Dealing with shock
I am struggling with the “I don’t have anything to say” thing today.
Everything I say seems trite or sugary.
I have learned to trust this in others but do I trust it in myself?
As a clinician, what I have learned to trust in others is that when clients say they have nothing to say that is their conscious mind talking. And usually their unconscious has a lot to say. The feeling that “I have nothing to say” is actually a sign that the unconscious is close to the surface — sprouting out into awareness and that we will encounter it soon.
So while I used to dread hearing this I have come to welcome it.
But for myself.
By myself writing this blog.
I wonder where this is going.
I do know that I am in shock.
Part of me frozen by events you all know about and events more specific to me.
What does it feel like to be in shock?
My mind is a little quicker than normal. Topics come and go faster.
I have moments of deep lack of presence — turning the wrong way on a one-way street — a street I have driven for decades.
A startle reflex — walking by a woman who I cannot see who speaks into an intercom at the bottom of a building and I jump in surprise. My body thinks it is not safe.
I feel fine. I feel safe. All is normal.
Yet I’m jumping and driving wrong and…
So here’s a case when what is not directly in my conscious awareness is having a significant impact on my experience. Or you could say — what is in my mind is only a small part of what is going on.
This is always the case but in times of shock we can observe it more readily.
And I need to allow for the fact that all is not well. I need to stop driving. To feed myself well. Reduce my schedule a bit. Rest in the care of trusted others. And allow the feelings to surface. In their own time.
We give ourselves cues.
Can we listen to the cues?
Often if I pick up on cue for myself or a client the response is, “I don’t feel that way”, or, “I’m fine”.
This could be called rationalization. Or denial. This is avoiding something.
We do it because we don’t want to feel something.
As we grow and ground, we are able to catch ourselves doing it. Making the too quick explanation or denial.
As we grow and ground our challenge is to be open to the possibility that the experience of our whole selves contains important messages that the mind alone does not contain or like or accept.
So here’s the question that I come to: What am I listening to? What are you listening to?
If the information I’m getting from myself indicates a change in course can my conscious mind adapt?
My body is embedded. It knows it’s here. It lives as part of the planet. It depends on air and water and food. It depends on warmth. It knows when it is safe. It feels what is happening around it.
Can we listen to our embedded selves? I write this in shock. Not connected.
Can I connect with my disconnection?
Can I understand it with compassion?
This is exactly where we need to start.