Too much Game of Thrones and not enough cartoons.
When I describe the arrow to a therapist I see for EMDR (Eye Motioning Desensitization and Reprocessing), his eyes roll unconsciously. Dr. Ben and I have an honest and supportive relationship, one where I’m honest and he tries not to let me know that I’m the weirdest patient he’s ever known. He’s not always successful.
We’ve been working together on a long-term project. I came in with PTSD (Post-Traumatic-Stress-
Pain isn’t easy for me to remember. There are events that I know happened, but they don’t give a “zing” response. I see them as having occurred in a vacuum. In fact, when I think of them I hear the white noise drone of a machine operating. I am convinced that to heal I must feel or remember feeling the pain that I experienced. With this type of therapy that wouldn’t be the objective. EMDR is about taking what isn’t working in a life and reshaping how someone thinks about the why that something isn’t working. In relation to the pain I have a belief that if a tribe member must suffer evisceration, I would be the best candidate to take that on. As I discuss this with Dr. Ben he is attempting to hide his horror as he comments.
“Yeah. Like Mel Gibson in Braveheart.”
“Why do you think you would be the ‘right’ person to be eviscerated?”
As usual when Dr. Ben repeats my words I see the outrageous nature of what they convey.
“Not necessarily ‘right’ but ‘better suited’.”
Even that sounds like something no one should ever say out loud. I keep going to try to bring clarity.
“Look. We both know that I’ve had my share of pain. I know I’m not the only person who has ever experienced pain. But at this point, I see that in some ways being able to handle pain is a mad skill. It didn’t break me and I don’t see it ever breaking me in the future. So if someone is going to be eviscerated, why not have it be a person who could handle it?”
“How about no one gets eviscerated.”
When I laugh it again highlights how weird I am. When the session ends I’ve remembered a few more occurrences when the vacuum noise is primary and whatever pain that I experienced is non-existent. At home, I remember something else the medium said in regards to the arrow in my heart
“When people come to see you for bodywork, you help them heal. Do for yourself what you do for your clients.”
This isn’t an original concept to me. When I have experienced a muscle cramp or had difficulty with lung congestion, I use the techniques I learned from excellent teachers on my body. The same facial and energetic pulls that I feel on clients I can feel on myself. A decade ago I first learned about my “broken heart chakra” from an aura reader and yet I never thought to use the tools in my toolbox to heal my heart. I set to do what I’ve never done.
Both hands over my heart I sit and wait until the tissue shows me what it knows. The intrinsic motion of a heart (apart from the rhythmic beat), is a diagonal motion from the midline to the left lower quadrant of the ribcage. It is generally a slow, methodical and repetitive track that is easily followed. Mine presents instead laterally, left to right, with no downward motion. I wait for it to change. After five minutes there is a gradual shift to the desired motion, another five and my heart is moving normally.
Wow. That was easy-peasy.
Figuring that there is most definitely an energetic element to the arrow in my heart, I meditate on filling the hole an arrow would create with light and love. As a mostly rational person for most of my life, I tend to smirk when doing things that would make most rational people smirk or freak. Dusting off my hands I let the matter go.
At the next Dr. Ben session I have an interesting reaction to an old event. The vacuum sound disappears and I feel a swish of a vibration that rides from my belly and up my spine, a snake slithering from the past. It isn’t a new sensation. If I were to think of a time that I badly stubbed my toe or smacked my elbow, this same feeling would arrive spontaneously. Dr. Ben and I aren’t sure what it means and the appointment ends.
A day later my left shoulder girdle front to back is in pain. It begins as an “Oh I must’ve slept wrong” quickly escalating to “A buffalo tunneled in with the arrow and has now come out the other side.” Bending down causes a swift intake of breath as pain echoes throughout the area. I wear ice as an accessory for most of three days. Throughout that time more memories come up with a slither of snakes. After a conversation about pain and how releasing it doesn’t carry what would be the expected reward, but instead the betterment of a human life and subsequently the lives of all people; the pain fades like a wave tucking back into the ocean.
What I thought I needed had happened but not as anyone would’ve expected. Most people would imagine that to access pain that has never been witnessed means feeling it as it happened in the moment that it happened. Shocking, excruciating, and filled with tears and horror, like when Mel Gibson’s intestines were slowly wrenched from his body in Braveheart. But that isn’t how our bodies or our minds work. We’re not a replay of a movie.
We heal from the inside out.
Over the decades, while I’ve been engaged in other aspects of healing, my heart has been solidifying around old wounds. Scar tissue formed as a protective measure to keep me upright. The arrow marked the spot, as a divining rod to where I would need to place my hands. The stages I went through were,
See things as they were.
Breathe life into them so they become real.
Go to the source where hurt rests.
And finally, at long last, heal.