Like Words Together Reflections from the deep end of Practice.


What Good is Revisiting

I woke up feeling heavy, cold and anxious this morning. I got out of bed early thinking I'd take a hot shower, sit zazen a little, and then I'd be up to going to work. Instead I felt worse in the shower, no amount of heat seeming to help the cold grief I felt. After drying off, feeling small, I crawled back into bed, crying.

I'd gone through yesterday feeling tight with the tension of the news I'd received in the morning. A close friend's marriage, which has taken her into isolation in Kentucky, has turned abusive. My mother's received tentative diagnosis of retinal carcinoma and a suspicious shadow on her right lung. She'll be seeing a Kaiser oncologist for the right lung and arrangements are being made for her to be seen at the eye institute at OHSU. I just felt a kind of shock at it all. On top of getting ready to sign the divorce papers it is a lot to take in.

Visiting with my therapist yesterday we talked about my ability to compromise myself out of something I really need. How I'd felt really shut down when AM wasn't able to share my practice with me. How I have a weakness for being talked out of my needs, for being convinced that something else is just fine. She pointed out that I was going to compromise my sexuality, not experience a fulfilling relationship with a woman because I was able to not look at my needs.

In part it is conditioning for often being told that something else was good enough and I was being selfish for not seeing it. I grew very adept at knowing the good in situations, trying to focus on that because the times I didn't my Mother could be very angry with me, even striking me across the face once.

I can feel that part of my brain, immediately upon noting how she once hit me. Instantly going to re-frame, make that sound better. I note how it only happened once, minimizing the damage. It is the part of my mind that will insist that I was never injured by any of my family members, never had to seek medical help for anything. Like somehow the the lack of greater trauma made it all OK.

I asked CK to come to my physical/craniosacral therapy appointment with IW, trying to listen to the voice that needs. It was good to have her there and IW taught her a few releases for some of my recurring trigger points in my back and left hip. I decided not to write at all last night nor did I end up sitting.

This morning, crying in bed I decided to take the day off. Well, CK helped me to decide, helped me listen to the ways in which I just needed to cry, to rest, rather than listen to my inner critic who kept telling me to get up, get dressed, and go to work, be a grown up. Even suggesting that I was selfish and stupid for being so upset, that I was going to waste a potentially happy vacation day in the future I could spend with CK. An endless stream of reasons as to why I shouldn't just tell work I was taking a day off.

After logging in and seeing I had no meetings, I sent out a message that I wasn't feeling well. CK made me some toast and tea. After finishing those I slept for quite some time, utterly exhausted. I've resisted the urge to do more work beyond logging into my email a couple of times. I have knit a little and we're going to go for a walk out in the sunshine soon. I may even take another nap.

GM noted yesterday that she still thinks I'm expressing grief I've felt and held back for a very long time. I asked her, especially from my Zen perspective, what good is this to go back and look at this, to revisit these things. She said that in going back an feeling the grief I didn't, couldn't allow myself to express I can also look at why I felt that way. In the case of not getting to share a practice with Andy I can look at my need to share a spiritual practice with someone is important and use that experience to remember why I must express my actual needs, rather than rationalize myself, or be rationalize out of them.

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