I want to share a moment that meant so much to me:
I’ve been going to my psychologist since late September and I did not expect to utter the words I did for another 5 years. But they bloomed out of my mouth today, to the deep awe and reverence of the both of us.
I told her that amidst the very turbulent months when I unearthed the Pandora’s box of the repressed self and barely making it through the towering waves of unregulated emotions , I had found a place of safety that I didn’t think would be so close. I had always thought that to feel safe, to feel secure in myself, I had to be 100% and become someone other than this person I’ve shunned for caving under the explosion of decades worth of dreams, emotions, wishes, urges, expressions. I thought that my inability to ‘get over’ my pain stood in the way of finding even ground.
I always thought that I could not be seen by the world before I had reached that place of safety where I would have things to shield myself with. I did not want the world to see the shame and repulsion I saw in my soul. And this kept me in a state of perpetual limbo because to get better I had to be perfect enough to take the steps I deemed effective. Catch-22
And that’s another thing; anxiety is like a search engine that finds everything that’s wrong and everything that could go wrong. Because I already felt so fragile, so weak, I could not risk a flawed plan that would have me break down too far from my comfort zone. So I remained in my tower, spinning justifications thick enough to hide my shame.
In the context of all of this, I had found acceptance of my feelings, whatever they be. I have learnt that for whatever reason, I was born with this inner universe that no one on the outside could explore or understand even. I always searched for validation or at least to be mirrored back in some ways because I could not, and I did not, trust my senses.
I’ve told this story a couple of times, but I’ll tell it once more because I feel I’ve come full circle, some 23 years later:
I was four, and circling the coffee table in my pyjamas. It was close to bedtime and I was waiting while my parents were getting my younger siblings ready for bed. I closed my eyes and started chanting to myself
‘who am I?where did I come from?why am I here?’ over and over again until I entered a trance-like state. In my mind’s eye I saw me floating away from earth into the vast, dark space and all of a sudden, I was struck by panic. I feared drifting into space and never coming back again. I abruptly stopped, opened my eyes and sat down to calm down from that bizarre, disorienting experience.
That set the pace for my relationship with my intuitive side, my inner universe that I assume the outer space represented. I’d be apprehensive of myself, hateful of the scary vastness I contained. I stuck to serving the people and energies that reflected how I felt about myself, and there I remained until my mid-teens.
Whatever had made me circulate the coffee table then revisited me but in a far sterner way. It practically kicked in the door and threw me off, pissed at having been silenced and tortured for so long. I had outgrown the box I had relegated myself to and all of a sudden, I had no tether.
I’ve finally found my tether. Even though I haven’t explored much, even though I’m just as apprehensive of the vast abyss within as I was when I was 4, I have found a paradoxical space of safety within that is not perturbed by anything that goes on in my mind or in the world.
A place I can retreat to at any time to enjoy the life I’ve built thus far and where I can wait out the storm. A place where no matter the seasons, I can be whole.
I no longer have to limit where I let my curiosity take me for fear of ending up in situations for which I had not prepared shelter or defense.
I no longer have to wonder how much of myself I can be, how much of my truth I can live, how much I can risk for my creativity because I no longer value anything or anyone who would doubt or reject what I am.
I’ve embraced the potential rejections, loneliness, hatred, humiliation just to be able to follow my curiosity into outer – or inner- space.