Unraveling My Cocoon: Self-Forgiveness
"I felt myself still reliving a past which was no longer anything more than
the history of another person."
--Proust, In Search of Lost Time
Recently as a volunteer demo-client, I joined a workshop on Noetic Balancing in-progress. Robert Waterman (who developed this method) oriented me briefly then told me to lay down on the treatment table. Within a few minutes, he asked me what image was coming to mind. A flickering of images passed through my mind until my inner eye focused on an image of me knitted into “cocoon” with only the top of my head protruding, my eyes peering over the edge of the last row of knitted coral yarn.
“I like it in here.” He said quickly, “You are in protection.” We were silent awhile. Then he asked me about being lonely, then asked more about my image and it led me to memories of literally being left out in the cold by my sisters. When my grandmother died, a day passed before the three could decide whether or not to tell me or to “invite” me to the funeral. I was living in Colorado and couldn’t afford to fly at the last minute. Peter and I drove all day and through the night through a snow storm in his VW bug to make it to the funeral in Chicago on time, but arrived an hour late. We went straight to my grandmother’s home; standing on the porch in a freezing snow storm, we could see my mother and three sisters visiting and preparing food in the kitchen. I was knocking and knocking; they could see us through the door-window; I watched them ignore us; they were shunning me. Finally, one came to the door and said curtly, “You were late. You can’t come in”, then locked the door. Years later it happened again. A day of deliberation passed before they decided to tell me my mother was dying from a stroke. “Why?”, Robert asked. I have never been able to figure it out, I’m different from them. Long ago they became distant.
Why did those memories come up on this day in front of the workshop participants. I wanted to take it back and pick something else, but there it was. I wanted to experience this process without foreknowledge of it, so I had no idea what to expect. Having met Robert at another event, I trusted him. While he moved his hands and a pendulum over my body, I practiced a heart meditation. Then he told me to repeat after him, “I forgive myself for believing I do not belong.” Breathe in, he worked on the energies in silence. “I forgive myself for believing I belonged.” Take in a breath. In the silence, I felt the pangs of deep anxiety from being left out, of others deciding whether I could come.
Robert asked about the knitted cocoon. I had thought about unraveling it. He instructed me to do it. I hesitated. It’s just a cartoon, I told myself, I can knit it back. So, I pulled the yarn and watched it unravel down to my knees; it stopped, there seemed to be knot. Robert worked quietly. I told him I liked being able to step in and out of my half-cocoon. Robert wondered about unraveling it all the way. I hesitated. Then saw the cocoon unravel completely and myself standing in ripples of wavy coral yarn.
How is that? He was right about protection, I felt accessible and vulnerable and . . . something else. On my journey to love, I need to be out of the cocoon. I felt into the space around me while Robert did his work. While he worked, I rested. “I forgive myself for believing I am not wanted.” Breath. Energy moving. “I forgive myself for believing it was my fault I was exiled.” “I forgive myself for believing I needed to hide in protection.” I breathed this belief out. And this pattern between healer and me continued for a while: brief exchanges between us, noticing images and sensations in body and mind followed by declarations of self-forgiveness and a deep breath…
At one point in the process when I felt my head was spinning, a deep sadness, loneliness, my heart was racing, and my arms were vibrating wildly, I said, “If there were a Geiger counter than could measure the energy in my arms, you would hear “click-k- k- k- k-k-k-k.” Robert said quietly, “It’s just Rats leaving the Ship.”* With this idiom, my mind became still as it watched the Rats running down the planks. The sensation was the sudden movement and release of energy long-tied up in maintaining these old beliefs and judgments-against-myself.
We form our core beliefs when we are in still in innocence and protection and then spend the rest of our lives protecting those beliefs by unwittingly re-recreating a world and relationships where the original and familiar drama is reflected back to us. Nothing can happen in the present that is not rooted in the past, tethered to a past belief. I recalled Proust, "I felt myself still reliving a past which was no longer anything more than the history of another person."
Like many, I was taught to forgive others, but I was not able to do it in this case. I carried the beliefs about myself forward in my life and have acted in the belief others decide if I am wanted or invited. Forgiving others keeps in place a subject-object relationship, it feeds the Victim and Spiritual Judge. How do I forgive others, and for what? I’m not sure others have anymore intentional malice than I, and I have no idea what others are dreaming or what motivates their impulses and actions. If they are like me their motivations are a very complex tangled unconscious process. Which leads us back to the “I”, the creator and source of the beliefs that block love and mental and physical well-being. If I created my beliefs, then I have the power to deconstruct them. For the past ten days, instead of blaming or doubting myself or reknitting myself back into a cocoon, I’ve been practicing self-forgiveness and releasing old beliefs against myself. I am discovering that self-forgiveness is powerful razing Medicine capable of demolishing skyscraper belief systems.
Every separating emotion is a call to come home to my center, to be in relationship with myself. My true Self is in the center, and when I am abiding in my center love can flow through me. My false self is constructed of false, blocking beliefs that in some way invoke others to reinforce. As within, without.
Nothing can happen in the present
that is not rooted in the past and tethered to a past belief.
Only after I realized the significance of my experience and healing from Noetic Field Balancing did I look it up. The idea of soul-alignment healing started in the mid-1800’s with Phineas Parkhurst Quimby. In the mid-1960’s, Dr. Neva Dell Hunter and John Clark McDougall developed aura balancing, using a pendulum to transform energy at precise points where energy is blocked or distorted by a belief. Then, Robert Waterman combined the works of Quimby, Hunter, McDougall and others and developed Noetic Field Therapy. I had no idea I was being treated by the founder of this method of spiritual healing. Blocking beliefs interfere with the flow of love and energy in the body and mind, causing physical ailments, pain, numbness, anxiety, confusion, anger, and depression. Releasing and reframing of blocking beliefs through self-forgiveness lead to transient symptoms of trembling, joy, lightness of being, surge of creativity that had been trapped.
On my journey to Love, healers are crossing my Path and saying, “Look here.” I could not successfully make this journey on my own (I know, I tried). All of my ideas about love are being challenged. This path is not as lovely as I thought it would be. No matter what your blocking beliefs are, no matter what significant events from your past are still present in your life, I encourage you to experience a Noetic Field Balancing; find a practitioner in your area.
*Rats and mice can sense when a structure is on the verge of collapse and leave before it happens. Thus, this idiom has been in use for about four centuries.