31 July 2012

catch and release

I had a reiki session yesterday-- and with it, spoke some of my truth to my practitioner, and there is something sometimes about speaking out loud that makes you hear yourself differently and whoa, yeah, there is STUFF going on for me right now.

Tomorrow is August.
For those of you who've been here for a while, you know August sucks rocks for me. No, not all of August, but the light, the sound of the birds, the crickets, the kadydids, all elicit instantaneous gut memories of some very difficult times.  August is beautiful and treacherous for me.

My beloved Della's sudden infatuation with all things tractory is bringing up that odd and intense connection to my past in a far-from-timely fashion (although, maybe in the bigger healing story, it is right on time. Oy. and WTF.)

My reiki practitioner said that Della is my biggest teacher right now (oh how I know this to be true) and boy howdy, on the way home from daycare yesterday, she dropped a clover she'd been holding, and when she does that she usually freaks out-- so I quickly said, don't worry, we'll find it when we get home. And instead of escalating into frenzy, she said with a shrug,
All gone.
A few minutes later, she dropped something else-- a sticker I think-- again, usual cause for freak out...
At her first whimper, I said, don't worry! We'll find it when we get home!
But instead of escalating, she calmed right down and said:
Momma, all gone.

She's never ever said this before, not once, not ever.
So that second time? I laughed hard. Ok, I hear you little one, I hear you.

There is a mythology of grief and of loss that is pretty intense and pretty compelling-- the idea that holding the memory fresh and true is some way of memory-keeping, as if, if that memory loses immediacy, loses intensity, the mere act of letting the acuteness fade is evidence of not having loved quite so much, or not having lost quite so much, or maybe it is also about compounding the loss with losing something else (the acute present-dayness of the pain and memories)....
if I were speaking to a beloved or dear friend, I would say:
Beloved, no amount of replaying will change what happened, and will only cause you re-injury (cue PTSD)...  the love was (and is) love, the loss was and truly always will be, loss.  The person was the person. The situation was the situation. Hear me: there will always be grief.  I know this to be true.
But holding onto acute grief as evidence of what was lost is like keeping a bone broken to prove the game happened.


So, I'm going to try to mindfully (radical idea) deal with my own tender self these next few weeks. 
Yes it is AUGUST. I will be tender. To think otherwise would be bullshit. But, maybe I can do this differently this time.
In my mindfulness, can I catch myself mid-stride, on the verge of habitual grief or triggered escalation, nearly compulsive re-injury through re-playing...
can I catch myself, even once, and mindfully envelop the whateveritis in lovingkindness and release it?

So this August, this day, beginning right now, I am going to try to do this differently. I will fail often, but every moment I succeed I am giving myself the gift of healing, even if just tiny bits, and every single tiny bit counts toward the wholeness I want to feel.  

I am inviting you-- all of you out there who are on your own healing journey-- to try this along with me for the month of August. 31 days of incremental healing, of mindful gentleness and self-compassion.


markmarv2004 said...

I've got your back, sweet KAte.
Love PA

It Is What It Is said...

August is a milestone month for me, too. It was August 9, 1977, that my brother and I were in an accident that would kill him and put me in a body cast for 9 months. It has been 35 years, yet I remember the details as if it just happened. The heat of August always brings the memories back.

Be kind to yourself. We owe ourselves that much.

amazingk8 said...

This whole post resonates with me. I had never thought that about reliving the event - keeping the bone broken - but it makes sense. I will definitely join you this month.

sprogblogger said...

Keeping the bone broken. This is possibly the most profound piece I have ever read about the guilt/grief/loss connections that sometimes seem to tie so many of us in knots. You've given me an awful lot to think about today, my friend. Thank you.
And yes--please do be tender with yourself. Tender and healing and kind. Thinking of you this August.

Baby Smiling In Back Seat said...

Tying the two parts of your post together, something I've found very helpful is explaining the tremendously unimaginably difficult feelings to my toddlers. They were a little younger than Della when my mother died, and at Della's current age privy to me bursting into tears for no apparent reason. They would look so puzzled.

Explaining my own and others' grief to them in their language helps them make sense of it all -- their mothers' bizarre emotions and this thing that people are so afraid of -- but also has helped me clarify my own feelings. And then every August (or every March for me) you will have a new version of those same conversations, increasingly complex, increasingly two-way, decreasingly raw.

Hugs to you.