This article is going to be an unusually personal one. And probably long, too. The core insight? Healing is possible.
Sometimes the most difficult setbacks catapult us the furthest forward. This is because they are so painful that they lead us right into our deepest core. Last week, I have gone through such a transformation. Observing how quickly I have been able to rebounce from this dark desperation, shows me just how much resilience I have developed in the last few years. Resilience that I had lost.
This resilience resides is our deepest, most untouchable core. This is where our greatest, most truest strength lies.
Average German Middle Class Family
But let me start a bit earlier. The story begins in the early seventies, when a small, blue eyed girl is being born as the only child of an average German middle class family (only many years later she would have a brother that now is a sister). Her parents are war babies. Both. And have both experienced the fleeing from the war.
Everything looks great, the girl grows and thrives (like they use to say), and all signs point towards her having a fulfilled, happy and “successful” life.
But over time, this image gets cracks. After all, the girl is successful and does what she is being asked to do, but inside grows an abyss of emptiness. What´s the point of it all? Why am I here? Will I ever find my place in life? Will I ever be happy and fulfilled? Is that all there is?!
Her dream just seems too crazy. She wants to write books and live from it. But over time, she looses every hope that this might ever be possible. Do something reasonable, they tell her. And there, something dies in that girl. A spark extinguishes, and every sense of purpose seems to slip through her fingers. What else could make sense, other than what her heart desires? What else, if not what she came to do?
At the age of 19, she hits rock bottom. While she does not try to end her life, she does long for salvation. Salvation from this deep, unbearable pain. From the pain being cut off from herself. From the pain having given up on herself.
What is left is a hollow shell. A shell that functions. Actually functions pretty well. That does whatever is expected.
However, her adult life simply does not lift off. University and job are a torment. She forces herself to get up in the mornings. She forces herself to keep going. Until she simply can´t do it any more. She chucks it all. And for the first time ever, she does something that meets her needs. She starts to work with a journalist and loves it.
Unfortunately, this happy time ends because of financial reasons, and she slides back into her old, abhorrent tread mill. She has to live from something, doesn´t she?
It takes another couple of years until the young woman decides to risk a new step. She discovers Gestalt therapy and completes the training. And this decision proves to be the turning point.
The Gestalt training starts to fill the gaps that had shown up in herself. That is, after all, the fatal thing about shame: over the years, it rips holes into us like an old sieve.
Gestalt teaches her to feel again where she had chosen not to feel any more. She learns again to be aware of herself, and she cries many, many tears.
However, her deepest wounds only show up once she starts her own family. There, she witnesses with horror that – despite her long-standing therapy training – she repeats toxic patterns. And she understands how deeply she is imbued with the damages of her ancestors.
This moment she fully grasps what it means to feel ashamed. Where she gets an idea of the full extent. But she not only understands her own shame. She also recognises it in humanity. What an incredible pandemic!
From now on, miraculously, the very quality that has held her together all her life, unfolds. A quality she has brought with her and that can never be destroyed. A quality in her deepest self. An unbelievable forwardness. Persistence and single-mindedness. She wants to heal! And so, she keeps digging. And keeps finding. More and more.
Shame. Trauma. War trauma. Transgenerative transmission. Epigenetics. Bingo!
Shaking – the salvation
With theoretical knowledge alone (as valid and helpful as it is!) she cannot solve this gigantic problem. And so it happens that the young woman finds another treasure in herself: the trust in her body. She learns that her body unmistakenly shows her the way, if she allows it. And she discovers that shaking can release trauma. With the help of shaking, she becomes capable of literally “diffusing” through anxiety and panic attacks and letting go of old, toxic blockages.
And now we are coming back to this moment.
Today I have finally understood something. Felt it. Physically and emotionally. I finally understood what has been sitting in my bones for months. More precisely, in two of my thoracic vertebraes. I have been trying to release that block for an extended period of time now. However, whenever I managed to release some of it, more seemed to slide in from god-knows-where. Wham! Short relief, and right back into the next blockage. What a heap of rubble!
Even now in this moment I can feel it, at the spine right between my should blades.
I know what it is
Today I found out what exactly is sitting there. And this means: I also know how to remove it. In this part of my body, between heart and mouth, reside all the forced YES’s I have given in this (and maybe other) life(s). Or to put it the other way around: all the NOs that I have held back and not allowed myself to say. All my NOs that would have been necessary to keep my boundaries intact.
Today I have decided to reclaim this power.
I was laying on my bed, allowing my body to shake and just feel and notice. All of a sudden, everything poured out of me. The knowledge. The clarity. The incorruptable unambiguity.
THIS. BODY. IS. MINE.
And I started to speak the words. Loud and determined words. And I MEANT what I said.
YOU. ARE. NOW. LEAVING. MY. SYSTEM.
And with that, I meant every single violation of boundaries, abuse, shaming, humilation, every toxin whatsoever. Every person or intention that has done me harm.
THIS. BODY. IS. MINE.
AND. DON´T. YOU. DARE. TO. EVER. COME BACK!
After that, I screamed an imagined NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! to the heavens, as long as my breath would last. (I only imagined the scream to not scare my neighbours. But I know the real scream, too, will need to happen. The audible, raw, brute scream. The scream that brings me back to myself.)
These thousands, no millions of NOs need to come out! They block my energy. They make me sick. They have been stuck in my body for decades.
And one thing I can say for sure: raising my voice, reclaiming my birth right – my very own right to protect myself – has given me my power and confidence back.
This has not healed all the wounds. But a crucial one has started to heal. Because I have decided to close those open barn doors with a bang that have bled me dry over the years.
And if I am not mistaken, you, my dear reader, will probably feel the full force of my words. Because I LIVE and EMBODY my power again.
I have just self-empowered myself.
AND DON`T YOU DARE TO COME BACK – EVER!
If that´s not a boundary … Try it. It could do wonders.