthy. And that part of you has protected you. It forced you to take up the space you deserve. It grew your body and claimed that space. It comforted you and protected you. It helped you to keep your wings in perfect working order. It helped you to learn the lessons you needed to learn, so that now you are here, in this moment, you know exactly where you are, why you’re here and what your purpose in this world is.

You’re learning that you are safe. Loveable. Worthy. You’re learning about your physicality. Your strength. Your fears, your spirit. Your courage. Your resilience has allowed you to bounce from one experience to another to another, to take in and learn the lessons. To gain skills and to use those lessons to break down barriers. You thought you were unworthy and you’ve discovered the opposite. You thought you were unloveable and you’ve discovered the opposite.

Those early experiences taught you to be afraid. To hide. You stand here today knowing that you are powerful beyond measure. You are courageous beyond any thought you could possibly hold in your mind. You are intelligent beyond any classroom can teach. You are resilient beyond the bounce of any trampoline in existence.

Your mind has protected you. It has helped you to analyse and learn and create an existence that took you beyond the limitations that were infused into your early experiences. It has taught you skills that you can now take and utilise to change the planet, one person at a time. It has allowed you to think and to realise that you were much better than you were led to believe as a child. It has allowed you to analyse the data it was given and recreate a formula that will ultimately support you in taking care of yourself well into the future. And it has allowed you to be open to new experiences that let in new, supportive belief systems.

Your body has housed your mind and spirit in a fashion that has supported them and allowed them to do their work without outside influences to take you in a direction you were not meant to go. Your body has kept you alive and alert. It has supported your mind to learn all its lessons and has infused many of its own. It is now in the process of learning new lessons about your strength and power.

And your spirit. It has kept a fire burning deep down into the recesses of your body. A fire of hope. A small flame of knowingness. A knowing that you are so much more than your physical appearance. A knowing that you have always been much more than people have previously led you to believe. A knowingness that you can now trust with your entire being; mind, body and spirit.

You are strong, infinitely powerful, courageous and mighty. You are destined to change the world and impact many people in positive ways. You have talents and skills that deserve and need to be shared. You have infinite amounts of love to give. To yourself and others. Your simple existence is enough. Your simple presence is enough. Enough to influence. To lead. To create. To change human existence as it is now.

Infinite power, humility and influence.

Allow your light to shine. I know that as you learn more about showing yourself those small demonstrable lessons in self nurturing and love, you will take on even more to be able to achieve a greater reach on your life’s path. Everything you need, you already possess. Open the door, let it out. It, and you, deserve to be free.

I love you with every cell and vibration of my being,

Me xx

 

Purpose

beach sunrise terrigal

Spirit. Soul. Purpose. Connection.

Connecting purpose with spirit with mind with body. Creating a method of communication between them that will also bring a sense of peace, harmony and “rightness”. Like things were meant to be.

From a lifetime of being completely disconnected from every part of me, beginning to come into my own and bringing them together feels … well, right. It feels as if I am in exactly the right place at exactly the right time for exactly the right reason. Connection.

I’ve known for a while that career wise what I am meant to do is to help people. I’ve had the feeling that I was doing what I was meant to do since the very first time I was face to face with a counselling client. The woman who hired me for that job told me that the second I walked in her door for my interview she knew that I was the person she wanted. She fought for me. And she hasn’t stopped since.

The opportunities and experiences I’ve had in the last 7 years haven’t always been pleasant. In fact some of them have been downright painful! But each and every one of them has brought me closer to truly understanding that this work is my destiny. My purpose.

Before it was a “this moment is where I am meant to be”. Now it’s “this life, this work, this service, is my destiny and purpose. My destiny is vast, pure and amazingly awesome”.

There was a time when the vastness of it produced incredible amounts of fear. Fear that I wouldn’t be able to do it, fear I wasn’t worthy of it, fear of the sheer size of it. Now it produces excitement. I can’t wait to get there. I know it will be incredible and it will feel even more right than it does now.

And I know that every step I take to get closer to it teaches me one more lesson I need to learn so that I can truly do it justice.

I am a writer. A teacher. A leader. I am strong. I am powerful. I am energy. I am clarity. I am joy. I am power. I am meant to be.

beach vast terrigal

Healing and Destiny

Feathers, rocks and trucks.

Mind, body, spirit.

Authentic self. Red print.

Homeostasis. Balance.

How do all these things fit together? How are they related?

