I went to the mountains and surrounded myself with women. Strange for me, I know. But it was actually a good thing. I've been thinking about my hip and shoulder issues over the last couple of days and I can't remember if my therapist attributed the right-side issues with my lack of femininity or with my over-usual masculinity. But the thing that got me was the amount of hip opening I had, not necessarily from sharing (because we all know that I'm willing to write more than talk), but just from being around and listening to the stories of those who were willing to share. I admit, the heart center has pretty much been shut down and humiliated into quiet submission – again – and if I think back, that's about when the hip and shoulder really started to act up. Like an internal struggle to force me into opening back up and letting all the emotion and energy that I used to have pour out. In a manner of speaking, I guess that need to round kick and undercut/haymaker someone was directed at myself.
One of the activities we did was a trust exercise (at least, that was my interpretation of it). We had to walk around the room shoulder to shoulder with our focus first on ourselves, then on our partner, then split between the two of us (total of 6 times). My partner and I had a somewhat rough start, but by the end we were walking about like we were strolling in the park. One of my takeaways was that yes, I can be selfish (as the first round was focused on ourselves). I hesitate to do that because I've known too many selfish people. But the reminder with focusing on someone else, is that it can be done in moderation. I've known I've needed to put a focus on taking care of myself, as in a manner of speaking, I am a caretaker. I've spent the last couple of years with this huge, not glorious burden from the business. I'm also still coming down from this expectation of who and what I am supposed to be, how I present myself, and what attention I'm supposed to give to others and when. It's a mess. Some real, some imagined, but all true to my experience.
This was also the first time I realized that I need to stick my hand out. I've always lurked in the shadows. I've been happy with that. But at the same time, I do want to spend more time with my friends and meet other people. Going back to the expectation above, I've always waited for them to have time for me, instead of asking for their time. Yes, I will always make time for my friends, if they ask – and they know I will. But I need to ask them for time, too. And, for better or worse, I've also failed in getting past one remainder of the dark years – I'm not stupid, I'm not an idiot. The wisdom in my head is not what most people want to discuss, but there I felt completely at home. Still hesitant to crack open my skull and let this stuff come out, but the first blow has been dealt and at some point I will feel comfortable in sharing it. And I have to, because if one has wisdom, it is their duty to share it with those who wish to learn from it. If I don't, I have failed one of the tenants of my spirituality, though, I just think that my problem has been the how. My experiences and what is up there has worth, contrary to what some have successfully convinced me of thinking.
One more step.