Curiosity saved My Life
I didn’t want to change, but my body had enough of the unnecessary punishment and one day it decided not move off the couch. It boycotted my life, and said a final NO to me. I guess you can say I had a breakdown. I had to get curious, because I was forced to get curious. The real truth I knew in that moment was that if I didn’t take my body seriously I would descend into the darkness forever.
Lately I have been trying to be curious rather than judgemental. I realize that when I judge a person I can easily categorize them in my mind and think that I know them. For example, they remind me of someone else, so I assign all of the qualities of the person I already know to them. I don’t spend the time to get to know them, and maybe find out that they are not at all like the person I already know.
My mind can only take in so much new information, then it wants to relax into a pattern that is familiar and has worked in the past to lower my anxiety and feed my ego. But thinking I know a person before actually getting to know them, I am missing out on important queues and possible red flags.
Being curious makes me vulnerable, because I am opening up to find out something new. That something new may be negative and hurt me, or it may be something that doesn’t fit in with the scenario I have already made up in my mind. My mind is only searching for things to validate the ‘truth’ that I have already decided upon without having all the information.
But where did that ‘truth’ come from? It came from my past, and what I have learned so far in my life about relationships. It can’t come from the present or the future because then I would be some sort of medium that can hear a few words from a person’s mouth and know them, or see an article of clothing and tell them about their past. I am not a medium, and I don’t have those powers. The real truth is, I am projecting my desire of who I want them to be or who I think they already are, without having all the facts.
Being curious instead of thinking that I already know is hard because it opens the door to infinite possibilities that could hurt me. But what I haven’t seen up until now is that some of those possibilities could help me grow, they could be amazing connections that I have never experienced before. They could help me expand my consciousness and open my heart. But I throw away all the good possibilities with the bad ones. When I do this, I shut my eyes and heart to a future that is different than my past.
Feeling like I know people before having all the facts makes my ego feel better, and it makes me feel smart and in control. I do this to other people, but I realize now that I had also been doing it to myself. My ‘knowing’ made me ignore my body’s cries for help for years! My life checked all the boxes of what my ego believed I should be doing. There was obviously something defective about my body because it felt sad and tired, and it disagreed with my decisions, so I punished it. I punished it by pouring tequila in it to quiet it down, by exercising incessantly to exhaust it, and by having sex to numb it. I didn’t want to hear it, because if I acknowledged what it was trying to tell me my whole world would fall apart. The world that my ego had built for me to hide in.
I didn’t want to change, but my body had enough of the unnecessary punishment and 6 years ago it decided not move off the couch. It boycotted my life, and said a final NO to me. I guess you can say I had a breakdown. I had to get curious, because I was forced to get curious. The real truth I knew in that moment was that if I didn’t take my body seriously I would descend into the darkness forever. My body gave me a wake up call by being perfectly still. So, I stopped drinking and started to listen. It had a lot to say, but it started with a tiny whisper. My body was scared that I would get angry with it as I had in the past. As it realized that I was no longer going to numb or punish it, it started to feel safe and tell me what it needed. It needed to me to leave my marriage that had become toxic, it needed to get to the sun and the ocean, it needed me to take action to heal it.
I listened, and I got a divorce and moved to the beach. I have been here for almost 2 years now and I have come a long way from being immobile on the couch, but last October I started feeling that I could go deeper within. I felt like I had moved away from the toxicity in my life, but that my healing had just begun. So, at the beginning of this year I became disciplined in my yoga practice, by practicing every morning and 3-5 times a week in the evenings. At first, once again my ego resisted. My mind came up with all sorts of reasons why I shouldn’t get up at 5AM in order to do yoga before work. My mind wanted to blame others, and believe that I did the best I could, it didn’t want to acknowledge the hurt that still lived in my body because it was scared that it couldn’t handle it.
But my mind was judging what my body had to say, instead of just being curious. I thought that if I acknowledged the hurt in my body, I would have to take ownership of hurting it. My ego wanted to make me feel better about the decisions I made in the past, and smooth over the mistakes I made. But now I realize that none of that matters. All that matters is that my body wants to tell its story without being judged. My body doesn’t want to hurt me it just wants to tell me what it has been through, and I am learning not to be scared of what it has to say. I am learning to just be in the present and listen, and take care of it.
In the past few weeks I am starting to realize that I am doing to other people what I used to do to myself. I am picking and choosing what I want to hear to build up my ego, instead of being open and curious about them. So, I am working on letting go of my preconceived judgements of others, and trying and be present and learn from them. They are not part of my past, they are not trying to hurt me on purpose, and I do not already ‘know’ the impact they will have on my life. The possibilities of what I can learn from them is endless, and I am learning to be curious instead of scared.