A Valuable Lesson

I’m back to being self-absorbed (am I ever not ๐Ÿค”). I cried a lot yesterday. I felt very sorry for myself in parts. Sorry for others in the other parts. I woke up this morning after a long sleep, feeling like I’d been hit by a bus and rolled over by a truck.

No surprises there. When I’m sad, I become self-destructive in the sense that I start to have very high expectations of those around me. So high, that no one can reach them or come close to fulfilling them. The soul sisters had messaged me. They were both awake, with time, and we could unpack the purpose of the shadow self.

I knew there were old behaviour and emotion patterns that needed to be broken, and were so presenting themselves AGAIN. They have reared their heads now because I am in transition and they will not serve me in my next phase. I needed to acknowledge them, wrestle with them, speak to them, and ultimately, love and release them.

Healing work takes time, and I’ve realised, with such busy lives, we don’t tend to make time for it. I used to a lot more than I do now. Ironically, running a healing business takes my time. I grin wryly and shake my head at the folly that is human.

I gave myself permission to not feel guilt when I cancelled my plans today. When the guilt rises, I let it know that it’s okay that today, we put our needs first. And it is okay, even though I feel like I’ve been doing it a hell of a lot, too much, in recent weeks. Then, I chat to my shame and I let it know that it’s okay, we are in transition and we are growing and that causes disruption.

It’s important to walk the talk. I preach at others to do what they need. When they present excuses, I am firm. It is more than okay that I make myself do what I tell others to do because I know it works. So, I have.

Off to Bunnings to grab a few final touches for my meditation space. I realised that just being near the plants released stick parts of myself, so on the way home, I explored roads I’ve never been down (I did think they lead somewhere different, but it didn’t matter that they didn’t go where I thought they would).

Words kept going through my head – you have to become lost to find yourself.

A constant mantra as, mesmerised, I stopped the car to be mindful of and to where I was. I expressed gratitude and kept going, stopping every fifty or so metres to acknowledge the different sights, sounds and feelings.

I was free. I was empowered. I was present.

After hitting the car’s undercarriage on a rock, I was forced to turn around and head back to a road I knew.

I live very close to a national park. It’s one of my soothing places. I don’t go there enough. I’m scared of being raped and murdered and no one finding the body because I’ve turned location settings off on my phone. I know. Welcome to my brain. Residue from childhood trauma.

Today, though, I turned right without hesitation and started the descent to the dried out lake beds.

I love water and I am devastated that there is no water in the lakes anymore (thank you, fracking). However, the bush is still there, and it soothes my soul almost as much as water does. Well, today it did that and more.

There were people eating lunch and I’m avoiding humans to the best of my ability, so I decided to walk down a walking track – just a little way.

Oh my. Forget your pain. Forget your self-obsession. Forget everything. Just be.

I started to feel inspired. Ideas for workshops started to crystallise. Directions became clear. My spirit strength gushed back through my veins and arteries, exploding my heart.

I only felt mildly concerned when some guys on trail bikes were at the head of the path and the other picnickers had gone. I don’t think males appreciate how vulnerable females can feel.

I started the journey home. I felt lighter.

And then, the purpose to the misery yesterday revealed itself. Funnily, I had to feel, really feel, something I believe and something I always say, to the extent it’s the byline for both of my businesses – empower yourself.

Healing is a solo journey. Healers hold space so that you are safe as you journey your healing path. But, ultimately, healing is a solo endeavour. And, it’s scary to do it alone.

I think it’s human nature to want someone else to hold you, to save you, to do the work. To be there, even just to listen and to hold your hand. I also think that that doesn’t really help you brave the healing wilderness and come out the other side, more whole than when you started.

This is MY life. I am responsible for it. I, and only I, am responsible for it. I make choices, as an adult, that dictate my days and my life. I need to walk the path alone so that I can be mindful of everything I experience along the way. Other people can offer their wisdom and their support, but ultimately, I need to do the work to attain my own wisdom.

Personal responsibility and empowering the self.

I know what makes me feel peaceful. It’s nature. When I’m out of balance, and I know when I am, I need to go into nature. But, so often, too often, I don’t. I put the needs of others and my ‘responsibilities’ first. I have dozens of excuses to not do what my soul cries for.

And I face the consequences for not listening.

I am worthy of giving to myself first. Just as you are. In fact, it’s my core responsibility. Without fulfilling it, I am less able to do the things I choose to do for others.

Healed. Lol. Thank you, kind old tree.

Breakthrough

So I was just sitting here, watching Dr Phil, my head pounding, and I thought, “I struggle with my Birthday because I don’t believe I’m worth celebrating.” 

I know how ridiculous that is, but it’s truly what came into my head. I know I am worth it but it’s like I don’t believe other people will think I am. Lower my expectation, minimize disappointment. How f’ed in the head is that?! 

And I stand by what I said the other day, this stems from the IVF journey; the journey that just keeps giving lol. And that stems from being single.

For the majority of my life, probably until I hit my late thirties and forties, I hadn’t believed I was worth what I now think is very obvious worth. IVF compounded this because even though I was surrounded by people, it is a very alone journey, not lonely but alone. There are aspects of it that only the woman could understand, even in the most loving relationship. 

The drugs, the injections, the emotional rollercoaster, the listening and feeling and questioning every single physical aspect, well, you do that alone. The continual failure takes its toll. And then miscarrying, and misvarrying entirely alone and isolated, well, that compounded it all too. 

And so I learned I would do my life myself. I would pull back from everything (except work) to protect myself. I think when I wanted people to just know what to do, and to just be who I needed and wanted them to be, and they weren’t, I internalized that by reverting to my childhood narrative. The one where I’m not pretty enough, funny enough, smart enough, worth enough. 

