"Deep unspeakable suffering
may well be called a baptism,
into a new state."
- George Eliot
I had my second session of Rolfing yesterday. It takes a total of 10 to realign the body and open it up to thorough healing.
If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
Rolfing involves deep tissue manipulation, very deep. The fibers of the fascia are separated so that effective movement patterns can develop. Breaking up the fibers in the fascia is an interactive process. The Rolfer gets in there with their fingers and other parts of their hands and really breaks up the stuck tissue. While that is happening the patient has to move as instructed to allow the deepest manipulation possible.
The movements make the process hurt more. In order to get the most benefit the patient has to move into the pain.
My Rolfer explained that Ida Rolf, the founder of the modality, said that the more it hurts the more benefit one gets.
Hey, I'm no stranger to pain. I have endured so much of it (click here for one shining example) and have always come out the other end with more confidence in myself. I survived several hardcore sessions of Tuina from an 8th Dan Kung Fu master and benefited greatly. When my Qi healer told me I needed Rolfing to break up the adhesions in my upper back's fascia I didn't waste a minute finding a Rolfer. I had heard it was kinda painful but I figured it I could endure Tuina I could endure anything.
As the Rolfer was working on my feet yesterday (I have pronated feet so you can imagine it burned like hell to receive the work) I spaced out for a bit. Daydreaming seemed like a good way to make it more endurable. The Rolfer noticed.
Even though I was moving as he prescribed he could feel me "leaving". He asked me to come back. He explained that Rolfing is "embodiment" work meaning one will benefit most if one is present. One has to put their consciousness into their body. He said that if I work with him to make it hurt more I'll benefit more. I took a deep breath and did as I was told. I participated in the pain.
How do I handle it? I breathe deeply. I imagine I'm pushing out the old pains so that the new healing can take place. I imagine it and at the same time it's true about the situation, but just because it's true doesn't mean the situation can just run on cruise control. It won't work as well if I just let it happen. I have to own what's going on. I have to own my won body. I have to really be intimate with the pain in order to heal. I have to participate.
It's hard on a physical level and an emotional level. I have to muster up great love and care for my body. That's not easy for me.
The Rolfer's office is brightly lit. He has a large full length mirror in front of which I am made to stand and look at myself at the beginning of each session and during the mid point when I have to get up and walk. I am filled with shame and dread when I look at myself. All the years of gaining and losing weight and all the years of emotional suffering are etched into my body. There are stretch marks, scars, and very loose flesh that will need to be surgically removed (when I make that dream come true). I struggle to just look at myself let alone love what I see. Yet, I know that owning and loving myself is exactly what has to happen for this healing to work.
The Rolfer is a sensitive gentleman. He is very encouraging. He encourages me as we go. He tells me what a good job I'm doing. He acknowledges the intensity of the experience and what it takes to withstand it. His encouragement helps me to push on. Knowing that someone appreciates my hard work makes me want to work harder.
My two BFFs are very good to me as well. When they see my Tweets, Facebook statuses, and blogs they'll comment back and text me with praise and appreciation. They know what I put myself through. They know how hard it is to tough it out rather than quit. Giving in to the weakness is always a temptation. I don't give in. They see how hard I work. They give me love and acknowledgment when I have trouble giving it to myself.
This business of getting well is not easy.
I've been blogging about it for 6 years now.
For six years I've been fighting like a f*cking Viking. I've made so many mistakes and missteps but every one of them has moved me forward to the next thing, the next lesson, the next practice.
Am I crying right now? Of course I am. For all the love and encouragement I get, for all the kind words and support, I am still doing this alone. Only I can do the inner work that will get me to the next place I need to be. Only I can experience my own pain. Only I can feel what I feel. Self love has to come from the self. I feel so broken hearted. It's so hard to love me with this broken heart.
I'm always fighting the why-bother demon.
I'm constantly battling the voice that says
"It's too hard.
Just give up.
You'll never be well.
You'll die in your broken body.
You're too old to be strong.
Just accept that you broke yourself
and you'll never be fixed.
And by the way you look really stupid doing all this.
You're fat. old, and foolish.
Who do you think you are anyway?"
The word "Satan"means opponent according to my old mentor/professor.
I fight this opponent every day multiple times per day.
It takes so much strength to tell myself that I'm worth taking care of. It's easier to endure the physical pain than to believe that I'm worth the effort. The opponent is crafty.
That's where I have to be VERY CAREFUL that I don't take the pain of recovery as punishment. It's always a temptation to think that I deserve to suffer for "letting myself" get into the physical situation I'm in now. The temptation to place blame on myself is strong. I need to constantly remind myself that the pain is not what I "deserve" but rather what I choose as part of my recovery. I must believe that I don't deserve to suffer.
This getting well stuff is tough.
I hope I can be a blessing to others because of it.
I'm struggling hard to be a blessing to myself.
*Lisa's Video Pick of the Day*
My lovely friend Mary tells me to recite the Prayer of St Michael the archangel several times a day.
Defend me against Satan, St Michael.
I am a flawed and fragile human. I need the help.
click here or click below