Monday, May 22, 2017

Experiencing Delight TODAY

"You must cultivate activities you love. You must discover work that you do not for its utility, but for itself...How many activities can you count in your life that you engage in simply because they delight you and grip your soul? Find them, cultivate them, for they are your passport to freedom and love." Anthony De Mello

Today I am aware that I live a life that brings me JOY.  That's why the health stuff is tolerable. Every ounce of this life brings me delight.  My old life was filled with suffering, because I couldn't say my life was my own. I was a slave to other people's opinions of me.  Today, as I get pumped up on iv fluids, I'm courageously choosing to embrace my life NOW....exactly as I am....

There's an isolation that comes slowly when you don't recognize your own body.  It becomes challenging to go out.  The internal dialogue can get difficult...."How do i wear a bathing suit? I don't have any clothes that fit me!" And then it gets deeper....."I can't date anyone looking like this." And the hardest. ..."I know i look different. ...I don't know if I can handle their reaction to me." As a result, life becomes smaller. Less time with friends, less time in the water....just less.....and this is not conducive to healing.

It's a conscious choice to say "Fuck it." I learned through art to gently "shhhhhh" my inner critic and allow my subconscious to speak.  The same skill applies here. 

I don't recognize myself, you may or may not recognize me, but I'm going to say yes to the things I WANT to do, and that I feel good enough to do.  And that's how I'm going to continue to heal. Slowly....steadily....embracing all of myself exactly as I am and daring to be REAL as I do it.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Lure of Not Speaking

In her own words...the lure of not speaking - or "mutism" in the wake of trauma. Many people know that Maya Angelou did not speak after she was raped...She held the belief that her voice killed a man, when her rapist was killed after the trial in which she named him. But most people don't know about what happened in those 5 years of silence between ages 7 - 13.

"All those years ago I’d been a mute, and my mother and my brother knew that in times of strife and extreme stress, I was likely to retreat to mutism. Mutism is so addictive. And I don’t think its powers ever go away. It’s as if it’s just behind my view, just behind my right shoulder or my left shoulder. If I move quickly, it moves, so I can’t see it. But it’s always there saying, “You can always come back to me. You have nothing to do—just stop talking.” So, when I’ve been in stress, my mother or my brother, or both sometimes, would come wherever I was, New York, California, anywhere, and say, “Hello, hello, talk to me. Come on, let’s go. We’ll have a game of Scrabble or pinochle and let’s talk. Tell me a story.” Because they were astute enough to recognize the power of mutism, I finally was astute enough to recognize the power of their love.

"While mute, I memorized poetry. I would test myself, memorizing a conversation that went by when I wasn’t in it. I memorized 60 Shakespearean sonnets. And some of the things I memorized, I’d never heard them spoken, so I memorized them according to the cadence that I heard in my head. I loved Edgar Allan Poe and I memorized everything I could find. And I loved Paul Laurence Dunbar—still do—so I would memorize 75 poems. It was like putting a CD on. If I wanted to, I’d just run through my memory and think, that’s one I want to hear.

"So I believe that my brain reconstructed itself during those years. I believe that the areas in the brain which provide and promote physical speech had nothing to do. I believe that the synapses of the brain, instead of just going from A to B, since B wasn’t receptive, the synapses went from Ato R. You see what I mean? And so, I’ve been able to develop a memory quite unusual, which has allowed me to learn languages, really quite a few. I seem to be able to direct the brain; I can say, do that. I say, remember this, remember that. And it’s caught!"