"In a futile attempt to erase our past, we deprive the community of our healing gift. If we conceal our wounds out of fear and shame, our inner darkness can neither be illuminated nor become a light for others.”- Brennan Manning
I want to be known as a brutally soft, vulnerable woman. That Brennan Manning quote never ceases to inspire me to another level of transparency. We need each other’s truth and hurt and triumph so desperately. In a world where we try and keep our best Instagram face on at all times, I want to live raw.
Intuition is a funny thing isn’t it? Some call it gut, some a sense, some even a spiritual influence (like the Holy Spirit’s guiding). Whatever it is, it’s a strong leading force if you let it speak…. or if you don’t let it speak.
Last year, I was in a relationship that took me to the brink of utter emotional and physical destruction. In the midst of it all, I completely turned my intuition off. I remember lying in bed one night and my body was screaming at me, "Run. Run. Run!" And I ignored it.
Again, the next night, louder: Run. Run. Run!
And the next night.
And the next.
And you know what? The more I ignored it, the quieter it got, until finally it stopped altogether. I was relieved. But I knew a death had happened. It wasn’t until months later that I felt the tragedy of that death.
I’ve heard psychologists talk about listening to your body. How your body holds trauma that your mind, many times, can’t even process. People won’t remember certain things, but if you watch their bodies, their bodies remember. Our bodies are a lot smarter than we give them credit for. During this relationship, I stopped listening to my body, even though, looking back, it was screaming at me. I would get extreme panic attacks, just shake violently for no reason, constant diarrhea, migraines, and nausea. I talked myself out of it, shoving it deeper into myself – betraying my own gut, over and over and over again, in a futile attempt at compatibility with a man.
I used to think of myself as a highly intuitive person. I just ‘knew’ things. I was in tune with my body and with the spirit world. I was ‘prophetic’, if you will. I felt things to my core and listened to them, acted on them, believed them. Until…. until this relationship. Until I chose a man over myself.
Month after month after month, I couldn’t stand what my body was screaming at me. What my mind and spirit and soul were crying out. I logically talked myself out of it. I ignored it. I betrayed myself.
Over and over and over again.
Coming out of that relationship and during the healing process, one of the most painful realizations was the degree to which I had betrayed my own heart and soul and body.
It has been a very tender and vulnerable journey back to myself. Gently trying to gain my own body's trust back. For months it felt like my intuition and gut knowledge were just dead. I wondered if I would ever be fully whole again in that place, after rejecting it and turning it off so brutally. I have literally had to, for months, speak to my own soul and say, “I’m so sorry Carly; I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you. Please forgive me. I will trust you again. I will listen. You are safe to speak to me again. You are safe to protect me and guide me. You are safe to feel things.” It sounds insane but if you’ve ever lived in a world of intuition and gut knowledge and conversing with the Holy Spirit you’ll know the tenderness of that place. And many times, when that place is damaged, we are the ones who held the hammer.
I held the hammer, and then I had to hold the glue. Both the devastator and the healer, in my own body – in my own soul.
I left my heart behind in the ruthless search for love and compromise. I silenced a part of myself I never want silenced again. It’s funny how you can destroy yourself so quickly; the process is almost instantaneous…yet piecing yourself back together is a painstakingly long process. But building trust is never easy. And always worth the time invested into it – even with yourself (or should I say, especially with yourself).
Its been a journey of trusting my gut again when it does speak out, and I can feel myself almost wince as I feel the still-broken connection of heart and soul and body. My nerves go haywire and I’m not sure I trust the intuition; I’m not sure I trust what my body is telling me in certain things. But I keep pressing in, I keep saying, “Okay, I trust you. I trust you. I trust you. I’m listening. I’m listening. I’m listening.”
It sounds so strange to need to rebuild trust with yourself. It sounds weird to be disconnected from different parts of your own body and brain. But it happens. We all need to be integrated back to the parts of ourselves that we’ve somehow left behind in the pain, left behind in the heartbreak and trauma and horrors that life inflicts.
There’s a quote that talks about how we’re all walking each other home. But sometimes it just feels like we’re walking ourselves home. And when ‘home’ comes, I pray I walk a fully integrated, fully accepted, fully loved version of myself home. No parts ignored or betrayed. No parts rejected or despised. All there, in one body, one soul, one spirit – alive to do the things each specific part was designed to do.
If none of this makes any sense to you, it’s okay. But if it does, if something resonates and rings true, listen to that. Stop and listen to your heart for a minute, listen to how your body is.
Are your nerves tight?
Does your stomach ache?
Does your head feel fuzzy?
Your body is constantly speaking to you. Warning you and trying to protect you. Listen to it. And if you, like me, have turned a deaf ear to it, perhaps it’s time to seek forgiveness from your own self. Gently saying, gently pleading, “Forgive me. I will listen better. I will not betray your quiet whisperings anymore. I want to come home to myself.”