Amazing grace, How Sweet the sound. That saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found. T’was blind but now I see. Was blind, but now I see.
A sensitive energy came with me into this life. Perhaps that is not unique. Life is energy in all forms. Easily overwhelmed by people, places, and things, I grew big reactivity to what those around me did not seem to notice. I had untamed fits in many forms. Without the tools to contain magnitude, I was adrift. With an understanding of lack over time, I wandered. I have quested. Blessings have been given. Suffering holding hands with kindness has been revealed. Gifts of understanding have been received. However, the powerful balm to my wayward fears of ever being found have been mending through a more committed relationship with my nervous system.
I have small altars throughout my home. Sacred spaces of elemental objects and images that are designed to inspire a feeling of goodness and my intentions for living well. I’ve come to see that my beautiful interior network of nerve cells and fibers needs the same devotion as everything else on my altar. There is a sanctity in tending to the intelligence of my system. Embodied grace is where salvation is continually being discovered.
And Grace, my fears relieved. How precious did that grace appear. The hour I first believed. Through many dangers, toils and snares. We have already come.
As a species we are dependent upon other for survival. With the support of others, I am learning that “big energy” is just that. Early on, in order to survive, I thought I had to get rid of that sizable intensity I had not been taught to meet. I was taught how to read, brush my teeth, and write notes of gratitude. I was shown that there is help when bad dreams come, and that my family’s religion was more about community than dogma. I learned that one doesn’t use glass by the pool and that you could catch a firefly and let it go. I figured out that my big sister was my protectress and that I would always want to be as strong as my big brother.
But I never learned what to do when my system was overwhelmed. In response to those swells I could not contain, I developed a pattern of shame. With each iteration of making myself lost I got further from home. I became stunted. In my outbursts, I thought no one could hold me, I thought no one wanted to hold me. I would leak, yell, and grasp, even though I knew it pushed people away. But the energy I wanted so badly to quelch only expanded more, which made me have to work even harder to get smaller.
The side-effect of trying to become small against the tsunami of emotion led to a skilled practice of self-doubt, self-criticism, and self-blame. I couldn’t seem to get under my own mountains, and I wasn’t able to get over them.
My perception of life/ love became this: when I felt something big or had a need, and it wanted to come out, I’d better watch out, my survival was at risk. I didn’t want to interrupt the perceived homeostasis. As I grew into adulthood this pattern may have adapted, but was still a pattern. I may have learned how to inhibit my temper tantrums and turn the fever inward, but I hadn’t learned how to soothe my system. I did not know how to weed through the stories to find my autonomic nervous system.
Of course, my behavior was trying to keep me safe from what it didn’t have the tools to manage. Without enough of a container, or enough supportive containment, an intelligent system will do what it must in order to feel safe. One might even create a loophole in which they squash their amazing largesse. Which is what I did.
T’was grace that brought us safe thus far. And grace will lead us home. And grace will lead us home.
With a commitment to train in clambering my peaks and elevations, I have been learning the language of my system through a therapeutic model of empowerment called Organic Intelligence™. This practice can shift a nervous system from a feedback loop of chronic stress to a greater state of ease, and feelings of safety. This clinical model offering roadmaps of understanding stress physiology is both experiential and educational. With a shift in perspective from pathology and trauma to a natural systemic reorganization, vitality emerges.
Founder of OI, Steve Hoskinson offers, “Organic Intelligence aims to shepherd observable physio-emotional states according to a protocol which aligns with subtle, but naturally occurring organismic trends toward increased coherence — the rhythm of an integrative biology.”
As I keep sitting at my shrine of amazement with what is, the toils and the snares become more manageable. My effort to witness and then interrupt patterns gets easier. I am moving away from the contagion of what’s wrong attention. I am deepening friendship with many facets of myself. I am safeguarding those internal alliances. Moving beyond a state of constant survival, my stories of life become less fixed. Even memory is porous. I spent years attending to the ways I was not okay and how love was conditional. I somehow misplaced the attention away from all of the ways that my wild self was indeed supported and celebrated.
When I feel held, I am braver in exploring the nuances of my summits and vistas. As I gain skills in how to descend, I see life as something to be lived instead of feared. I find grace in the human nature of it all.
Bigness happens. Now, I am more acutely prepared to experience it for what it is. Life in motion. Joy en route to more life. Sensitivities as thruways to compassion. With attention I can recognize that micro doses of outstanding can be enough. Simultaneously hefty moments of “no” need not derail me–often they are wisdom in action on the train to “yes.” It is like coming home to know that my birthright of planetary positioning and internal compassing need not be negated. I am perfectly aligned. A new language is teaching me to read my own topography. I can journey towards what’s next, compassionate towards fear. I have full permission to back up from any edge and reroute my beloved path. A pathway that includes pardons, and an unbiased return to hope is a curious magic I welcome.
Grace is the creative deed of lifetime. And it’s also here right now. Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound. I will continue to sing this salutation of a return to both redemption and conservation.
Being home is better than I could have imagined.