change · fear · growth · health · voice

Slings and Arrows




Hamlet questions whether it is better to “suffer the slings
and arrows of outrageous fortune,” or to “take arms against a sea of troubles”
and end them (with suicide).
Outrageous fortune. Could be good, could be “bad,” but we have to show up to find out.
In Louise Hay’s book on the relationship between emotions
and body symptoms, the throat is listed as the “avenue of expression.” Troubles
with the throat are interpreted as a fear of expressing oneself and stifled
I’ve felt it coming on this week, and today, my throat is
officially red and sore. Color me not surprised.
As I’ve been mentioning this week, the idea of being loud,
louder, more full, more powerful has been a hard one for me to grapple with.
And so, this morning, tender in my throat, I went into meditation to “ask”
what’s going on here, and how I can help.
Forgive me if this gets too “woo-woo” for you, but…
It was like Fantastic Voyage – I “went” inside my throat, to my tonsils, to my
vocal cords, and inside there on both sides, at each tonsil, someone, a
girl, a child choking them, shushing them. Telling them to
Be Quiet!
I went and asked her what she was really trying to
accomplish here, what is the objective, why be quiet?
Because then you’ll be safe, she railed. I’m trying to keep you safe.
I told her that I already am, that I am safe without this
strangling. I put my arms around her, and told her she was safe, and in real
life I began to tear up a little. With relief, with grief, with acknowledgment of
pain long suffered and finally being addressed and hopefully cleared – in
With a mother with chronic migraines and a father apt to
turn rageful, I learned very early that to be quiet, unseen, simple, need-less,
and self-sufficient was to be safe. I aroused negative emotions in others when I
expressed the needs a child might have, and so I learned to deny them.
This hasn’t worked out too well as I’ve grown up, and at
another deeper level, I’m again being called to address the fallacy of these
childhood interpretations. Someone not able to care for my needs is not the same as “my needs are too much.”
The important change here is to allow myself to understand,
feel, acknowledge, and melt into the present, into the changes that I have made
around and within myself to establish a life that is safe, loving, encouraging
and open.
It is hard to remember these things in my throat.
I remember them in my head, but it is going to take time for
the little girl who strangles and shushes me to understand, like most children,
that something has changed.
It is safe to be heard. It is safe to speak up for myself.
It is safe to be creative.
I have a host of supporters, internal and external, who tell
me that indeed, Yes, it is better to suffer the slings and arrows than to shut
down. That it is better to show up and be seen and find out what outrageous
fortune has to offer than to escape.
I am safe, I am heard.
These are not mutually exclusive. 

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