The mind, body and spirit are the individual parts of the authentic self. Or, the authentic self is made up of the mind, body and spirit. The driver of these is the spirit. It is the one that has the ultimate power. Equally, the back stop is the body. The last line of defense. If something goes wrong with the body you can bet that something went wrong ages ago with one of the others. The feathers, rocks and trucks are the signals of whether you’re listening to your mind, body and spirit. If you refuse to listen, you receive a feather. If you continue to refuse, you get thrown a rock. And if you refuse to listen to that, you get run over by a truck. And it will reverse over you again and again and again until you get it. Until you surrender control and follow the messages that make up your truth. When you are in homeostasis, or balance, all is well. You feel centred and balanced. Your body is healthy. And when unbalanced, your body will break down and provide you with signs to listen to. Your spirit will give you signs. Your freewill allows you to choose whether you listen. But if you choose not to, watch out for the feathers, rocks and trucks!!

Speaking your truth. Different for everyone. Each of us has an authentic self, or red print, that is different. If you count the number of people on the planet that is how many red prints are in existence. Some will have similar characteristics or commonalities, but each is completely unique.

As the one in charge, our spirit will show us what our unique red print consists of. We will know by the things that attract us. Music, quotes, phrases, words, people, professions. Our job is to listen and align ourselves with these things. The closer we move toward it the more confident, healthy and centred we become. The further we move away from it, the more we feel lost, helpless, trapped and lonely. And the more we get feathers, rocks and trucks thrown at us.

self care burnout

After a lifetime of feeling confined and repressed I am finally understanding how much my body has taken in order to protect my spirit. Anger, frustration, repression, helplessness, sabotage. Comfort eating, weight gain, mobility issues, circulation issues, fluid issues, back pain, muscle cramps, pinched nerves. For 40+ years. That’s a lot of shit to carry. My body has done this for me. And for the most part has done it with little complaint. I don’t have high blood pressure. I’ve never had problems with my heart. I don’t have diabetes. I’ve eaten enough sugar and fat over the years to keep a small country going in order to protect myself from the expectations and “requirements” of other people. Do this, think this, be this, say this, don’t say that.

That noise became my normal way of being. It was the way the world was. It was the way I was.

My spirit needs more. It needs me to move closer and align myself to it. I have been given opportunities in the last few years to discover my purpose. To help myself and others to listen to their own spirit. My work has shown me, through the guidance of a selection of very special people in my life, that my talents lie in designing and delivering programs and support to people who are seeking their individual pathways to their own authentic selves. Every time I write a program and facilitate it the feelings I have tell me that I am very close to where I am meant to be. My thoughts and emotions tell me I am close. I can feel it throughout my entire being.

The damage that has been done to my body needs repairing. As I take steps to do so, I uncover more layers. They have been layers of damage and despair. And now they are becoming layers of healing and repair.

Training, nutrition, meditation. Self-care, self-love, self-nurture. Respect, boundaries, love.

Listening. And speaking my truth.

Speaking the language of my spirit. The language that allows it to fly free and soar. The language that pricks tears in my eyes because I know it is my destiny. My vast, full, pure destiny.

hardships destiny

For now; healing.

For the future; freedom.

New Wave

I’ve come away to immerse myself in 9 days of self-care. Day 1 and it’s already started.

I feel … different. Strange.

It’s been a while since I felt this way. It’s the feeling of change. The next step of transformation.

Knowing I needed to unlock some stuff I booked a couple of personal training sessions while I was away. I had the first one this morning. Hitting shit by the ocean at Terrigal, NSW. Perfect. The trainer was amazing. Encouraging, gentle, nurturing. And at the same time she pushed me to do stuff that I always avoid from fear.

View from this morning's training space

View from this morning’s training space

My fingers are shaking as I think about it, 3 hours later. Just a slight tremor in memory/sympathy of what I felt then. Remembered adrenaline. Probably existing adrenaline *shrugs*

I’ve long been someone who avoids stuff when it becomes “too” physically demanding. Obviously what I consider demanding differs from others’ versions of demanding. For me it’s anything that leaves me feeling breathless and shaky. Adrenaline rush shaky. I’ve done sessions on the treadmill before that push my heart rate up to the point that I am hit with a rush of adrenaline and my arms and legs become wobbly.

