raw and vulnerable – facing my core emotions

rawI feel like the theme of my writing has been “its been a while since I have written”, and it’s true, it has been a while since I have written, and I think it’s because when I am working so hard internally, I become detached with everything else around me.

The work in therapy the past couple of weeks have been really hard but good work! My therapist keeps telling me “I am so proud of you, you are working so hard and you are on such a different path than you were just months ago” – and I believe that because I feel it.

I have been trusting and learning more and more of what it means to work with my feelings and emotions “as” I have them; not pushing them away until I can find empowerment over them.

I am still waking up in the middle of the night with “crying wake up’s”, and instead of forcing myself back to sleep like I normally do, I have been grabbing my phone or laptop when I wake, and write notes down on how I feel, what I woke feeling, and what the tears mean… I have even allowed myself to stay with the emotions and feel them instead of pushing them away by falling back to sleep.

It hasn’t been easy, and I hate the way it feels, but I do notice the more I do that and allow myself to be with the emotions that show up, the more connected I feel to talk about them.

My therapist always tells me “every tear is a tear of healing” “every tear has a story and meaning behind it” – when in the past I would think tears = weakness or tears = consequence.

I left session Friday feeling as if we peeled back an old scar and left it wide open to see all the insides exposed, and the only TRUE way to re-heal that old scar, is to take care of the insides instead of just throwing a band-aid over it.

Sometimes, we need to open old wounds so that we can treat it the way it should have been treated, so it can heal the way it needs to be healed – – and that is with truth and understanding. If we don’t get to the CORE of our wounds, it will never fully heal.

I have been working so hard on looking into those wounds and facing the core of how they got wounded, and a part of the healing has been about feeling and accepting.

Something I have really struggled with in the past was “acceptance” – acceptance of support, love and care from my therapist in therapy, and I didn’t realize just how needed that is in the process of healing, and how accepting those things doesn’t mean “dependence” – it means I am saying YES to me and YES to the younger parts that never had the support I have now.

The other night, I felt some really big feelings and I leaned in and emailed my therapist (which I don’t normally do unless I ABSOLUTELY need it; even though he tells me to lean in anytime I need it) .. well I leaned in and I opened myself up to support at a real vulnerable time IN the emotions, and he was so proud of me for leaning in and by leaning in and talking about my feelings, I was able to accept his support back and know “I am not alone and I am heard and supported” ..

It helped! It helped heal a little bit of that wound in the corner that still has a hard time healing. I took a small step and in that step I learned to accept.

So, in my quietness lately, I have been really work hard within, and I am really hoping that I can take this acceptance and start writing more about this important process! I hope to write more because when I write and connect with others, I do notice healing happening there as well …..

So, as I sit here on this Sunday morning, I am thinking about the week ahead and I am looking forward to see where this path continues to take me in therapy and in the steps I am making all around my healing.

Acceptance, being with these emotions that show up, and really facing the core feelings and emotions that show up and what they mean ….

I am learning more and as much as that is scary, it’s equally exiting to know I am finally facing the wounds that need to heal the way they should have healed.

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raw and vulnerable – facing my core emotions

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vulnerable in my sleep

54eb69a02583a_-_6-dream-mysteries-solved-mdnI have woken up many times in the past week crying out of my sleep; literally crying with tears and all out of my sleep.

I have written about this experience before and its something that I have gone through quite a bit in the past couple of years.

This past week I have experienced this almost every other night and it has left me feeling emotionally drained!

I have talked about it with Andy in therapy and he knows this has been something I have struggled with for years, but we never have put a secure understanding of why it happens when it does and what it truly means.

It happened again last night, only this time I cried for an additional hour after I woke – when normally I would fall asleep almost immediately after waking from the crying.

My therapist and I think it has something to do with emotions finding their way out when I am most un-able to stop them – in my sleep.

Tonight I did some research on this – even contacted someone who specializes in dreams and I found out some really interesting things about this.

