Tolerating and Loving Our Truths
This week you could say that I was "discharged" from my regularly scheduled visits with my psychologist (Daryl T.). This does not mean that I won't go back but my, lets call it emotional strength training, is at a capacity where I can deal with significant challenges and do that emotional unpacking with the tools that I've learned on my own and I'm proud of that.
These past two and a half years I've trained and worked my butt off to figure my shit out, unpacking intergenerational trauma is really difficult and painful work. It's life long work but I now feel like I've got a strong ability to understand how I can peacefully engage with my emotions and the world. Daryl's taught me to not put myself in situations that I don't have the emotional strength to deal with and that's been a huge lesson. Not unlike how you wouldn't try to bench press 300lbs if you've never done it, I'm not going to put myself in situations that are going to push me beyond my limits.
It takes a lot of courage to tolerate our own truths or to even recognize them. So many times we create these false narratives because they are "easier" to digest but I've learned with Daryl that we need to honour our true emotions and that takes time. Knowing what sadness is, happiness, anger, truly knowing what they feel like in your body is a lot more difficult and complicated than I ever thought because I was avoiding them for so long. It's also been incredible acting training :P
If you're ever wondering what cognitive behaviour therapy is, which is a lot of what I did, it's going to those moments of where we've reached our limit, unpacking them, identifying the root issue and then lovingly honouring that truth, emotion and experience. Living in those difficult emotional experiences is really hard work, our nervous systems are trained to fight, fly or freeze and this work sort of asks you to live in that moment and re-train your response, which in turn teaches you that we can handle it. And we can, man alive we are all so strong and powerful and this work has really unleashed the power that lives within me.
One of the most significant results of working with Daryl has been learning to transform these emotions into real power. Anger held, sadness experienced and held - when transformed is the best fuel for conscious power. I don't default to victim anymore because I don't project onto others and I can recognize internalized racism and get to the root and the truth. Daryl once said "negative self talk is the royal road to depression." Learning to truthfully recognize my emotions has allowed positive self affirmation to be at the core of experiencing life for me now.
The past 12 months have been an enormous adventure and like any adventure they can and this one has been exhausting. I was recently feeling super tired and foggy, shortness of breath and tingly limbs, I had this heaviness in my chest and felt sort of unable to deal with my emotions, I thought shit, shit, shit, this blows cause if you're anything like me this sounds like anxiety which was super disheartening because I've been working so hard to deal. Then I started using my tools and recognized that something more was going on here. So I went to a physician this past week and I was diagnosed with anemia and low B12 and the Dr said that combination is not good because it can present as anxiety and depression because our body is lacking oxygen.
So now the Dr's got me on some special iron stuff and B12 supplements to get me to healthy. Also vitamin B, especially B12 is incredibly important for cognitive function and energy - was I the only one to not know this? Anyways, now I can continue to do all my emotional and spiritual work that's been working: meditation, running, psych appts when I need them and practicing a lot of self love and kindness.
This enormous year has also included my family moving out of our home of 30 years, we we're so busy packing and moving I didn't really have a chance to honour the depths and levels of my emotions until the end. With all this mental and spiritual training I've been doing I knew I needed to honour this significant moment. So on Wed I drove back to the old homestead, I took out my medicine kit and smudged the parameter of the yard and each room in the house, taking the time to remember and honour the love and life lived in those spaces. I walked to my favourite tree in the back yard and pulled 5 cedar boughs, one for each of my family members, I stood and held them in the air, turned in a circle said thank you in my languages, walked to my car, wept, smiled and drove away feeling lighter.
That experience is a great example for me to remember to take the time to recognize the truth of my emotions, love them by feeling them and then move on from that truthful experience. It felt and feels great. Ceremony, ritual, honouring, connecting, relating and loving is starting to become embedded into my life and I'm so grateful for that, it's allowing me to actually live with truth and courage.
Our work in theatre, creation and invention is hard, triggering and rewarding and I share this part of my journey with you because I would not be able to do any of this work with out a thought out wellness plan. It's scary and hard to see what's in the woods without a light, without friends, without a plan but when we've got all those things wowwweee the tales we can tell when we get around the fire.
To the friends I haven't seen this year, thank you for your compassion. To the work that still needs to get done, I'm coming for you. To everyone and everyone is doing the best they can, I see you and your excellent fucking work my friends.
Here's to taking a moment to honour our truths, loving them and this wild adventure we're all on.
with the utmost compassion, respect, humility and love,
Top 5 Lessons from Therapy
1. Tolerate and love your truth - work to the clarity that lives beyond the false narratives.
2. Tears are sometimes used to mask anger because tears are easier for others to digest but be angry when you're angry, be all of your emotions.
3. Watch projections because they usually have nothing to do with others and are really just judgements of ourselves so remember to be kind to yourself. Also, people are going to judge you, that's a fact we gotta be okay with but what we don't have to do is judge ourselves. The only thing we can control is how we relate and love ourselves.
4. It takes courage to live life truthfully, to experience all our emotions so make sure to feel joy and love and happiness when they present.
5. We shouldn't be scared of feeling our true emotions, we should be actually scared of not feeling them because that's when problems fester and build. The process of experiencing emotions is healthy and feels great but also takes training so be patient, generous, loving and kind to yourself throughout the journey.