Since getting back to Austin a few weeks ago things have been pretty steady music-wise. I’ve played 5 days a week the last 2 weeks and have weathered internal storm after storm while being in front of a lot of people.
From a perspective of looking down on myself, I can see what’s happening clearly. There’s a part of me that has been stuck in time as a scared child. He lives inside of me and has not aged since turning 5 or so. He’s scared of a lot of things and constantly feels like he‘s in trouble for something. I walked in eggshells for many years of my life both at home and and school. I was constantly on edge waiting for the shoe to drop. These mechanisms still exist inside of me and are seeking to finally heal in some way. These are the traumas that have been stored up, locked away and looked down upon. At 35 they’re all clawing at the gate looking to finally be resolved. Carl Yung would refer to these parts as my shadow.
I grew up feeling intensely. So much so that over the course of my life I developed ways to dissociate from my emotional experience. This came in the form of binge eating, smoking, drinking, watching pornography, and developing a S.O.B inner critic. I’ve danced with each of these mechanisms before and have let them all go at various times. Now once more, they’re all here. People may judge me for using these things but belief it or not they all helped me in some capacity to get as far as I have. As much as I know it’s time to say goodbye once and for all, each of these things gave me something when I was lost.…they gave me momentary presence and peace. At times when I had nothing else in the course of days, weeks, and months, I had these things. They were friends.
Now comes the hard work of sitting with the energy that’s left over when each one of these things is not allowed. It’s not that I hate any of them per se? it’s just they’re no longer needed and for me to embrace the fullest expression of myself, I have to let go. Like I’ve said, I have let them go before but after having gone through another trying few years, they showed up again.
It‘s time to heal the boy inside the man. Once and for all. He needs love, kindness, patience, courage, and faith. He needs to know that I’m not going anywhere and that I have his back. He needs to know that I believe in him and that he’s not in trouble. I’ve tried really hard in this life to undue the damage caused to him but haven’t quite reached down far enough to get to the bottom of it all. Now I’m face to face with the original trauma, the original wounding. It’s fucking painful!
I’ve played music with this hanging over me each day for the last 3 months. It has made me extremely tired, anxious, sad, angry, and frantic. Through it all I’ve done my best to be loving, kind, and generous to those on my path. Can they tell what I’m really experiencing? Probably not. It’s hard to put into words anyways. Some would call this a spiritual awakening, or the dark night of the soul. Just imagine that every day you wake up in a panic. You don’t know how to talk, what to say, who you are, and you’re left with this feeling that you’ve done something wrong but you don‘t know what. You see yourself in every person you come across. So anything that gets stirred up emotionally between you and someone else, instead of reacting, you open to the feelings. They’re teaching you something about yourself. But by opening, it opens you up to a flood of sensations that you‘ve been repressing since childhood. You feel so scared and don’t know what to say, so you don’t say anything. Who would you tell anyway? You know that love is the only thing that puts a stop to this but you can’t quite get there because your heart is shrowded in so much fear. So you do your best impersonation of a loving presence because that’s who you know yourself to be underneath all the anxious stories, panic, and fear.
This is a small aspect of what each day is like. What seems to be happening is that all the repressed trauma is now all at the surface of my mind and body and is looking to be felt and released. It gets so intense that I scream out loud in my car while driving “ I can’t fucking take this anymore!!!!!’. It’s a cathartic yelp. As much as I’d love to say hit much I hate all this, and all that I’ve had to go through in my life just to get to this point, I also know how much it’s served me. I see how much I have to give others. I see how tough I am, how hard I can drive myself, how little I need to be happy. I see that now that I’m down at the very bottom, what comes next is my ability to give and give and give while being endlessly filled with love for my life. There’s a kindness here that is so powerful and loving that wants to reach out and touch everyones heart.
I remember working through this stuff a few years back and the space it allowed me to be in with others. I was quiet and so present because of how little I was carrying around in the world . I had no vices, additions, distractions, and was playing music from a place of real peace and love. I was not seeking money or anything at all. I just wanted to be around other people and be with them in a completely sovereign place. We laughed, we cried, some danced, and some of those people I met during that time became friends.
This is my last stand if you will. Sounds dramatic :) It’s time to let go of it all and see what’s waiting on the other side one last time. All I want is to reach as many people as possible with music, and find more and more ways to be vulnerable in expression and in life, to be real, and authentic. To be uncomfortable and find love there over and over again.