Before the memories returned, I always thought I lived in the moment. I find that laughable now.
I had so many voices in my head – prodding me, questioning me, scaring me. These voices examined every potential outcome of every potential situation – looking for the worst possible case scenarios. I was always expecting and prepared for the worst possible outcome. Not exactly in the moment, now is it?
Whether it was in business or my personal life – I was always on alert, expecting the inconceivable, the difficult, the extreme. I used to lay awake at night, usually around two in the morning, thinking about all the potential left and right turns a project might take. Or I’d fret about personal situation with a friend, a lover or another acquaintance. I’d spend hours planning my responses to any and all potential difficulties.
When I first began my healing, actually about a year into EMDR therapy, I suddenly began to feel very lonely. I’ve really never been lonely in my life – I’m an only child so I’m used to being alone ever since I was a kid. At first I thought it was because of all the time spent alone after my father or grandmother hurt me – that I was re-living that horror.
But then I realized that I was lonely because the scary voices were gone – for the first time in my life. I truly was alone. No voices warning me of the horror that could come, no subconscious memories attempting to protect me from my certain fate of pain and horror.
My very powerlessness over my own pain and suffering helped create those voices. They were born to protect me, to warn me of what was surely coming so that I could avoid the blindsides that brought my torture. Being prepared, expecting the pain, having a plan for the disaster somehow made the blindsided attacks easier to handle.
As I healed my subconscious, those voices became quiet. And suddenly, I was truly alone for the first time in my only-child life.
Being free of those scary voices changed my life forever. It took a while for me to get used to the silence in my head – so strange. But once I did, I began to focus my thoughts on myself and my current moment. I learned to pay much closer attention to my physical body and its needs – instead of pushing to do what had to be done out of fear. When my body is tired I rest. When my brain is tired, I change my focus. If something can’t be finished on schedule, I accept that, instead of beating myself up and pushing beyond my health to complete some silly task just so I can be perfect.
My meditation practice has become much stronger as well – for the first time my life I am able to silence my thoughts completely. What a gift!
We all have scary voices of some kind or another. My question is, do we all recognize them for what they are? Or are they so insidious that we follow their guidance blindly– even when it’s not in our best interests – simply because the voices are the guides born of our earliest experiences?
In my case it was the latter, until they were exposed and I was able to release them forever. I know I’m one of the lucky ones. I got the chance to move beyond my scary voices into the light of my freedom.
I love the peace and quiet.
Ohio Sky ‘Quiet Mind’ – Creative Commons/Some Rights Reserved By Maureen Sill