Do you trust your instincts? Do you allow yourself to follow your intuition? Or do you ignore it all and live on auto-pilot doing all the things you should do?
For years I vacillated between the “shoulds'' and the instinctive knowing. While I wavered in the wind, ungrounded and unsure, I had a lot of health issues and extra body weight on me.
When I made the decision years ago to focus more on how I wanted to feel in my life I had the unsurprising wakeup call about how buried most of my real feelings actually were. My heart was locked up and I lived in a joyless state and did not heed the inner wisdom that kept presenting itself to me.
In clear speak, I NUMBED OUT.
I had a super high tolerance for pain.
I used to wear that high pain tolerance like a badge of honor because in some ways I was rewarded for it. It served me in ways that kept me “safe”, so I believed. Can you relate?
However we choose to block out our feelings and emotions with alcohol, drugs, shopping, food, denial, over exercising or extreme organizing we check out. The seemingly polar opposites of restrictive eating vs. binge eating, or complete disorganization, clutter vs OCD like perfectly placed items, the end result is the same. We are not in-touch with how we really feel, we are escaping, denying and not fully living. Behaviors that are widely accepted as normal in our culture, isn’t that heartbreaking?
I knew I did not want to remain numb, but I did not know what else there was for me really. I’d been numb for so long. I repeated patterns that kept me safely stuck in the numbness. It was a familiar pattern.
Are You wondering What changed it? It’s frighteningly so simple yet so damn powerful;
One simple question began to shift me “How do you want to feel?”
Hello. Wake up call.
CHOICEPOINT: Did I want to continue to wear that awful badge of high tolerance for pain, both emotional and physical? Or Did I want to begin to truly live, not feel dead inside?
When I held up the mirror, When I asked myself the question, I saw patterns in my life that I did not like. I wanted to feel whole, confident, joyful. I was not feeling any of that.
When both my sons were born, I showed up at the hospital 8 centimeters dilated, each time. Wow. I did not seem like I was in that much pain, I could not possibly be in labor, but I was. The first guy was born about 3 hours after I arrived at the hospital. 18 months later, the second guy, a breached preemie, was born even quicker by emergency C-section.
When it came time to birth my third child, we had a plan because I would “go into labor” so quickly. Her birth was scheduled. At 3 centimeters dilated I showed up for my appointment, opted for Pitocin and had a successful VBAC again about 3 hours after arrival at the hospital.
Reflecting back, the pain was there. It was so strong. but I just “bucked up” and went on my way, repeating my pattern of ignoring and denying the pain. This was consistent in most areas of my life. Numbing the pain or not, the baby still shows up. The baby’s birth changes us, stretches us, creating change regardless of how numb or present we are during the process.
That is what happens in life, we can only numb the pain for so long and if we do not consciously wake up and shift ourselves, eventually something comes along and rocks our world leaving us with little options but to shift in some way. It often feels more traumatic when we resist.
If I had trusted my instincts and my body, especially with the birth of my first child, I would have been at the hospital sooner. I was staying with my parents; my husband was stationed in Honduras at the time. I was home with my dad, the king of denial. He kept telling me I was not in labor. I called and spoke with the doctor on call. He told me I would not be able to talk as calmly or as much as was if I were in labor. I was advised NOT to come to the hospital because they would just send me home.
I listened to the “expert” instead of my body. My body was speaking to me in contractions, close and erratic, at 39 weeks pregnant; it shouted “BABY’s coming”.
Pain or no pain, that baby was going to enter the world.
There are some pains that we cannot ignore and they will continue on even if we resist.
Often they feel worse when we resist. If I did not resist so much, particularly when he was ready to crown, things would have been faster and the duration of pain shorter.
But I was so numb and not trusting of my body and all its wisdom, I did not listen to the inner voice that told me “baby’s coming. My dad told me, the doctor told me and my husband told me I was not in labor. I was pretty sure I was, but waited. When my mother finally saw me, one quick look was all it took...hospital, now! You are in labor. When I finally arrived at the hospital the nurses assured me I was staying there and a baby was coming and soon.
Numb was NOT how I wanted to feel. Life can be painful in so many ways, yet it is also joyous and beautiful. We cannot have one without the other. It is the beauty of the Yin and the Yang of life. When we block out and numb the pain, we in turn block out the joy too. When we do not allow ourselves to feel in one area we block out feeling in all areas.
When we do not allow ourselves to feel, we cannot clearly hear our inner voice, or we do hear it and we ignore its wisdom. We don’t trust it. How can we even consider mastering ourselves when we cannot even connect with our own self?
You might not be as disconnected as that’s great! Are you somewhere on the spectrum of disconnection?
Are you living a numbed out life? Or are you allowing yourself to feel both joy and pain?
Ask yourself, “How do you want to feel?” Your transformation begins by simply asking the question.
Want to go deeper? Hang with me. We’ll talk more about feelings, desire, and courage the next few weeks. We will get curious and ask deeper questions.
Choice point: Stop listening to everyone else. It is okay to trust yourself. Listen to the messages your body gives you. If you are not hearing them clearly, then perhaps it is time to reevaluate what you are doing so you can hear your own inner wisdom. She’s there, whispering to you daily.
Begin to notice how things unfold in your life. Notice the times you listen to your inner voice and when you opted to ignore it. There is no right or wrong, but there lives a lesson in either option.
I encourage you, don’t beat yourself up when you do not listen to the whispering of your truth. Rather notice how it spoke to you, through your thoughts, your feelings and the sensations in your body. So, when you do hear her whisper again you’ll recognize it.
Not sure how you really want to feel in your life? Afraid to heed the message you are getting? You need some clarity, stat. Don’t waste any more precious moments in this life living in confusion or doubt. I invite you to connect with me today and learn how I can assist you to face your fears and learn to trust yourself again.