days of my life

I didn’t mention this earlier this week, but I recently did something called a past life soul regression therapy session with an intuition coach I met a couple years ago, who I’ve worked with in the past–to great success. I know–crazy woo. This session came a couple days after I had a pretty challenging therapy session with my long-time therapist wherein I basically defined a huge part of my spirituality as rooted in scientific principles–but yet–still–completely woo and also quite Buddhist (which has mostly been self-discovered, rather than taught).

I don’t know why, but that feels important to say–to share–that I am someone who believes and is inspired by scientific ideas. How I see life and how I live life is molded directly by the things I studied over 20 years ago, and these principles hit me at my core–along with a lot of faith-based ideals from the Jesuits about how to be a critical thinker and a decent human.

I’ve always felt I contain multitudes, and often, these multitudes contradict and expand even as they retract. These are things that are mine. They may not apply to you and you are free to be whatever you want and need to be in my presence…and I will ask that you give me the same grace.

So, I’m going to share more about why I signed up for this–because I was a skeptic and wasn’t quite sure it was going to be beneficial. However, I trusted the practitioner–having had an amazing experience with her last year in workshops based on building self-trust. Those workshops gave me a sense of community with other women and also linked me back to the parts of me incredibly linked to writing. It allowed me to deeply support others and be supported–just by being me. It showed me what relationships could be with other people and has helped me deepen existing friendships and get over my own obstacles there.

But I’d done reiki before and had no benefits–thought it was possibly BS–though the person doing it seemed ethical and good at her work. Maybe it would have been different had I committed longer. Maybe I wasn’t in-tune or open enough to receive it. I also was not convinced I could be hypnotized because I have a hard time even staying in my body–my mind rarely shuts up–and even when I’m meditating–a big part of me getting benefits from it is just accepting that my mind is going to have a field day once I’m still. The timing also wasn’t ideal–but it was what she had open–and I had to accept it. Also, cats. So, I knew there’d be obstacles.

I did this for a few reasons–1) though some things are crystal clear and vivid in my mind, most of the time I spent with my Daddy as a kid is held behind some wall that was erected both by a head injury and emotional trauma. There are lots of things I just don’t remember, and I wanted to see if maybe we could access some of that. 2) I’ve had a lot of doubts in my life about my path–while I’ve always felt I’m here for big reasons–I’ve had such a hard time figuring it out. And I’ve had a hard time trusting myself in all ways. 3) I believe I’ve inherited a lot of generational trauma–and I wanted to see if there were connections there.

I was surprised by how easy it was to relax and noticed that being on camera was not conducive to that–whatsoever–so I asked to turn that off. I’m discovering more and more that Zoom culture isn’t for me–is not a way for me to stay connected and be present–so I am now firmly standing my ground and not doing it unless absolutely required. There’s something that gets activated in my brain that throws me out of my body and into analysis mode.

While I’m skeptical about many things, I pride myself on being open-minded, and I’ve done other supposedly woo-woo things that are now core parts of my healing toolkit. I tout them to anyone who will listen because they changed my life. I wasn’t sure what to expect–but my practitioner told me it might feel like I was making shit up because the same part of our brains responsible for imagination are activated in this process.

That said–it was super relaxing to spend 4 hours in a meditative state. I felt completely normal–though I did fall asleep at the very end. I guess I was expecting something quite different than what I experienced. It wasn’t like getting into a time machine. She’d guide me to wherever and then ask me questions–and every time–I felt this insane pressure to grab onto something in my brain. The intial something was peppermint–not a smell, but the word. And when I said that out loud, I was suddenly in my childhood home–and I knew it was that place because of a brown blanket on the couch. And then my mind sort of filled in the details. We talked about how my dad was making chili and hot cocoa and I was alone in the living room as my parents cooked. We didn’t interact with them at all. I didn’t see them–couldn’t smell anything–but I knew what was happening.

I won’t get into all of the things I experienced or that we talked about. But we went back to the womb and another happy childhood memory and we visited a past life in what I think must’ve been a Scottish town. There were all these familiar stories and details interspersed with things I am now pondering–that are interesting and connected to other things–but not in any obvious sorts of ways.

I don’t know if this was my mind just grabbing facts of what I know to be true–and then building worlds around them. It felt a bit like that–and it felt difficult. It was not easy to do this–and in many ways, it felt false to me. But I can’t deny that–whatever it was that I saw in this experience–my intuition was leading me there. And the insights DO have real meaning for me and it has helped me feel calmer and more sure of the decisions I’ve been making–and will eventually make. So, did I get what I came from–mostly yes–and I would recommend doing it just to experience it and see where your mind takes you. Is any of it actually true? I don’t know. It might really be something my intutitive mind just created so I could get where I need to be. It’s still worthwhile. I didn’t have new experiences related to my parents–it was mostly just confirmation of things I already knew and remembered vividly. Things like my home as a kid was welcoming and warm. That despite the challenges they had, my parents did their best. That I was a quirky ass free spirit and an artist. And I am still that person because they let me be that way.

I do feel like there are very direct connections between who I am now and the women in my life. That the act of being a woman in a world that wasn’t kind to women has been a big part of my life–and that I have never followed the ideals prescribed to me. I see very clear patterns of tolerating ridiculous suffering followed by escape and then transcendence. Meaning-making. And healing. But also a pervading loneliness and–even in connection–disconnection. I was left with a very clear message that I’m here to heal people–but also that healing people includes healing me–and that is very much rooted in community and other humans–which still proves challenging for me.

