How often have you seen peeling paint and realized that something isn’t right…either the paint has aged or there’s something going on with the surface on which the paint was applied… perhaps, there was no primer paint used or perhaps there was some rotting wood or seepage of some sort going on. In any case, if repairs are to be made that will last more than a season, one needs to get down to the inner parts of that house or object that needs to be painted.
So also, it is with people. How often do we go around with a plastic or practiced smiley face which hides the truth of the feelings and fears and thoughts that we hold inside? Or, worse, how many people aren’t even aware of the thoughts and feelings that cause them to show forth internalized symptoms that come across, at times, as “peeling paint”… odd behaviors, eruptions of anger, un-understandable fears, terror, etc. triggered by something from their past that has been so deeply hidden that they are not even aware of it?
One type of person like this might be someone with PTSD and repressed memories who, when experiencing a present event or hearing of one, ends up with triggered memories that have been deeply internalized and shows up as symptoms of great fear and terror, extreme sadness or grief, or a myriad of other emotions that surface without reason.
So, as in handling peeling paint and working on the foundation, so also, these people need to become more and more aware of their internalized symptoms that begin to manifest as bodily feelings and emotions they hardly know how to define or identify, but once they do, these old, old feelings, like rotten wood, can be replaced with feelings in the here and now and, as wood or a foundation that is repaired, so also a person with internalized symptoms can begin to see healing of their soul and enjoy the myriad of feelings and emotions and the development of an integrated self – of body, mind, and soul, and enjoy the rainbows of emotional colors and thoughts, and live in and enjoy the present moment, living in relationships with others, without the anchor and hooks to the past that once kept them in a pit of despair and hopelessness.
Precious Linda – 2013
Written with the prompts of “peeling paint” and “internalized symptoms” for 12 minutes at my Practice Writing Group.