Something Scary // The Truth About My Pain

I’ve received a challenge: write the truth. My brain’s first reaction to the suggestion was: “Um, yeah, no one wants to hear my truth.” My stomach’s first reaction was to throw-up in my mouth a little. My heart’s first reaction was, “FINally, I’ve been waiting.” Not that what I have been writing on this blog isn’t the truth, but mostly every post and subject has been pretty safe–some updates on my creative writing and publishing my novel; some posts about modeling shoots and interviews; a few about professional copywriting. All good things! All things about which I enjoy writing. But what if…I started sharing what is really going on? What if I opened up about my spiritual life that spins up and plummets down for myriad reasons? What if I did something scary to me: shared the truth instead of only showing the side of me that has life and love and pain all buttoned up and figured out and fixed right?

Like most bloggers I’m thinking: who cares? Who will care to read what I write? What is this, a journal? Puh-lease, I’m sleeping already. And yet…when I reflect on the people whom I gather around me and what I care about sharing when we’re together I know this: I love plumbing into the chasm of the heart’s home, I love the hard conversations, I love the challenges and the way my thinking is subverted, I even love how my heart hurts when the truth trickles in and soaks up in my cells. 
So without any more dramatic meaning making, here goes: something scary–the truth about my current pains. Are you still reading?

I am in a strange and wonderful place right now. Something that came up for me recently in my therapy session which has subverted how I think about communication is this: many times communication and disagreements spiral into discontent, are ultimately unproductive and could realize a remedy with something as simple as changing positions–essentially choosing to welcome in another perspective. 

This new way of thinking gave me a looooong pause.

I was immediately reminded of being in labor with Harold. I gave birth to him at home and while I was in the warm bathtub with water circling me I was pushing and pushing and crying but nothing was happening…my efforts, my labor, were completely unproductive. Days later my midwife would tell me that when I was in the tub she could see my baby’s head come out and go back in…then come out…then go back in… She knew the birth wasn’t progressing. But before I knew all that, and I was in the midst of waves of pain slouching in the tub, my midwife leaned down to my sweaty head where I rested it on the cool tile and said, “Claire, you need to move into the bedroom and choose another position.”

I don’t know if you’ve experienced birth and how it played out on the stage of your life, but for me being asked to move while my body was overcome with pain was actually mind-blowing. I mean it was the most ludicrous request at the time. The thought of standing and moving to another room actually hurt the cells swirling in my brain. While a lightening streak stretched over my stomach, I thought, “There is no way I

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12 stones from Venice Beach.

can even stand to get to the bed. I am worthless.” I wanted to boom out a laugh at my midwife’s suggestion but I was too blitzed and tired from labor. My mind and body had separated from one another and my body was steering the ship and none of my thoughts seemed to make an impression on my body…like, “move your leg, Claire” or “wipe that sweat off your brow.” There was no moving my own legs. There was no wiping sweat. But somehow, miraculously with the help of two midwives, I got out of that tub and hobbled to my bed and 9 minutes later I met my son for the first time.

9 minutes.
It was seemingly impossible to move from the tub to the bed and yet languishing in the tub wasn’t moving me closer to birth…it was completely unproductive. But, choosing a new position, a new perspective in the midst of pain created space to birth something beautiful: my sonshine.
Who can know how long I may have sat in that tub in unproductive labor? Eventually he would have emerged–and I would have been riddled with pain all the while. But instead…I made a choice to move.
I say all this because I am in certain kind of emotional pain about how  my communication is going in life (wildly different than labor pain, to be quite clear) yet still in this painful space I can choose a new position so my soul can birth something beautiful.
I just don’t know what that beautiful something is quite yet…

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