Trees grow up through their branches and down through their roots into the earth. They also grow wider with each passing year. As they do, they shed the bark that served to protect them but now is no longer big enough to contain them. In the same way, we create boundaries and develop defenses to protect ourselves and then, at a certain point, we outgrow them. If we don’t allow ourselves to shed our protective layer, we can’t expand to our full potential.
Saturday, September 7, 2013
circa late 1990's
I am at an amusement park. We are getting on a roller coaster and I am very excited. The ride is fun, like every roller coaster. But something goes wrong. My leg is caught on the track.
Now I am off the ride and am surrounded by people, not doctors, just amusement park visitors. My right leg has been severed just below the knee. There is some kind of clear plastic molding in the shape of a rectangle engulfing my leg, and it is heavy as hell.
People want to look at my leg; they also want to touch it. I let them, even though it hurts. It is a stomach-churning, nausea-inducing pain I have never felt before. It's the kind of pain I imagine you can only feel from losing a limb. If you look at it from the bottom you can see the bone in the middle of the soft, pink flesh. Everyone wants to touch that part - thank God for the plastic molding. I can't imagine how bad this would feel if they were really touching the exposed bone and nerve endings.
I am trying to walk on the molding as if it were the remainder of my leg and foot. It hurts so badly. I try to fit the stump into a boot filled up to where my leg is cut off, but my stump with the molding does not fit in the boot very well. In fact it does not fit at all.
I caress my stump. The plastic is cold, hard, and squared off with profound angles. And it is so very heavy.
Another dream about severed me. Parts of my essence abused and cut off from the rest of myself. At the time when I had this dream I was unaware of all the ways I had been abused, nor the effect it was having on my adult life. Well, some part of me knew - somewhere deep in my subconscious. That's what dreams do, they make the subconscious conscious.
I knew I was not whole. I knew that parts of me were damaged, hidden, scared. I also knew that I was walking around in a semi-robotic state - a cold, hard version of me. I was wearing a protective outer shell (the plastic molding) so that my wounds were not visible or touchable. Not even by me.
This past year has been a great journey in unraveling that shell layer by layer. And oh how the soft, sweet, emotional me is being revealed. I have intense emotions now; some days the pain is so deep I can hardly move. It's everything I can do to just keep breathing. My therapists say that I am feeling 25 years worth of pain in a compressed period of time. It is difficult but it is necessary.
A recent Daily Om speaks of the need for protection in times of harm, but also the need to shed these layers in order to promote healing and growth:
And so it is with humans. Understand your layers, thank them for protecting you when you needed it, and then learn to let them go. Recapture your severed self to become whole and express Who You Really Are.