There is a fine distinction between catharsis and healing in my eyes. Catharsis is an outpouring of what was contained. If we go back to same old same old we have not healed from the release. For healing to happen we must change from that point forward. Healing is the moment when we allow our expression to make an impression on ourselves. In this process we become culivated by the sensations of being alive, and we allow our perpective of self, the world, whatever it may be, to be different, if even slightly.
Sometimes a healing can be really messy, unpretty, and frightening to yourself or others overhearing. We can have shame around loosing control or falling apart. This is my account of letting it happen, surrendering in faith that a room gets messier before it gets clean. Hopefully it wil give you permission to claim the space you need for your own process.
I woke up early on Saturday morning with my mind racing – with thoughts, panic, anger, fears, long to-do lists, and litanies of life-stagnating fears. I began to share what was happening with my partner, and this massive cry finally poured out of me. I took my shaking and crying self into the next room, closed the door, blared a dance mix CD, and lay down in front of my altar. I allowed myself to come undone, moving onto my knees, into downward dog. I screamed from the depths of my guts. I cried so hard, a pool of tears and mucous and saliva formed on the floor in front of me. I surrendered to whatever process was happening. First, self-loathing and shame swelled in me; I screamed for release from the pain. I named these secrets and shames as poison, and cast them out of me with my words and my will. As I let go of more and more of my shame, my breath deepened and I placed my hand on my heart, choosing to let faith fill me up. My cries continued, ebbing and flowing. My body began to react in a variety of unexpected ways. I inhaled love with each breath; prayers, coughing, sobs, yells, twitching, and full-body clenching fell out of me as I exhaled, each time a surprise.
I rose to my feet, standing firmly with knees bent, and I called out from my heart, “Please. Turn this poison into medicine. Please.” Using all of my strength, I pressed my feet into the floor, feeling the Earth beneath me, and I called for my healing, your healing, our healing, the healing. Unexpectedly and quietly, I started saying, “thank you,” and I meant it. “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you…” I stood with my arms out to my sides, feeling empty and strong and grateful, free and filled with love.
As I stood, “Rabbit in Your Headlights” came on the mix CD that had been playing, and I had one of those moments you just cannot put into words. (Not for lack of trying – after spending 45 minutes trying to describe it, I realize you should just watch this video: DJ Shadow & James Lavelle (UNKLE) – Rabbit in Your Headlight.) I knew in that moment that I am strong enough to remain intact at the point of impact. I danced slowly, clean and raw, for another three songs, ending with Iz’s Somewhere over the rainbow… The CD ended and I felt real, grateful, in my body, wanting to move forward with my life.
The intensity of that hour was entirely surpassed by the peace and comfort I now feel in my own skin.