These wake ups of crying is not only emotions finding their way out, but its my body’s way of letting me know that I have surpressed emotions that are trapped by fear of showing emotions in front of someone.

Emotions and showing emotions have always been something I struggle to show or be with. I have written about this a couple of years ago called “Fear of Emotions

Even after 8 1/2 years of therapy, I still struggle to show or have emotions in therapy, or even outside of therapy. I have this intense ability of keeping my emotions in check no matter how bad I feel inside.

Reading more on this “waking up crying” it says: according to mind/body medical experts, repressed feelings and emotions don’t just go away. They actually remain in the body, taking up our energy and laying the groundwork for emotional distress which can be emotionally damaging.”

Another Dr who writes about this says: “Unexpressed emotions tend to ‘stay’ in the body like small ticking time bombs,” she says. “They are illnesses in incubation. The danger, experts agree, is that when we delay acknowledging our emotions, this can lead our body to speak louder and louder to get our attention.” –

Hence me waking up crying out of my sleep is my body’s way of saying “your leaking!!!!”.. they say when you repress your emotions, the body tries to find places to express those emotions when we are vulnerably able and in the sleep is the one place the body rests the most.

It makes sense, but it doesn’t cure my fear of emotions or talking about them.

I found it interesting that in this article one DR writes: “This could also be due to repression from an external source, such as a person that will not allow you to cry or a person that you are afraid to cry in front of.”

I spent my whole childhood fearing my own emotions and spent many nights rocking back and forth in my closet trying to swallow them or talking them away! I feared crying in front of anyone because as a child, I wasn’t allowed to cry “or else!” I was SHAMED for crying.

I don’t like crying in therapy, it sends me signals that I am going to be harmed if I show emotions. I have this shame come over me like I am doing something terribly wrong.

I have had emotions in therapy, but its incredibly hard and I work my hardest to swallow them as fast as I can. It’s not something I like to talk about, and even writing about this right now is making me a little anxious and I want to stop …..

But I also don’t like the feeling of waking up and having thee heart wrenching moments that I don’t understand.

In a way, I am sad now because I realize how much I am repressing myself and the younger inner child that is healing from having emotions that I hold.

In the article and most of the Dr’s say the best way to move through this is to talk about the feelings, talk about those things that are repressed allowing myself to feel them, not just talk about them. I cringe at that thought as it’s not something I feel comfortable with, but I also don’t want to wake up feeling the way I have been the past week!

This healing journey has come with many different paths, and this is the one path I always detour around, and maybe its time to take that path and learn how to heal the very things I fear …. emotions.

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its a choice – my choice

choiceWednesday morning while driving into therapy, I was feeling a bit disconnected – I woke up not being sure I wanted to show up to session and be vulnerable to how disconnected I felt – I felt a bit quiet inside like emotions were right there at the surface . . . . .

Then… 3 words came to my mind and into my heart – ITS A CHOICE!

I have the choice to feel the way I am feeling! I have a choice to show up just as I am, and let my therapist connect with me and connect back! I have a choice to change anything that is going on inside of me!

Tears began to well up, and emotions were really present! Those 3 words just hit my heart so strongly, and I knew it was a message from God in that moment!

When I got to session, I could tell right away my therapist had this great energy about him. He was open and really gentle with his words, and his demeanor was soft.

Even though he could already tell, I told him right away “I am feeling really quiet, and emotions feel close to the surface, and you know how hard that is for me”.

Even after 8 1/2 years of therapy, emotions are still something I struggle to express!

My therapist then said something to me that was probably one of the most caring things I have ever heard him say, and he said to me “you work so hard in here, and I imagine you waking up this morning you just wanted to have a break from feeling all these feelings and working so hard in therapy like you do, it makes so much sense you would wake up feeling the way you did, and in this moment I wonder (and this may seem silly), but I wonder to myself,  what if I can have the emotions for you?” …

I smiled a little, part of me being in shock, and then said to him “although that is the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me, no one can feel my emotions for me, and to be honest, I wouldn’t want anyone to“.

