Two down, one to go, and other paradigm shifts

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see what I did there? (unrelated – my picture)

I can’t ride for two weeks (well, maybe not quite that long) because of surgery #2 out of 3 last Thursday. The journey thus far to fix a silly little artery near one of my kidneys, that happened to grow over rather than under, has mainly been keeping kidney happy and preventing swelling/holding extra fluid. Because that swelling causes pain, and also long-term damage if left unchecked. Not really what I want in my future (nor do I want to be repeating surgeries #1/2 every four months for the rest of forever), so a-fixing we shall go later next month. It’ll be the most intensive medical procedure I’ve had (hopefully ever have) and I’m understandably a bit apprehensive about it, which may increase as it starts looming closer.

I don’t believe I’ve mentioned on here that I have a therapist I’ve consistently seen for over a year now (which – holy cow, is weird to think about), but in any case #noshame because she, and the group she has me in, helps me deal with both my petty triggers and more existential stuff like accepting my body’s inability to suck it up and handle a normal full-time job (thanks narcolepsy!).

A lot of what I’ve been working on over the last many months is taking a chill pill (you don’t need to do all the things) and learning to listen if body’s telling me do not pass go, hold up, or that’s enough. This is hard. I’m still semi-regularly resentful, frustrated, or shaming-prone, but I at least listen and obey more often than not now. What I’ve only recently noticed is that “my body” is always separate from Me, and never the two shall meet. I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made tuning into this rather small thing I carry through space, but I still have My Expectations and My future To-Do List. Those assume I’ll keep this listening gig up just until enough things on the other two have been realized to throw this temporary habit by the wayside. Recently my therapist, A, asked me what my thoughts were about shifting the way I see goals.

Basically, what would happen if I started making goals for my body.

And I immediately felt some resentment towards that – like I would be giving up all my long-term goals or possibilities if I did this. Which is silly, my body is me and I am my body, it’s literally one! I am one, not a brain or ego and a body. These goals would be for me, but I’d just be substituting ‘body’ for ‘me’ since I’m currently kinder to the former, and still working on integrating with the latter.  To actually put this into practice, I’m coming up with a sort of mantra that I can read every day.

While it sounds like semantics, I wonder how many other people have problems with the whole embodiment idea? Who will never make that connection or wouldn’t care to anyways. On the other hand, there are surely people who’ve connected their thinking self with their physical self, but given the general well-being of my community, state and country, I’m guessing they are the minority. And because it was my first thought, that does not mean some White Yogi/Meal-Prep/Fitness/Meditating ideal; I think it’s more likely to be someone with a chronic or mental illness, or whose life experiences lend to slowly reconnecting parts that were assumed to be one before we knew any better.

In my case, this is important for me and will continue to be. I’m trying to unravel steel-tight habits of more than a decade (and turns out, more than one generation) because I want to be my best, most authentic self. Those habits prevent me from connecting and belonging with others, keep me in a loop of go-go-go-crash–go, and push aside emotions overly negative and positive. I think I’m realizing it’s not *me* I’ve tended to be unhappy with, it’s the patterns I’ve relied on (sometimes necessarily, others not) and enmeshed myself with.

4 thoughts on “Two down, one to go, and other paradigm shifts

  1. You are exceptionally brave to put this all out there. I would bet most people wouldn’t. I hope your new habits and thoughts continue to help you move towards the you and future you want. Good luck with your future surgery!

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  2. This mode of thinking (body vs brain and brain = me and body = other) is what got me into some very negative habits when I was younger, I would definitely punish my body and my body was the enemy. Like with you, therapy helped that. Paradigm shift really is the correct phrase to use!

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