Anyone who has hung out with me in private recently will know that I often make a continuous stream of noise with my vocal chords. It’s like humming, but with no tune and sort of, strained.
It started a few months ago as a sort of growl and has continued but changes in pitch and volume depending on what’s going on for me emotionally. Sometimes it’s a relatively high pitched whine. Sometimes I open my mouth and it becomes a sort of howl. I’m a lot like the simple dog from Hyperbole and a Half:
Me right now:
Sometimes it falls into crying.
Some observations I’ve made that may suggest the cause and nature of the noise:
- Whenever I try to do a lesson from ACIM, especially a new1 one I find myself pretty immediately grumpy about it and straight into making a noise. It feels like the protective cover of pretense that I (the ego) want to do the Course, has been stripped away, so all practise immediately chips away at the ego itself, instead of the ego’s protection; or like it gets straight to the feeling rather than having to get through a cloud of ‘rational’ thought; or like it’s hitting straight into undisguised unwillingness.
- When I’m making this noise, I am reconnected with myself, with my true state, with being. As opposed to dissociated. Dissociation has been a big issue for me, either autism-related, abuse related or trauma-related. Much like when I tell someone the Radical Truth.
- After listening to Ken talk about the song of pain that everyone is singing2 I like to think of this as an overt song of pain. It doesn’t even get close to the depth of sorrow in the real song of pain, but at least it’s not pretending that everything is okay. It’s not denying the anguish. It undoes the denial3 of anguish, because I cannot make this noise while also pretending that all is well. One of the phrases I find most challenging to say aloud in public is “I am not okay.” and growling/howling/whining/crying affirms this fact constantly.
When you choose truth, you don’t get to choose what the truth is.
As A Course In Miracles puts it^[W-pII.1.2-3]:
An unforgiving thought does many things. In frantic action it pursues its goal, twisting and overturning what it sees as interfering with its chosen path. Distortion is its purpose, and the means by which it would accomplish it as well. It sets about its furious attempts to smash reality, without concern for anything that would appear to pose a contradiction to its point of view.
Forgiveness, on the other hand, is still, and quietly does nothing. It offends no aspect of reality, nor seeks to twist it to appearances it likes. It merely looks, and waits, and judges not. He who would not forgive must judge, for he must justify his failure to forgive. But he who would forgive himself must learn to welcome truth exactly as it is.
Since I wrote this, I’ve realised this is a grounding technique that I need because of trauma
technically none of them are new since I have previously done the whole Workbook, but most of them feel new ↩
in terms of content, not form - they might be talking about the nice day they had or what they want for lunch, but the underlying content is excruciating psychological pain. He talks about this in Letting Go of Judgement, which I recommend highly ↩
unworthy denial ↩