I’ve mentioned that the certification program I’m participating in (Sexual Harassment & Assault Victim’s Advocate) has triggered some issues for me. What I’ve observed this week is just how much I was distracting myself with television, how difficult it was for me to go to sleep at night, how equally difficult it was for me to get up in the morning, the really junked, junk food I was eating, and more than anything, the memories (complete with feelings & judgment) that were coming up throughout the week (feeling like they were coming from “nowhere”) about my sexual past. Having these observations, I knew I needed to address and finally clear old wounds, judgments, and shame that I had either minimized (the experience wasn’t that bad) or denied (I’m over it). By the end of the week I decided that if my experience of this class is for no other reason than to clear out what doesn’t serve my highest good, it was time very well spent. And I am grateful!
By Friday night I had a plan to address what was going on. I would spend Saturday doing some things around the house, clearing out the basement and the backyard and cleaning my bedroom. I had an unstoppable desire to eat Nacho Cheese Doritos. This was CRAZY to me as I really consider those things toxic. But I felt like I really had to buy a bag and I knew I could walk over to 7-11 (something else I very rarely do) and purchase a bag. I said the urge was unstoppable so of course, that’s exactly what I did.
When I got home I sat in front of the TV and opened the bag. The first bite offered immediate relief from my craving. I crunched and munched – turned off the TV – and asked myself why I was eating Nacho Cheese Doritos and why eating them made me feel so good. Then I remembered that as a teenager, I would walk to the store and buy a big bag of those chips. I ate them all the time. As a teenager I ate two things mostly – Doritos and Pizza. I also loved to eat canned peas and canned asparagus… (What can I say, I was an uninformed vegetarian as a teenager!)
I began to understand that I was craving the same comfort food I had eaten when I first experienced some of the memories that were coming up for me – and when some of the groundwork was solidly laid for experiences that would come up later in my life. I decided not to judge myself and just eat. I also wasn’t ready to have a conversation with myself about what was going on and knew that I had a plan to address it on Sunday. I was fascinated to witness the process I was going through and how my current behaviors and feelings could be directly linked back to past experiences and unresolved feelings. I also realized – like really got it this time – how my current weight and struggle to release the weight – has a lot to do with my past relationships with men.
I’ve heard people say they kept weight on to protect themselves and I understood what they were saying, but I never felt like that was my issue. For most of my life, I’ve always had men in my life. I’ve probably had a few somewhat healthy relationships and some extremely unhealthy relationships. My last breakup was devastating. I knew at the time how hard it was for me and I took a lot of action to get myself through it. But that’s the thing – I did what I needed to do to survive the breakup but I did nothing to heal the wounds that had delivered me to that relationship in the first place!
That was in 2003 and since then I’ve spent a lot of time getting to know and love myself. I’ve had no desire to get involved with anyone – it was just too much work and I already had enough work being in relationship with myself. But in the past year I’ve begun to feel like I’m ready to date again and to enter into a healthy relationship. I feel like I finally understand what I want from a relationship – why I want a relationship in the first place. I feel whole and complete. I love my life and the lifestyle I’ve created for myself. While I am often alone, I am very rarely lonely. Yet, I’ve continued to carry this protective shell (30 extra pounds) and almost gone out of my way to present myself as unattractive. Why would I do that?
So this morning I made a list of all the memories that have been coming up during the past week… the unsavoury men, hurtful experiences, bad advice given by trusted adults, the men who victimized me, the men I victimized – the behaviors, thoughts, and beliefs that I hold in my mind and body – and have held in my mind and body (some) for over forty years! While I was writing my list I noticed my phone was ringing. I had turned off the ringer but saw through caller ID that it was my friend Ron. We don’t talk that often but he is a dear friend and a good man who I admire and respect. So I answered the phone.
We have an authentic relationship and without going into details, I was able to share what I was feeling and what I was doing. Ron was amazingly supportive. We talked for almost an hour, catching up with what’s going on in both our lives. He reminded me not to get too stuck in my head and shared his feelings of friendship for me. I told him that I was amazed that of all the days and all the time that he could call me (we literally haven’t talked on the phone in months) he chose that time to pick up the phone and dial my number. While I was making a list of all the horrible man moments in my life, this wonderful man picked up the phone and assured me that I am loved and lovable! I had prayed for angel intervention when I began that list and I believe I received it.
After our call I returned to my list. I felt I had exhausted the things I wanted to include. I then began a new list – an exercise I learned at Inner Visions – and began writing sentences that started with, “I forgive myself for……..” I wrote forgiveness statements until I felt completely forgiven and then decided it was time to do some soul searching. So using Denise Linn’s Soul Coaching Oracle Cards, I asked, “What does my soul want me to know about the men in my past?” And received the card, “Purification – My energy field is being cleansed of all that I do not need.” I then asked, What does my soul want me to know about men and physical intimacy in the future?” And received the card, “Transformation – I am at the beginning, in the middle, or at the completion of an enormous transformation in my life. Don’t hold on to old structures and limited ways of thinking.” I then picked up Colette Baron-Reid’s Oracle Deck – The Map – and asked the question, “What can I do right now to bring a loving relationship into my life?” I received the card Encouragement: “Step into my power. New things are out there to be explored and the nurturing power of the universe is giving me a nudge in the right direction. I will get the help I need and won’t be alone in my quest. Every step I take right now is supported by the wisdom of the universe. I am on the right path – keep going!”
Obviously, I find oracle cards a great tool and I am always amazed and grateful when the message I receive is spot-on to the message I need. I felt like I needed to do one more thing to release the list I created – burn it – and burn it I did! I went outside and grabbed my burn pot – a clay pot I brought home from Botswana – and burned all my writings from the morning. I had no desire to save any of it – the bad or the good. I released it all to the air and to the earth. I let go of anger, resentment, disappointment, shame, guilt, and confusion. I let go of the pain and suffering and allowed pure joyous love to replace everything being released. It was a great morning and a great feeling and a great, great day!
Yes, I am sharing some very personal information about myself in a most non-personal way. I’m not writing a letter to a good friend, I’m putting it on the internet. And I’m doing that because for me it is freeing. I say over and over and over, when we make ourselves vulnerable, we allow others to be vulnerable and in our vulnerability, we recognize we are one. No one is without muck – no one. Some might feel their muck is not that bad and others might feel their muck is the worst possible muck but the truth is, muck is muck – we’ve all got it – we can all let it go!