The 5 Minute Therapy

I am an emotional human being which has led to some conflict in my life. In my 37.9 years of living, I am only now harnessing those wild emotions in order to be proud of my reactions, thus no shame needing to be felt in order to learn from the present experience. I have become strong in will power and have reaped rewards in my personal and professional world by learning how to actively listen and validate every person I come in contact with. Conflict has always created duress and anxiety, and to be able to avoid conflict, I had to know the reason and signs behind the acting trauma.

What I have learned is complicated and simple in the formula of mediation. There are two variables that lead to conflict, Physical Pain and Psychological Pain stemming from fear.  When presented in anger and directed at me, I cannot help but feel punished and ashamed, until I realize I am practicing narcissism. This problem is not about me taking a lashing, it is about the other person needing empathy and validation for their life and they are presenting in fear which equals Defensive Actions.

Fear+Pain=Defensive Actions stemmed from our neurological process starting at the pituitary gland and sending the code to the brain that we are now in survival mode. When the variable of fear is defined as perceived reality, the body physically reacts. We decide when we need defense, and this spectrum is wide yet personalized for each individual. That is a lot of variables, we are truly unique.

In the process of learning about fear and pain and defense, I got to practice what I have been researching and the strangest pattern emerged.

I go to work for 72 straight hours. I walk to decrease stress, I do yoga, I meditate and the client and I are similar in needing alone time to recharge, so we practice alone together time in quiet. For those 72 hours, I do not cry. I am her advocate, I am her strength and her validation, and these moments are not about me and the people I grieve for. This is her time, and I uphold that time for her. When I get home on Wednesday morning, everyone is at work or school and doing their schedule. This is the first moment when I am completely alone to sit with myself and check in.

I meditate, closing my eyes and not feeling particularly sad, just tired. The guided meditation voice, with soft sounds of life, plays through my phone while I lay in bed in rumination and with hopes of clearing my thoughts for healthy head space. I need to be clean when my family arrives home in order to be a good partner and mother.

About 5 minutes into the meditation, I began to feel a pain in my “woman ball”.  I have no clue to why I call it a woman ball, but it is defined as the location of the solar plexus that stores all the sadness and anxiety. Tori Amos has a song lyric that I perceived to say “I’ve gotta woman ball in my stomach” and I always envisioned this woman ball as a woman, curled up into a ball at the solar plexus, losing her courage in life through fear and pain. This pain is physical, it feels like knots and hard muscle that forgot its place as being central.  I wobble, I falter, my woman ball appears in my stomach. I massage the spot with my fingers and tears come to my eyes, and I feel a shudder of sadness.

I think of my mom. I love you mom. I will never know you mom. I hope you love yourself mom. I miss you mom. I wish you loved me mom. I wish you could be proud of me for my accomplishments. I wish I could hug you. I wish I could take your pain away. I wish I had an answer. My self-doubt streams outs of my stomach and I hold my sides and cry, and touch my midsection like a little kid with a belly ache, soothing and validating my pain. My mother’s face leaves my mind, and in her place I see my kids faces.

I wish I had been a great mom. I wish I had hung on every word. I wish I had never been so selfish in my sadness. I wish I had better solutions like I have after I educated myself. I wish I could hold you still, in my arms, smell your little scent, hear you breathing and smell the angel’s breath. I wish time had slowed down and I had caught up sooner.  Do you know I love you? Do you know I am proud of you? Do you know I worry peer pressure will make you broken and I won’t have any solutions? Do you know how intelligent and beautiful you are? Do you know I think the world of you and you are my favorite people? I fear someone hurting you. I fear someone taking you away from me, I fear you being abused, I feel the shame you feel. I love you. Can you hear me?

By this point, I am 3 minutes into my cry and my body is racking and I am sobbing and hating myself while trying to love myself. I am ugly crying, loudly, and my neighbors must think I am mentally unstable.

I think of my friends and my husband next, and I cannot find the same sadness. My relation is joy and happiness. I think of what we all go through, and how we all relate to one another through research and awareness. I think of our timing and our paths, not intersecting but running parallel. I sniffle. Grab my tissue. My time is almost up. I have support and love, and I want to present my best self, my true self, to these chosen people. I no longer live in solid depression, I validate my pain and fear through 5 minutes of crying and then I move on.

5 minutes is not a lot of time, but the pain released within that short time frame is pure freedom to my soul. The woman ball in my stomach has been replaced with the soul of a woman filling each corner of my body. My woman stands tall, puts her chin up and declares: I love myself presently, right now, in this moment. No one can take this feeling away from me or tell me who I am. I know me, and I do right. That is all the control I need.

Together, we cried. United we stand. Thank you, Crowing Lovers. I appreciate you.

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