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  • Annelisa MacBean

Coming to my senses


The next time I notice myself looping in a dramatic narrative about what is wrong with me, about what someone did or didn’t do or say, about how I’m not being ‘seen’ by others, or how unworkable my life situation is, I’m going to stop. I’m going to pause. I’m going to slow way down.


I am going to come back to my senses . . . no, REALLY!! I mean back to my sensations, my sensing abilities. I’m going to breathe myself back into my experience, whatever it may be . . . Back to the sensations that go with self-hatred; the constriction in my throat and chest; the tension behind my eyes and in my jaw and abdomen.


The magnificent intelligence of my body in the here and now is telling me what feeling-state I am trying to get away from. After all of the scrambling, the shaming, the blaming, the storytelling, the interpreting, the attribution of cause, the attempts at understanding, my body’s state is telling me what I need to know about myself.


The question is will I be brave enough to give my body/myself the attention? Will I finally turn toward my throat, my heart, my belly?


It is so easy to use the energies of drama and conflict to take myself out of very intense states of vulnerability, where I can remain spinning around in my lived, immediate circumstances, drowning in stories of shame, blame, and victimhood, in hopes of avoiding the underlying feelings and surges of my emotional and somatic world. I want to dare to see that nothing is really happening to me from the outside. There are only lonely, abandoned, orphaned parts of me longing to be acknowledged and attended.


In just one brief and brilliant moment I can end the cycle of self-hatred and self-abandonment. I can step out of the prison of self-absorption or self-rejection and into the vulnerability and connectedness that I truly long for, first with myself and then with others. Miraculous . . . Connecting with myself, accepting myself is the path to connection with others.

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