This weekend I attended an event by Matt Kahn in London. It wasn’t a great experience for me. I had a hard time during the event, with a lot of heavy stuff coming up and not much space and lightness coming through. Matt talked about the happiness of just being alive, having a close, tantric relationship with your breath, and each breath reminding you of how good it is to be alive. For me, each breath felt more like torture and a reminder how much it can hurt to just breathe. How the breath can barely reach into the body, how every inhale feels like being out of breath, and how little aliveness and energy is able to come in through breathing.
It was a reminder of how traumatized my system actually is. How unsafe even just breathing feels. Matt asked us to do a repeat-after-me, saying ‘I love you’ and ‘It’s okay’ to ourselves. I wasn’t able to say it, because nothing in me would believe it. Words can be so deceiving, also the ones you say to yourself. To be authentic, I just couldn’t say the words. Even without breathing deeply, I could feel all the pain, disorientation, sadness and anger within me. All boiling in one big pot of confusion and overwhelm. Stomach pains, restlessness, wanting to leave, so many thoughts of resistance. A feeling of being superior, and then immediately after, shame, and a feeling of being inferior. I left that day feeling heavy and shaken up.
Now I am back home and processing all that happened in London. Some old memories came up from when I was 18, being in one of the darkest periods of my life. I suddenly saw the depths to which I have gone, and also how I am desperately trying to keep myself out of that place now. When going back into these memories, there was no connection with past me, as if a glass wall was between us. I could see myself being in an incredibly vulnerable, deeply painful place, but at the same time being so open and feeling everything. It made me realise how closed off I am now most of the time. How I’m trying not to fall back into that dark pit, where there is no ground to stand on, no light, no hope, no help. I saw that this part of me is still there, isolated, waiting for my help and my ability to go back into that depth and be there for myself.
At the same time I can see that I am not yet able to do this. I need more tools, experience and help in the present to be able to go back and bring light into the darkness of that time. For now, all I can do is be gentle with the patterns I use to not fall back into this darkness. It is difficult to see myself judging, going into thought loops, withdrawing from contact, not speaking my truth, being cold and distant and unable to feel things in my body. And realising that there isn’t much I can do about it now, except for letting the ice slowly melt.
This brings me to the experience I had tonight. I was holding my own arm, and suddenly started talking to my body. I told my body that I know how sensitive it is, how much it has to endure and how little I actually listen to what it needs. I told my body ‘I’m sorry’ and ‘Thank you’. I said I’m sorry for being so far away, for not being able to fulfill all the needs you have. I’m sorry for not letting you be as sensitive as you can be. And thank you for protecting me, for being willing to go through so much to keep us safe. I said ‘I love you’, and that some day we will return to the incredible sensitivity and intuition that we have, where I am able to listen to every little thing you need and want and feel. Some day, I will not just love parts of you, but all of you. I feel the potential of being completely in love with myself, having that deep relationship with not just my breath, but every part of my body, inside and out. Knowing exactly what we need, where to go, when to rest, and being able to enjoy living and moving in this body. Until then, we experience how it is to be away from each other, to come closer and leave again, how to listen, to ignore, to use and abuse. And as the ice slowly melts, we come closer and closer until we are one being, light and deep at the same time.