Riding my bicycle over the Broadway Bridge for the first time today, with CK riding behind me for support and encouragement, brought me back to wondering why sometimes it is so easy to sink into feeling good about being cared for. Not only that it feels good, but it is easy to sink into it and just be in it. At other times being cared for by another person simultaneously arouses feelings of guilt and unworthiness. I find it impossible to sink into, just relax in the sensation of being cared for. It is pretty easy to look at it and trace back to how fraught my childhood was with the feeling that being cared for had strings attached or that my input on how best to care for me was unnecessary, bothersome.
Today was an easy day. Perhaps it is because I feel so new to bicycling, returning to it after years of not doing it at all. Traffic is more intense, both cars and other bicycles, and the gear has changed a lot too. Immediately back to a beginners mind when it comes to bicycling, so the feeling of being watched out for, kept safe, was helpful and comforting.
I found it harder when CK bought me a book at Powell's. Little twinges of guilt. She makes comments about my birthday coming, hinting at gifts, and I felt small for a moment, off center. I'm wearing the hoodie she bought me at UBC, which I love to wear because it is warm, comfy, and reminds me of CK. When she said she wanted to get it for me I felt, all at once, pleasure & excitement and guilt & discomfort, not wanting to seem a burden.
Similar emotions all rushed up when she gave me a massage in Vancouver. Eventually I was able to relax into her touch, until such time as our energy mutually shifted to being less relaxed. Always so many moments where my initial reaction to her caring, her affection is a feeling of uncertainty and not being worth it. I shift past that immediate response, into reality and the present, sometimes that transition takes longer, feels more rocky.
I make it eventually, able to at least truly feel the way I'm cared for even if I feel the discomfort in it at the same time. Finding some way to be on the mid-span, bridging two extremes. One extreme is the place where I feel shaky, uncertain, ashamed, unworthy, and afraid that if I sink into being cared for it will be suddenly pulled away from me in a way that inflicts humiliation. The other place, the other side of that bridge is where I am fully able to relax into being cared for, trust in it and be nurtured by it.
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