It was in that moment I really understood just how much my therapist cares about me; how much he is here to support and walk this journey with me. (not that I didn’t know this or trust this after 8 1/2 years of working together) But hearing those words, I really got just how much I am supported in this journey and how blessed I am for that.

He also knows deep inside that it’s not possible to have someone’s emotions for them, but a part of him wished he could do that work for me so I could have a break!

It didn’t sound silly to me, because I know what its like to want to take pain away from someone else, I just never imagined anyone would want to do that for me.

I get it .. I really get it now.

I shared with him the 3 words I heard on my way in “It’s a choice” and I went on to tell him what it is I have the choice to do!

I have the choice to feel better when I feel sad..

I have the choice to not let fear over-take me.

I have the choice to not let others and their actions keep me in a place of disconnect.

I may not have the choice to change others, but I have the choice to change me and how I perceive the actions of anything outside of my power.

I have the choice to TAKE MORE STEPS!

I have the choice to HEAL what isolation I have been in for the past 2 years.

No one can take that choice for me, because no matter what happens, it’s up to me how I react and move through this journey and choose my feet to the path I take.

When I said all this, my therapist just sat with me in awe of the 3 words I put out there. “GOD is with you, God is with us in this moment he said”.

He went on to tell me that in this choice, I have his support, his care, his wisdom and guidance and I am not alone in this journey. He even went on to tell me how sad it was that I had to fight so hard every-day through this hard isolation I have been in the past couple of years, but he sees so much hope of me moving out of this because of that CHOICE I see and hear.

And I finally get it! I finally understand that no matter how I feel, no matter how many mornings I wake up in fear, no matter what feelings hit me, I have the choice to turn that around and direct it in any direction I want.

I can take the sadness I sometimes feel and turn it where it belongs and away from me. I can take the anger I have pent-up inside of me, and turn it away from me and direct it where it belongs –

HOW?

By talking about it – by letting someone hear about my sadness and anger and finding a way to re-direct it right to where it belongs, – By writing about it – getting my feelings out to where they belong – and I have been doing those things this past year, only now, I BELIEVE in it, and I know the choice is mine now! I accept that these feelings and anger and sadness and frustration and fear are not mine to hold, I don’t deserve these feelings!

The energy in therapy room yesterday was nothing I have ever experienced! My therapist sometimes describes the energy as “sacred” … and that is what it was – SACRED!

When we come to an understanding  – especially when it’s from God, It hits you a certain way to where you have this acceptance and belief and a moment where you take a breath just knowing “its Going to be ok”

As the session began to grow close to ending, my therapist said to me “I just want you to know you are so safe, and I am going to “watch” and “guard” and make sure nothing gets in the way, and if anything even looks remotely close to getting in the way, we will talk about it, I will tell you right away!

I felt this relief come off my shoulders and chest like I have never felt before. My heart was filled with so much thankfulness in that moment.

CHOICE .. it’s all about the choices I have to make something different! I can’t change the choice of anyone else but my own, and I think I finally see that my choice is just as strong (if not stronger) than the will of others.

All this on the [temporary path] that God led me on this past week.

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the temporary path – the road less traveled

LESSPATHI have always viewed my healing journey, my healing path as a road that goes forward with a few detours on the side.

There are times I am going straight on the path, and there have been times when out of no-where, I was detoured off my path – and OH how frustrating can that be!

Or maybe it doesn’t have to be a frustrating struggle; rather seen and looked at as a path less traveled to heal bigger wounds.

Maybe instead of seeing these struggles as detours, maybe its more of a temporary path to – where I can breathe a little; getting to understand my footpath a little better.

The past week or so I have really struggled with connection and feeling grounded to self and those around me and I have felt so frustrated about it. “Why am I projecting?” “why am I struggling to be connected to those around me?” “why do I feel so disconnected?” .. I haven’t felt like this in such a long time and boy does it feel horrible!

