The last few weeks! What a ride it has been. I hit a place that had me riding the edge of rage and grief. It was not a comfortable place with a rhythm of two days of feeling okay and then back down into the trough of despair.
Hot epsom salt baths and napping helped…some. But what I discovered in-between being in hot water and being asleep was an old and deep aversion/avoidance pattern. One that has informed my life for a long time. What I realized, when I’m saturated overwhelmed and feeling knocked by life, is I defend myself with aversion and isolation.
I hate anyone and everyone. I hate anything and everything. I vow to quit therapy. I can’t stand the thought of doing anything spiritual or healthy. I want to run away to the Mojave Desert, live in a double-wide, and sit on the front porch…smoke cigarettes, drink beer, spit on the floor, curse a blue-streak, and scratch my ass.
But I don’t and I didn’t. I stayed. And I showed up for myself. As I could, when I could. As much as possible I fended off the why why why questions and the wondering if forty years of personal work have even worked. I held myself with as much equanimity as I could and
discovered the level of aversion I feel for the outer world (when I’m saturated overwhelmed and feeling knocked down by life) I feel for myself.
On Sunday, I was down deep in my trough. Holed up in my room. Making my run away plans. To avoid the world. That I realized, deeply in my bones, the aversion I feel is not an obstacle in my path. It is part of the path. But in our culture, well…the darker emotions are considered a deep character flaw. Something to be fixed and, if it can’t be fixed, then it must be buried and never brought out into the light of day.
Then I heard about Orlando. My heart broke. The horror of it. The heroics of it. I cried for the world, for myself, and what the violence of repressed aversion does to us and how it affects all of us. Whether we direct it inward or outward, towards ourselves or towards people who are different from us. In color or sexual orientation or religious preference or gender.
How do we “fix” the hard stuff we feel, like aversion? Not by burying it and never shining the light of awareness on it. It thrives in the dark. It leaks out into horrific acts of violence. For me, the “fix” is about owning it…owning my aversion, getting curious about it, and forgiving myself for feeling it. And finding small loving ways to show up for myself. Not going in search of some big solution or fix.
As I resurface, I feel raw and bruised. I find myself bowing down to all of us who do the invisible and mysterious work of following our inner unfolding. How we meet the way we were wounded. How we show up for ourselves just as we are and get honest about it. Trusting that what is revealed, in this deep interior excavation, deserves our open attention and loving heart. That’s the medicine for healing the deepest and most wounded parts of ourselves.
What inner unfolding are you following? How do you show up for yourself? Or not show up for yourself. What if you dared yourself to just show up as you are…happy, sad, loving, hateful, lost, found, buoyant, weighted…and meet yourself there? That’s how we heal our core woundedness.
The real work of coming home to yourself, to belonging to yourself, is showing up for yourself. Even when you feel broken and unfixable. And that takes huge courage and bravery. It’s about digging down into yourself. With kindness. Finding and trusting your innate bravery and courage…and showing up. It’s how the light gets in and heals our deepest woundedness.