swords and galoshes

Up early again this morning without just cause. I answered an email from laughingleo about self-care and nurture as it applies to letting go and trusting and here is what I said to her: "okay, let's see....self nurture to me means that i take care of my inner parts-listening, being in tune with nature and my body, noticing, crediting my intuition, AND allowing myself to fearlesslyl melt down when the time comes cannot be overlooked, because it is a vital part of how i work through things in their final stages. i think i'm better at nurturing myself when i am not trying to control things. which connects to the letting go and trusting (my usual word for this is surrender) part. since i tend to gravitate toward controlling outcomes and feelings and things like that (not limited to environment, etc), i will generally get to a point that feels like i'm giving up, but really i'm indulging in self care which is surrendering the whole situation to whoever's business it really is. but it always seems to work in a circle for me-i have to at least try to control it first, THEN i remember to surrender it. its just my wacked out process i guess. you know, crazy ole me..." What I realized once I pressed send was that we, collectively as women, often do not honor the "meltdown", a sacred part of our healing process. I used to cheat myself out of that part of my own cycle because it doesn't really look that pretty and people stare at me fearfully or think me insane. Granted, I'm not really melting down in public or anything, but even in the presence of my husband the dreaded dragon SHAME pokes its head up and says "You've blown it now!". My meltdowns are usually characterized by a fair bit of cursing and fear naming, and some arm waving. But once I round the bend back to surrender, I am rid of the fear, the cursing subsides and something usually makes me laugh really, really hard. If I stand back and take a look at this, I don't feel shame, I feel relief. My loving partner is Brave and holds space for me to do this with him, as do a few friends. I am so grateful to be able to walk into the murky water with those few special people so I can come out laughing. To punctuate what I feel about self-nurturing, I believe that shame undermines our most vital processes. How can we fully experience trust if we cannot complete the cycle? I am not implying that in order to be complete, we all have to have meltdowns. But I am saying that whatever complete looks like to us, we are fully entitled to go there and to ask someone we feel safe with to hold our hand. I'm becoming okay with my new life as a gypsy with a newborn baby in another month. Dragons be damned, I will no doubt have to wade knee deep into those feelings a few more times in order to get complete on this one.


Blogger Julie said...

Yes! Yes! Yes! Meltdown! I was just telling a girlfriend that I haven't been very emotional lately. That I haven't "just lost it" and really cried. And that I'm missing that...I don't know if it's because I'm living with a man and I don't want to be perceived as "weak" (even though he would be so willing to see me go there...and I've seen him go there)...or if there is something else blocking my emotions. She responded with, "Don't you think you are just happier now? Maybe you just aren't sad." Well, yes I am very happy...but I'm not talking about emoting in a "sad" way...although tears would be involved, it's more energy moving through me...letting the feelings flow out of me. I won't force this cleansing...but I do yearn for a meltdown!

8/24/2005 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

yes, i don't think of melting down as a sad thing at all, nor do i automatically associate crying with sadness. most often for me, crying stems from frustration or hurt...anyway, i think of it as shifting the energy to clear the way for something more fresh to come in. anything is possible, you know...except forcing it i suppose. thanks, sister!!

8/24/2005 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger Kerstin said...

Wow, I think I had a meltdown the other day!

A few weeks ago I dislocated my shoulder and then developed tendonitis in the other shoulder, leaving me unable to do anything with BOTH arms. The situation wasn't helped by my husband being away on a business trip and my friends living far across the country. I was in agony and alone. On day four I couldn't take it anymore and dragged myself to the ER. It was busy, lots of people and kids waiting to be seen. And suddenly the floodgates opened. I just sat there, quietly, with tears rolling down my face and they just didn't stop. After about 30 minutes the nurse was finally ready to see me and I just broke down in front of her, sobbing my heart out. Yes, I was in physical pain, but this was EVERYTHING coming out: the frustrations of the last few months over all the uncertainties that had been going on in my life since the beginning of the year and that I am still facing when I relocate to the US next month. She prescribed a stronger painkiller and even when I left her office I was still crying, all the way to the pharmacy, all the way to the taxi stand. That's when I finally stopped, after having shed tears non-stop for nearly an hour. And it's funny, I really didn't care about the spectacle I must have made of myself in public and that people were looking at me in this semi-pity/semi-worried (is she sane??) kind of way.

Despite the physical pain that triggered the meltdown it was a wonderful emotional release. And once I started taking care of the pain in my arms, my head and heart began to clear. It was like the tears had washed out a lot of the emotional clogs, leaving me free to breath in the fresh air and MOVE ON.

Take care, Kerstin

8/24/2005 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

oh, ps. I love the image on this post! Wow!

8/24/2005 02:05:00 PM  
Blogger Swirly said...

Yes, the meltdowns have some lovely bits in them, and clearing out that energy makes room for new growth. But boy is it hard to face that sometimes. I tend to go through a cycle of resistance, then whatever I've been resisting says, "To hell with you!" and bursts forth. I let go and run with it, and then suddenly I'm free of it.

8/24/2005 03:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Keri Smith said...

*currently in full fledged meltdown mode (combined with large doses of sadness).

this was really helpful in giving me permission. thank you p.

8/26/2005 04:56:00 AM  
Blogger kristen said...

hmmm. now this is funny because on the other end, what if you're too emotional? i seem to experience meltdowns, or slight variations, frequently.

9/27/2005 08:50:00 PM  
Blogger kristen said...

hmmm. now this is funny because on the other end, what if you're too emotional? i seem to experience meltdowns, or slight variations, frequently.

9/27/2005 08:50:00 PM  

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