But as I worked through my struggles today in not feeling so connected, I realized something! I realized that maybe this is the temporary path – not a detour. Maybe this is where God is telling me “hey, take this path for a while, you have been working so hard on this one path for months and months now, its time to take this path less traveled, take a seat on the rock and give yourself some time to breath and understand what is here, because for some reason, it’s here and it’s important to understand its presence.

If I don’t stop to pay attention to what is here, I may miss out on something so very important to heal.

As my therapist would say, this is where we slow down, pay attention, take time to really be with what is here – don’t run past it because it’s a struggle, slow down and look at the struggle.

Normally when we are up against a struggle or feel troubled, we are eager to run past it as fast as we can, because no one likes to feel disconnected – no one likes to feel troubled inside, so we do all we can to run past it as quick as we can to move to a more tangible feeling that we can handle.

But maybe that is where the wounds don’t heal. Maybe running past these  moments of struggle and disconnection only makes them come back even stronger!

The one thing I do know from being on this journey for 8 1/2 years now is, no matter how many detours or hard obstacles I have come up against on this journey, I have always met the path on the other side! The road I began will always continue to be there, me going off the path to a path less traveled doesn’t mean I am lost or have fallen off my path, it just means that somewhere in the healing, I will meet the path back up where I will be stronger and more knowing of the struggle that I faced.

So, as I sit here this evening feeling a little disconnected and frustrated that I don’t understand why I am feeling this disconnect I have been feeling the past week or so, I will look at this as the temporary path – the path that God paved for me so that I can slow down and heal whatever is here – a slower path to where I can gain some strength and understanding so that I can meet up and continue with the road I have ben journeying or so long!

These side roads are needed …. and I think I am finally beginning to understand that. Just because I had to take a side road off my path, doesn’t mean the path my journey is on has stopped, it continues just like me and this amazing road I continue to travel.

So I trust, and I gather my support with me along on this temporary path and I keep walking forward, slowing down to understand what is here and what needs to be healed, and allow myself to be the way I need to be on this path even if it means not being as strong – but being the ME I need to be.

So my path continues ……….

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projection and the battle within

08450c_4cb0c2cf6160474aa6a1dfb3648c934f.jpg_srz_p_220_176_75_22_0.50_1.20_0.00_jpg_srzProjection is something that I sometimes struggle with, and something I have really struggled with the past couple of weeks.

I am learning more and more about what projection is and why I struggle with it; how projection relates to me and my work in therapy.

I read a wonderful article written by Morgan Sontag called “Things are not as they appear“. She explains how Projection is a defense strategy in which you unconsciously defend yourself against unpleasant impulses or feelings by denying their existence in yourself, while attributing it to someone else.

Basically in a nut-shell, projection is “blame shifting” .. not something done purposely, but it’s done when we feel so badly about ourselves that we turn how we feel thinking others feel this way about us.

A great example: I walked into therapy last Monday morning and the energy in the room didn’t feel right, and immediately I began thinking my therapist was acting like his normal self,  that he didn’t want to be in connection with me, that he was mad about something, and I felt his mood was off – something wasn’t right! Well . . . . in “REAL” this is how I felt about myself. It had nothing to do with my therapist, his energy was fine, he was big and open and actually he was really happy to see me – it was my projection trying to blame shift it on him.

When I looked back at where these feelings began for me, I realized that I woke up that morning not feeling good about myself, I didn’t feel good about the connection, the energy I felt inside was really blah, I felt emotions at the surface, not loving myself at all, so when I got to therapy, instead of owning those feelings as my own, I projected them “blaming the bad energy on my therapist”.

This is what projection is!

When I realized this is what I was doing, I was able to connect to my therapist and talk about it.

We have worked a lot around projection in therapy and he knows when I am struggling with it.

But it’s also important to know that not all times we feel this way is projection, there are also times when others do own their own bad energy or disconnection. There are times I go into session and my therapist falls short of being there fully connected, or the energy is off due to him, not me. It’s the humanness of the therapist/client relationship.. we are all human..

