During my divorce in the late '80's, I took a bad fall off of my bike and injured my left hip. I likely cracked the femur, and developed a dinner plate-sized nasty bruise, and, over time, an equal-sized inertial point of scar tissue in that area. The fall also caused micro-tears and "permanent" misalignments systemically. It has been tended to over the decades on a regular basis, through various modalities, and for the most part has been quite functional.
Presently I am in the process of editing and revising a book I have written about how to heal and develop resilience, agency and empowerment after having an abortion. I am pro-choice.
My family knows my abortion story, including my youngest brother. Yet, it was inadvertently disclosed to me very recently, by another family member, that this brother has been spreading vitriolic hate about women who have had abortions. I could go into his state of being, but this story is not about him.
The abortion I had in my early twenties was with my high school sweetheart, whom, after the abortion, I would marry.
After learning of the insensitive actions and speech of my youngest brother, my old hip injury went spontaneously into excruciating spasm. It felt as if the injury had just happened. I hobbled around for nearly a week, as it slowly improved. During this time I received bodywork from Hakeem, a talented practitioner, and we naturally focused our attention on tending to this old wound.
As a bodyworker, I am aware that the left side is the feminine side, and the hip area is about support and movement. What arose in Hakeem as we were working, was the awareness that this injury was about shame. That felt right to me. We tracked and made connections with the internal imagery that arose within me during the session.
We both were aware of how the color that arose in my minds eye, as he was working with the ligaments in my hip, tracked medially into my solar plexus. The color that arose deep in the wounded area of my hip was yellow, and the color of the solar plexus chakra is yellow. The solar plexus chakra is about personal power.
I was being shamed, once again, because another wanted to destroy my personal power. This is the same thing that is happening culturally around abortion access, presently.
During my walk this morning, spontaneous memories arose of experiences I had with my father, my father and my wasband (ex-husband) together, and my wasband's behavior shortly after I left him.
When I was a girl, I nurtured a seedling maple tree and we planted it in the back yard. Also, when I was a girl, I babysat so that I could pay for my own clothes, and so that I could buy art supplies; sketchbooks, charcoal, colored pencils, watercolors, canvases, brushes and oil paints. I ended up being awarded art-related scholarships to college to pay for parts of my education.
When I came back from college one summer, my father borrowed my then boyfriend's chainsaw to cut down the tree I had nurtured from a seedling. No one asked me how I felt about it. Another summer, I returned from college and found that my father, without consulting with me, had thrown out all of my sketchbooks.
About five years later, I left my then husband, after he started beating me. I took what I could, and left the grandmother clock and cedar chest he had built, because they were his. Yet, when I returned to collect paintings I had created in graduate school, I found that he had thrown them all away without asking me.
Though we had been together for years prior to the abortion in 1979, he had left the decsion up to me completely, as he did with all big decsions. Looking back I wonder if I had had the child, which of us would have been discarded without consultation by my father and wasband; the child or me? Or both of us?
I'm walking without physical pain now.
Damsel: Oh dear! I don’t know how to turn this room full of straw into gold!
What ever shall I do???
Rumplestiltskin: Never fear! I know how to help you!
But, I’ll need you to provide me something of value for my help.
Damsel: Of course! Here is my necklace in return for your help!
Damsel: Oh no! I have to turn a bigger room full of straw into gold! Will you help me????
Rumplestiltskin: Of course. But again, I will need you to provide me with something you value in exchange for my help.
Damsel: Yes, of course. Here is my ring.
Damsel: I’m so distraught! I have to turn an even bigger room full of straw into gold. Alas, I have nothing to give you in return for your help.
The little imp gets to work on the huge room of straw turning it into gold. When finished he notifies our heroine that he requires her first born child in payment. Horrors!
Our damsel is beside herself, learning of the horrible bargain. Rumplestiltskin offers: If you can guess my name, you will be released from the bargain. Our damsel employs the help of her community to learn the name of the strange little man. One of her allies hears Rumplestiltskin, as he dances around his fire, singing out his own name! Her ally returns with the news, and shares his name with the damsel.
When the little man returns for his due, after the birth of the damsel’s child, he is furious when she guesses his name. For in doing so, she breaks the horrible spell. At that moment Rumplestiltskin stomps his foot, and instantly splits in two.
Unfortunately, the process of restoring health can feel as impossible as turning straw into gold, and as harrowing as this story. And as in any house, all rooms need to be tended to.
The price to be paid here, to have assistance with transforming our relationships, again may be paying a professional for their guidance/talents. On a deeper level, it is the payment of relinquishing a way of being with others and ourselves that was uncomfortable at best, and dysfunctional to varying degrees. The former way of being is traded for new awareness and new behavior that can generate “golden” relationships and emotional health, which also contributes to improved physical health.
The “spell” of the bargain is broken. Rumplestiltskin, the mysterious little imp, stomps his foot in anger and is split in two. The illusion of power over our damsel is broken. The veil of illusion split in two. You have earned the right to keep your own new life: no one else ultimately has authority over you.
After you’ve taken a few deep breaths, close your eyes and gently revisit a time of moderate challenge for you. What feelings do you remember? Sadness? Fear? Loneliness? What ever those feelings were, notice what happens in your body, being with the memory.
What happens? Does your breath become more shallow? Do your chest and shoulders constrict? Whatever it is just notice what affects it has on your body...your breathing. Now gently let that memory go.
What do you notice in your body? Does your spine begin to straighten? Do you feel your heart in your chest expanding? Do you feel your energy rising? Does a smile come to your face? Enjoy the memory, then gently let this one fade too.
Example: Not too long ago, one of my clients was lying on the table telling me how afraid she was of injuring herself again. Yet, she didn’t want to give up on the activities she loves. Who could blame her? In that moment I was reminded of the teachers who encouraged me to listen to my intuition...”it’s going to rain, bring your umbrella” ......”slow down, you don’t know what’s around that corner”...You know, that still, small voice within that is constantly looking out for you?
I wondered if my client was consciously aware of the value of listening for that inner knowing? We explored this during her time on the table, and I could sense she hadn’t really tuned in this way previously, even though she is quite a conscious person. She later reported that the shift in her attention toward listening to that still, small voice is helping her honor her limits. It’s keeping her safe.
My client had come to resolve the effects of a previous injury to her body, which was being tended to, during our session. During the treatment, fear arose, which she gave voice to...there was a lack of trust in herself, physically and relationally, because of the accident she had experienced. Through my sharing of the importance in bringing more attention to the “still, small voice” as trusted inner guidance, she later saw that was able to trust that she knew how to keep herself safe. She became more empowered.
Healing is a multidimensional process. The process of restoring health naturally takes committed tending to body, emotions, relationships and spirit. Through the process you are likely to become adept at transforming any “straw” in your life into a golden opportunity!