Sunday, September 18, 2016

Writing My Experience

"I love you" I spontaneously said as I hugged my counselor at the end of our session two days ago.  "I love you, too" she said, her eyes suddenly red and swelling with tears.

At least I think I heard her say this.  I do know her eyes suddenly got red and glistened.

Such is the filter of my mind, screening out incoming 'feeling' data.  But not entirely, not this time. This was the first time in 63 years and 135 days that I believed I was reading love from a woman.   Yes, this woman has a pure agenda of love, marveling at who I am, and wanting to enhance my life.  How natural it is to love back love.  How I wish my readers who comment could manifest; you are love vessels, too!

My brain was exhausted with the effort it took, during the session.  I had to continually bat away my 'knowing' and tolerate my stress of 'not knowing'  to 'experience' with my heart.  The book I'm reading, "The Brain's Way of Healing" by Norman Doidge, has convinced me that tiny, incremental decisions made through a sensory organ - in this case, my eyes fixed on hers - recruits neurons and synapses to forge new neural pathways - neuroplasticity.   No baby arrives with a mature nervous system; it requires input and loving attachment to a consistent caregiver to develop more than instinctual survival impulses.  The brain...well, it grows and develops until the day we die.   So in Somatic Experiencing Counseling, one slows down one's awareness to detect the tiniest options of choice.  Options of 'being' you didn't realize existed, because your brain is held in thrall of habit.  This is what traumatized patients have to do - create new pathways in the injured nervous system and brain.  It takes the spark person to person - love to love, but reading non-fiction sure does open my mind. 

I'm writing differently today, with only the tiniest bit of editing.  I can't tell you how many times I want to blurt out some new insight online.  Then I inhibit myself.  #1 - time doesn't allow.  #2 - It will sound too term-paper-y were I not to process my experiences to rubber hits the road experiences.  #3 - Inner experience is so individual, mine will carve my readership into an even tinier audience... approaching zero.  So I wait, until all but the last inner processing is complete, to 'make sense' in a post. 

No more.  You get what you get.  I will trust myself to write in the midst of learning, because this is where excitement lies for me.  Mistakes?  Part of learning.  Comments are welcome!

As expensive as the New York Times paper delivery is in my state, I can truthfully say it has proved to be a good parent for me, if a good parent's job is to emotionally mature their child.  This morning, two fascinating articles propel me further in my quest for emotional maturity.  One, in today's Sunday Review How Intelligence and Rationality Differ , and the second Where's the Love? in the Social Q's column. 

The first article differentiates between I.Q. -  raw intellectual horsepower, and R.Q. - which measures "the propensity for reflective thought - stepping back from your own thinking and correcting its faulty tendencies."  Unlike I.Q., R.Q. can be improved, and those with a high I.Q.  are "if anything, more prone to the conjunction fallacy."  (My I.Q. is partway up there, as I discovered with a professional I.Q. test in my 30's.  My husband had countered that my family's pegging me as the 'dimwit', was wrong. )  The problem with people like me, who work hard to figure things out, is that we trust what our minds conclude way too much.  It's like we build grand citadels inside our minds with kindling from early personal experiences, when all we had to work with was lies.

I'm learning that my heart-mind is more reliable indicator of truth than my mind-mind.  Some folks call our mind-mind our ego.  What do you call it?  I call it my constructed self, constructed of lies and half-truths.  The grand citadel is a sham!

The second article's author, the New York Times' etiquette columnist Philip Galanes, prods me in his article.  Today in his column, a father is seeking advice on how to prod his fat 9-year old daughter to get thin.  Mr. Galanes responds to his ideas  "I have hoped to find a kernel of compassion for you... I can't find the love in your question.  As a Dad, your job is to build your daughter up. Let her know she is awesome just the way she is. (There are enough creeps out there who will try to make her feel bad...)....Please get smart on this issue before you do any harm to her."  Holy jiminy.  There wasn't a non-creep IN my family growing up.  Out with the creeps!  Mr. Galanes's compassionate answer rips right through this father's self-serving self-righteousness.  At least I hope it does, and this father can take his advice to heart.

I have a theory that maybe 20% of people did not get the assurance of their family as a safe, loving, and affirmative haven.  Terrorized by insecurity, they reach for certainty, be it any dogma - liberal, conservative, hedonistic, ascetic, cynical.  My theory is that politicians who spout certainty are attractive for people unnerved by nuance and uncertainty.  Once in this dogmatic space it is really hard "stepping back from your own thinking and correcting its faulty tendencies".

Synchronicity in my life, like these New York Times articles, gives me faith that the mysterious road into my heart, and away from my 'mind', is indeed the road of sanity.  I know I now feel a reverence for life and know I am fine, just the way my heart leads.

Have a super day.
Love, Flow


  1. I'll bet it's a bitter-sweet experience for a counselor and client to come to the end of their sessions together. I'm glad you felt her love and caring.

    Isn't it amazing how long we can hang on to labels that are given to us in childhood! You ARE fine and always have been. It's just taken you awhile to believe it.

  2. I am believing it now. What a relief!!!

    You picked up on our sessions coming to an end. I edited to clarify this was the end of a particular session, but you have indeed picked up on the fact "Mission Accomplished. We have a [love] landing."

    hmm - I'd like to get used to this before cutting the cord completely. Kids in real life have years getting used to it!

  3. You are definitely fine - in fact more than "fine" - you are "fine- ally" Flo. What a gift to know how much you're loved, just as you are!

    1. "fine-ally" Flo. Yes! How touched I am by the gift of your friendship, Myra. Relaxing into life now :-)