necessary healing

I'm a bottler. There, I came out with it. For a bottler, admitting you have a problem is a necessary first step to becoming less... bottle-y. Right? The fact is, like most, I don't like feeling those difficult feelings of shame, or family pain, loneliness or loss. When I let myself feel those feelings, I can't speak them. I become mute. They silence me. I fear them.

photo by NemoValkyrja

And so this is what I do - I pop these prickly emotions in a little glass message bottle and I push the bottle as far down as it can go. Then I forget about the bottle. It stays just under the surface, weighed down by a brave face and determination. But it's always there, always just under the surface, and always stopping me from moving forward, from truly feeling at peace.

I know the prickly emotions I've bottled away all my life are holding me back. I know this.

And so I'm taking responsibility, finally, and choosing to release the cap, so I can say what I need to say of these past pains, let them go, and move on. How am I going to do this?

I'm getting serious about meditation.

I've dipped in and out of meditation for, oh I dunno, the past 10 years of my life, but I've never been any good at it. I've never achieved a quiet mind, or a heightened sense of anything even remotely resembling awareness. But right now I'm being inspired by a book I'm reading by Jack Kornfield, called A Path With Heart. Yes I am reading this as I also read How much is enough? (I've never been able to read just one book at a time).

In A path With Heart, Kornfield writes of how healing the heart is necessary if we are to live at peace with ourselves and the people around us. It's vital if we are to achieve what we are capable of, and truly live a meaningful life. He writes about how meditation is a powerful means of healing:

"Powerful feelings, deep unspoken parts of ourselves arise, and our task in meditation is first to let them move through us, then to recognise them and allow them to sing their songs."

Allow them to sing their songs.

Kornfield quotes a poem by Wendell Berry, called I go among trees:

I go among trees and sit still.
All my stirring becomes quiet
around me like circles on water.
My tasks lie in their places
where I left them, asleep like cattle.

Then what I am afraid of comes.
I live for a while in its sight.
What I fear in it leaves it,
and the fear of it leaves me.
It sings, and I hear its song.

So yes, I'm getting serious about meditation. Actually I've been meditating in secret for the past few days. I'm using a mantra, which is just a few words I saw in an old book, but whose sounds resonate with me. They hit the right chords. They help me stay focused and quiet where previously my mind was like an uncontrollable puppy with a behavioural problem.

Also, I've been pondering trying my hand at transcendental meditation, or vedic as it's otherwise known. I'd love to know if anyone has tried it, and/or what experiences others have had with this or another type of meditation.

I'd also love to know if 'you know what I mean' when I say "I know the prickly emotions I've bottled away all my life are holding me back."


  1. What a great idea! As I was reading, I was afraid you'd say you decided to start "venting," which sadly is only a form of "feeding the troll."

    I've meditated for years. Can't say my problems are all over. (Yes, I understand what you mean about those prickly feelings holding you back!) But it helps.

    Yet.... Sometimes it won't feel good. Sometimes it even seems to make things worse! After all, you are unbottling. Just do your meditation session, and let it go. Try not to judge whether it was "good" or "bad", "peaceful" or "rocky." Meditation is very slow and gentle--and thorough.

    I wish you all the best on such a great new venture.



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