(This article was written several years ago, for my previous website, as are several others I will re-publish here due to good timing for one individual (or more?) to include in ponderings.)
It happened in the middle of the night when darkness disables distractions.
She woke up with a sensation of falling, down through the bed, through the room, through the planet. It lasted only for a moment and the drowsy consciousness attributed it to a dream and withdrew back to sleep.
In the morning it felt as if standing on a boat, the mind decided it is due to low air and blood pressure.
During the day the boat grew smaller and the water underneath deeper and choppier. Being in horizontal position meant repeated sensation (that lasted for a few seconds each time she would move her head) of having her eyes and entire content of her head floating left and right and up and down at the same time.
And the sense of wonder – “How can my body do that?” followed by a mindful one: “Why is my body doing that?”
The GP diagnosed labyrinthitis even though she didn’t have all the regular symptoms of it. She was given a medication that was to stop dizziness if she couldn’t handle it and she was told she can only wait for the symptoms to subside.
As she believed every physical discomfort bears a message she decided to investigate.
The dizziness was scary. It is about losing balance.
Literally and metaphorically.
It isn’t only from the aspect of losing control that the fear can creep in, not only the unknown can wake up the archetypal fight-flight or freeze mechanism. It’s not only: what could this lead into, yet also: What have I done wrong?
The feeling of guilt is embedded quite early, it is learned, together with the feeling of shame, pride (and prejudice), discernment of winner-loser character, knowing how to be a good member of a family, this or that society or a religion.
All that learned knowledge is a part of the structure, differently managed in different societies and cultures in order to keep the social structure within agreed limits and frames of the rules the community had set with best intentions.
I believe we are born with knowing right from wrong, our gut feeling is a given. Everything else, the rules and laws of the community, we are taught and those teachings become guideposts with our minds controlling the matter of our behaviour so it fits within the frame.
That often works very well until there are more frames to satisfy and often with opposing guidelines.
This brings us to conflicting beliefs (those programmes embedded in subconscious that actually run our own structures). For instance, if one frame says the member has to live humbly and the member interprets that as in “having less possessions” and the other frame, the same person belongs to, implies within its rules that you as the member won’t survive unless certain amounts of money is earned every month and unless you are living in such and such neighbourhood, have this and that degree from a specific University etc. etc.
Now, one (of many) challenges for this person may be he or she has all the potential to earn well monthly, yet her (interpreted) belief on humbleness will cause resistance and he or she will subconsciously sabotage every opportunity. One frame will be satisfied. The other will not be satisfied.
Can you predict one possibility of a storm coming?
In life, some of us may become so obsessed with “fitting in” so much that we become people pleasers, desperately seeking approval, significance and…yes, love. In that process we often completely neglect the gut (and it leaks of not being used - the leaking gut syndrome rings the bell).
We feed the mind with more and more information on the “how” and eventually we wake up (pun intended) feeling dizzy with all the different flows of streams, rivers and oceans of structures, musts, do’s, don’ts and shoulds.
The boat is rocking.
The mind is buzzing, there is a storm going on.
A storm of a life time.
A storm that purifies.
A storm that is a blessing in disguise as it may lead in re-investigating one’s own life structures and reconnect one with one’s true self that is good willing by birth, that knows right from wrong without being told, that are connected with others in more subtle ways than any book or a spiritual teacher can transfer.
Our dizzy girl came to a point of marinating in all these information, the energy in and around it started fermenting and producing a warning smell – toxic fragrance of false safety that actually runs in circles and has stopped her from truly growing in any desirable direction.
All the books that felt “right” were conveying the same message, anyway, yet she had been asking for more proof, more science to confirm her gut feeling about this or that, more established institution to approve of her ways.
She had found the best tools for a happy living years ago yet she wanted more and more. She became a hoarder of knowledge.
At moments it felt like having ten spades in a garden – each different yet still, they were all just spades, tools that really show their efficiency only when held and worked with.
How many times they were just standing in the shed while she efficiently used only her own hands, anyway?
It took the storm to shake the ground. That day she couldn’t do anything but sit and focus on one point as moving her head or eyes would cause nausea. No books could be read, no information from the world wide web could be followed, no rumination as thinking about anything felt rocky.
She had to sit in complete scilence, in a complete stillness. It took her to reach the eye of the storm where all is quiet so she can finally sense and hear her own wisdom, use the skills and knowledge learned, where she can come to peace with her own Self and start reconnecting with that gut feeling.
She soon regained her balance.
Literally and metaphorically.
I am a recovering knowledge hoarder, myself.
I am a also recovering perfectionist and aspiring good-enoughist (expression borrowed from Brene Brown).
I am also the girl, a woman, a human being in this story.
I’ve had phases in life when I used to worry myself sick for not being able to follow the rules of the religion I was raised into, I’ve felt destructive, mind-boggling guilt-shame pains for causing situations that hurt emotions of others. I often thought something was utterly wrong with me (for various reasons at different times!) and I obsessed with “fixing” myself and “saving the world”.
I am the one who used to neglect the gut feeling and in the middle, in the eye of the biggest storm, the place where pure silence resides, I’ve been reminded of the most important guidelines.
I am that human being who has been searching for the roots of righteousness to feed on, the holiest of grails… only to find out one can really never loose any of those. It only takes opening awareness to it.
…and then.. this dizzy girl, you and I come to the eye of the storm and all is quiet.
We are given an opportunity to be reminded, each of our own, inner, wisdom.
Even though it is a true one, it is just a story. Just words that get meaning based on the reader’s filters.
Each physical discomfort brings a message. How each of us reads the message depends only on the bearer of the message – you for yourSelf.
Mind-body dance. Emotions playing the music (the mind being a composer, anyway.) This exploration is on dizziness.