I was having a walk along a busy road, cars racing by and thinking about herbs and how they are healing. Some situations are ripe for healing with herbs. And others are not. A broken bone needs setting first, and then herbs can help it heal, up to three times faster than if not treated with herbs. The bone setter is a strong person who doesn’t get queasy in the moment of looking at a broken bone, possibly with the skin broken, and replacing it, gently but firmly and precisely as close to straight as possible. They then bind the bone with a splint, and wait. The splint is there as a scaffolding while the bone heals, and once it has healed it doesn’t need the scaffolding any more, to carry on with the splint would be stifling.
I have had times where I felt broken, and the grace and sisterhood of my friends and family have been the scaffolding that has held me together while I healed. I am lucky enough that we both know when to let that scaffolding breathe a little, and then soften into being the fabric of our lives, sometimes I am holding the space, sometimes they are.
I thought about whether I had been set properly and wondered about all the frozen panic, the fear that I am not a genuine person because some people have scared the shit out of me so I just show them the polite doll version of myself, and I worry whether that is a good enough authenticity. I worry that by being crooked from growing up in a stifling atmosphere of judgement and punishment, means that I won’t ever be brave enough to fully engage with life and completely be ‘myself’ with the people that I meet. I’m scared that I’m too scared to live a full life. And I’m worried that I don’t have the balls to tell bastards to fuck off if I need to. It’s a bit ridiculous. Then I thought about the recent changes in my life, where I got broken again, in all the ways and I had to start again. It was like resetting a broken bone, but this time, in sitting with the pain and not running away, perhaps I have set more vibrant and freer than before. For some reason the panic attacks are not as strong as they used to be, and rarely happen. When they do, I know what to do, I am not afraid anymore of having them. It helps to have had a thorough health check (recommended) to make sure nothing more sinister is going on especially with the heart. If you’ve had panic attacks you’ll know that sometimes the symptoms read scarily like a heart attack, which isn’t great given that a panic attack is a condensed version of fear invading every area of my body.
I looked around the landscape of my life and I realised don’t have people in my life who tell me that what I have to give is not enough, not any more, and it is like a holiday feeling. It is a gift of an idea to do a life audit. I can’t remember know where that idea came from but thank you anyway. It helps me to see where the drains are in my life. This is not a blame thing, and actually maybe that’s not a fair to call them drains. The question could be more clearly put as, who, in my life, when I am near them, does my body react by feeling drained. It is not their fault, and while we’re here, it’s not my fault either, it just is. Creating space so that draining trigger doesn’t happen has been a way that I have a life where I just have more energy. When I started doing this the more aggressive people actively left my life, saying clearly that they were choosing to leave, and didn’t know if they ever wanted to see me again. It wasn’t an aggressive parting, more a relief actually, however as we all know rejection, even when it is a relief, stings like fuck. Why I do not know.
When things are chilled chez moi, creating space becomes automatic, when something starts to make me shrink or feel like I need to protect myself, I get up and walk away, almost without thinking. Sometimes I fail spectacularly at this, and sometimes it just isn’t possible, like when bad news comes, or a blameful text. In these times, looking at what has happened, and looking at how I’m feeling, and creating space between the event and my internal experience. I can choose to not blame what is happening in me as being controlled by the outside stimulus, but explore what it would feel like if I just sat with it as a thing I own, something I am allowed to watch, and just see what happens, without disturbance from anyone else’s stuff. Sitting with it, breathing through the storm. It is not my fault or her fault that I feel this way, I just have triggerable nerves, and it is my job to cherish myself as much as the pain needs in order to heal. To splint it and wait. To bring the beautiful parts of nature closer to remind myself that I have a wild nature that is not imprisoned by anyone, but is mind to cherish. That healing happens anyway, and to wander around the beauty of the world and to enjoy it is my birthright. It is all for me, all of it. I am a part of this world and everything is enough.