Learning about when projection happens is important and something I have to work with.

I do the same thing here at home with my husband. When I am feeling down or I am struggling with myself and how I feel about myself, or I am feeling in a down angry mood, I will project that onto my husband thinking “whats wrong with him? why is he not in a good mood?” .. it’s not him at all, it’s me! I am the one struggling with these self feelings, and that is when I need to take a step back and figure out where the feelings are coming from.

Projection is tricky, especially if you’re in the middle of the projection, because you can’t tell if this is “whats really going on”, or “is this how I feel about myself!?”

The past week or so I have really struggled with connection to myself and others and some of that is projection. I am working on it, but at the same time, it’s not a really good feeling to feel disconnected.

Half the battle is trying to figure out, “is it projection”, or “is there disconnect?” My therapist is REALLY good at helping me with reminders of what is real, what is truth, what the connection is that he see’s, and then that helps me to tell the difference between “am I projecting” or “do I really feel there is something wrong with the other person”

….. more times than not, its me projecting. There have been a few times it really wasn’t me, it was the other person, but most of the time its a projection coming from something and that is where I need to really work on where this is coming from and why.

Projection is a real tricky thing, and it can really get in the way of connection. A great quote on projection is

“We do not see things the way they are, we see things the way we are”

I am a bit frustrated! I have had a hard couple of weeks with self connection, and connection with others, and I am really hoping that this week I can fine tune what is going on inside of me, and really get re-connected to self and others.

I think I know what is going on, and I have hope that I will work with it this week with my therapist, and I know he is open to really help and support me thru this hard disconnect I have been struggling with. He is amazing when it comes to working thru things like this, I have no doubt I will figure this out.

I see projection as a self  “TUG OF WAR” .. a battle you have with yourself.

The frustrating part in this is, I haven’t felt this way in a long long long time.. so I am curious as to what is going on, and I am ready to work with it and figure it out!

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31 Days {Day 11} ???? Being in Humility

71390837873776b2642ae0eb3b66710cHumility is one of those things that really makes you think! Its not easy to humble yourself in a life that calls us to struggle.

We try our hardest to be a good person and to make the right decisions, but humility is one of those things you need to work at as a means to see things in a different perspective.

One of my favorite quotes on humility is “Humility isn’t denying your strengths, it’s being honest about your weaknesses”.

It’s so easy to deny something rather than to admit to. When you admit to something you are letting yourself be “seen”, when you are denying something, you are pushing the truth away from you. God wants us to be open about who we really are – to humble ourselves.

“Humility is the wisdom of accepting the truth, that you just might be wrong”

I think humility is the test of life. We are challenged every day to live in humility and to humble ourselves to the things we struggle with. It’s not always easy to think that way, but when we do, it makes us feel like a better person; a person living life in the image of God.

I chose the word humility today for the Tuesday at Ten because Humility and being humble are hard words to write about. It’s something we thrive to be, and yet fall short at times, not on purpose, but by the way life steers our emotions and thoughts at times.

Sometimes we have to stop and think how we can be that better person God calls us to be, and other times it comes from the goodness that we do have inside of us. It takes work, and yet sometimes just being the person you are, brings that out in many ways.

Those who cannot feel the littleness of great things in themselves, are apt to overlook the greatness of the little things on others”

One of the hardest lessons of humility is the actions of wishing good on others who have wronged you, or harmed you. They always say “Love your friends, and hate your enemies”, Humility is about praying and loving those who do you wrong, that is true humility.

We do by wrong to God everyday and yet he still loves us – that is Gods humility onto us.

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, but thinking of yourself less”

I have really struggled hard the past year around something that happened that caused me to go right in the arms of isolation, and I have spent a lot of time angry and resentful.

I am beginning to wonder that maybe the healing is found not in fixing the wrong done to me , but maybe by using humility to pray for this person that they see humility and use it in a way that changes them and their hurtful actions.

