The healing of an open heart

It feels like a weird old time at the moment. I feel like my life’s exploded – in a good way but I also feel exhausted and overwhelmed and worried…and incredibly excited. I keep getting these bursts of natural highs as I’m being published on a site – a very cool and very popular online journal/magazine – that I recently got an apprenticeship for, as an editor.

That feels bonkersly cool. Like so cool. It’s the first time I’ve felt this excited in freakin’ ages. And happy – actually warm and happy when I’m working and editing.

The other thing I’m feeling loads of at the moment, is grief. So much grief. Like a loss, a hole, that’s in my chest. Like a well of sorrow open wide and sitting deep. I feel able to hold it, though. My heart feels so open at the moment. Like, so open. It feels beautiful. Within the pain, I have so much warmth and tenderness for myself and others. And an openness too. But an openness with protection, with boundaries. That’s not like before.

My openness I think used to feel wide open without limits, or protection. I used to shower love and really believe I meant it – which I did – but now I see that I was also hurting like a motherfucker, and the openness was raw and too painful. It was excruciating, and the love I gave, and could give, from this place, was without boundaries or protection of myself. It never went inwards first.

But now it does. I feel like I’m continuing to master the art of loving number one, and then loving someone else.

And this last year or so, I feel like my hearts been somewhat out of protection for myself. I’ve needed to go inwards, because I was afraid of over giving, of over loving, and getting depleted. So I tried to limit my giving and my openness, my love and my warmth, because I was afraid. And, I needed all I could get.

I totes think this is fair enough, and incredibly healthy. And, even within that, I know I still gave. And loved. A lot.

But something’s changing. My heart feels open and it feels safe. It feels safe to love again, and love from a place of depth and protection, of boundaries and compassion.

It feels safe to tell someone I love them, from a place I really really mean it. It feels safe to hold protection and fierce care for those I hold close to my heart.

It feels safe to hold my power by the hand, and walk with it by my side. It feels safe to step into it and allow it to help me shine.

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Kid, you’ll move mountains!

“Fame! You’ll be famous as famous can be,
with the whole wide world watching you win on TV.

Except when they don’t.
Because, sometimes, they won’t.

I’m afraid that some times
you’ll play lonely games too.
Games you can’t win
’cause you’ll play against you.

All Alone!
Whether you like it or not,
Alone will be something
you’ll be quite a lot.

And when you’re alone, there’s a very good chance
you’ll meet things that scare you right out of your pants.
There are some, down the road between hither and yon,
that can scare you so much you won’t want to go on.

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On and on you will hike
and I know you’ll hike far
and face up to your problems
whatever they are.

You’ll get mixed up, of course,
as you already know.
You’ll get mixed up
with many strange birds as you go.
So be sure when you step.
Step with care and great tact
and remember that Life’s
a Great Balancing Act.
Just never forget to be dexterous and deft.
And never mix up your right foot with your left.

And will you succeed?
Yes! You will, indeed!
(98 and 3 / 4 percent guaranteed.)

KID, YOU’LL MOVE MOUNTAINS!”

Dr. Seuss

Healing is…

Trusting that these are just chapters of my book, versus of my life song. And without these chapters and versus, the book and the song, wouldn’t make sense. It would be incomplete. There would be nuggets missing. I wouldn’t be whole.

Just how I’ve needed all the chapters before me, no matter how painful and confusing and how much part of me longs that they had been different, my story and my song, needed them.

I needed them to make me, not break me. That’s what they were here to do.

That’s freakin’ beautiful.

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Midnight Chatter

I feel like something terrible is going to happen. Dread and convincing stories are running through me like full-speed water, flooding from a dam. Only the dam is a shutter in my head, opened by anxious chatter. And the dam is only gently pulled shut, or to a trickle, by love.

Love and gentleness to myself. But even then, it doesn’t always do anything. I feel lost in a storm and I can’t see my way out. I feel lost in a dizziness, a trip, of anxiety and worst-case scenarios, worry and fear.

I’m not really sure how to stop it.

It’s not until I spend time with people, that I really hear how loud the voices have been yelling. The stories, the dread, the anxiety, the worry. When I’m with someone, they almost become a mirror for what I’m feeling. They become the bouncing board, the story board, for what I’m feeling and what I’m experiencing. Maybe that’s why I find it difficult to be with people.

I think this is hormones. I think this is PMS. Last month my PMS involved the darkest most intense PMS yet…I reckon. And this month maybe, rather than a darkness, there’s a sparkiness…a motherfucking BRIGHT and LIVELY sparkiness. In other words, ANXIETY. It’s a bitch. Such a bitch.

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I find it hard to know what to act on, and what to leave behind. I find it hard to know what is trauma and anxiety that is just there, considering everything I have been going through, and when it is anxiety here because beneath the anxiety, is something I need to work on, sort out, do…

I’m not really sure. There is so much in flux at the moment, and so much to be worried about. But also, in a way, there isn’t. Like, I have the basics here by me – a roof, a fridge of food… but in these moments I find those things hard to take as anything to go on. But if you ask anyone, it really is the basics that it comes down to. The basics that count. I am beginning to very slowly see that. There just is a truckload of resistance when it comes to trusting that. And that’s fair enough.

