Sunday, February 05, 2017

As Soon As You Put Me Down I Run Away

When my friend Natasha did Reiki on me a few weeks ago she noted that in my solar plexus chakra there was an intense and deep seated well of shame.  Juxtaposing this, as she worked on this area she got a very clear image of her child running away joyfully with his father chasing him.

Before she was even halfway through describing this image of her child I was welling up with tears.

That child was me.

As soon as I could walk - I was running.  Ironically I detest running now, but as a toddler and child you couldn't stop me.  It was such a common thing that it became a trope of telling childhood stories about me.  In fact while Natasha was recounting this I thought of one image in particular, one that hasn't left me since.

There's a home movie I've seen a few times of my Dad and I in Tahoe, probably in the summer as I don't remember there being snow.  I think he and my Mom are laughing as they film me.  Or maybe they were just laughing when they showed it to me.  Either way, my Dad is holding me and then he puts me down -- and I promptly take off running in the opposite direction of both of them. I'm small, so he is able to keep up with me fairly easily, but it really was remarkable to watch.  If they'd taken their eyes off of me for a second I'd have gone quite a ways before they could have caught me.  But they're clearly used to this.

I was a fearless child.  I gave exactly zero fucks and you couldn't tell me anything.

I don't really remember now what that felt like.

See, remember the other thing that Natasha got from my chakra energy?  Shame. Intense shame.

That child?  Didn't make it past elementary school.

I guess maybe that's normal.  We do a lot of growing in those years.  But by the time I hit junior high school you wouldn't have recognized me in that child.  Hell, you wouldn't have recognized me as that child by the time 4th grade came to an end.

Part of me is glad of this.  That child was starting to grow into someone that was arrogant and self-righteous.  I can still be rather self-righteous, so gods only know what would have happened if I was left unchecked to develop.  Actually, I think I do kind of know -- I probably would have turned out a lot like Jennifer Lawrence.  I have a lot of empathy (and endless critique) for J Law because gods do I see her.  Do I know her.  Us Leos are SO MUCH if we never learn how to be humble.

Another part of me is kinda pissed that things turned out as they did.  Because through bullies and a constantly anxious mother and poor boundaries I turned into someone who takes everything deeply personally, who was shamed repeatedly for who I was, who felt fear of the world around me and closed myself off to so many experiences because of it.  My teenage and adult life have been spent trying to get 1/8th of that fearless confidence back.  And it's only now, in my early 30s, that maybe I'm just starting to get there.

And yeah maybe that kid would have turned into an asshole if left unchecked.  But they weren't one yet.  They were just a little tomboy femme wanting to experience the world, trusting that their parents had their back, that if they fell down they could get back up, that if they bumped their head they'd be ok after a good cry.  She just wanted to express herself fully, to sing, dance, express -- to enjoy life.  And when I think about her I want to cry, for so many reasons but perhaps foremost because I know they were me, but they feel like a stranger.

Can I re-integrate that energy and harness it for good?  Can I experience that fearlessness and joy again?  Can I come to a humility that isn't based in shame and second-guessing my self-knowledge but in compassionate, non-judgmental and honest assessment of my actions?  I hope so.  That's what I'm working on now.