The Terrifying Tiger in the Jungle of Your Life is You
I started listening to my self-talk. I mean, I have been listening to it my whole life, but now I’m listening to it like it’s true.
The voice in my head is a maniac. It would kill me if it could. Sometimes it tells me to walk in front of a moving car. Sometimes it tells me I should kill other people. Sometimes it tells me it would be a reasonable idea to eat just ice cream for two weeks. Sometimes it takes a perfectly good day and ruins it by telling me I’m stupid. Sometimes it takes a perfectly nice person and ruins our relationship by saying the person hates me.
If your trapezius (shoulders) and masseter (jaw) muscles are chronically (always) tight, chances are good you are chronically stressed.
Lalala, what a great day. What a nice, blue sky. I love my shoes. OH WAIT!! SOMETHING TERRIBLE IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN!! I CAN FEEL IT JUST AS SOMEONE FEELS THE WIND IN THEIR HAIR!! I AM IN SO MUCH TROUBLE!!!!! There go the shoulders. There goes the jaw. Get ready for battle. It’s another day on the planet of you.
One reason I’m a massage therapist is because my own body cries out so loudly for touch. My body knows touch works miracles. Many of my clients talk to me while I work on them, for while touch is important, just as we carry muscular tension, we carry word tension, and we need often to find release for the stories we carry.
I think adopted people in particular have strong secondary voices, voices that may seem primary. Voices that act as lenses through which we see the world: lenses that let us see rejection, abandonment, failure, danger, grief, in the petals of a flower. Show me something beautiful and I can change it into a threat in less time than it takes you to clear your throat.
Have me fall in love and I can make the situation a mine field in even less time. Danger, danger, danger. Where there is beauty, where there is love, where there is joy, there is also fear and death and isolation if the voice in your head decides to tell you it will never work out or it will go away or you are not worthy. The voice in your head can make winning the lottery a tiger in the woods that is going to come out when you least expect it and destroy you.
This is all to say that you have your heart that beats, and the sound it makes is steady and true, and then you have this maniac in your head who wants you to believe the sky is about to fall. What I want to tell you is, I am listening to you in a new way, you silly maniac, and you are finally starting to bore me.
Not drinking coffee has helped this process. Putting a substance into my body that sets off all the adrenaline alarms is not the best way to silence the maniac. When I feed my body caffeine or sugar, when I don’t exercise my body or give it enough rest, the maniac has a field day. The maniac gets to drive with both hands on the wheel and both feet on the gas pedal.
About fifteen years ago my daughter and her friend dug a ditch when we were at the beach, and I lay in it, covered myself with a towel, and fell asleep to the sound of the waves. I knew my mother was behind me, watching the children, and I felt safe, warm, protected.
I was completely relaxed.
I want that feeling again.