I wrote a draft of this post a few days ago which is already obsolete. That’s the power of EMDR.
Backstory: Each morning after making my bed, stretching, letting the ducks out of their cages, and pouring a cup of green tea, I sit for meditation. By this time, I’m sufficiently super-tensed. Why? That’s the way I wake up and it only gets worse. Why am I so guarded? I don’t know for sure, but I think it goes something like this.
As a baby after a stomach operation without anesthesia, waking up was terrifying. Excruciating pain awaited–pain no one would want to wake up to. I was defended, protected, armored. Somatically, my body was booted up, like an electric fence. Yeah, that’s it. From the day’s get-go, I was juiced. And yes, all these years, most of them unknowingly, I’ve carried current.
Sitting for meditation has become a chore. So much resistance to get through to simply sit quietly in touch with my heartbeat and deeper vibration. Often, I cry, the tension is so great. Relief follows. Then soothing is necessary. I’d rub my arms and tell myself, and my little baby inside, that we are loved and safe. All is well.
Since I’d rather not deal with this tension day after day, month after month, year after year as I have been, EMDR, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, was next on the agenda. I decided to get wanding–eye movement back and forth following the arc of freedom.* Almost immediately, a wiser self showed up. I told her I didn’t want the ‘protection.’ I didn’t need it. Whatever I was armored against was over. The force field it creates keeps good feeling away. It isolates me from others. It discomforts and pushes people away. It transmits a subtle signal– ‘don’t come near.’
When one sees an electric fence, the juice flowing through the metal is not apparent. Voltage becomes real only upon touch. Seeing an electric fence though brings tension. It is not pleasant. It causes suspicion. Is it turned on? Could it spark me if touched? How lethal is it? And so, one avoids it. One turns away. One shuns. Who wants to get shocked?
So we wand, and I am assured that with the electricity shut off, positivity will flow in. My wiser self gives me a new piece to add to my morning ritual. Now when I wake up, instead of proceeding to my several rituals, I lie in bed for a few moments. I place my hand on my belly. It’s warm. My hand rises with breath. I look out the sliding glass doors into the beautiful, sun-filled California day, green with leaves. I tell myself, All is well. You are safe.
Miraculously, the electricity shuts off and the fence goes benign. I am free to see the day more as it really is–a wonderful opportunity. I begin to bubble gently with excitement, slightly giddy with the wonder of what’s coming. I rise from the covers, quietly smiling. I effervesce.
And in my meditation? The buzz is gone. The hyper-clench. The wattage. I am there with my human, vulnerable self. I feel my heart beat in my chest. I feel my belly rise and fall with breath. I sit calmly, tiny bubbles rising, gently popping at the surface. I am.
*See previous posts about what EMDR is and my work with a practitioner.