I’ve been struggling kind of a lot lately with where I am from a heart perspective. I feel as though I’m in a transition period of discovery and healing and growth where I don’t really know where I want to be–which is uncomfortable. I’m not afraid of discomfort–and am used to it, really–but I do like to know where I’m going…and it’s particularly hard for this reformed control freak to not know something. But I don’t because I haven’t experienced a lot of what I’m drawn to or what I think might be better. And until I do–I won’t really know.

There are some things I do know. Traditional forms of monogamy have not been working for me. And it’s not just specific to shitty men (though none of them were really shitty–just incapable of meeting my needs consistently). They did shitty things, often, sure–but I’m not apt to just throw someone away completely based on that. They are fine for others; just not for me.

When I was younger, I was taught that monogamy was it. The standard for love. And I grew up believing in it–believeing there was no other way. I also grew up being a jaded AF, yet somehow also hopeless romantic–which is something that probably destined me for much heartache. The relationships I saw in my world were not good relationships. They were toxic. They were tragic. They were codependent and heavy. And yet–they were also genuine and significant. So, I was taught two things–that love was worth every sacrifice–but that it would destroy you. My relationship history certainly reflects all of these things. There are boatloads of moments rooted in betrayals–from others, but mostly myself. But also depth and kindness and the kind of shit people write books about. And this is why I have these patterns that reflect the trauma I’ve been through–these waxing and waning dirths I go through where I’m in hibernation–hiding from the sun of love’s light–or I’m caught on fire–sacrificing every damn thing just to feel warm.

When I moved to the Bay Area, I thought a lot of silly things–namely that this place would reset everything. That a new place with new people would somehow allow me to get all that I wanted. It was silly because there was no self-ownership there. There was a lot of blame. Oh, the men in Denver are shitty. They’re this and that. I only found more of the bad here–with way more openness to nonmonogamy–which ironically closed more doors to me–the serial monogamist. And all the guys I liked either weren’t nearby or were nonmonogamous. Because let’s be real–few things about me are actually monogamous. Friends have joked about how I’m a flavor freak–how I have so many interests and passions and etc that no one can keep up. So, how on Earth will this woman ever just be okay–forever–with one guy?

And that’s not even accounting for the independent part of me that doesn’t even like sharing a bed with someone else–though intimacy is great. I just like to sleep, too, and I like things that are also just mine.

After my last engagement, it really became clear how out of sync these traditional things were with what I actually wanted and how I live my life. I kept thinking that had we not been monogamous–things with many of my exes would have ended much better–if at all. That the things things that tore us apart were not these huge unsolvable things–but actually things we were set up to do by a society that wasn’t made for us. And that I never really chose any of it. I just kept doing it because I didn’t realize there were actual choices.

So, living here has expanded that for me–what I thought was possible and what I thought I knew about myself. It took some doing to get there–another failed monogamist relationship that was particularly traumatic and gutting–and continued on up until a couple months ago–in its toxic crap ways. Because I was still sopping up all of that–I attracted more of that when I allowed more open versions of things to happen. So–I experienced more of the negative sides of the other way of being–and as I explored–many things felt wrong.

My last few relationships have run the gamut and have been uniquely challenging–to say the least. But on the other side of my last relationship (which was monogamous)–I am now back to thinking that maybe monogamy and conformity isn’t what I’m looking for at all. I never wanted marriage or children until a few years ago–and now that increasingly it doesn’t look like I’ll be having a kid of my own–I’m questioning my own beliefs more and more.

What it mostly comes down to is that I want a life built on community. While I want the freedom to choose to be independent and alone–because God, I sometimes love those things–I don’t want alone or independent based on other people’s definitions of it. Because–to me–it’s not about isolation. It’s about options and choices. What I truly want is deep connection–with literally everyone in my world. I have no patience for flimsy relationships–no matter who they’re with or the functions they serve. That is why I broke up with my ex. I want consistent, meaningful interactions based on choosing to be there–and respecting the person as just as important as I am. No obligations or unfair expectations or false idols. Just people caring about each other and showing up in ways that make sense for them. And I get annoyed by this hierarchy we have of our partners being the center of everything. Even family is somewhat toxic because it fuels this idea that we’re not all family. I want everyone to be my damn family. Can you imagine what the world would be like if we all treated each other like the people we deem most important? Of course–families can be shitty, too. I get that.

So what does that actually mean? I’m not sure. Again–I haven’t ever experienced any of this in any meaningful way. But I think I’m going to start by rejecting behaviors where my needs are disrespected. I’m going to reject men who treat me like something they own rather than a woman capable of making her own choices. I’m going to be friends with men–and I’m going to share the things about the people I care about when I do because they delight me and it makes me happy to share joy with the world. And if that makes you jealous–please move along. I’m going to spend a lot more time honoring the parts of me that need attention instead of constantly apologizing for their existence.

I’m sharing this because I know I’m not alone, and sharing any of this is how others feel less alone. It doesn’t have to make sense because some of it doesn’t make sense to me. But it’s what I know to be true for me, right now.

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