I recently watched the movie “Get Low” and enjoyed it very much. It is set in the 1930’s in a small southern town. Bill Murray, Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Lucas Black are all wonderful. It is touching, sad, sweet, and thoughtful. It is about a hermit who has placed himself alone for many, many years out of grief, guilt and remorse. He decides to hold a funeral party for himself before he dies so that he and others can tell their stories about him. The movie touches on themes of redemption, unrequited love and reconciliation.
The movie led me to think about how we punish ourselves for so many years, and often many lifetimes, over things we feel badly about or think we should have done differently. Sometimes it is truly situations and events that we could have/should have handled differently, but at times it is just our miss-perceived guilt. Some religions teach there is a God that inflicts judgments upon us, but it seems to me that we inflict far worse judgments on ourselves. The truth is that usually, if we could have done things differently we would have, but depending upon our circumstances, our limited skills and or abilities at the time, we made the best choice we could have at the time.
In my life and my work as a alternative therapist, I have seen how this guilt, grief and judgment gets held in our bodies and often leads to accidents and illnesses. The energy it takes to hold such thoughts of others, and ourselves can become a prison just as this hermit chose his isolation as his prison. We experience wounding from another or ourselves and then spend the rest of our lives creating energetic “Band-Aids” to hold this memory inside. Pretty soon, all of our energy can be used up just to hold all of this down so we don’t have to face it or express it. No wonder so many people in our society end up on anti-depressants and chronic fatigue. Scientists have shown that we hold memories in the cells of our bodies, and it takes great energy to keep these memories contained.
Often we even forget about this stockpile of old memories and reactions but our bodies don’t forget. They create our present and future based on the past. Or if we do remember them, they gain so much power over us that they become the boogieman in the closet. So in my work and in my life, my strategy is to bring light and love to these old feelings and memories, to heal them, release them, set them and myself free.
Life is really meant for joy, giving and receiving love. We are truly meant to be free. Yet we have allowed ourselves to live in bondage for so long, and we keep others in bondage as well. All the great spiritual teachers have demonstrated that love and forgiveness is the answer.
So whether you have me assist you, use some of the meditations and techniques on my website, seek out other healers or techniques, I encourage you to take this journey of reconciliation and redemption. It certainly makes life more gentle and joyous!
Katelon T. Jeffereys Seattle Life Coach
| I was awoken this morning with the call that my dearest friend had passed away on Sunday. When I last spoke with her, she seemed very confused, and her speaking was very clouded and shaky. When I next called, she wasn’t in her apartment and her husband, confused by his encroaching Alzheimer disease and the absence of his wife, couldn’t tell me where she was, so I called the office of her assisted living space. I was told she had been moved to another facility to adjust her medications, but probably she had been moved to hospice at that time and they couldn’t tell me that.
I first met Corrine in 1984 when I was living in a small Colorado town in a very dishonoring and abusive situation. I had dropped into deep despair, and felt emotionally suicidal. I was led to Corrine for therapy and give thanks every day for that connection. Not only did she save my life at the time, and get me through that horrible time, but she also assisted me in restoring my dignity and put me solidly on a journey to re-own my self-worth and value.
We became deep friends and kept in touch over the years. She knew my son, too, so she remained a valuable witness to my life, my growth, my struggles and joys, as a Mother then, and a Mother now with an estranged son. She continually reminded me that I had been and still remained a loving daughter, Mother and woman, when criticisms ran high and I had the option of drowning in other’s judgments of me.
These last several years, we talked frequently as I committed to calling her regularly. She always took time every call to applaud my growth, remind me that of all her clients I had gone deeper in my introspection and further in healing than all of them, and did it mostly on my own. She remained a constant friend and cheerleader even to the end.
And….she valued my calls and friendship as well. In spite of having three sons, and a sister, I seemed to be the only one that sent her Mother’s day cards, birthday cards, have a great day cards. It saddened me that she didn’t receive more love and attention, especially toward the end as she valiantly stayed alive in spite of intense pain and the many ailments she had suffered over the years. She was determined to stay alive to care for her husband through his debilitating illness. I am so grateful her pain is over and trust that her husband will be cared for in some way by his children.
Corrine was a model of flexibility, compassion, devotion, fierce love, humor and determination. I will always carry her in my heart and remain in gratitude for all we shared. May she now rest in peace, comfort and joy.
Katelon T. Jeffereys
Seattle Life Coach