That’s the point where I usually give up. Or more accurately, panic. My brain goes into overdrive and my thoughts kick in, screaming at me to stop, I can’t do it, I’m not going to be able to cope, I need to feel safe and all that rot. I’ve had it happen when I’ve been walking across campus at uni. That place is so huge, I’m trying to get to class carrying a 10kg bag on my back, walking uphill. My legs and lungs scream at me. STOP, you’re going to fall over and you won’t be able to get up. You’ll embarrass yourself. You’ll hurt yourself. Give up give up give up!!!

This is my “fuck it” story. The story that tells me I need to fuck it, to give up before I even start, so I can be “safe”

You know what? No more. I’m sick of the “fuck it” story ruling my life. I have a destiny to get to, a purpose to live. And it certainly doesn’t include sitting in a little cocoon hiding away from the world to feel “safe”. That’s not safety, that’s a slow death! It’s what I’ve been doing most of my life. It kept me protected for many years but now all it does is prevent me from living the life I deserve. The life I am destined for.

All the work I’ve done to date has brought me here.to a place of awareness, where I know that the thought patterns in my head, while having had a purpose, now hold me back.

Which brings me to the now. This holiday has been in the planning for 6 months. I set the dates with the intention of immersing myself in all things Emazon. Her training principles, mindset lessons, and complementary forms of therapy to support the transformation process. Massage, reflexology, crystal therapy, spiritual awareness, plus more. I’ve done some work with Emazon before. It’s made a huge difference in the way I think and feel about my “stuff”. It has helped me to shift a lot and make some big changes in my life.

I’ve spent probably the last 9-12 months allowing those shifts to “be”. To settle. For me to get used to this new way of being. To cement them.

And now it’s time for the next wave. These 9 days will be about unlocking the next layer of neural pathways that will allow me to move forward into the next wave of changes.

So what did I uncover this morning? Panic. Fear. Shame. Tears. Emotion.

It’s time to move. It’s time to let it out and let it go.

Fuck it. I deserve to have spectacular things in my life. I deserve to feel a deep sense of peace and contentment. And yet with everything I do it’s always just underneath the surface. That fear. The fear that I can’t do the things I want to do because I “won’t be able to”. Every time I feel the urge to go for a simple walk I stop myself “just in case” I won’t be able to make it. Just in case someone sees me. Just in case I need to hide myself away. That I’ll be judged and found lacking. That I’ll find myself lacking. That I’m not enough.

That I’m not enough.

This phrase is the key. Under some pretty heavy layers of shame.

Let’s see what the next 8 days brings …

Listening to the waterfall as I write this post

Listening to the waterfall as I write this post

 

Watching the ripples across the water

Watching the ripples across the water

 

 

Am I in Denial?

My previous post on trauma was written in the way I usually write; by simply allowing my fingers to do their thing on the keyboard without censorship. At the time I felt ok about what had come out, like I had some kind of resolution and a ‘next step’ to take. Well, I took that next step last week – I went to see my psychologist. I feel … I don’t know, really.

We talked about things for a bit, I caught her up with what’s been happening in my life and then she tells me what she thought of my post on trauma. Great insight, until she got to the dot points. Then it was “you don’t want to own your trauma”. At that point I looked at her with puzzlement. How could a series of dot points mean I don’t want to own it? I thought I was doing a quick summary so I could use the list as a reminder to speak with her about it.

And then her explanation hit a nerve. Big time. I find it so easy to support other people through their stuff, to help them confront the tough, traumatic things in their lives. I ask the tough questions and it gets emotional and messy and uncomfortable and scary. And I don’t want that. I don’t want to go there for myself. It hurts. The thing is, I don’t have to do anything with my trauma. I don’t have to respond in a certain way. I can allow it to be there, to sit with me, to accept that it’s mine. To accept that is a part of my past. That it’s there and it’s not going anywhere. I keep asking the question about how I can do things like that. How can I deal with this, how can I deal with that? The question is, how can one do anything with something like this kind of trauma? Trauma that has been an insidious part of your life for a long time and has not been acknowledged until recently. Trauma that has put a load of stress on your system that you have essentially ignored for 30+ years. What can you do, really?

I think one of my main issues has been allowing my emotions to sit with me. I’ve always hidden them, turned away from them and avoided them. It’s become a long time coping mechanism to hide from them so much that I don’t realise they are there. I’ve been working on being more aware of them, allowing them to surface naturally. And not being afraid of them.

It’s certainly a process! One that I don’t have a clue how to do. And that is upsetting. I guess a big part of everything I have worked on in the last 2 years has been to deal with and recognise emotions I never have before. And I have come to this point, where I can recognise that there are issues.

