A funny thing happened to me today in therapy.
I arrived at the office prepared to talk (read: complain) about what’s going on in my life. I do this every Tuesday at 10:15am. I started in about something, probably how I’m too amazing even for myself, and how hard it is to just be me. You know, my problems.
All of a sudden I got this tightness in my chest. A pressure that started pushing from the inside. There’s a feeling attached to it, but I couldn’t quite place it.
Happy? Sad? Angry? Afraid? Shamed?
I had no idea.
So, I stopped whatever I was talking about (probably my hair), and told her about the feeling. For the record, traditionally I’m not one of these people that thinks everything means something. I don’t wear crystals, I’m not interested in the color of my aura (which is mauve by the way), and I have never felt “at one” with the universe.
Actually, one time I did feel at one with the universe, but it turned out to be a mushroom trip and those trees weren’t actually breathing. I was 19 and stupid.
As I start to explain what I thought was going on, she immediately commanded me to shut up.
I’m super-verbose. I’ll talk about anything for as long as I can. When I’m at home I constantly speak to my pets, or am on the phone with someone who will listen. Basically, I’m a spaz.
She knows that when I start to intellectualize or wax philosophic or try to explain things in any way, it moves me away from my feelings. Apparently feelings are where it’s at.
But I’m a dude. I’ve never felt much of anything in my life, and when I do I distract myself with things like television, internet, food, etc.
At her direction, I dove into the feeling and sat with it. With basically no talking for the rest of the session.
Maybe three sentences were uttered. Other than that, we just stared at each other.
Occasionally I would touch my chest to see if I could actually “feel” the sensation. I couldn’t. But it was there. It’s here now as I write.
What is it? No idea. After sitting in silence for forty minutes staring at my counselor, I was no closer to deciphering this message. It, however, felt totally normal and natural. It was an uncomfortable feeling, but I didn’t have any judgment about it.
One thought that did occur to me was, “I can’t believe I just shelled $120 to sit in silence.”
Since many of you are ladies (I love that word – so much better than “birds”), you probably sit with weird crap like this all the time. So, I’m one of you! With better hair.
Special bonus – this photo was taken of me this weekend while I slept. Note how it looks like I have lady parts in the middle of my chest.