Things I Learned in Summer Camp
I recently returned from a 10 day retreat. It was great. I wanted to capture some of my realizations before I lose them. So parking them here. This is mostly internal stuff but do feel free to comment if you like.
In no particular order:
I still don't think I'm particularly empathic but I realize that I feel things very, very deeply. I'm still learning to truly feel what I am feeling and not ignore it, hide from it, stuff it down, etc. I learned to do this mostly from my mother. This is not to find fault. Mom also feels everything very deeply and I am coming to realize she did not have the safe places she needed to deal with those feelings. My grandmother (my mom's mom) who I adored and who loved me also was not great at feeling emotions. She had a difficult life that made that dangerous to her. So both of them locked up feelings and inadvertently taught me to do similar. This is not my mom's fault; she did the best she could with the tools she had. I always felt well and deeply loved by my mother (and my father too!). But they just didn't have the tools to handle emotions that I wish they had. I'm continuing to learn now how to be more emotionally open, to feel what I'm feeling whatever that is. I also feel overwhelmed when I feel things like I will be swamped and lose control. Trying to learn to just not be in control over my feelings. This is really friggin' hard for me!
I got an interesting tarot card reading from an elder while at camp. The gist of it is that something I am doing, old habits of behavior and thought, are killing me. Perhaps literally. I think this is probably my inability to take care of myself physically. I eat a poor diet, struggle to exercise and generally fail at this. My dear friend when I described the reading thought it might be my job situation. That's a possibility but that has improved lately so I'm thinking not.
The reading also said that emotions are not the source of my resolving this. Which is actually rather reassuring to me as I figured I had some sort of emotional block that I needed to work out. But that may not be the case. Might be a 'just do it' thing. I also got the sense from the reading that going out and actively seeking resolution might not be the best thing to do. This is counter to my ideal of myself as someone who figures out what she wants and goes and makes it happen. Tarot cards aren't definitive, of course. I think they roughly reflect back through archetypes and myth the mental/emotional state of a person at a given time. I find them suggestive and helpful as a way to sort out what I am 'really' thinking or feeling.
I would really like to get to know my mother better. And I think she would benefit from some of the tools I've been exposed to but I have no idea how to introduce this to her. She's not 'woo-woo' at all.