Wednesday, May 14, 2008

lump in my throat

lump in my throat
Originally uploaded by misslissa13
I spend an inordinate amount of time in my thoughts and not enough time experiencing the sensations and signals that my body is giving me. In the past this trait was much more prevalent, but over time I learned to listen very closely. During graduate school, we were required by the program to experience thirty hours of private therapy. I chose a Gestalt therapist ( ) because it utilizes present awareness and some mind-body work. This definitely help hone my awareness of where emotions manifest in my body.

During times of sadness, anxiety, fear and stress, I tend to hold my emotions in the base of my throat. I can only describe the sensation as having a dense foam ball the size on a large orange stuffed in there. At times it forces my emotions down and numbs them out for self preservation. Other times, usually when experiencing anxiety, I feel like I cannot scream, speak or express myself.

My Gestalt therapist back in Colorado would have me focus on the sensation, stay with it and experience it without judgement. Inevitably, it is emotionally painful, but not unbearable. It has been wonderfully therapeutic to work through the sensation and not allow it to numb the emotions out.

I occasionally have this lump sensation and this week, I am experiencing it again. My awareness brings me to realize that there are multiple triggers for it this time, but the main one is how slow the State is in assigning my permit number.

For months now, this process creeped along like molasses running down the side of a cold jar. I spoke to them on Monday April 28th and they explained that my education was approved. I inquired if that means I qualify for the permit, to which she explained that it does, but will take some time for the secretary to get everything in order and get the number assigned. Okay, so how long should I expect this step to take? She said I should expect to hear from them in five to ten days.

Apparently, I should have inquired if that meant consecutive days. I called yesterday and no progress has been made. She said I can call again on Friday.

So here I sit, with lots of student loans and a great job offer, and I cannot do anything until the State catalogs me and stamps a number on my head. I am saddened, I am frustrated, I am occasionally numbing out, but I am looking for the lesson in this all. I certainly have learned extreme patience and acceptance of what I am powerless over. I have been reminded that I am not defined by what others do or do not do. I have recognized my integrity by not taking a permanent job that I would knowingly bail out on when my number is assigned.

My sense is that there is more to be learned here, and I will keep my heart, mind and body open to what lesson is lurking below the surface. You see, I have learned also that the lessons are there if we open up to them.

I will breathe through the lump, it will not suffocate me or keep my silent. I will even go to the mountains and scream from them if that is what I need. But first, I will experience the sensation for all it's lumpy goodness.

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