It started with the breath. Every emotion and thought that buzzed around like atoms would cut the breath off. As the breath became shallow, tension grew. Emotional tension, intense thinking, but most of all tension in the body.
Raised shoulders, clenching in the stomach, slouching that caused the back to hurt, a tightly clenched jaw, and the breath fought for its place in the body.
Then the emotions ran wild, like animals released from a cage, the emotions took off in every direction. They were untamable. They were untrainable and they walked all over me. As the body tightened further, and the emotions ran wild, the mind was riding its own roller coaster.
“Where do I belong in all of this?” The mind asked, “Who really wants to connect with me? Is there such thing as a deep connection or will it always be surface level?” The mind never stopped asking questions and trying to put everything together into one neat, and complete puzzle. The mind was always disappointed at how quickly the uncompleted puzzle would collapse.
“So everyone looks like they know what they are doing in life and if they don’t know what they are doing then they are doing a really good job at hiding it.” The mind says, “Everyone knows when I’m upset, or sad. They never seem to know why, but clearly it doesn’t matter because it’s not about how I feel. It’s about doing work. So FINE I’ll do work! I wish I wasn’t such a mess. I want to feel connected. Why can’t I fit in? Mom says that Grandpa said, ‘Don’t force parts’. I think that’s cool, but I don’t know how else to make it work the way I want to unless I force it. This puzzle needs to come together or I’m going to break. I need to fit! If I don’t fit in then I’m nothing. If I’m not a stellar academic then I should not be in school because I’m too stupid to be in school. Creative expression only seems to be one small part of my overall report card, and the report card seems to be how I’m defined by everyone. If I don’t get excellent grades adding up to a high GPA then it appears I will not be who I’m expected to be. I’ll amount to nothing. I need to be somebody.”
The mind, body, and emotions tried to make everything work as individuals. Soon an intense and internal war broke out. Small remarks from siblings, critiques from teachers, and every strangers glance became weapons in my arsenal. I’d pull one out, and another, and a few more. Each weapon would point out “See this is why you suck! This is why you will never be enough. This is why you can’t…you won’t…you aren’t. This is why you shouldn’t even try. Don’t try! Just give up!” Finally the mind would cry in anxiety, “I wish I was a different person” This was its deepest plea.
Tears would run like waterfalls. Rage would fill the whole room like a volcano causing things to get thrown across the room, and possibly break.
The breath fought for its life and the body lost its appetite.
The battleground now completely torn apart and scourged. The mind, heart, and body sit in their respective corners looking at each other, feeling battered, exhausted, and at a loss for what they need to do to work together without fear.
“Now what?” The mind questions, “I feel like Inigo Montoya. I dedicated myself to trying to fit in. Now that it’s over I don’t know what to do with the rest of my life.”
The heart croaks, “I don’t know…but whatever we do…please don’t make me cry anymore. I’m SO TIRED!! I can’t hate anymore. I can’t destruct anymore. Nothing feels good. I want to feel good! Fitting in, sure, but is that as important as feeling good? I forgot what joy feels like. I don’t remember going through life without some kind of weapon in my hand. I feel as though I have died, and come back to Earth multiple times, and each time I get weaker. Self-destruction, heartache, and loathing weaken me. I need someone else to take the reins…revive us, please.”
“Glad to have your input.” The body says, “All I’ve ever tried to do is survive. Mind, heart, you guys have made it so hard to even just survive. I’ve been wondering when you both were going to shut up and listen to me for just a moment. There is nothing wrong with me, nor has there ever been anything wrong with me and that’s a freaking FACT! All I need is for everyone to put down their weapons. I need water, and food, and a shower. Then, heart, you can be a free as you are beautiful. Do your creative work and express. Nothing is stopping you. Mind, if you let us do that you will see we are okay. You’re not stupid. You function just fine. You’ve been overworking yourself. There’s no need for that. We can work together if I get food, water, and sleep. There’s really no room for fear in any of that. In fact, if I get what I need, then heart can get what she needs, and you, mind, can get a break. Breathe. Mind take a breath. Heart take a breath. It’s time to practice surviving and once we do that (AS A TEAM) then we can thrive together!”
It’s quiet for a moment. For the first time in years the heart discovers her breath. Mind tries to breathe and allows her breath to permeate. The body starts to let go of bottled tension with every deep breath.
“Go together.” Soul whispers from under the rubble, “Go gently together. Stand up together. Take one step together. Breathe. Breathe. Breathe. Love you, love them, love Me…and thank you in advance. Once again, take it easy. Go gently together.”