I am unsure what to do. The prospect of “owning” that trauma fills me with anxiety. There is so much of it sitting there and I truly don’t want it. If I take it I worry that it will totally swamp me. If I were working with someone else I’d encourage them to do it slowly and to take small steps. My mind is going a little nuts with it.

Nothing new there!

*Breathe*

 trauma

Trauma

I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago and haven’t had a chance to put it on here, so thought I would catch up 🙂

——————————————————————————————————————————————-

trauma

Ominous. Threatening. Fear.

I’ve had this blog post running around in my head in the last 24 hours or so and as I sit here to start writing it, I feel like my fingers are a little unsure of what to allow out. But since I do my best (and most powerful) writing by simply allowing it all to flow, I thought I would just start and see what came out.

I have had a really difficult couple of weeks at work with some very emotional topics. I see a number of people who have been traumatised by events in their lives, which has a pretty big impact on the body, mind and spirit. One in particular left me carrying a whole heap of “stuff”. You know the whole theory about being able to hold it together during a crisis and then falling apart afterward?

Well, I did that. My client needed me to be strong and to ‘carry’ her through the crisis. I did that. And then I fell apart.

At the time, even after debriefing with a colleague, I knew I was holding onto some of the stuff. I just didn’t know what. Two weeks later I was able to discuss it in some greater depth in an attempt to deconstruct it and discover what it all about. This conversation occurred yesterday, and let me tell you, the deconstruction was seriously deconstructed!

trauma not just imaginationIt took a bit to work through the jumbled mess that was in my head. We discovered that … I am procrastinating on writing the words. I don’t want to say it out loud … I was traumatised. By supporting my client through this stuff, I was traumatised. See, I need to say it twice to really get it out there. This stuff was huge. The type of huge that is major responsibility and decision-making that has a significant impact on people’s lives.

It left me feeling like I had a big, grey, ominous, heavy cloud hovering over me. With the incredible support of my friend and colleague I discovered that this trauma had reminded me of all the other times I have been traumatised in my life that had never been acknowledged. My history has been to “soldier on”, pretend things never happened. And then to eat. And eat. And eat, so I don’t have to acknowledge and deal with any emotions that might be sitting there inside me. Numbing myself has always gotten me through in the past. It has helped me survive the trauma.

This time I began the same routine. My first instinct was to stop at KFC. But something inside told me that this time needed to be different. This time eating wasn’t the answer. That voice was small. But it was adamant. And certain. So I didn’t stop, which is a proud moment for me.

Yesterday I got a lot of stuff out of my head. But it is only the surface layer. There is so much more there. Every single time something happened in my life that was never talked about or dealt with. The times that were talked about and partly dealt with. The times that were acknowledged and the times that weren’t. so much stuff sitting in my head and heart. And on my body.

As I have been told several times before, this is my time. I no longer need the protection the food has provided for me in the past. I am destined for amazing things in the rest of my life. My past experiences have taught me incredible things and now, as I receive one more key to unlock one more lock, I gain a little more insight into how big my future really is. I need to take my next footlight and start unravelling and acknowledging each of the traumas in my life …

  • The deaths of my parents and brother.
  • The bullying I received as a child.
  • The feeling of not belonging in my own life or friendship groups, even in my own family.
  • Coming home one day to find my friend and housemate in crisis and having to support her, and then not having any support to process what happened.
  • Being used as a punching bag by my sibling as a child.

So much stuff. And given how bright my future is, so so worth the process. I need to do this to be able to live my destiny.

Bright. Light. Destiny.

hardships destiny 

If I had a guy …

If I had a guy to be by my side I would want him to love me for who I am, regardless of what I look like. I would want him to support and encourage me to spread my wings and fly. To share my gifts and talents with the world. To hold me up when I feel like I am falling.

authentic beauty

He might tell me something like this …

“I love every bump and curve on your body because it has helped make you who you are today. And I love who you are. You are beautiful in every way possible. Your eyes, your hair, your nose, your arms, your fingers and toes, your hips, your back and stomach. Every single part of you is beautiful. It has character. It has a story. A story of hardship and pain and strength and overcoming abuse. A story of joy and dreams and fulfillment and courage.

Your hair is soft and shiny, just like your personality. Your eyes show me expressions of the pain, hurt, sadness and vulnerability you have experienced at different times in your life. Every time you look into my eyes you show me your depth of character. You tell me your story.

The edge of your jaw and your mouth show me how compassionate and articulate you are. The curves of your shoulders have carried the load of other people’s worries and troubles for many years. Your chest holds your heart. A heart that loves and cares deeply for others. A heart that is full of compassion and empathy.

