it’s night time and i’m walking alone down the side walk looking at the ground. a faint green reflection forces my chin to tilt up and my gaze rises to meet the sign, as if it’s been blinking quietly trying to get my attention so that it could ask me this very important question.
i spent more years harboring deep splintering pain than not, and now, i think in a lot of ways i am on the other side of that. i am hesitant to say that at all for fear that I will be proven wrong but i am learning to trust and believe my self. to be clear, this does not mean that i won’t ever feel pain again but just that pain in the present moment will not violently trigger the pain(and subsequently other emotions) from my past. it wasn’t until a few years ago when a therapist reflected back at me “there’s a lot of pain in your life” that (after my initial confusion) i realized she, was right. i had lost the ability to differentiate pain from anything else. it was just, something that had been with me for so long. society is effective in normalizing and downplaying inner pain. i had subconsciously resigned myself to the consistent hum of hurt deep in my self. there were frequent and varying nightmares that my pain was rotting me from the inside out. pain is a thief. even from the initial point of realization, it’s taken years to get to where i am in this moment. some things take t-i-m-e, and maybe faith. we know that the experiences and emotions lodged inside your body cannot be ignored. we’ve seen and felt what that looks like. the emotions inside your body only ask to be held, given attention to, both actions that i believe ultimately aid in moving these feelings through your body(processing). it’s easy to underestimate the currents that flow within. it’s important to note that having the time, means, resources to do this kind of inner work is in this society a privilege. healing is a threat to capitalism. the goal is to continuously create accessibility to healing, in all the ways we can imagine. in my own experience i have used visuals as a way to facilitate inner movement, imagining my pain as a dark sludge moving through my body, dislodging itself from me the way things get torn off and carried with the current in a rushing river. imagining laying down and my pain being released as hot steam through a carefully regulated faucet on the bottoms of my feet. imagining my pain as a separate entity from me(a large marble ball in the center of the room), enforcing that it does not define me, it is not me. imagining it as a black and green slime, its hues dark and rich, inconsistently bubbling and oozing out from a crack in a large rock (in this imagining i uncovered that when you looked at this slime, the heat and steam and transferred intensity from it made my eyes sting, made it hard to look at). many of these visuals are things that come to me in meditation on what pain could look and feel like. the next time you are in the throes of an emotion, if possible, ask yourself what could this look like? and sit with that question, let it lead you and do not judge the visuals that appear. write to me with your findings if you wish.