Then there was the workplace bullying, healing from the miscarriage and another failed IVF, and then the investigation, more ‘voices’ telling me I wasn’t good enough; to the extent that my support network was shut down by the institution through their installation of fear by threatening that I would lose my job. 

Oh wow. No wonder my head is abnormal ๐Ÿ˜‰ trying not to swear lol. 

And that’s why when my friend said we needed to do something for my birthday, and suggested something, and organized it, respecting my request to keep my birthday quiet, I was happy to say yes: best of both worlds, celebration without pressure. 

I’m looking forward to my birthday. A year wiser in a transformative year. A year where I am rebuilding my entire life, from the ground up. 

What a blessing courage is. 

What a blessing freedom is. 

What a blessing this life is. 

Happy Birthday, Tina. You are becoming, you are, the woman you always wanted to be. I’m proud of you kiddo! 

And a bit moreย 

Doubly grateful today. 

Epiphanies are grand. I had one today. I love gratitude journals (go figure). I think they are brilliant for working towards happiness. I don’t know that they work as well with anxiety. 

So, today, three days in to waking up without anxiety and only experiencing discomfort at points yesterday, I had an epiphany. I’ve asked one of my kids to trial it. 

It’s a Control Journal. Rather than listing gratitude, you list the things you had control over during the day to the point that you are writing in your Control Journal. 

I’m thinking I could be on to something with this … 

Yoga now. 

๐Ÿ˜ƒ

The Transformative Experience of Mary Badham

Flashback to Tuesday night. I still haven’t fully processed it. And it wasn’t necessarily the event, rather the impact being there had on me. And I pause to breathe.

In fact, procrastinating lol. Liz Gilbert says that we procrastinate in our writing from fear. I think that today, she is quite correct.

It has been an hour since that last sentence ;-). I have words whizzing through my brain, interweaving with emotions. Maybe rather than try to find the words to make it make sense to you (to me), I should just retell the experience.

The best moments of this trip have been the non-touristy ones. This night was one of those. I felt what it was like to live in this city. I saw what I could have access to. And it overwhelmed me.

I lined up with my ticket, as did many New Yorkers. There was conversation around minding spots for late friends and laughter as we all acknowledged it didn’t matter because seats were allocated. It was a very mixed crowd. A lot of parents with their children (adolescent). I was impressed and so jealous; how wonderful an experience to have as a teenager. To have access to book readings read by actresses who played the main character in the book. There were a lot of people who knew each other, so there was a lot of love in the room. I think this also overwhelmed me.

Belonging somewhere, where you didn’t often feel like a freak because the things that interest you, excite you, make you whole are so vastly different to so many other people. We were all there because of our love for a book. A book. Words written by another person. Words adapting to a book that really tell a life story. Not just a single life, but many lives. Words recording many lives’ stories. The power that words have when moulded together. The power to bring so many different people together in one spot, for an hour and a half, to share the magic that Harper Lee’s words originally ignited in all of our souls. What power. What magic. How overwhelming.

So I sat in my chair and a few renegade tears escaped.

Not sad tears. Just pure emotion.

And gratitude.

That I was here and that I could experience all of it.

How blessed is my life that I have a job that can afford me such wonderful opportunities.

I have made a lifelong dream come true, beyond anything I could ever have anticipated.

And this, this is what overwhelmed me, and made this night so emotional and so transformative.

Another break from writing.

Mary came on to the stage after being introduced by the director of a biography documentary about Harper Lee. These people all looked normal. They looked like all of us. Maybe I realised that it wasn’t a far flung idea that one day this sort of thing might become a part of my own reality. Maybe it was just the gnawing realisation that I have something worth saying, and worth hearing.

The applause didn’t stop, and she seemed genuinely humbled by it all, putting her hands together and bowing with them towards the audience.

She read from To Kill A Mockingbird, ably adopting Scout’s childhood voice. She read from Go Set A Watchman, ably adopting Scout’s adult voice.

We laughed in the funny places. We sighed and gasped in the other places. We could see the child Scout blossom into the woman Scout. Sadly, Mary is probably too old now to reprise her role as Scout, Jean Louise Finch, in any movie version of the new novel.

In the subsequent interview, Mary answered questions from the audience. She talked about her memories, few, of the filming. She talked about her love for Atticus and Tom (and the actors that portrayed them; each the embodiment of the values that their characters subscribed to), and how both men remained her Oreo fathers until they passed, along with her own father. She talked about the impact that making the film had on her life, and admitted to only recently reading the book, as a matter of necessity because she was asked to speak about it. She addressed the limitations for women from the South, and how there was always a public and private facade.

She was honest.

It was very refreshing. Things that she only remembered from photos she acknowledged. Hearing that the house from the film had been destroyed in wanton vandalism/arson brought tears to all of our eyes because her loss was so genuine.

It seemed real.

As much as she was coaxed, she revealed no spoilers. She knew that most had only bought Go Set A Watchman that day because it had only just been released. This impressed me. Respect.

For the individual experience that reading is.

And then it was over before I was ready for it to be over.

And I caught the subway home. Floating on proverbial air.

And I reflected, barely sleeping, and realised some personal truths.

I drafted two blog posts, very raw, and very authentic to me.

They will be posted soon. Probably reworked. Public viewing and all, an awareness of the varied readership here.

When I have the courage.

They are coming.

Thank you New York. I feel firmer in my direction. And I feel less like a freak.

For here in NYC, we are all our own freaks. It is nothing for Lauren and I to find ourselves singing Lean On Me in the subway with a man on the opposite platform until the train comes in. Yes, here we are all freaks.

Doing what we can.