Sweaty Hands and Self-Love: A Story of Healing

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At every stage of life, there is always learning and growth to be had.

Regardless of your particular role in society, a major step in the awakening process is to openly share and talk about your struggles with others. Even if you are a healer or a teacher or a guide to others (as I am), it is imperative that you, from time to time, share about your current challenges.

Yes, it may be scary to talk about our struggles (holy hell, I know that the story I’m about to share is super scary for me to admit!), but this kind of vulnerable sharing is what brings our shame and negative feelings out of the darkness and into the light of consciousness. By sharing openly, we heal. We transform.

By my sharing with you today about a current challenge of mine, I hope you will be inspired to share with a loved one what you are actively engaged in transforming.

MY SWEATING “PROBLEM”

When the temperature rises above 75 degrees (roughly), my hands and feet begin to sweat.

This happens because my endocrine system is imbalanced.

I am working on healing it.

Some days are worse than others. On some days, it’s simply a light dampness; on other days, the sweating is so intense that I am literally unable to type on my laptop because I fear that such a steady flow of liquid will break the machine.

For all of my life, this issue has plagued me. Not only is it often physically uncomfortable (for example, it’s difficult to do yoga sometimes, because my hands and feet are sliding all around the mat), but it is socially uncomfortable as well.

If the weather is warm that day, after a class or a workshop, when one of my students approaches me and holds out their hand for a handshake, I sometimes inwardly grimace.

Or, if I’m doing a Reiki healing session with a client, when it is time for me to touch a part of their body that is unclothed (face, neck, arms or legs), I sometimes worry that the sweat rolling off my fingertips is a distraction or an irritation for them.

Or, if I’m dating someone new…there is always this awkward moment where they reach out to hold my hand, and I want to run in the opposite direction.

Over the years, I have equated my sweaty hands with being a total weirdo. With being a loser, or a freak.

I so often feel shame when my hands come into contact with another person. (Which is surely ironic—considering the fact that I work as a hands-on healer!)

Many times, when I’ve shaken hands with someone, and they’ve literally gotten their hand soaked (it’s quite incredible, really), I’ve seen the look of mild irritation or confusion on their face, as they then wipe their hand on their pants, unsure about what they’ve just encountered. I assume they’re thinking something like, “What the hell was that?” When I see that look on their face, my heart absolutely breaks. I feel like a failure as a human being. A freak. A weirdo.

 

QUESTIONS AND REALIZATIONS

For years and years—basically, my whole life—I have actively hated and despised this aspect of my physical body. And though I deeply adore warm weather, I sometimes find myself dreading the spring months because of the seemingly inevitable social awkwardness it can bring.

But…lately…I’ve been asking myself some deep questions.

Why am I so ashamed? Why do I assume others will have negative feelings about the wetness of my hands? Why do I worry and care about what others think? What does this worry reflect about my own capacity for acceptance and self-love? And since I judge myself in this way, in what ways do I still judge others for not being “perfect”?

In so many ways, I have dropped concern for social norms and done my own thing. I’m a rebel. I am an independent, free-spirit. I don’t follow fashion norms. I wear non-matching clothes without a second thought. I don’t shave my legs; I don’t conform to gender norms. And I’ve broken just about every sexuality and relationship norm there is. In my rather conservative, frozen-in-time tiny town, I hug trees, sing, and openly perform sacred rituals in public spaces where such things are seen by the majority as outlandish, if not outright insane.

In so many aspects of my life, I do not give a crap what others think about me.

So why, in this one aspect, do I still worry about judgment and criticism from others?

After much recent reflection, I realize that the basis of my worry has to do with the fact that I’ve been stressed about presenting myself in a certain way, since my work highly depends on the impressions others have of me in order to seek my services. Basically, I’ve wanted to show myself as “perfect,” so others will be inspired to learn from me.

However, this attempt to be seen as perfect has created an impossible situation, where I am, time and time again, judging myself as less than perfect. It has set up a no-win scenario, where I am feeling like I have to hide behind a mask, rather than present my true self to others, warts and all.

Ultimately, what I realized is: Lately, my sweaty hands are prompting me to be more honest with others. I want to take all the masks off.

