Writing from the Gut
After I decided to start spilling my guts my body decided to spill its guts.
I have noticed that my body often reacts to my actions or life events with a kind of poetic accuracy.
Having held my writings quite closely hidden until now, I can’t say that I’m surprised by this reaction (though I am a bit suprised by my body’s humorous capacity). One day after publicly sharing my first post on how I want to open up and explore how to write from my gut, my body went into a state of pushing out all contents of my stomach, literally being unable to hold anything in anymore. I felt how this bodily reaction was somehow connected to a sense of release: it was as though my body was saying: “Finally! Now is our chance. Let it all out!” For the next week, I was stuck in a horizontal position, unable to do much else than lay down and reflect on this process that I have started.
This week I am back on my feet, back to writing, hoping that sharing these writings will result in a calmer bodily reaction.
Still, I think there is a wordless wisdom in the body, and I am writing this post as a tribute to that wisdom. I believe that many illnesses that I’ve had have served deeper purposes exactly because of their incapacitating quality. They are time-outs, forcing me to pause and reflect on my actions, instead of simply rushing on.
During the last week, I realized how afraid I am. I am noticing how anxious this process is making me feel, and that there was a side of me that did not want to face these “negative” emotions. A side of me that is apprehensive of what ghosts will get discovered and dredged up as I start looking back on my life and writing about it more openly.
I do feel a lot of excitement and joy about embarking on this journey, but I need to acknowledge the shadow sides too. In embracing these aspects from the start I am attempting to set out with a more balanced approach. In the spirit of openness, I want to bring both the light and the dark with me on this journey. The joy and the fear. The flowers and the ...vomit.
It takes guts to be vulnerable. And though it may sound paradoxical, I notice that starting to write openly is bringing up both a fear of showing my vulnerability, and a fear of failing to show my vulnerability as openly as I hope to do. I guess, that by writing these words, I am practicing just doing that: sharing these fears, and thus, sharing this vulnerability.
The act of writing is in itself an act of transformation. Bringing forth these different emotions through writing creates a safe space for them to exist. They are held here, for a moment. In a kind of inbetween space, made up of the words that they were written by.
I want to write from a place of joy and playfulness, but I also write because it makes me afraid. If you write out your fear it transforms into something else, because letting the fear out is an act of trust. Trusting that your emotions will be received gently. Or at the very least, not ridiculed. So in essence, you are transforming that initial fear into trust.
This is what writing from the gut means to me. Or, at least, contemplations on what it may mean. Maybe there are other aspects that will be discovered on the way.