This blog post is not about the details of the mistake. I would further hurt people by sharing it. Needless to say I did not break the law. I am so very sorry and I wish I go go back in time and do it all differently. It is instead, about about my journey towards forgiveness of self.
"So I am a person of faith,tick ... I believe that christ died to forgive us, yep... I am forgivable, oh hang on NO! thats for other people. Me, I am bad, horrid and I have done a thing that cant be forgiven. I shouldn't be forgiven, it really was just a matter of time till everyone found that out and now they have."
This is the daily tape that plays in my head. The critical voice that has log been a part of my life. It is triggered to be louder in certain places, on the bus as I go to work, in my place of worship, when I see certain people. It is always there. It is tiring constant and I am over suffering.
It kind of all came to a head Friday. I returned to the community development work I am doing for the church and I nearly couldn't go. You see the building triggers the voice to become so loud it is like a tidal wave. It rushes in and engulfs me. I can n't hear, see or think about anything else. So I am on the tram and panic arises. I feel shaky and sick. I cant take a full breath in. Thank God for Yoga. I close my eyes and breathe. Big lions breath. I probably look a little strange but its better than freaking out right? I get to work and make my self focus on the tasks ahead but I am done. I am done with the control this thing has on me. The voice of course tells me that I deserve to suffer , that this is my penance.
Saturday rolled around and I went to see my psych. She is the most amazing women and I am so grateful that I have the space to see her. We talk about the 30 days of yoga challenge that I am doing and how it is making me feel physically strong, and like I can breathe better, about the mindfulness book I got for christmas and how I intend to use it and the processes we are putting in place to manage our finances. All good lots of smiles. And then she asks about forgiveness of self and how am I going and the dam breaks and I cry, shuddering and painful sobs, as I tell her I just can't that the wave of shame and self loathing is too great..
We chose the tidal wave as imagery to explain how it feels. You know that movie where the asteroid has hit the earth and a tidal wave engulfs the father and daughter as they hug on a beach? Just like that.
We play with imagery to help deal with the tidal wave. Being in one of those giant plastic balls and riding out the wave, having Moses like powers to part the wave leaving a clear path for me to walk. But the one a resonated with the best was this
This is Violet from the Incredibles. She reminds me of the inner me, scared and insecure. But she has this awesome super power, when she gets emotional she can access a forcefield. It protects her and her family from all sorts of danger,:bullets, bombs, lazers, falling from a plane it kinda cool.
So the idea is when the wave comes instead of freaking out I imagine I am like Violet. I can put a forcefield around me that allows the wave to come but protects me from it. I came out of the session feeling empowered. I had a tool, great.
Today is Sunday, Sunday we go to church. Church, though no fault of anyone there, is a wave causing experience. I think, todays the day that the wave is beaten I have my force field. But it wasn't that simple. Like Violet at the beginning of the movie. I've never used the forcefield before. I cant yet make it big enough to protect we from all of the wave. But it was a little better. I still cried in the middle of the service, I still couldn't socialise and felt like and outsider. My critical voice tried to shout. But the forcefield was big enough to deflect it a little. I think overtime I will be able to use it to sit inside, safe and warm as the wave rushes over.
Have I forgiven myself, No way. The shame even now as I am typing makes me want to weep. The loss of relationships has left an open gapping wound that will take a long time to heal. But I feel like I have made a start. And I am grateful.: for family and friends who continue to stick around and love me and for yoga and therapy and imagery like Violet that are setting me on a path to forgiveness of self.
So if you see me and my eyes are closed and I am in some strange battle ready stance its just me practicing my forcefield :).
Do you have imagery that helps you in time of overwhelm? What are they and how do you use them.