Heaviness to Light
Last week I encountered a few days of heaviness - heavy thoughts, heavy emotions, my body even felt heavy. I've come a long way over the years in learning how to work with this familiar flavor of depression. Reminds me of a book my boys used to love, Going on a Bear Hunt, where a family faces each obstacle with, "Can't go over it, can't go under it, gotta go through it!" as they move through the grass, the marsh, the lake and the cave on their way to find the bear. Love the hidden message - there's truly no useful way to go but into our own shadow when it confronts us. I have a long history of trying to go around depression - food and chocolate, novels, solitaire, Netflix binges, hiding out, and misplaced grumpiness. I still do these things, but love's lens has taught me to see them not as weakness but as the space I give myself until I'm fully ready to walk, as gently as possible, through the weight of what's showing up into a lighter experience of life. What does walking through it look like for me? Inviting my body to release the heaviness by taking it to yoga class, allowing emotions to flow on their own schedule without needing to create a mental story about why they're there, and lots of beautiful big breaths and a little tapping to remind myself that I'm safe, this isn't the real me and what a gift it is to let go of yet another peice of the past. Engaging with someone who can bring me back to myself can really help, or I sometimes do this on my own by inviting my "kidself" to sit on my lap while I hold a space of unconditional acceptance for whatever drama they're currently lost in. It's taken a lot of years for me to shed the belief that the heaviness means I messed up or that something is wrong and needs to be fixed. I'm getting better at dismissing these old lines before they get too comfy and I am learning, over and over again, that greeting this visitor with self compassion is the only way. Through the amazing helps that heavenly grace and my intuition have led me to find, the breadth and depth of the heaviness continue to evaporate. I do not believe I'll be walking through pieces of depression forever. When I turn and look behind me a few years it becomes clear; layer by layer, I'm shedding it and I've never been so full of light as I am now.