Days 4-8: No Bat Belt

There’s a scene in Dark Knight Rises where Batman is trying to climb out of a prison. The climb could mean death if he falls- so he has a safety rope tied around his waist. He works out, gets stronger, makes the leap, and falls. The only person to make this leap and survive was a child, with nothing but desperation and fear to spur him.

Bat man’s prison mate says:

“make the climb as the child did. Without the rope.”

He doesn’t need more strength; he needs to let go of his last tether to safety. He needs to know that there is nothing to break his fall, and he’s truly risking everything when he leaps.

This weekend was a time of removing my bat belt, my safety, my rope. Strand by strand, I unraveled and dissolved it, thanking it deeply for all the times it had saved me, but also recognizing that I hadn’t yet been ready for it. I wasn’t yet worthy of a bat-belt, a lightsaber, or a spear; I needed to learn to be strong on my own, first. Leaning on the assistance had me not trust my own strength or worth, to the point where I felt helpless, scared, certain I couldn’t make it on my own.

Dark Knight Rises: Prison Escape Scene

And so, I took off the rope. It was a painful, days’-long process.

I’m preparing for the climb again now.

These days had some victories: I discovered again how good exercise has me feel. On days I couldn’t go to the gym, I went on hour-long walks, bringing my focus to breath, and the feel of my feet on the ground as they rolled from heel to toe. I canceled some friend dates (thank you for being so understanding, friends ❤️) and I also reached out and called people, and wrote to one friend, when the despair got too heavy to carry alone. (Thank you for lending your steady strength and compassion in my dark pit, friends ❤️)

I’ve leaned on trainers, a counselor, and friends – but I haven’t leaned too much. There’s a balance. There’s a time when no one can prep us for the climb but ourselves.

I realized I had been hanging onto someone as he made the climb for us both, and we both fell.

But accepting help from community with deep gratitude is an important step for me. Hitting rock bottom and not being able to show a “perfect” face to the world has had me discover that many people are understanding, kind, and empathetic. They didn’t judge me. They didn’t even seem to think twice, just held me or let me cancel…

yes, there were those who surprised me with a lack of empathy, but having no resources to deal with that also made turning away from those few, and dropping those communications very easy.

There’s nothing like having absolutely nothing left, to teach a person how to say no, and how to say thank you.

And so here we are at Day 8 of the training. I’ve bribed myself with inspiring shirts to get me in the mood to go work out 😉

Day 8: Padawan

I’ve stuck with the challenge of dietary change (I’ll put a sample day’s meals here, one of these blog posts…maybe tomorrow …), of drinking half my body weight in ounces of water daily, (not as hard as it sounds, especially if you get some exercise in,) and of exercise.

I have discovered that I am most unhappy when I don’t allow myself to be as expansive as my nature demands: so when I was living in the “shoulds” of: closed off, reproachful blame, and victimhood; when I wanted above all things to understand why, I felt sick. I don’t need to know someone’s reason – all I need to know is that they chose.

As soon as I allowed myself to do what people told me I “shouldn’t,” which is: love, forgive, understand, be okay about things, let go, be actually happy about things just as they are, AND continue to wear my rings because they mean that I belong to myself now, and are inscribed a with these words: Present and Wonder, that I must live in now,

I felt better. I feel – good.

Ready to make the climb and leap with no rope, no bat belt.

What if I fall? Oh,but my darling,what if you fly? -Erin Hanson

Talking With Gremlins

I’ve decided to focus this blog on my experiences with coaching and the Maggid program & my women’s empowerment therapy group. I am doing *so* much in the way of growing & healing right now, in fact, that I need to have a place to process it all.  So: here it is.

I’m doing a lot of fighting these days against old dreams. Dreams that used to mean the world to me – things I sacrificed for , worked toward…are feeling hollow.  They are feeling like tight sweaters.

I went across the country to learn Hebrew… drove. then flew back to Portland and lived there for a time. all to learn Hebrew. Maybe one day I will write about that long (and difficult and hilarious) journey.

I fought to be in the Maggid program; dropped other things, made room in my life… I am also teaching hebrew / pre b’nai mitzvah to kids, which was an honor to be asked to do…

but where am *I* in all of this?  I’m not there any more.  The rituals are ringing hollow, and bringing up pain / scar tissue/ resistance.  The connection and living, vital force is simply not there. I am not there.

I am either scared, defensive and small, in “abandoned orphan” mode, with my Celtic fists up and ready to do battle,

Or I’m … elsewhere.  with my heart in the remodeling work, or in the writing that is languishing while I do these other things, or… or.

I am needing to heal from an immense betrayal – from my past relationship – a huge abandonment, manipulation, lie – you name it: that has been left behind me now, but there is still SO much healing to do.

I can’t just walk away, because I don’t want the things he left me with to *ever* come up again. I do not want this person to have power in my life at ALL.  So, I am working , delving, clearing things out before building something new. I have made self-care and healing TOP priority this year.

and what I am finding is this:

as you begin to do the work, resistance comes up more strongly.

When I catch on to my “gremlins,” for instance , they get crafty;  they change voices.  They become projections of what other people are thinking.  It’s always negative toward me, and it’s always in a played-out scene, in these people’s voices.

For instance, one of my Maggid teachers.  “she loathes me,” says my mind:  “she is saying this -”  and my mind goes on to craft an entire scene.  “Geez! I wish that Rivkah would shut up, she’s such a mess, and I am tired of her.”  or “I wish she would quit this course.”
So right now, the answer is to pause, breathe, realize that is the Self-Critic talking, (only it’s gotten very crafty and it’s speaking in a new voice) and it ISN’T REAL. Even if it were real, it would be up to the other person, I think, to communicate with me if they wanted something — their thoughts are not my business, and I am so much happier when I simply…let go.

Lately all my self-critic (or “gremlin” as my awesome life coach Ana calls it) is to do with abandonment – people not wanting me around, etc.  VERY obvious where that comes from. That’s the bewildered and harmed little-girl me.  The Victim. Perhaps it’s time to remember to hug her, and tell her : I will never abandon you.  No matter what other people do or say, I will never abandon you, self. I will never betray you or act against your needs. Not ever again.

Have you ever tried to tell yourself this?

I am beginning to think that people sometimes look for things from others that we can be giving ourselves.  And I’m thinking that is where a lot of pain comes from.  If I start looking around for reassurance, or for support or praise or acceptance or love, even — what about if I give that to myself? I can do that any time. and it’s AWESOME how much happier I am when I do that.