It didn’t start with me
These last 2 weeks have been some really hard internal work for me. Normally when I feel this uncomfortable in my body I push myself to workout incessantly. But I haven’t done that this time. I have been sticking with my at home work out of sit ups, arm and leg work, so no crazy cardio to zap my pain away.
The truth is, I don’t really know that it is pain, it is more a discomfort of sitting in my own body. I have realized that the way I breath throughout the day is very shallow. It is all in my upper chest and shoulders. I haven’t been breathing deep down through my stomach and hips, and therefore I have a lot of tension in my hips. So now I consciously breath very deeply on my walks.
I am realizing how my body has stored so much energy that I wasn’t ready to process, or maybe I was incapable of processing. Sensations that come up when I release the energy, lead to memories or thoughts about myself. Meditation has taught me that thoughts aren’t who I am, even memories are not who I am. They are either snapshots of the past, or old ideas and messages that didn’t come from me, but have been stored in my body.
When I started this blog 3 years ago, I stopped hiding how I grew up. I grew up in chaos, abuse, and not knowing who to trust. Somehow at a very young age I knew what was going on in my house was wrong, and later I became ashamed of it. I buried it deep within me and tried to pretend that it didn’t happen. But sometimes my shame would bubble over and need a release which would look like me drinking too much, being promiscuous, or obnoxious. Then I would feel more ashamed, but then it would be my own actions that made me ashamed, not the actions of others. So, I took on more shame by trying to hide my original shame. It was a horrible cycle that I used to wish I could have some kind of brain surgery to cut out the memories and emotions of my past, so I could just let it all go! I didn’t know how to deal with it.
Since I told my truth, my shame has slowly started to fade as so many people have contacted me saying that they have experienced the same. They applauded my bravery, and by doing that they applauded the real me! I didn’t have to hide anymore. I always thought I would be rejected and outcasted if I told my truth, but actually people liked me more because of it. And I am learning to like myself more, and learning that where I came from is not such a shameful place.
I am currently reading a book called ‘It didn’t start with you” by Mark Wolynn. It is so interesting to see patterns of behavior that are passed down from generation to generation that almost seem to be in the next generations DNA. So not only are physical characteristics inherited but so are feelings and messages. I understand now why I randomly feel a sense of abandonment and fear for seemingly no reason. Once I looked back to my parents and grandparents there was so much moving, leaving, cutting off of communications, and families being broken a part. There was a lot of abandonment; physically and emotionally. And as hard as I tried to avoid it, it happened in my own family when I got a divorce. I realize now that I was not only fighting against the reality of the deterioration of my marriage when I was trying to keep my family together, I was fighting against generations of behavior that came before me.
What was the pull I felt 5 years ago to move to Los Angeles and start new? It was me, yes, but it was also my family pattern of moving and transforming. My parents immigrated from England to America, my grandparents immigrated from England to Australia, my other grandmother’s parents left her in someone else’s care in England and immigrated to America. These are big moves, maybe to cover some big pain, I will never know. But what I do know is that all of them were in search of a better life, and they were willing to make some big sacrifices to make it happen. It was harder back then too, because they didn’t have social media to keep in touch with friends and family, they just left everything and everyone behind. I know that I inherited that gene.
My dad was an artist and a writer, but his career was as an engineer dealing with numbers. I have the same life; dealing with numbers by day and creating in my free time. My dad bought his dream house in Palos Verdes, a mere 10 minutes from where I live now. It was up on a hill with a view of the ocean and Catalina Island. When he lost his job we had to sell that house and he fell into a depression from which I don’t think he ever fully recovered. So, is that what draws me here, to fulfill the dream that he had to give up?
I don’t know, I just know that it is a calling beyond me. And the more I meditate and the more I am still with my energy and emotions, the more I feel it. It is like an itch I can’t scratch. I know there is a bigger purpose to my writing and my artistic pursuits, but I don’t know what it is and sometimes I get frustrated trying to figure it out. But I am trying to just let it come to me. I am trying to work on my writing a little every week and see where it leads me.
I am slowly learning to sit with my feelings of discomfort and let the energy pass through me. It is the energy not just from my experiences, but the energy of being genetically tied to all of my family that came before me. I am starting to realize that in telling my story, I am also telling their story. They kept their secrets hidden and possibly lived their life in shame, and now I am revealing those secrets and releasing that shame.
They were willing to make big sacrifices and change everything about themselves because deep down they knew that the shame did not belong to them, and that they deserved a better life. They were trapped in a shame cycle as I had been, creating more shame by trying to cover shame and running from something that in reality they couldn’t run from because it was deep inside their core. I inherited that shame, but I also inherited their strength and resourcefulness and their determination to create something better. Those characteristics I am proud to say, didn’t start with me.