Suicide Aftershocks Vol II: Intimacy and Grief and Are Massage Therapists Supposed to Cry???

I’ve found that most people who are not blood related or partners will only hug for about 4 seconds. This seems to be the socially acceptable and proper length of time for non-intimate hugs regardless of relationship.  I’m amazed how uncomfortable people become if expected to rise to the circumstantial need of another when it involves hugging, touch or physical comforting when the other is obviously in emotional pain.

Natural!

We all know how vulnerable it makes us to ask for help when we’ve been emotionally ambushed by life.  One person’s pain cannot be compared to another’s.  We’ve all experienced hurt, loss and pain.  While we feel these emotions along with loneliness and sadness over life’s circumstances, we don’t always feel grief.  Grief occurs generally when there’s a death, (or 7 as in my situation). It can also occur when blindsided by an ending of marriage or career.  All of our emotions require our attention and focus in order to integrate.

But grief requires more.  Grief is intimate and crushing and vast.  It requires thoughtful navigation through its depths to survive intact and eventually nurture the ability to access wholeness, light and joy.  Our culture is comfortable with sharing and bearing witness to accomplishments, successes and happy things, but seemingly has lost its ability to witness personal tragedy, grief and the sometimes ugly growing pains of being a human.

During the first months after my husband’s suicide, I asked a few of my married friends if they or their husbands would be willing to let me lie on the couch and be held by either one of them!  I just wanted to be held—to cry—to be witnessed in my grief or simply not be alone with it for an hour or so.   This request was ignored, brushed off with laughter or agreed to with no opportunity being created for it to happen.  I understand and yet I don’t.

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Backyard Nurturing

Being the capable woman that I am, and unwilling to seek out “companionship” of the one-night-stand sort—

I booked a massage at a reputable establishment and showed up on time.  I informed the 20 something young woman that I was a bit fragile and might cry—that it had nothing to do with her and if I did cry, to please ignore it and move forward with the massage.  Within 20 minutes, I was wrapped in the sheet, sitting on the side of the massage table holding and comforting the therapist as she cried because she lacked the tools to separate her personal issues from mine and did not have the emotional maturity to hold space for my grief (A grief she knew nothing about as I had not shared details).  As I sat holding her, witnessing, comforting and allowing her to show up exactly how she was in that moment, I thought, “WTF?  Am I an idiot?  I’m paying for this?  This is supposed to be about me!  This is what I need from her!”  (MY humanity was showing!)

I realized in that moment that grief makes space.  It opens primal flood gates in our being-ness tearing down all mechanisms of compartmentalization.  It forces access to the deepest parts of ourselves and our shadows and thins the veil between how we are “expected” to behave and show up (shiny and bright) and how we wish we could (tattered and thread bare but real).  Sadly, as a society, we don’t want to see anything other than happy projections.

My grief opened a portal for this young woman to access something she’d turned away from at some point in her life.  Without analyzing it—without speaking or making meaning, we sat in grief together—not exactly how I wanted it, but in communion and authenticity and extremely intimate as we were strangers.(and I was naked wrapped in a sheet in a dark room!)  Our burdens were lighter afterward—although neither one of us would have chosen that scenario.

I realized that I was able to give what I wanted to receive.  There’s a healing power to that.  I did pay and tip this young woman.  I booked another massage at a different location and an almost identical scenario unfolded.  I behaved the same way, with love and allowance, although I paid somewhat begrudgingly this time!  After all, my needs matter just as much as everyone else’s!

While learning a lot about grief and myself through these 2 experiences, I still wanted a massage!  I asked a friend for a referral and was led to a male MT—retired military and specializing in sports massage.  It took me a month to commit.  I finally called and left him this message.  “Hey I’m Kim—I was referred by M.  Here’s the deal–I might cry—been through a lot—if you can’t handle it, don’t call me back.  Thanks.”

Within 30 minutes this therapist called me back laughing and said to come on in, he had daughters and he’d seen worse!  So I did, and I didn’t cry!

Now—a year later, I’m genuinely happy and joyful most of the time.

I’ve noticed that my friends are all comfortable hugging me again and I appreciate and enjoy it.  I’m grateful they’re allowing me to be my normal “touchy” self, without making it mean anything.  At the same time, I recognize that an important opportunity was missed in their inability to be available to and for my pain.

I make these observations without judgment or finger pointing.  They’re simply observations about our humanity.  I truly believe we all show up the best way we can in any given moment.  I can clearly see events in my past where I wish I had been able to show up more fully for my loved ones.  The question is, “do we grow and learn?”

Because of this great opportunity to lean into;  uncomfortable–unhappy–ugly–raw-painful and dark for 6 long years through so many deaths and leavings, I have cultivated the ability to hold multiple states and perspectives at once;

—to agree and disagree; To want and not receive; To receive and not want what is given; to love and despise; to be joyful and grieving; to reject while at the same time accepting; to be angry and forgiving; to have no clue and yet understand deeply.

Had the massage therapists been able to hold multiple states at once– my pain and the task at hand; empathy without sympathy; interconnection without engagement; what different form of healing might have occurred for us all?

Here’s to loving it all, allowing all aspects of our humanity and relentlessly asking for what we want whether we get it or not!

