Call Your Energy Back
The conversation was steering in the direction of a break up. I could see it in his body language, and could sense by the way he was saying, "We're just working too hard at this. It should be easier."
I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but my energy had gone to the space between us, as if a shadow of me was reaching my arms out to him and pleading, “No, don’t go!” I felt off-center. Though my voice was quiet when I said, “I don’t think so—I think we have a lot of great times,” there was a frantic nature to my side of the conversation.
Frantic because I was speaking from the part of me who was leaning toward him energetically. When I caught myself doing this, I imagined bringing my energy back into my body. I immediately felt sad. I also felt, calmly and without a doubt, that he was right. We were working too hard, and it was best to let go.
I share this story because it’s an example of a time when I energetically inhabited the space between me and someone else rather than inhabiting my own body because I wasn’t ready to face the truth of the situation. And though it can sound esoteric and woo-woo to talk about being in the space between you and someone else, a lot of us do it a lot of the time.
It’s what we do when we’re trying to control a situation or another person as an attempt to not have to feel something we don’t want to feel. It’s usually unconscious, but it’s identifiable by it’s underlying tightness, whether that tightness takes on the flavor of franticness or numbness.
It’s interesting, when I ask clients where they felt their energy in a certain conversation or situation they can say without prompting, “It was definitely out in front of me.” They immediately recognize it. When I ask them what it felt like, they hold their arms up like they’re reaching for something. Sometimes they even lean their entire body forward as if they might fall over.
The sad thing about this pattern is that when it happens you’re not in touch with what’s true for you. Nor are you in touch with your inner resources that allow you to actually acton what’s true for you. And that lends itself to a collection of relationships that feel slightly (to grossly) unfulfilling, a whole series of situations in your life that feel like ticking time bombs of emotional tension, and the sense that you are constantly a small distance away from your self.
For as pervasive as this having your energy out in front of you thing is, what I find remarkable is that when I ask a client to imagine themselves back in a certain situation and to see if they can bring their energy back to themselves, they can do it nearly instantaneously. It’s kind of like in a movie when a spirit sneaks it’s way into someone’s body to possess them. Except in this instance it’s you coming back to yourself. It’s you choosing to possess yourself.
The hard thing about possessing yourself—really being present in your body—is that you’re vulnerable to all the things you may not want to feel and to all the truths you may not want to acknowledge.
But the awesomething about really being present in your body is that you have access to all sorts of resources you don’t when you’re just in your head—things like courage, compassion, intuition and emotional regulation. The very things you’d need to feel self-possessed and resourced in the face of your own vulnerability.
I encourage you to play with this this week. Be curious. Ask yourself, “Where is my energy or attention in this situation? Is it out in front of me or on the other person only? If I were to bring my energy back into my body, what would I feel? What would be true?”
This is sometimes enough—just taking a peek at what’s really going on inside, taking note and putting it away to attend to at another time.
If you feel ready, try softly coming back to yourself. Feel yourself breathe. Feel your feet. Feel being behind your own eyes. Name to yourself what you’re feeling. Be with yourself in the feeling. See what feels true, and what you might need to say or do to really stay with yourself in the situation.
Be gentle. This is revolutionary.