The menu is not the meal! I first heard this saying close to 40 years ago and have often pondered its meaning. And then this morning, the sense I gave it was this… Just because we have laid the cards on the table doesn’t mean we’ve resolved the problem. Knowing what’s at stake doesn’t preclude us from having to go the distance. Deciding that it’s all too much, better to leave sleeping dogs lie or sweep that damn secret under the carpet just one more time is the antithesis of what’s needed to heal our individual and collective pain!
What you and I refuse to look at or address, we leave for our children and our children’s children to deal with as we so often see in Systemic Family Constellations. This relates not only to us as individuals and members of a family system but also to all the systems that govern our lives and to issues of societal and global significance.
Whether we are facing an emerging problem or one that has plagued humanity throughout history, the time for transformation has come. As uncomfortable as that may be, the only way out is through!
If we turn back or look away, we risk being turned to stone: a prophecy drawn from the Bible story of Sodom and Gomorrah. In our modern-day context, this translates to falling into a depression. In my perception, it represents the hardening that occurs when we block our emotions and defend against the truth.
I know that before most of us can set out on that proverbial climb up the mountain, we need to gather our resources and tend to other matters to create the space – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual – to be able to withstand what we fear we’ll meet on the path. What matters is that we follow through rather than wait until the mountain itself has grown even higher.
I have always said that when a new client enters my room – now my screen – I have no idea what they will be bringing with them. What I find is that on many occasions, nor do they! Few people have been spared some degree of trauma during their lives or the broken connections in time and space that result from it.
My job is to help them uncover the blocks to healing that stand in their way, make the connections that help re-weave the thread of their lives into a more harmonious story and repair the damage that has masked that.
As human beings, our prevailing fear is that we won’t be able to handle what shows up or that the feelings will engulf us. As I have said a thousand times, we fear that our anger, if unleashed, would annihilate the planet, and if we allowed ourselves to cry, we would never stop! And yet, there will be an end to the tears and the anger if we are willing to connect with and release them.
It is not the healthy expression of these emotions that is the problem but rather the suppression or depression of them that causes us – and invariably others – untold pain. Not only does the internalising of our feelings wreak havoc, but the more they are suppressed, the stronger they grow. What may have begun as mild frustration or annoyance if ignored morphs into anger and finally rage, which, as we see all too often, most certainly has the potential to cause harm.
If you’re reading this in 2021 or beyond, the inescapable reality is that we have been experiencing collective trauma unlike anything in recent memory. So, it would be foolhardy to think that we might not be triggered or sometimes find it near impossible to remain calm in the face of all that confronts us. As I recently discovered for myself, the feelings of sadness and grief, of recognising who and what we have lost or risked losing, have only been able to surface once there was time and space for that.
If you find yourself unexpectedly howling or feeling justifiably cross at times, like me, make room for it. Let the feelings flow and give yourself the time and space to reconnect with who you really are; a spiritual being here to have a human experience, which is the felt experience. Remember… this is not a licence to cause pain to others. Allow those feelings that may have been suppressed as a survival mechanism to safely be released and make way for better thoughts, feelings and actions to follow.
This is the way to joy, laughter, and lightness. Let yourself have the meal today so that what you put on the menu tomorrow can be something of a very different nature.
As simple a solution as this may sound, I know that it can also be a little scary!
Want to know more or how I could assist you? Then contact me to book a free 20-minute chat.
Working online via Zoom I can connect with you wherever you are!
Thanks for sharing!