“Hugging is natural, organic, naturally sweet, free of pesticides, and preservatives. Hugging contains no artificial ingredients. It’s 100% wholesome. No calories, no caffeine, no nicotine.” (borrowed form http://www.poofcat.com)

This month’s challenge!  HUG—hug for more than 4 seconds—Go crazy and be one of THOSE people who hug uncomfortably long!  Hug heart to heart—Put your chin over the hug-ee’s left shoulder and breathe deeply!  Give the gift of connection through hugs—(I’m assuming you won’t hug inappropriately!)

With Warmest Aloha,

Kim

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RISE!

Dos Equis to Retire “The Most Interesting Man in the World” Perhaps I could be the “Most Interesting Woman…”

“The weight of his words would break a lesser mans Jaw.”  Dos Equis 

Jonathan Goldsmith, the gorgeous actor  who portrays the “Most Interesting Man in the World” for Dos Equis beer;  http://dosequis.com/  quite possibly could be!  After reading several articles about him, I discovered that he is a renaissance man, self-made multi-millionaire, rescuer of a damsel in distress from sharks and saver of a stranded, injured hiker on Mt. Whitney.

The commercials are smart, fast-paced and funny!  Even more so now that I know the history of said “Interesting Man”.

After forcing my husband to listen to me read quotes from the “smooth Harold website (,http://www.smoothharold.com/top-30-facts-about-the-most-interesting-man-in-the-world/ )   and laugh hysterically—mostly alone—I pondered if I might be considered for the potential role of “Most Interesting Woman in the World”.         

Take Fact #1:  “He lives vicariously through himself.”   That’s a pretty nice definition of consciousness!  And interesting!        Compilation of interesting!

imagesCASNN3H3       After all, I own my own business.  I have been written about (albeit only cursorily).  I’ve been on television—perhaps by accident.  I’ve saved countless small creatures from imminent death or disfigurement and on many occasions I’ve rescued myself from bad relationships, situations and/or decisions.  I’ve helped clients and friends with good counsel (so I’ve been told!)  And I personally feel as though the weight of MY words might break a lesser woman’s jaw!

 This clearly qualifies me for the position!   (If you fall off the pedestal you put yourself on, does it hurt as much?)

       Here’s hoping you have a fun, silly and fabulous day enjoying life and laughing at your most interesting self!

In growing awareness,

Kim

 

The Prison of Forgiveness

(The following perspectives are based in a belief in God/Creator/Goddess as the One)

forgiveness-cap

    I’ve been inundated it seems lately by blogs, books and FB posts about the necessity of forgiveness. The ways to forgive and how the act of forgiving sets the forgiver free.

Don’t get me wrong—I’m a big fan of turning the other cheek and letting the perceived perpetrator off the hook so to speak, but forgiveness is a construct I’m no longer sure of.
Perhaps it’s just semantics, but with an NLP background, I’m a big proponent of the power of intentionally utilized language.

My initial concern with the concept of forgiveness is the implication that the perpetrator of said offense did something wrong in the first place.

This assumption of wrong-doing creates a victim of the one labeling an action as wrong.

The next issue is that labeling inherently turns the victim into the judge. This is the trap or prison of forgiveness. It is in this cycle of labeling and then judging that we close the door on alternative perspectives locking ourselves into only one.

Once the Victim-judge decides to forgive they become superior to the perpetrator because, after all, the victim-judge has decided to take the high-road which lies up-hill of the accused.

This high-road must be Creator/ God-less, bringing us full-circle to the initial incident where Creator/God must have screwed something up as indicated by the fact that the perpetrator requires forgiveness for some perceived mis-deed.
SO…… What if, rather than forgiveness, we simply decided to practice the ascension attitudes of Surrendered Trust and belief in perfection of the present moment (for more on ascension attitudes visit www.innermasterytools.com ).

Osho Zen Tarot

Osho Zen Tarot

In surrendered trust, we believe in the benevolence of our universe and trust that all events are an out-picturing of what might be termed as mis-qualified thought within us. It asserts that everything is perfect exactly how it is showing up. EVERYTHING—people, places and things. In a simplistic nutshell this means there are no mistakes, failures or accidents. It means that everything which has occurred in my life has happened because the universe loves me enough to give me the lessons I need to truly know myself.

What if I decided to thank life for all the uncomfortable, painful, ugly and even evil things that occurred in my past as the perfect recipe for who I am today and for the woman I will be tomorrow? What if I choose to look at my past only as inspiration? How would it feel to give up all resistance to the way things show up –no longer labeling, or defining things dualistically as right/wrong—good/bad—fair /unfair? Would we need to forgive if we responded to life with wise discernment through open-hearted allowance? (and yes, vote with our feet when necessary!) Then there would truly be nothing to forgive—only immense gratitude for the way my life has unfolded and continues to show up.

In deciding that all is well and there is nothing to forgive we are released from our self-imposed prisons of limited perspective. We free ourselves into the ability to live beyond our past into the new and ever unfolding goodness of life.
Besides, I don’t have the balls to say God/Goddess screwed up!

Here’s to a day filled with only perfection!

Joyfully, Kim