The band of fat around your stomach has protected you from all the attacks you have received through your life. The hurt and impact of the bullies that teased you when you were at school. The shame you felt at not being good enough to belong. Your stretch marks show me the courage it has taken for you to endure the words from all the people who told you that you would only be beautiful if you lost weight.

I love the cellulite and dimples all over your legs and hips because they show me how strong you are. You have stood up in spite of everyone who tried to bring you down. Those legs have carried the weight of so much pain and suffering. And they are all the stronger for it. STAND UP!

I love the pocket of fluid in your belly and the swelling of lymphoedema in your legs because they have withstood the attacks from all the people who have tried to crush your spirit. Those legs hold your spirit safe and will allow it to flourish and fly when the time is right.

I love your brain. It holds all the memories of your past. All the hurt and shame and pain. All the courage, determination and certainty. All be strong be fiercethe knowledge and skills so you can live your dream and make the world a better place. The power. The love. The thoughts and feelings. The wit, humour and intelligence. The values and reason and justice. The passion, loyalty and sensuality.

I love the length of your slender fingers and the fragility of your wrists. They tenderly hold and comfort the people who are experiencing their own pain and sorrow.

You have so much depth. So much strength and skill. I love that you have taken your past and made it a story of triumph, learning, fulfillment and happiness. And that you continue to do the work that will make your life even richer”.

I don’t have a guy to say this to me, so I am choosing to say it to myself.

I love you Ali, for all these reasons and more. I love you simply because you are on this earth.

beautiful right now

Self-Love

I was reading a blog entry today from someone who has recently begun following my blog and had a lightbulb go off in my head right in the middle.

“So THAT’S why I’ve never felt like I’ve loved anyone” is the message my brain gave me.

The blog I was reading is by a lady named Sindhu. She came by to visit after reading a comment I had made on another blog. So, of course I had to have a poke around her site to see what she writes about. The first entry I read is about self-love and how, no matter what happened in her life and the differences between her and other people, she has always had this inner capacity for a healthy dose of self-love. This has enabled her to be resilient, self-sufficient and to have an endless supply of love for the friends and family members in her life.

Here is where the light bulb hit me. I have written before about how I ate my emotions. I avoided my feelings. Every single one of them. Hate, love, anger, confusion, frustration, joy, gladness. I could continue writing a huge list here but I am sure you get the idea. No matter the emotion, it either didn’t register on my gauge, or barely made the mercury rise above zero. They were all there, but all buried so deeply below the surface they were like an iceberg. 10% above the water and 90% below, hidden from view. Hidden from recognition. And hidden from the knowledge that I was entitled to experience them. iceberg

The thing is, my feelings FOR other people were exactly the same as they were for me. Iceberg-like.

I was 18 the first time I acknowledged to myself that I had FUN on a night out (a friend’s 19th birthday party). People would hug me and tell me they loved me, and I would say the words back to them, but I wouldn’t feel them within. While other teenagers were fawning over the boys in school or the celebrity superstar, putting posters up, writing love messages all over their school folders and pencil cases, I kept my distance, kept to myself, and found it really difficult to understand how they could feel that way.

It did occur to me sometime in my mid 30’s to wonder why I seemed so different to everyone around me, but I never got much of an answer. It was kind of like I was separate from myself.

You see, I always knew, from a very young age, that I was unworthy. That I did not deserve to be loved. That I didn’t deserve to have friends. At least any real ones. Two of the three friends I did have during school were always fighting amongst themselves and I was the one who kept the peace. I listened. I guess it was like I had my role in the group but didn’t really belong. I would visit their houses and see the evidence of their boy/celebrity crushes and I never had that. I was separate. 30 years on, I’m not sure what they would say about that time and how they saw me.

So, this blog I read today and the light bulb it generated…

light bulb

I realised that the reason I was never really able to feel the emotions that other people felt, FOR other people, is because I was never able to feel them for ME. I was never allowed to feel them. So I didn’t. I numbed them. And buried them so deep inside that trying to get them out has taken a lot of soul searching. A lot of time and effort. A lot of wondering whether I am normal.

So much makes sense now.

Stop the pattern of eating my emotions. Recognise their existence. Use the strategies I’ve learned to manage the thoughts. Love myself. Nurture myself.

Simple, right!?

I’ll let you know when the tears stop flowing.

letting go of old thought patterns