I began my day today thinking still about the post I wrote yesterday. Comments that two people I am closest to about this post helped me to further clarify my experience as I described it in that post. One person immediately responded, “SOUNDS TO ME LIKE DEPRESSION SETS IN AND GETS THE BEST OF YOU.” The other person mentioned that it might in part have been rooted in the fact that I spent $100.86 at the feed store yesterday (getting the chicks, their food, cat food, straw bales, etc.) which is a HUGE amount of money for me on my limited fixed disability income.
My body (again through my overly developed yet trauma-altered in its development) RIGHT brain fed to me both another specific word along with another image this morning related to my feelings of yesterday – which are still very much lingering within me today.
First, the image: A person can look at a great northern lake in the dead of winter and say, “Look at all that ice.” Perhaps that is where that person’s observation ends: There is all that ice!
This would not be an erroneous observation, but what about all that lies beneath the ice? There would be an entire world of life in all its forms and stages existing beneath the surface that, yes, IS ICE – but is so much more.
When we survivors consider the nature of our ongoing experience in life we cannot afford to simply observe the ice, or what appears most easily on the surface of our ‘problems’. We HAVE to include in our observations all that lies beneath what might be most easily detected by looking only at the surface.
For us, trauma is both our history of the past at the same time it is most usually the history of our present and the prediction of our future. This is because (as I say over and over) our body-brain had to change its physiological development in direct response to the traumatic stress that our earliest environment surrounded us with.
Why my right brain didn’t feed me an image today, say, of a tree with its roots underground I do not know. The image was specifically about ICE on a lake. The ice is part of the lake. It is made by the lake in response to the conditions of the environment at a specific point in time – winter and much coldness.
Winter is a natural state. Ice is a natural state in response. The motion and movement of water is held in a frozen state when its surface has been transformed into ice. There must be something very specific about this particular image that applies to what I need to know today.
The word that came to me, again from my right brain, appeared just before the lake-ice image appeared. That word is DISHEARTENED.
I much prefer to allow my own unique self-body-brain to inform me about my experience with words and images that are specific to ME at any given point in time. The word ‘depression’ tells me NOTHING about my reality. It lacks richness, depth, creativity – spirit or life.
These qualities, interestingly enough, are included in the meaning of the word ‘disheartened’, found especially in its synonyms:
AHHH!! How interesting! There it is – CHILL – right along with all those other words!
Now I look back specifically at these words I wrote in yesterday’s post:
“This is a need for, a desire for, a craving for a state of nearly absolute quiet and peacefulness. It is a state where there is no ‘rise to the fight’ left in me.”
Here I can see and consciously think about that state I spent the first 18 years of my life so trapped in – a state that is directly related to one of the ‘arms’ of the physiological stress response: The state of being frozen!!
How obvious is that? Frozen, like the ice of a lake in the dead of a very cold winter. Motion stopped. Still, silent, immobilized on all but the most essential molecular level (where even the ice appearing upon a lake must be incredibly active!)
Being frozen. Being DISPIRITED – along with all those other word-description states that are included in the synonyms for ‘disheartened’.
Ahhhh! The wonder of words as we find them NOW to describe not only how we feel in the present, but how we felt in the past – as they can help us to clarify our feeling states so much more eloquently, beautifully and meaningfully rather than relying upon those worn-out, lifeless, sterile and empty ‘psychological’ terms like ‘depression’.
Of all the words floating around me today it is the word ‘dispirited’ that comes closest to me like a fearless butterfly that wishes to befriend me. A dispirited horse is not a well horse, is not a horse in its natural condition. It is a horse that has been broken, abused, misused and traumatized.
“There I see that horse – over there.” I don’t want to remain stuck in being THAT horse. My spirit, of all ‘things’ in my life, is MINE. Nobody and nothing outside of myself can touch it. I will reclaim that spirit today the best that I can. I will acknowledge all the forces and influences that can affect my spirit – the essence of ME, but I do not wish to stop with that acknowledgment.
I am grateful for the commenter this morning that stimulated my reply to include links to my posts on how early trauma changes the set-point of our body-brain (SEE HERE). My mother’s maltreatment of me for the first 18 years of my life made sure that the middle set point of my body was not at safe and secure peaceful calmness. My set point is at despair, frozen at pain, suffering and sadness.
My mother ‘despirited’ me. But I CAN find ways to ‘respirit’ myself today! I don’t believe that anyone’s spirit is entirely reliant upon the conditions of the physical body that it is connected to in this lifetime. The spirit that is the essential me is far greater than my body – and certainly did not belong to my mother and could not be touched by her! I, in my essence, was entirely beyond the reach of my mother, and I am today entirely beyond the reach of any circumstance I might find myself reacting to today – if I can consciously realize this fact.
Being ‘in touch’ with my essential self is about love, not hate. That love is warm. That love thaws out the ice of the lake that can feel so frozen within me. Along with gentle thawing today comes a gentle resurgence of a sense of my life force. Like a gigantic physiological magnet my internal nervous system-body-brain set-point of great sorrow can act to force into a dense feeling-center (like a powerful magnet will attract a big pile of metal filings) all that I know about myself in the world at any given time.
I work to break the force of that magnetic force so I can release myself from that inner state that is the OLDEST one I know. I have known it I believe since my mother’s labor to bring breech-birth me into this world. During that time of near-death is when my mother’s psychotic break happened that put me at the center of her terrible, terrible illness. At the same time I understand why I feel so inwardly worn out and tired! I have been doing this work of healing myself ever since that time – and I will continue to do so the rest of my life.
At the same time, I have always know this:
I am reminded yet again of the Beauty known by the Dine (Navajo) People. I found a reference posted at this link
Walking in Beauty, A Navajo Prayer
Closing Prayer from the Navajo Way Blessing Ceremony
In beauty I walk
With beauty before me I walk
With beauty behind me I walk
With beauty above me I walk
With beauty around me I walk
It has become beauty again
It has become beauty again
It has become beauty again
It has become beauty again
Hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shitsijí’ hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shikéédéé hózhóogo naasháa doo
Shideigi hózhóogo naasháa doo
T’áá altso shinaagóó hózhóogo naasháa doo
Walking In Beauty (Blessing)
Today I will walk out, today everything unnecessary will leave me,
I will be as I was before, I will have a cool breeze over my body.
I will have a light body, I will be happy forever,
nothing will hinder me.
I walk with beauty before me. I walk with beauty behind me.
I walk with beauty below me. I walk with beauty above me.
I walk with beauty around me. My words will be beautiful.
In beauty all day long may I walk.
Through the returning seasons, may I walk.
On the trail marked with pollen may I walk.
With dew about my feet, may I walk.
With beauty before me may I walk.
With beauty behind me may I walk.
With beauty below me may I walk.
With beauty above me may I walk.
With beauty all around me may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living again, may I walk.
My words will be beautiful.