There’s a hole in my heart, lately. A grief so terrible and heavy that it sits in the center of my chest like a dark secret. I told the acupuncturist, and she worked on clearing blocked energy channels. She put a needle in my left hand that felt very strong. Not exactly painful, although it did hurt going in (and they usually don’t, not really), but there was an intermittent strong sensation. The right side of my body felt disproportionately heavy as I lay on the table. Yet suddenly my heart didn’t hurt, and it had been full of sludge all morning.
Whatever energy was unblocked, it’s uncomfortable now. I spoke my mind on a few occasions yesterday, when I would normally hold my tongue. It was not premeditated, and my words, while utterly true to my feelings, took me by surprise. Now it seems I have some explaining to do, and perhaps an apology as well. Still, at least my heart doesn’t hurt. And I had a good sob on the kitchen floor, which was exactly what I needed. Daughter and dog to comfort me.
The heaviness in my chest has been there for sometime. I went to the doctor, the nurse practitioner actually, and she offered me some kind of medication trial for acid reflux. I quickly realized that I was in the wrong place. The feeling is noticeably absent when we are on vacation. Practicing yoga regularly gets the energy moving throughout the body, but then it gets stuck and I have to see and experience clearly how blocked I am. And how painful that is. The impulse is to run faster and faster to escape. I call it spinning. But it comes back, so I am learning to sit with it and look at it. Miranda said something that helped, even though it was on a different topic, or was it? She was talking about doubt and anxiety in the creative practice, that you could invite the inner critic to sit over here and have a cup of tea while you get your creative work done. I tried that with this hole in my heart. Come sit over here and keep me company while I clean the kitchen. And so I get to know the dark and terrible grief. Perhaps slowly it will dissolve, I don’t know.
My acupuncturist told me yesterday that the Chinese character for conflict equals opportunity. That every crisis is a gift. Opportunity, gift. This is what this family crisis affords me? It’s not feeling that way quite yet, but I see the wisdom of it, or rather I see the corner of the wisdom weaving, a scrap of color, a glittering thread. I will keep sight of that thread. Walking in the woods yesterday my mind kept returning to the problems and I had to keep reminding myself that none of this was real. None of these people were actually here, they were in my head. What was here was the river and the trees, the two dogs sniffing out scents, inhaling now. So I kept coming back to the here and now. And suddenly I had the clear realization that when you are surrounded by darkness, you can light a candle. You can be the candle showing the way. You don’t follow the person into the swamp, you just light a candle so that they can find their way out. The rest is up to them.