For some of us, when we decide to change our lives for the better, to let go of the bad habits and addictions that have plagued us, we enter into something popularly known as “recovery.”
The word “recovery” itself suggests that we get something back, something we once had. We “recover” our self-worth or lost values, our sense of self even. For me this was a revelation. That I could be whole again was an amazing proposition because I had felt so broken and like nothing inside me worked right. That was exactly what I wanted, and it was why I began working harder for it than I had ever worked for anything.
As time went on and I peeled away layer after layer of un-truths about who I was (misbeliefs), a few things began to make themselves apparent in my quest to “re-cover” those lost pieces of my Self.
For one thing, because of the circumstances of my earliest developmental years, I hadn’t really developed a “self” outside of a deep sense of “bad-ness” and an even deeper sense of being odd or different from everyone else. It created an internal atmosphere of people pleasing, insecurity, fear, and separateness. I wasn’t anchored in that familial space of love and safety, and that affected how I experienced the world around me.
Those weren’t things I was going to recover. I hadn’t developed them! I began to feel a sense of despair inside of my newer recovering self. I wondered how I was supposed to get better or if I would ever be whole. But I persisted because that’s what the good people in recovery taught me. We keep moving forward, we keep doing the work, we trust that the Universe has our back.
After my husband died, I kind of fell apart. I kept going through the motions of a recovering woman, but I gained a lot of weight, my hair was falling out in great handfuls, I had nosebleeds and headaches. I was a zombie. A lot of the deepest issues I had worked so hard to heal came flooding back into my consciousness, and life got really hard for me – again. I had learned a fundamental tenet of recovery, though, really learned it; that is, to ask for help. So I finally did.
I started therapy for the very first time and learned that what had flooded in with the death of my spouse was all the grief that had always been there, unmet and unhealed, because I was still checked out and absent, even in my recovery life. I was still far, far away from the Present Woman I longed to be. I could see and feel in my core, in my very cells, that it was time to do the work of healing the grief and the disconnection from reality, Presence, and my Self.
Thus began a new chapter in my life as this eternal truth seeker. I did The Work (by Byron Katie) and learned about how staying attached to “stories” kept me sick and victimized and locked into grief. I worked in a group around my food and eating issues, and I worked in a group with some of the very same people on Practicing Presence. I was learning that everything I thought I needed to gain or learn from the outside in was actually not that at all. I was born, as I believe we all are, with everything I needed to have the life I dream of. I was perfect as a brand new little baby, I had a perfect sense of Self, I had no fear, there was no such thing as good or bad.
All I needed to do (yes, it is this simple, but simple does NOT always equal easy) was un-cover it.
It was another way of remembering who I really AM. That I am whole, here and now, and that I have everything I need in this moment – that, truly, all there is IS this moment.
I was describing the process and what it felt like for me to really be experiencing a cellular recovery. I couldn’t think of a better way to describe it than to say it felt like I had a long line coiled up inside me just riddled with the knots (painful, tied up spots) all down the line. As I made discoveries, un-covering parts of my truest Self, it was like the knot would just simply loosen and then come undone.
I continued to be steadfast in my work, telling myself the truth and being willing to hear the truth from those I trusted. There were times that I got stuck inside a story, inside my hurt, resentment, or anger. And I would stay there far longer than necessary. I’d practiced these emotions and behaviors all of my life, and there was a payoff, sometimes a deeply satisfying payoff, to hanging out in those old familiar wounds.
I’d sit in it until I’d awaken to it and then quite faithfully the knot would come untied. You see, when these knots come undone, it is a healing. The knots don’t re-tie at any point, ever. It has been the most amazing and eye-opening experience of my life. And continues to be so.
I am still a work in progress, and have knots that show up that I didn’t even know were there. And it’s okay because now the process is simple. I turn right into the story, I challenge its validity, and come back to the reality that I have everything I need here in the Present. If it takes a week, that’s okay; if it takes a day, that’s okay. I have let up on the have-to’s and just let those knots untie themselves naturally.
“Seek the wisdom that will untie your knot,
Seek the path that demands your whole being
Leave that which is not, but appears to be
Seek that which is, but is not apparent.”
I was amazed when a woman I met in a book study told me about Rumi. It was about a year after I had told my friend about my thoughts about my knots. I still don’t know if I had read this somewhere along my path and internalized it or if it just came through in my own journey toward learning about Presence and healing in the light of that Presence. It doesn’t really matter, though, does it? Message received ❤️
It’s your time, Seeker! I’m here to see, love, and support you. You know where to find me.