If there has ever been a moment in life when you grab your keys, slam the door, walk out of the house and need the perfect song to help you clear your head, today is the day. Excavation is a bitch. If you weren’t tired enough from the digging, the raw-ness of finding the mummified scraps of lost hope and buried dreams can wear on even the strongest badass. And for lovers of bass, it’s time that you meet my new friend, Citizen Cope. Don’t listen to this on a bad speaker. Don’t.
I have rage songs. The ones that just meet my energy and prepare for my fist to swing at the air if my target is missing. But this is different – a determined, righteous, lip pursing, head bobbing soul stiller. This song is a very, very accurate image of the most internal metamorphosis this year. There are songs (and people and places) that transform the fighter to the rhythm seeker. It’s songs like this that have carried me.
Pain is so weird. It hides in colons and joints and even skin. It manifests as migraines and knife life pain in trapped scar tissue. I’ve spent four decades marching right past the warning signs in my body and have gone directly for protect mode. I fought. For everything. If you spend your life as a fighter, the day that your body wants to quit fighting and start dancing is one of the scariest parts of excavation. Learning to sit with all of the discomfort has allowed me to find a new groove. A very intentional choice to listen to things like my arms. I know…so woo woo.
A few weeks ago, I was PISSED. It was an Eminem kind of angry. For days, I carried the weight of the main event wrestling match that I wanted to headline in the name of resolution. When I tell you that I could literally feel my anger in my arms and hands, there is no exaggeration. Bizarre. And totally cool…for those of us that have never experienced the awareness of this connection.
I hate when I walk into a therapy session fully loaded. There is no way I can tell all the stories and process the chaos in 50 minutes. Because of this, my therapist has taught me that the stories are less important than the way my body is hearing and feeling and triggered by the stories. In our 3rd year of working together, I have finally begun to trust this theory. Because I come from a world where if you don’t know all the details…all the gory ones…you are lying to yourself and others. I find myself in a debate about my own gut level honesty on the daily.
This is a defining shift. Big time. Life changing.
A lack of “complete” and “total” honesty has always been one of my big fears. One that I believed could disrupt my faith, my life, my relationships. But there is a very clear difference between dragging someone through your story for the sake of morbid oversharing, and the honest ability to reflect and learn from an experience – without exposing the private moments. Here’s my reasoning…someone who really wants growth and new discoveries, from the moments of pain, is not afraid of the mess. But they also get that it has very little to do with the minutia.
I’ve learned that my therapist will stop my narrative mid-story if I’m bogged in the details. She will tell me that’s she doesn’t need to know. And I look at her every single time like, ‘Isn’t that the point?!?’
Take, for instance, the recent need to punch someone. We started processing the impact of the anger on my week and the details of how I got so angry were less important. Actually, the details are life. They happened three weeks ago and will happen again tomorrow and next year. The players may be different. The impacted old wound might change. But ultimately, it’s the same endgame.
The big pain and big joy are life. It’s how I know I’m not dead.
But…then it’s shifted. In a very “Comin’ Back” kind of way, I literally screamed at the Zoom camera therapy session. Because the angst in my gut was the same. My furry was so justified. I was ready to tell my intended target just how much I needed them to get right. Now. But this was different. I didn’t want to yell, and I didn’t want to cry. I wanted to dance. I wanted Alexa to turn on Citizen Cope (and a few others you have not heard yet) and let my arms move in a way that was not a punch. And the magic of the dance? It was without rules. When you fight, the rules require a defeat. When you dance, embracing the rhythm of the music as it stirs your insides is the victory.
So as you read these words, know that I’m dancing with a love for this bass line that I can’t explain. I didn’t have to fight to let it go. I’ve learned that I can get most of my wiggles out with a good rhythm. And should I still need to fight, I’ll be well rested. 2023 is going to include as much dancing as my body wants. I’m already dreaming about the disco ball that will be in my house in the next year. Watch. I’m comin’ back.