In the last year, I realized I have a pervasive habit of over worrying. A neurological, physiological childhood trauma around not feeling safe, not feeling protected, always on the lookout.
On one hand, this constant worrying has served me well. I can quickly assess potential risks and come up with mitigating plans to make things okay. It makes me good at project management and taking on a lot of responsibility. I’ll have already imagined every possibility so the worst outcomes don’t happen.
On the other hand, it’s too much. I can feel the tension and holding in my body almost always present. It relaxes in rare times of social bonding, intimacy, and deep meditation. After years of meditation, therapy, and all kinds of training, I can feel it viscerally now and work through the process consciously. It doesn’t rule my life but living from a trusting, naked vulnerable place is still a daily, long process for me that I’m chipping away at day by day, sit by sit, circle by circle.
When I surrender and the tension melts in my core, my pelvis, my hips, my groin, my legs, my spine, I’m more alive. The room feels more detailed. My attention is more in the world. I feel more free.
As a kid, I couldn’t adequately process the daily ups and downs with anyone. My parents weren’t skilled or available. I didn’t have many friends or family or others. So, I cut off and numbed and deadened myself from my physical and emotional self. Something that I see over and over with most men of American modernity suffer from. As an adult now in my early 30s, I’m learning to re-parent myself. To get past the judgments and fears, to experience the raw tension and befriend the resistance, the old coping mechanisms, and allow a different way to be tried instead.
It’s hard work. Some days, I’m tired of how many thousands of hours do I have to do this? But my life has definitely improved in almost every facet over the years as I work through this trauma and stuck pattern. Whereas before it might take months and special retreats to even notice this pattern consciously, I can feel it and work with it on a daily basis now.
And I imagine all my family, friends, and everyone with their own small traumas, their own stuck ways, their own prisons. It can so often seem impossible, just the way it is. Maybe a biological quirk or genetic quirk. But, the courage to explore and try something different. To face that dissociated, disconnected, split off parts of ourselves and re-integrate them. That work enables us, empowers us to have more energy, more freedom, more love, and more life.