One of the last projects MT had me do was on my hands. I tend to sit on my hands and clench my hands. MT, who keeps amazing track of my body and what it’s doing during our sessions, called attention to this a few weeks ago. She said what are they doing? Why are they hiding? There’s a couple of things that these sat on, clenched up hands are doing. They’re staying in the position of being held down, tied up. And they are trying to hold on. They are trying to hold on to nothing and they are trying to hold on to my feelings so that I don’t get myself in trouble and they are trying to hold on to whatever might be possible to hold on to. MT had me do a project on my hands. And here is the main idea in that project:
‘My hands can hold my secrets and my truth. My hands can hold my present and my past. My hands can care for the adult I am now and for the child I was then. My hands are my hands, no matter what. They will only do what I want them to do. My hands will not hurt; my hands will heal. My hands will not hold on to the darkness. My hands will search for the light. My hands will hold the map to my life and help me to find my path. My hands will write and draw and collage my life. My hands will not hide me anymore. My hands can wipe away my tears and be free to move when I laugh and celebrate. My hands are my hands. They need to be free. My hands can help to heal me through their actions. My hands can hold on when I choose and let go when I choose. My soul, my spirit cannot be free if my hands are not free. MY HANDS CAN HOLD ON AND MY HANDS CAN LET GO. IT IS MY CHOICE!’
And then a couple of weeks later,
“Okay, hands, we need to have a chat. It’s time for me to heal. It’s time for you to let go. You have done a phenomenal job of hanging on and you don’t have to hang on anymore. I am safe. I am grown-up. You, my dear hands, belong to me, a grown woman . I am 48 years old and so are you. You had to hold on for a long time. You had to hold on when there was nothing and no one to hold on to. But, now, it’s time to let go. You don’t have to stay clenched. If the feelings come out, it is okay. I am safe. And I will keep that child I was safe. Please help me to let go and heal. When the feeling stay inside of me, I feel like I’m going to explode. Lots of times when the feelings are stuck inside of me, I feel sick and you hurt. You can let go. There are people to hold on to these days. You don’t have to try not to let the hurt in and you don’t have to try to keep the people who love me . People stay. No one is hurting me anymore. When you stay clenched, the energy running through me can’t flow. I get stuck. When you are open, the good energy comes in and the bad energy leaves. Good bright pink energy in and goopy black and green energy leaves. When you are clenched the goopy energy cannot leave and then there is no room for the bright pink energy. Please let go. I give you permission. When you let go, the feelings come and go, like a wave. When you hang on, the bad feelings get stuck and the good feelings can’t come in. The feelings won’t kill me. They will heal me. I promise, you do not need to hold on like that anymore. You do not need to hold on until it hurts. You can let go. We will be okay. We will heal.”
I have learned to let go of many things in the months since I started seeing MT. The biggest of these, I believe, is the idea that if I just held on for long enough, and had enough therapy, that my childhood would magically change to the one I should have had.
I have also learned to hold on to many things. My trust in MT. My wife and kids. My friends. My trust in me. Healing. My ability and willingness to do the things I need to heal. Trust in my body that it knows what it needs. Trust that maybe the world is not as dangerous as I perceive it to be. My sense of being a warrior and being strong, even when it seems I am not.