Just like the resistance around me feeling safe, or feeling supported, or feeling held, or feeling comfortable, or feeling happy and held. Fuck that resistance, but again, it is there by the truckload.

But, saying that, there is a little part of me open to all of that, and a gentle, loving, compassionate voice that is telling me I deserve it, even when my body almost retches with angst at the thought, or sight, of those loving, bright, feelings.

Along with this compassionate and loving voice that’s getting stronger by the day, my heart feels open – wide open – at the moment. Wide open, or slammed shut…I feel like I need an inbetween. It’s beginning to be there, slowly and gently.

It’s time for bed.

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Rose tainted lens

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Lately I’ve noticed how much I resist being in the ‘now’ because my life doesn’t look like how I want it to. It doesn’t look ANYTHING like how I thought it would, dreamt it would, believed it would, hoped it would, or wanted it to like…so it just means I fucking hate a lot about the ‘present’, if I really let myself be in it…like, proper in it. Not just mindfulness within myself, my body, but mindfulness of everything around me. Not just the trees, the birds singing, the beautiful sun shining through the clouds…I mean really looking at where I am geographically, in front of me and on the map, and really breathing that in and really noticing how that makes me feel.

Heartbreak. Hatred. Longing. Hating. Wanting. Wishing. Hoping…they are normally the sensations and feelings I notice. When I’m being mindful with a little bit of me left outside of the ‘now’ and sitting in imagined reality, then I have a bit of peace. I have a bit of hope. I am not left in a pit of wondering how the FUCK I got here…wondering where the FUCK I am going. When I allow myself to daydream or to look at the present a little differently, a little with rose tainted glasses and a hopeful grin, I am okay with where I am. But when I look at it with what feels like ‘real eyes’, I almost cannot handle it. Hence hardly doing it very often.

This is not where I want to be. This is not who I thought I would be. This is not what I wanted to be. This is not what I was going to be. This is not what I was going to do.

Is this being twenty-something? Is this me still finding my feet with where I find myself in adulthood? Is this me ‘coming to terms with’ the person I am becoming? Is this me wondering where on earth I am going? I laughed when I wrote those last two questions. ‘Coming to terms with the person I’m becoming’…that feels sad, but quite funny, that I would write that!

I feel like imagination and rose tainted glasses, make things hopeful. I see things how I want to see them. But maybe this is okay? Because it keeps me happy. It keeps me from feeling the grief, the pain, that I feel when I really see myself for where I am now. The grief and pain of when I look at my life how it is now doesn’t overwhelm so intensely, when I have on my rose tainted glasses.

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Another thing I’ve noticed, with the refusing to allow or accept for where I’m at, is the resistance towards feeling supported by the world, life, the universe. “When I look back, I see only miracles”, is one of my favourite quotes (I have no idea who it’s by…) but when I hate how much my life has not felt like mine, and how much it’s felt like a dream, I cannot help but feel MEGA resistance to the fact that actually, when I look back, I have always been so, so, so looked after by life and where I have found myself. I have always, always, had what I need…in times I have had NO idea how it would come to me.

But this feeling of being in a dream and this feeling of life not really belonging to me, not being truly mine – the idea that I am not where I wanted or should or ever thought I would be, feels at the root of this resistance. And it kinda makes sense.

How am I supposed to be grateful, when where I find myself is not where I want to be? How am I supposed to feel looked after when the support is for a life I didn’t think I would lead? How am I supposed to allow myself to grieve for what was, when I don’t fucking like what is now. Sure there is a shit tonne of beauty, but there always is, wherever I am. Thing is, the rest of what is, is shit…it’s not where I want to be. But I can look at it through the rose tainted, hopeful, glasses. Or I can look at it through the ones that don’t fit me – the glasses that don’t agree with me.

Either way, I do want to feel more present with the present. I do want to be able to sit with the now, more. To sit with where I truly am – rose tainted lens’ or real, uncomfy ones – and be able to be with the feelings, the realisms…I think part of this is growing up, but I also think that part of this is recovering from the overdose. I remember my therapist saying that people have told her that the time following an attempt is like a ‘bad trip’. I’ve never had a bad trip, I don’t even really think I’ve ever had any kinda trip (except for ones involving rucksacks). But I defo feel like that’s how I feel – like my life is a trip, a dream, a surreal – so surreal – time that I keep expecting to wake up from.

And I know this isn’t a dream, and it hasn’t been a dream (at a lot of points I have definitely said it’s felt like a fucking nightmare) but I do feel as though I’m waking up, slowly. My eyes feel like they’re opening wider than they were before. They’re letting more of life in, and letting more of love out. And all the other shit too. I do feel like I’m waking from a dream, and where I’m finding myself is reality. And I’m getting a bit of a shock.

