Since last week’s blog I’ve pondered the question of wether I can truly let go of knowing, of control, of my need to be right, even if it’s just some of the time.
As I dig deep below the veneer of the memoir I get a sense that it’s not the lack of what I don’t know or remember that will guide me, but the emotions I’m feeling that rise from old memories.
I went back to the track at school last week, my knee didn’t want to run so I speed walked instead. Spotify played its way through 1987 – the year I graduated college and moved to Stavanger to study marketing graphic design – ‘Hold me now’ came on, it’s been decades since I heard it. I didn’t recognise the song at first, but the opening line flooded me with emotions.
‘Don’t close your heart to how you feel.’ As Jonny Logan built up to the chorus I nearly buckled over from a broken heart. This song holds a thousand memories for me. Hang on, Jonny Logan? Yes, I know, embarrassing right? My friend Deborah couldn’t stop laughing when I told her.
Here’s how it went down.
I was in the elementary school building in one of the bright spots of the ramp that runs from the ground up to each of hte three floors. I kept on speed-walking to the chant of my ego; ‘don’t cry, don’t cry,’ and the whisper of my intuition ‘lean in, lean in, feel the heart break – shine the light in there and see what this heartbreak is about. Memories of my teen boyfriend came in swirls around me. That’s when I realised I never grieved us, we were together four years and I never grieved our break-up.
I never accepted, with gratitude, the love we had because I let the shit that happened around and between us fester instead.
I buckled over in dry sobs, still walking real fast. ‘Don’t cry, don’t cry,’ my ego kept chanting. Oh, my god, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry Vig – intuition whispered – I realise I didn’t know how to grieve back then. To grieve was to be weak and I was NOT weak. Oh, no – I was STRONG.
Oh, man was I strong back then.
To be feminine, back then, meant to be weak and dependent. “You got to be strong and become independent Vigdis.” Mum used to say, tapping the top of my head with her knuckled. Was it the 70’s and 80s idea of EFT?
In my teens, I thought my boyfriend was the only person in the world who loved me. I believed our love would last forever – and therefore having sex was something we should do.
I mistook sex for love and it became painful as it turned into fear.
It was a HUGE lesson, and a reason to toughen up more.
We grew together during the tender informative years of our youth. Sometimes he was my only anchor into what I thought love was. Then we grew apart, we had different ideas, different interests, different friends, even different tastes in music and leisure pursuits. Shit happened we didn’t know how to deal with. We grew angry, resentful, jealous, controlling – silent. Eventually, I toughen up and dumped him. That was hard. It took a few attempts before I was finally ready to be me, without him. Then I felt relief. But I didn’t grieve.
Instead, I fumed at myself for having wasted all those years with him. I was hurt, I felt betrayed – by him, by love and by Mum, who – at that time – I thought should have put a stop to our relationship from the very beginning. I asked her – after it was over between me and my boyfriend – why she hadn’t intervened; “You’d only become more adamant to keep him if I had interfered,” she said. How much more adamant than four years could I have been? Maybe she was ‘protecting’ me from some old pain she’d felt along the way. Had Mormor (her mum) tried to stop Mum from being with her boyfriend – my father even? I don’t know but I want to understand.
Does letting go of Knowing mean I can lean into Understanding?
An interesting place to start might be to look at Mum EFTing my head. She would not have thought about it the way I see it now: It’s almost like she told me to retreat to my head (intellect) as a way to keep from feeling hurt. The thing is though, when I lead with my intellect and suppress my feelings, the feelings eventually reappear and I feel the hurt anyway – even if decades later. So yes, I can lean into understanding but better still is to allow myself to feel the emotions when they come. It’s easy to retreat to the intellect for answers, but it might be a safety mechanism to shield us from hurt.
“Make the Heart a Safe Place to Be.“
I imagine sinking into the middle of a Mae West Lips sofa to rest and let whatever emotions come to just come. I ponder the word e-motions and think of emotions as something I’m passing through helps me. Whatever I’m feeling is not permanent. it will pass. That’s what happened on my walk, I got out of my head and by letting my feelings flood me I gained access to the unexpressed grief I held around my teen boyfriend. Letting the emotion flow through me meant I could let the hurt go.
Understanding too is a mental intellectual construct and when I let go of my need to understand I was able to let my feelings and emotions guide me – out of my head and into my heart.
“The Way Home is not through our intellect but through our Heart.”
So, letting go of my need for knowing and understanding meant I could surrender to my emotions and connect with my heart and give myself permission to grieve. I let myself cry instead of steeling myself.
So off with my head! This makes me laugh because it put me wise to my ego looking to keep me safe, up there, in my head. Off with my head is right.
Feeling is Healing. Letting go of knowing is getting out of my head and into my heart. I Surrender to Feeling.”
Now, I’m wondering if I’m ready to surrender. My ego is trying to convince me that surrendering is unsafe. Let’s see what this week brings. No more embarrassing heartbreak scenes at school though, please.
As I’m writing this I feel the numbness of the root canal treatment I had last night, – yes I went back for more torture again, and I will go back next week too. This root canal stuff is no joke – I’m telling you. Please don’t look up ‘teeth’ on Louise Hay’s ‘Causes of Symptoms’ list. It’s too embarrassing.
. . . . and breath . . . .
Much Love and Light
One of my favourite writing coaches (I have many), Marion Roach Smith, writes about a memoir she’s reviewing; “The book will have enormous power when the writer can write more universally and a little less from the point of her rage.”
This, writing without rage, without fuming at myself and my teenage boyfriend for having waister four years of my life, is what I’m moving towards in Speak #TRUTH Lies. It is hard work, it is digging deep and it is trusting that shining light on old pain will bring both deep healing and a good story.
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Thank you for reading. I am grateful you are here. 🧡