(This post focuses on a recent personal experience of healing. Its an unusual aside from previous blogs)
I often like to think of Life like a spiral.
We spiral up, down, side to side. We spiral on all the axis: x,y,z, and k,l,m,n,o,p. We spiral in all directions. Where we spiral all depends on the state of the energy we’re currently functioning on.
(this is all very oversimplified, but for the sake of this story, I will continue without going into depth)
A spiral, has no end. It is a continuous circular curve on a plane of increasing or decreasing distance from the centre point.
I like to think of these spirals on a linear time frame. As time ticks by the spirals wind away forever into infinity.
But what happens when that spiral doubles back on itself and the current moment crosses paths with a past moment?
When something from your past is staring you in the face and you have a physical reaction to something long hidden away. Where suddenly you’re three years old again, and as the ‘Now’ You observes the ‘Old’ You there is a sudden understanding of the education you have learned and stored away in parts of your brain, in parts of your body.
Healing comes in all sorts of ways, if you’re watching.
I recently had an experience where my current spiral suddenly crossed paths with an old one.
I had felt it coming for days, but little was I to know the full understanding of what I was about to experience.
I had been asked to come to Sydney to perform in a show for the Sydney Fringe. The story line was based around the experiences of 9 women (+ one man) and their journey through life as a woman in a masculine driven world.
My role in the show was to share my story as a woman who strongly identifies with the masculine. For the audience to enter into my story, it became necessary that I share some experiences from my life that would describe why I had become so physically strong. Why I had built gigantic walls around myself for protection. And why on the inside of that fortress there was a giant puddle of muddy emotions. So each show I would share a different story about abuse experienced and witnessed in childhood, explaining how each and every incident shaped me as a person.
(disclaimer: the above paragraph does not denote the definition of masculine. It is my personal experience of divorcing myself from the feminine, rather than myself identifying with a vague term and calling it masculine)
Now, I’ve spent a long time healing myself from these experiences in my life. But some of them are so deep, they are almost inaccessible. I’m not trying to say this was supposed to be easy, to stand on a stage in front of a room full of strangers and air out my past, but as it turned out, this was the way I was going to tap into those deep recesses of my mind and body and begin the work to clear these memories so that I could enter into a better future.
On the last night of the show I tapped into one of these memories. I recounted a story of when I was 3. As I was conveying this story to the members of the audience, I noticed the disconnection between my voice and the rest of my body. As I told this story, I noticed that I did not feel like me. I felt numb but my body was twitching and agitated. When I came off stage I had switched off any connection between my emotions and my current physical body. I proceeded to finish the rest of the show as if it were a chore. Something that must be done. And when the show was over, I found a friend and told them that I wished that I had not done what I had just done. Thank god for her as she took me away to a quiet spot to give myself time to reflect and talk.
My body then completely shut down. In a state of constriction, my body twisted and halted. Grief, shame, betrayal, embarrassment all bursting forth in a tidal wave of pain. For the next few hours my body purged, cried and sweated out tangles of remorse that had been buried deep down below the surface.
It was weeks later that I began to understand that my body had reacted this way due to the education it had received at that tender age. The curling up and hunkering down. A brace position used for survival. The shame and the feeling of having betrayed my family, all notions learned and ingrained into my system. The grief and embarrassment were my way of forgiving myself and the circumstances of the youth I had experienced.
From an objective point of view, I can see now how this one moment had rippled and flipped its way through moments in my life. How it had affected not only my sense of security, but all my relationships to people and the environment around me.
With this understanding, I felt not only supported, but that I could better support the streams of women who emerged from the audience to tell me of their own similar stories. Women who had found a voice, women who were in need of help, women who were looking for that support through people who understand what it is like to be victims of violence.
That ever-moving spiral is now advancing in a whole new direction. The spiral and its new trajectory enable me to be a more sympathetic and stronger healer. I have to give thanks to the experience, no matter how difficult it was, for being able to uncover these dark caverns and recesses in my psyche. And I guess in a way, I want to share with those who are working through their own experiences, that this too shall pass. That you are supported and all of this will help to remove the layers of yourself that have been covering the You that you are. That You which has always been and will always be. And once we can let it go of old paradigms, a whole new direction can be achieved, spiraling increasingly away.