But I reckon this is probably a good thing. A really, really, healing thing. I just need to stop trying to drown out the feelings that I’m waking up to, too…

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Healing is…

Allowing yourself to feel all your feelings – somatically, emotionally. And allowing them to come in the roller-coaster-like way they often do. Allowing tears to fall, and then laughter to follow. Allowing grief to swamp and then joy or playfulness to lift. Allowing your critics a back-seat on your journey towards deep self love and self compassion. And allowing them to be there but know you haven’t done any wrong, because the critics are never gonna completely go anywhere…motherfuckers.

Healing is, allowing for it all.

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Vitamin D, where art thou?

I think I need some vitamin d. My insides feel like they could go on forever. They feel vast and empty and dark. And open yet closed off, all at the same time. It feels never-ending. It feels like a sensation – it’s in my body, yet my mind tries to make sense of it and come up with story. But it’s defo in my body. And I’m not surprised. It makes sense. Because of my back, I have only caught sunlight THREE times in the last three weeks…that’s mental. This here, is me needing vitamin D. No wonder I’ve been craving and just thinking about it almost non-stop it lately.

I found myself googling ‘vitamin d lightbulbs’ cos I don’t wanna fork out for a light lamp – 26939 pounds – but it broke my heart. I WILL NOT BUY ARTIFICIAL SUNLIGHT FOR MY BEDROOM. But I also don’t wanna spend this time in such deep darkness – deep. Like, I am really good at dealing with the surface darkness and places I find myself in, but this feels physical. Like, my insides are black. I don’t feel depressed, but my insides feel suppressed. Ancient. On vacation. Disappeared, and in their place is black. I notice how I just want to go inwards too – weird seeing as I am not usually one to walk into the dark. I have massive cravings to be looking outwards and connecting with the world, but the bigger pull is to go in. I notice how much more I thrive when I’m connecting both outwards and inwards – watching things, talking about things, thinking about things, that are out of my immediate world. When I’m on my own so much, and so stationary, this feels sooo important. I hadn’t quite realised until just this month – it brings me that reminder that there is so much going on in this world, even if it doesn’t feel like it from the four walls of my bedroom.

But the last few days I’ve tiptoed back onto the old ground I was walking on, just the week before last – before I had my episode of going-outwards – and it’s frustrating me, yet it feels…again…so physical. Like the draw of my insides and my internal world is SO much stronger than that draw for the outer one. It feels like a muscle, one that’s pulling inwards. The muscle pulling me outwards is one of thriving, light, hope, anger, power, and a desire for connection, a break, the bigger picture, perspective, and solace. The muscle pulling me inwards is one of inquisition, curiosity, comfort and self-loving, but also destruction, and a desire to just Hide. Away. I can’t tell you how much I have been feeling that the last two days. Like I have had to really PULL myself awake – metaphorically not literally – from my inner daydream and inner dozing (yet the pull only seems to last for a moment and then I’m back there, within).

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I just so long to crawl under my pillow and hide. Again, it’s felt so physical. I feel like I can’t close my eyes hard enough. I forget that I’m here, living a life. I feel like I’m just waiting for it to get started. I sorta feel like I’m in a constant dream and I need someone to wake me, gently. I just want to sleep and wake up and everything’s new.

I think I crave spring. I crave seeing that light and life in the world, too. A reminder of everything that’s living and cycles, new beginnings.

I also know I’m due my period any day now and so that kinda explains this all too. But I defo need some sunlight, artificial or real. PREFERABLY REAL.

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Yesterday I was on the phone to my friend, and that woke me, gently. Heart connections, I realise do it daily. I can be so drifted into My World but then a connection comes and bah, it’s gone. I’m back and here and my heart is open, and I’m home. I’m no longer dreaming or wanting to hide – I’m wanting to thrive. It only takes seconds for this to happen. This is health. It’s still there and always has been, will be, and is.

We were talking about my back, and I said – I hadn’t said this in full sentence out loud before, but it’s been on my mind lately a LOT – how I’m afraid for my back to get better, because I’ve forgotten what life outside my house is like. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to not be at home all day. I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be active and upright and moving, and busy and free and out there living. Instead I’m so used to Inside Living – metaphorically and literally – I’ve simply forgotten what anything else feels like. Yet it’s Life and its life I want. My friend said, kindly, “oh, it’s so much better being better”…I think I needed that external reminder. It’s motherfucking hard keeping that for yourself all the time, when its yourself that’s forgotten. I know though, that the whole of me hasn’t forgotten, it’s just a strong part of me that has. The rest of me kinda feels like it’s lying dormant, yet ready to KICK INTO ACTION at the slightest flick of the switch. And hopefully that switch is coming…and in a way, it comes daily, it just looks a little different.

Hmm.

It’s ridiculously 5.20am and I need to get back to sleep.

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