For a long time, I used the term “Little Luann” to describe the part of me who showed out. Whatever the emotion or occurrence de jour was, before I could cover it up – while screaming inside to be heard – Little Luann would come around with a “negative” reaction of voiced emotions which was highly unwelcome growing up. I learned to muffle and stuff Little Luann down quickly as I neatly boxed whatever was upsetting with alarming speed and recovery time. No one likes a complainer and there is no place here for whiners. Life, I was taught from a very young age, is hard.
In auto-response, I became a master at masking emotion. I constantly whisked Little Luann away with Big Luann distain for her weaknesses and eventually in an automatic way without a thought, until she ceased to show up at all. Once Little Luann was successfully muted, I no longer experienced pesky emotional stuff to deal with. I assumed my newfound “peace” with life at this accomplishment proved I had found my “balance.” I was wrong.
If emotionally unsupported in youth, as an adult you probably do not possess tools to accurately process feelings, experiences and occurrences. When I realized this, my initial reaction was disbelief. Then, I became angry and affronted. How could that be? Fifty-nine years in a challenging life and there I stood, bruised though not broken, now dumped at cancer’s doorstep in an almost already dead heap, fighting for my life as both cause and cure nearly killed me? And I cannot deal with emotion?
I had empathy for people who spoke about regressed memories and unmet needs, though mostly thought they had better rubber band it together a bit more tightly. Now, I find myself snapping elastic around myself. We all got something. Something dark, buried, and stashed away in a musty, watery place in your soul where it can manifest itself into mental and physical tumors and cancers and eat us alive.
I learned in the process of healing; you don’t necessarily have to shout your life to the world. With Tammy’s guidance, I have learned to call in my “Team” for protection. With gratitude for the experiences of this life, I lift parcels, one at a time, as if I have all the time in the world to access their contents and study them, and truly remember them. I absorb their truths – even if it is painful – and trust the process. I know the shame which has burned me is not mine and refuse ownership. I return it to the provider with gratitude for their lessons. I step into the fear, pain and deep sadness. As Tammy has suggested, I have begun to ask it what it wants, what it sometimes so desperately must tell me. I accept answers and begin to work to a resolution. I work to let go of control of all my outcomes and all that I have been storing that does not work for me in my so very precious present.
On these journeys since I found her on The Rock, I invite Little Luann to please join us. There are places she is not ready to go just yet, though we are beginning to know one another again as we each give ourselves permission to love ourselves. Healing without the little girl who bore the brunt of the pain and isolation as she worked to establish a toxic storage container in her young soul wouldn’t be healing at all.
Big Lee comes along of course, his soothing presence and blue-collar scent provides a safe and calm place to bury her dog-hungry hands and rest her head. She trusts him and holds him closely, knowing exactly who he is. He allows her child’s clutch and leans into her. Just as “The King” led Big Luann to her preparation for healing several years before cancer made her do it, he now opens a Sacred Space to allow Little Luann to heal, too.