(Written in February 2007)
In a Somatic Experiencing session I complained to Dave about the amount of time I spend in the collapsed (despairing, terrified) place versus the time spent feeling 3-dimensional and real and confident, he said the collapsed place is the “default” position, one I have learned through years of experience, it’s familiar and easy to fall into. The other place is not so solid or easy to get to, but I am beginning to spend more and more time there compared with ten years ago. He gave me the image of a slide going down — no effort — and a ladder climbing up — requires effort.
I told Karen about the time Eleanor said she couldn’t have a gas stove in the apartment I was building for her and I collapsed. Karen asked me to see the collapse in slow motion. I described it as being like those figures on a base, limbs strung together with string, and when you push up on the bottom the whole figure collapses like a house of cards. When it’s all collapsed, what does it need? This was hard, because the collapsed place is also the baby’s place, I can’t do it from inside, there is no inside. Exploring it more, I see that the baby is terrified because her survival is at stake, she’s got to DO something, so it’s not OK to be collapsed. But what is needed by the collapsed one is to really get it that it’s OK to be collapsed, that it’s not the end of the world. What works best is if some form of validation comes from outside. Kayla has done this for me, and Lynelle, and most recently, Ellen. Sometimes Guidance works, often past guidance works. Also, reminding myself of the non-traumatized world view: the Universe is benevolent, life is meaningful, and the self is worthy. I need a series of affirmations.
It’s OK to be collapsed.
It’s OK to not know.
It’s OK to do nothing.
Spirit has a plan, just as I am I am part of it.
The Universe is benevolent, Life is meaningful, the self is worthy.
I have worthwhile work to do, that’s what I was meant to do, that helps the world I love.