When life overwhelmed Mumbo, she said she would always go to the side of the motorway embankment and zone out to the soothing hum of traffic noise or scream as no one would hear her. I imagine this to be her own form of ‘mindfulness’, to let her thoughts wash over her and let it all go, so she could come back to the house with peace in her heart.
This week, I was listening to a speech given by Pema Chodron, a guru of meditation and mindfulness practices, and how she has been ‘practising’ mindfulness for years, and still practising and learning now. I wish I had my phone with me, I would re-listen to it as I remember laughing out loud at her and the way she laughs at herself for being rubbish, despite being a teacher.
She compares mindfulness to the picking of a scab. The scab being the discomfort we can feel inside and how mindfulness can help us feel the discomfort but give us the strength to resist picking at the scab, letting the discomfort pass and each time we allow it to pass, we enable the healing process to work its magic; let the new skin grow, eventually leaving only a scar.
I had been feeling strong this last week; my anxiety less, my confidence growing, my discomfort softening as the scab healed.
And yet today I did the most ridiculous thing. I thought I would ‘test’ myself; test my strength and see if it was solid, see if I was healed. I itched the scab. In fact, I picked it off.
And now I am sat here bleeding.
I am sat here bleeding in to my tissues and wishing I hadn’t been so stupid; so stupid to have believe I was strong enough, that the scab would reveal new, beautiful skin below, showing I was healed.
I wish I hadn’t been so stupid to test my resolve and look at the 40 or so photos she sent me to introduce me to their life, their embraces, their messages of love and longing, their messages discussing me. I wish I hadn’t looked at all the information she gave me of the justification of her side of the sorry tale.
I am bleeding from the heart, gut and head.
So stupid. So stupid.
Like my Mumbo, when life gets overwhelming, I take myself out to find my own place to zone out the world and let my emotions out where no one can hear me.
And when the calm comes, I will count my blessings for I know that gratitude is the antidote to depression.
And when the bleeding stops, the scab reforms, when I have peace back in my heart I will drive home. Until then, I will listen to Lisa Tarbuck or the sound of the sheep in the fields around me….
Post script: I am now back at home being bandaged back up with tea and talks by the aga by the only person who can help me heal from the wounds he inflicted. And I know I won’t be picking at the scab for a long time, if at all.