I’ve started my own show.
It’s a long story (if you’re interested in it, for the meantime you can read about it here), but until next week, the short version is, I’ve begun using Periscope, and I aired my first episode of the #STROKESCOPE last night. If you missed it, here’s the replay:
The reason why I’ve created a whole new Twitter account (@strokeduplife) for Periscope is because this is a great way to serve you in a “live” format, where you — the survivor/thriver, the loved one of a stroke survivor, the friend, significant other, caregiver — can directly comment and partake in the discussion in realtime and access me as though we were grabbing tea together on a Thursday afternoon.
You’ll see in this first episode that Anthony (my boyfriend) asks a question that is actually the reason why I started Forgiveness Fridays. He asks me to share the story behind the forgiveness practice I had to go through last year in May.
I had gone to a healing circle event at my kundalini yoga studio, Sat Nam Yoga, where I met Robert, a craniosacral healer. I explained that I felt like I might have been subconsciously holding a grudge against my brain for holding the AVM that caused the stroke, and that I wanted to let go of that resentment. He told me to answer — without thinking, “Do you believe your body betrayed you?”
Instantly, my answer was yes.
So he helped me work on that story I’d been carrying around like a sandbag for over a decade. Resentment, frustration, anger that my body would not do what I wanted her to do — that she would create this unnecessary burden onto me, make my physical presence in this life so inconvenient, so heavy. I would have to worry in every future relationship (whether romantic or not, but especially in the case of romantic love) that I wouldn’t be a drag. Worry that anyone I met might judge me or see me as weak or weird or different, as “the other” — and because this was an injury of profound proportions, this would have to be my reality for my foreseeable future.
It had been over 10 years and I still typed with one (super)hand. I still wasn’t wearing the shoes I wanted to wear, and physical activities were still embarrassing to an extent (yep, still drooling even to this day). I had to present myself in a limited capacity I couldn’t just turn off at will. My body was unrelentingly weakened. How dare she betray me like this.
As he worked through releasing this anger, I felt myself letting go.
In that experience with Robert, he allowed me to again love the part of me that was hardest to love. Rather than antagonize it in an energetic undercurrent for the rest of eternity, I was able to look at my body again, affected side especially, and let the resentment fade away.
I returned to a place where I truly felt light again — to the truth that my body had always been doing the best it could. That if it didn’t “measure up,” it wasn’t for lack of trying. My body had been faithful, and I hadn’t. My body always tried its darnedest to do what I told it to do. It was a miracle. Everything it did for me, whether consciously or not, was nothing short of magnificent!
It was only because she was injured that she fell short of my expectations. I’d tried to whip her back to shape with harsh commands and hateful judgments, but what she needed from me was compassion and understanding.
When I finally let go of the burden of resentment, I was able to treat not only my body, but myself, with far more softness, with tenderness, that finally allowed me to move forward.
|Feeling great in my body this summer at Lake Geneva 🙂|
Robert also left me with an important exercise: He suggested I go home and for the next 21 days, say aloud, “I forgive, love, and accept my body, my tissues, and my limbs.” I decided, for effect, to do so on my knees with my forehead on the floor, so the adoration would feel more genuine and would anchor the words into my body and mind.
The thing is, even if we think we are simply pushing ourselves harder and that this is the energy we need to come from to get through what’s challenging, beating ourselves down only sabotages our success — whether that’s in our diet, exercise, or therapy. It’s like trying to get a spiritual bypass and ignoring the fact that what gets us through it is support . . . and support begins inside. I am my own best advocate, and you, yours.
Honestly, I’d felt such tremendous healing from that one session with him that I felt pretty complete even after maybe three days of his homework assignment. But it’s a great practice, and I have restarted it this morning.
Have you ever felt a deep undercurrent of resentment and anger towards your body? What might it feel like to release that?
Please share your thoughts in the comments, and follow @strokeduplife so you can tune into future daily episodes of #STROKESCOPE.