Maybe it’s about forgiveness even when we don’t believe the other person deserves the forgiveness, because maybe forgiveness is about ME deserving to change and to use that as a means to move out of this horrible isolation I have been in for over a year now.

“To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable; to make yourself vulnerable is to show your strength.”

Humility and practicing it can also come with it’s downward spiral . . . . as C.S Lewis says “once we begin to recognize our humility, we lose it”.

Let it come to you as the great person you can be. Do good things right in the light and image of God, and not just to make ourselves look or feel good .. do it because it is right and just.

 

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31 Days {Day 8} ???? FAVORITE QUOTES Part 2

finding-joyI did this last week and everyone seemed to love the quotes I posted, so here goes with some more of my favorite quotes and thoughts.

With the new day comes new strength and new thoughts” – Eleanor Roosevelt

you know you have made the right decision when there is true peace in your heart” – Sabina

“Fear can make us stay up all night long, but faith makes one fine pillow”

Everything in your life is a reflection of a choice you made. if you want a different result, make a different choice

Inner peace begins the moment you choose not to allow another person or event to control your emotions

“The enemy always fights the hardest when he knows God has something great in store for you”

Its the possibility that keeps me going, not the guarantee

Feelings that come back, are feelings that never went away

If God is for us, who can be against us”

How big is this problem on a scale of one to God?

“Within you is the power to rise above any situation or struggle, and transform into the Brightest, Strongest version of you EVER!”

There will always be people trying to drag you backwards. Stay strong and move forward. You deserve to be a butterfly not a caterpillar

“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls, the most massive characters are seared with scars.” -Kahlil Gibran

“Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind”

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The path worth walking . . .

path5b15d1When I first began my path to healing 8 years ago never did I imagine there would be so many different roads I would need to take as a part of the healing.

I showed up thinking I would walk into therapy, talk about my past, and I would be healed and ready to walk back out into the world with softer wounds, and a lighter heart – – in a fantasy world maybe, but in reality its a lot harder than what it seems.

I have learned that in this process of healing, you need to take many many paths, and sometimes you have to go back and re-walk the steps and paths you have already taken; but on a different level of understanding.

I have learned that Therapy is not only about telling your story, but it’s about telling the story 3, 4 and 5 times over, because as you grow and heal, there are many different levels to what telling your story does to healing wounds.

Every path I have taken has been worth every hard step! There is this quote that I love because it has so much meaning to this process:

“When you can tell the story of your past, and it no longer brings up any pain, you know you have healed” Iyanla Vanzant

There is so much truth to this quote, because I have come to a place where I can openly talk about the sexual abuse and rape I endured as a child, and I no longer curl up into isolation.

That is when I know the path to healing is doing its job, and the steps are steps to a place of healing, and not steps of walking in place.

Therapy and the healing path is not only about telling the story, but it’s about connection and finding a new connection to yourself and those around you.

It’s about healing the child within that was stuck at the time of abuse; the inner child that holds those wounds and keeps the adult part of me from living the life that I need to live.

It’s about telling the story to yourself and growing the child up inside and loving and caring the inner child that was hurt and abused.

It’s about learning how to connect with others, and finding safety in people besides looking for the bad in everyone because of the bad that was done to me.

It’s about learning how to find trust in others, and learning how to love myself and stop punishing myself for the past which was not my fault.

It’s also about building a better relationship with God and learning that he was by your side and never left you!

8 years later and I am still walking the paths of my healing. Never did I think I would be in therapy for 8 years, but I have also learned to accept that healing takes time, and I am worthy of that time – however long it takes to continue moving into the life that God intended for me.

It’s a daily process; a process that is worth every step is takes.

I am healing and continue to heal, and today I have taken this healing as way to use my voice in writing, and as a way to connect with others and show others “you can use your voice, and healing CAN happen no matter how many different roads to get there”.

no matter how many roads there are to healing (good and bad, hard and easy) those roads all lead to a place of healing.

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