Lately my focus has been to try and bridge the gap between my mind and my body.
I have a tendency to live in my head, intellectualizing how I feel, getting caught up in ideas and information, while avoiding the complicated, messy world of emotion. I approach life mostly from a problem solving point of view, looking at “negative” emotions as something that need to be fixed or avoided, instead of simply feeling and expressing them.
I often ignore, sidestep and delude my way around what I’m actually feeling, sometimes even suppressing it in order to support other people, while neglecting my own needs. Over time, I think this just became my default setting. Not that I don’t ever feel emotion, but living in my head only gives me access to a very limited range compared to that which the body can feel (including the more positive emotions). The expressing of these emotions has also been a difficult struggle of mine as well, opting to hold in most of them instead.
So I’ve slowly been discovering how to tap back into my body, learning to interpret the language of feeling so I can understand and express myself better. In doing that, I’ve realized that there are a lot of past emotions stored in there that I haven’t been aware of… It’s like I’ve been unknowingly suppressing them because I’m so disconnected from my body’s signals.
But in the past few weeks, there have been some serious releases of feelings I had no idea were there until they bubbled up to the surface, mostly through the process of writing and meditation. But admitting that I do still hold some negative beliefs toward myself and that past experiences may have affected me more than I thought, has been a real eye opener to how detached I actually am from my body and what it’s trying to tell me (which is pretty much the main theme of my new song).
The guise of pretending that I’m fine and that some things don’t bother me, clearly isn’t working anymore. Pleading ignorance to what my body is trying to tell me, ignoring the signs and thinking my way through them instead, doesn’t serve me in the long run. There’s a whole other intelligence and way of connecting that I haven’t been able to fully tap into through living in my mind. Sure, I still love intense conversations about ideas and information, which help to give me a solid framework to work with, but I’m realizing that experiencing life predominantly through that lens has left me feeling kind of empty and detached from true, authentic connection. I can only feel love as deeply as I’ve been able to connect with myself, and I can’t accept something that I’ve closed myself off from receiving.
I know it doesn’t do any good to always live in the past, but personally I think it’s important to go back and investigate experiences in your life to see if you’re still holding onto any emotional charges that you haven’t released. This energy still has a way of affecting your actions and feelings in the present moment (consider it like old wiring in the brain), and the only way to know what needs to change, is to delve more into your internal world, excavating your beliefs and being completely honest about how you feel. Question your thoughts and be curious about why you think or act a certain way. Then ask, how can you go deeper and figure out where those beliefs stemmed from? These negative beliefs won’t go away until you shine a light on them and expose them for what they are: just a story about a past self that you’ve internalized and adopted as who you still are in the present. But the more you question them, the more that story begins to fall apart.
“A wound not fully felt consumes from the inside. We must run very hard if we want to stay one step ahead of this pain. Exhausted, we try to bury it with drugs, alcohol, overwork, television, physical activity. We are a very creative species – we can anesthetize ourselves. But in doing so, we also remove ourselves from feeling the joy.” — “The Invitation” by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
I think once you start going into your body and releasing some of those emotions you’ve been suppressing, it frees up space for more love, light and positivity. It grounds you more to your authentic self, who you truly are and what you need in life, without the distraction of analytical thought. For me, I’m learning that self-expression is imperative, whether through conversation, writing or music. I just need to get things out, to voice my thoughts and feelings without fear of being judged. By simply writing and speaking from the heart, I feel it will help me to reconnect my mind and body as a whole again (hence, this long-winded preamble lol).
Slowly I’m becoming more confident and sure of who I am and I think the more I learn how to navigate my life not solely based in my mind but also how I feel in my heart, I’ll get a much clearer direction of where I need to go. And it’s already starting.
“The only way out is in and the only way beyond is through.”
“An Ocean, Rising”
I’ve been floating around
Getting high, but looking down
Get my feet back on the ground
I’ve been pushing away
All the love I never show
As above, then so below
I built this fort around my heart
Brick by brick
These walls are coming down
And all at once
I felt an ocean
Rising up like a storm surge in the night
Then all my darkness slipped away
And I turned my face toward the sun
I’ve been running away
A past I thought I left behind
Old habits die or try to hide
For most my life
Just fumbling through the dark to find a spark
Then all at once
The flames went higher
Rising up like a wildfire in the night
And all my darkness slipped away
Cause sometimes the old has gotta burn
But oh my body
Won’t you forgive me?
Cause I know not what
I have done to you
Won’t you wait for me
Cause I’m coming home
Yeah, please wait for me
Cause I’m almost home