Every time I have come to the Hawaiian Islands, and Kauai in particular, I have always felt that I was coming home. Not necessarily an earthly home, although I have lived on Kauai for ten years, off and on. But along with that, it is more the feeling that being here engenders, the feeling of home that many of us have probably felt at one time or another. Kauai has also been a place of refuge, deep rest, and great healing, no more so than this particular trip. My connection to the land and ocean here has never been more pronounced, and it was that deep connection that brought about this latest healing.
A group of us were taking a hike to a spectacular lookout on the North Shore in an appropriately named community called Sea Cliffs. The views all the way up to the lookout are spectacular enough. But upon reaching the lookout area itself, as I was overlooking the ocean expanse, a searing pain went through my being, and I was brought to tears. I attributed this to not only how much I love it here, but also my reluctance to leave the island, as we were scheduled to leave in less than a week. I allowed this pain to be there, but as we were in a social situation, I didn’t give it its complete due.
As we walked down the trail and back to a friend’s house for lunch, I noticed that I was becoming more contracted, angry and just plain off, which was a puzzlement to me at the time. Over the lunch period and the entire next day, I remained contracted and very guarded, which was a very real trial for my wife Juliette, who bore with me as best she could.
The next morning, we were scheduled for massages with Ocean, a friend who is a very gifted massage therapist. Little did I know what was in store. Immediately upon lying down on the massage table, I started sobbing. I have never before experienced this kind of sobbing, my entire body was trembling and shaking as the tears flowed. It would come in waves, as a certain thought or a word spoken by Ocean or by me would trigger the crying again. During an early wave of this releasing, I could sense that a window was opening into the unconscious (thank you Christopher Moon), that deeply buried memories and information was now available. So as my body went through its process of releasing and spasming, many realizations came to me. I will recount them as best I can.
I could see that the sadness I had been feeling about leaving the island was more about another life I had lived on the island, and that the details of that life were not going to be shown to me at this point in time. It didn’t matter, as I well knew what had happened to the native Hawaiians in the past, both near and distant; the only detail that was important here was that my heart was broken. I could feel many, many hearts being broken along with mine, and I could also feel so many broken hearts in present time. I have been carrying so much heartbreak into this life, without being consciously aware of it. In fact, I was shown that my personality had been formed in large part to protect me from feeling this heartbreak. So many personality quirks, mannerisms, qualities that I thought were just how I was in the world, were shown to me to be compensations for deflecting my awareness from this deep sadness and heartbreak I was now feeling acutely. The key here is that until this window opened, I was quite unaware of any of this.
My body was still sobbing, shaking, releasing, and I could no more control that than I could physically move a mountain. A timing mechanism had gone off. This was my time to release the armor I had been carrying around for this entire life, and other lifetimes as well.
I could sense my connection to Juliette during that past Hawaiian life, and I saw the face of another good friend as well, revealing the depths of our connection. I also was seeing the wisdom of what Scott Kiloby had said so many times – that our bodies carry around a lot of unfelt pain, and until that is addressed, all the mental understanding of spiritual principles, non-dual concepts, deep realizations and years of meditation will not bring a person the freedom from our patterns that will come when we can release this pain from our bodies. Well, through whatever miracle of timing was occurring for me in that massage, I knew that this was my body, in its own wisdom, dropping its load, its armor, its shielding.
During the rest of the massage, Ocean was the perfect guide, using her intuition to give me some of her feelings on my process, using various essential oils, and basically being the perfect companion for this journey. I stopped sobbing when my body was finished with its releasing. Again, it was not up to me – a greater wisdom was at work here.
Afterwards, I slept for a bit, awakening when Juliette was finished with her massage. I was aware that I felt different, although the words to describe what I was experiencing were still unclear. That I had dropped a load was certain, but what this would mean for me was still integrating. It has been three days since that massage now, and many realizations have settled in.
I knew during the massage that in some mysterious way, what I was going through was for many of us, not just me.
My gratitude to my body for its innate wisdom, its courage and its strength is profound. I have noted the absence of my defense system, and now when someone says something or does something that I would previously have defended myself against, I feel a neutrality instead. My heart is so very wide open now. I am primed right now to meet each sensation in the body when it comes, and not defer feeling it to a later time. I also am not taking these sensations personally.
That despair is a feeling that lies deep within so many of us, and when we can get in touch with that, and actually feel it, miracles can occur.
I also want to reiterate that so much of how we behave in the world is actually our defense system making itself known. If we can simply notice that, and not judge ourselves around our thoughts and the ways we may behave, then this defense system can weaken. We may also become more compassionate towards others as a result of seeing this in ourselves. I feel that this despair that lies so deeply buried in the unconscious is at the heart of our addictions, be they to substances or behaviors. Until our time comes, we can only be as ready and willing as possible to seize the opportunity to release this deeply buried feeling when it arrives as a miracle on our doorstep.
And speaking of releasing addictions, and miracles, my sweet tooth has been totally inactive since that massage. Those of you who have known me for a while can fully appreciate the enormity of this. That’s right – no cravings, no desire for chocolate or sweets. Now that my defense system has been dismantled to the extent that it has, maybe I can enjoy and appreciate sweets when it is appropriate, not when I need them. How long this lasts is unknown to me. My appreciation for the peace and freedom that has awakened inside of me is off the charts.
In closing, I wish to express my deep gratitude for this event in my life.
Paul Galewitz is an addictions counsellor