How many times have we sat and let painful thought take us away from the very moment we are in. How many times do we allow those thoughts to remove us from the present of what is right in front of us in any given moment? How often do we ignore the strides we make in any given moment?
Thoughts, they are powerful, they are leading and misleading, they are disruptive, detouring, limiting and scary and really noisy. Thoughts are how we talk to ourselves; how we process things we don’t want others to know about. Thoughts wander about in any way they wish taking us on journeys through what ifs and what was. They hold us captive from escaping from what hurts us, limiting our ability to embracing what can heal us.
I remember how my thoughts controlled everything about me, my disability, my healing, and knowing now how they stole away my present moments. Thinking of how bad everything was, what I used to be like halted my chances of moving forward into life as it is, and held me captive to life as it was. Thinking myself silly only tied me to a life that had already passed by, it is gone, kaput, never to be witnessed again. Ouch, huh? My ruminating over what happened to me kept me lodged in a past that detached me from my purpose in the present moment.
Our past plays a huge part in how we arrived to today. Our education, our experiences, our community, our upbringing, all those things we went through helped us gain our knowledge and skills and perceptions we have about ourselves and our today. Our past deposited into our minds what I call perceptual filters which become attached to our thought about everything we encounter. Those filters set up our relationships with our environment and our present moments; of being present with those moments or lodged in the past.
Not all thoughts are bad. We all think back to beautiful moments of days and times that have passed by, to moments of happiness, joy and love. We have wonderful times sharing memories of days gone by with family and friends. There are a lot of lessons learned and a lot of heart earned. Those are fun and authentic places to put thought to.
You know, at the beginning of my new beginnings, I had no one to talk to that could even remotely understand what I was going through, what I went through. All I had was thought. To look at me I seemed “normal”. My disability is invisible, until I got up to walk. With those wobbly uncertain steps I entered another societal and internal realm. I lived in two parallel worlds, one of overall worldly acceptance, the other of pity, fear, and unfounded disability perceptions. I had a hell of a time figuring out, where do I belong? Sitting or wobbling? I thought about that a lot.
Since my first introduction to disability in 1997 I’ve had two more handshakes I needed to initiate. Sometimes I’m confounded in thought of how in the world can these things actually happen to one person in one lifetime! I wonder if there’s anyone anywhere that has the same combination of differences as I do: First, the unplug of my vestibular system, then a brain aneurysm and a craniotomy to clip the bubble it before it blew up all the way, and now, just to add another layer to the cake, I am the proud recipient of complex partial seizures. What kind of three tier cake is that? I think I’ll add whip cream frosting now, after all, three times a charm, right?
Thoughts, wondering, contemplating, wishing, ignoring… but what about expressing? How many of us actually go outside our internal processing and express what’s going on with us, in us? How many of us actually let the noise out and open the escape route from hurting to healing? How many of us actually know how to escape the noise, that there is a way to escape… Is there a class on that somewhere? Well, yea, and the instructor is our self. We are the only person on this earth that can silence our thought filled noise.
The first assignment is to recognize that our noise exists. At first we don’t realize this but what happened to us is the instigator of the noise. It’s the actual trauma that begins it all, it writes the first note of how we begin developing a very loud and mixed up, completely out of tune one hit wonder of traumatic noise. One sour note leads to another, then another, then another and goes on and on until an escape route disappears from our sight and our heart. Then it swallows us and keeps us in world of constant life limiting thought of why, what if, when, and will it ever end.
This is the noise that stays inside of us, the noise that wanders throughout our brain, our thought, our body, and everything about us. Sure there are times when we seem to snap out of it through short glimpses of a present moment but then the power of that noise reaches up and takes us back to the past. Back to thinking about the transformation the past has laid upon us.
There’s another assignment… Recognizing how much our healing is dependent on leaving the past in the past. That’s a step towards silencing the noise. But how can that be done when the past is so terribly hurtful that it just can’t be forgotten? I’m not suggesting forgetting, but I am suggesting beginning to pay attention the good, the beautiful, and the powerful, uplifting experiences of our lives in this very moment. When I am present with that, I can’t help but notice how much more of the good there is over that one traumatic experience, well in my case, three. But still, so much more good lies in my present moments that when I pay attention to them, there begins a new noise. The beautiful sound of silence, of a healing silence.
Addressing it, expressing it, embracing the good, paying attention to and recognizing the gift of our present moments, knowing that you are here, right now, doing amazing things in this very moment, ah… can you hear the silence?