Monthly Archives: October 2016

We’re only as sick as our secrets

A few weeks back I shared about EMDR therapy and a number of people contacted me, wondering how it worked for me and sharing how they hoped it would work for them. A few of them asked if I minded them reaching out – my only thought (and answer) was how could I? Why would I write about EMDR therapy if I was unwilling to talk about it? Why would I post it here if I didn’t want people to know?

When I first started on my journey of recovering and relearning to live (and live fully), I heard a life-altering expression – “We’re only as sick as our secrets.” I’ve learned over the years that when I keep something inside me – ashamed or afraid to let anyone else know about it – it can eat me alive, but when I let it out – when I say it aloud to someone who cares and who is with me – I find release and relief. Just yesterday a friend emailed me that very thought. “Just admitting it to you that I was not perfect makes it easier,” she wrote.

We’re only as sick as our secrets, and by sharing them (appropriately) we are wholer and freer.

I also share things here because, as I believe I’ve written before, my main reason for telling my story and writing my blog is the hope that by my doing so, I can help others who may feel different or lost. That my path can give them hope for their path. Also, I figure if I’m facing challenges, or have weird remnants from my childhood, then most likely other people have them to, but no one’s talking about it so everyone can feel ashamed.

So I write about them. I write about my EMDR therapy – and I’ll talk with anyone about it. I write about my body memories – about how during shavasana in my yoga practice, my body does that weird, jolting behavior where (I assume) I’m letting out things I’ve stored physically over the decades. I call out my ease and my pain. My challenges and my joy. My struggles and my delights.

I call out my humanness, in the hopes that others will relate and feel less alone. In the hopes that everyone’s secrets will be less, and less painful.

We’re only as sick as our secrets.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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When not to take advice…

I listen and learn from others around me. A lot. I even go so far as to quote many of my yoga instructors. A lot. But today I got two pieces of guidance and advice that I’m not taking.

This morning started with a quick trip to the gym to lift. My daughter has me on a four-day-a-week lifting schedule, and it made sense to get in a workout today before my yoga class. I know it seems like a lot, and it may be a lot, but it’s right by me.

I had barely enough time, so was slightly speeding through the gym. I said hello to a few friends – actually, “hello” and “I gotta run.” One of my friends called after me, “you have to slow down.”

People have said that before – well, mostly my mother. I laughed (to myself) when my friend said it this morning. I get why she said it. I sometimes look like I’m rushing too much. When people tell me they want to grab coffee with me and I tell them I’ve got time in three-to-four weeks, they invariably tell me my life is too full, or I’m too busy. They say – or imply – that I have to slow down.

The truth is there are times I do have to slow down. And then there are times I’m rushing so that I can easily carve out time to slow down. My calendar is often booked because on top of my work, I’ve scheduled my slow moments and my play. And I protect them. Bottom line, despite the great advice I get from the sidelines, I know I’m doing okay and I know when I actually do need to slow down, and what I have to do to do it.

Second piece of advice I need to ignore? After I sped through my lifting, I made it to my yoga class to slow down. At one point the instructor reminded us that, “if you’re feeling fatigued, that’s the time to push through.” I smiled as she said that, and knew it wasn’t true for me.

People tell me to slow down because I usually am pushing through. I very rarely, if ever, need reminders to push through. I have needed to learn to not push through.

I go slow a lot, even if others don’t see it. I probably push through a good deal, but much less than I used to. All in all, I’m walking that balance every day, and staying mindful and in choice about whether I’m going fast or slow, and when I need to push through or ease off.

I’m following my own advice.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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Can you have phantom emotional pain?

Sometimes, as if out of nowhere, I ache. I don’t know why. There’s nothing going on that has set me off. There’s nothing upsetting in my immediate surroundings, or even my recent past. I just ache.

It’s a heartache. A soreness. As if I hurt for past hurts. As if I mourn, or grieve, again or more.

I’ve learned to let the pain flow through me. I’ve learned to not interpret it, or worry about it. I’ve learned to look, as always, for ease and peace.

I now know that ease and peace are within me. I now know that calm and stillness are a breath away. A mindful breath away.

The ache began during meditation. Was there something underlying that I’m not aware of? Is there something underlying that I’m not aware of?

No worries. I don’t need to know. I know I am okay.

I think you can have phantom emotional pains. At least I can have phantom emotional pains. I can ache and still know I’m not a person who is always in pain. I’m not tormented anymore.

I can ache, at times, and have compassion. I suppose there is a depth of pain inside me that, at times, seeps out.

I can look for comfort and contentment. I can look for delight and laughter. I can let my phantom pain be, and know it will pass.

It always does.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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