My sweaty hands are also helping me to realize how much more I need to love myself, unconditionally.

Do I have the courage to love myself, every single bit of me, no matter what?

Do I have the courage to claim my experience, and say to the Universe: “I love myself through my hands. I love myself through my feet. I love myself, whether sweaty or dry. I love myself, no matter what.”

And, do I have the courage to decree that I am the creator of my own experience?

 

A NEW CHAPTER

I realize that I do not know when the full physical healing of my endocrine system will happen. I know that the core of the imbalance is from years of undiagnosed PTSD.

And even though I now consider myself healed from PTSD—meaning that I have successfully rewired my brain into healthier patterns so that I no longer feel victimized by my past and meaning that I no longer require that label to make progress on my awakening journey—the reality is that my endocrine system, my physical body, is still catching up.

For years I have faithfully practiced healthy eating, daily meditation, and Reiki self-healing. And the situation still persists.

I’ve been so angry with the Universe. Why haven’t I been healed yet, when I’ve been so diligent to follow the path of healing?

And this anger…this anger is now asking to be transmuted, transformed, into patience, peace, acceptance, and self-love. I need to be with myself, just as I am, unconditionally, regardless of whether the issue is ever cured in this lifetime.

I have to be okay with the possibility that my hands and feet might always sweat more than I’d like.

That’s a hard lesson to learn, but I am ready.

The time is now for a new chapter. Yesterday, I attended a social function. New friends everywhere, wanting to shake my hand, wanting to be close. And so yesterday I began to practice something new. I began to shake hands with people, and as I did so, I silently repeated the mantra: “I love myself through my hands, I love myself through my hands, I love myself through my hands…”

As I met people by looking deeply into their eyes and seeing the lovely Spirit that lies within, I realized that what counts is not the dryness or the wetness of my hands. What counts is my ability to meet them where they are at, and to see the God within.

In order to do this, I need to meet myself in just that same way. If I am blocked because I cannot love this part of me, what are the chances that I can love them in the deepest way?

I am ready for this change. I am ready to create a new reality, where I love myself fully and totally, no matter what.

 

WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

My dear friends, thanks so much for listening to my story.

It’s felt scary, but also remarkably good to share with you.

And now, I invite you to share with us, in return. Let’s exchange energy and create a complete circle of healing.

What is it that you have disliked or even despised about yourself that you can now use as an opportunity to love yourself? What is it you’ve judged about yourself that you can choose to transform into an active practice and remembrance of love?

Please share with us in the comment section below.

And please know that as you share your story, you are inspiring others to do the same.

Your choice to be intentionally vulnerable is a powerful healing act, for yourself and others.

 

Thank you.

 

8 thoughts on “Sweaty Hands and Self-Love: A Story of Healing

  1. I have large breasts. Right now Im a cup size “F” Puberty came when I was about 9 years old. By the time I was 12 years old my breasts were already cup size “C”. This meant that that I was different from all my friends and cousins. I also wanted to wear spaghetti strip tops and dresses and it was not possible. One time I heard my aunt tell my grandmother that Im probably going to start having sexual relationships early on because my body was developing so fast. I got attention from older males before I was ready for it and this brought me a lot of shame. Truth is that I really hated my breasts in my teens. But thankfully that phase passed and I started seeing how beautiful my curvy body is, and I came to love my big breasts as much as I loved the rest of my body.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dear Avela,
      Thank you for sharing your story!!
      I love that you now see your breasts, your curviness, as beautiful, and that you overcame the shame that you felt early in your life.

      I really love everything you post on Facebook, by the way. You have such light flowing from you, and it helps me regain center if I’m having an “off” moment. Thanks so much, sister! xo
      much love

      Like

  2. Wow, thanks for being so vulnerable, Anya! It is both comforting and freeing to know that we all have things we hide/dislike about ourselves.
    I have always hated how emotional and emotive I am. I cannot hide any emotion I am feeling. I have cried at least once, but typically multiple times, a year in front of classmates during elementary, jr high, and yes, high school. It is incredibly embarrassing. I would scold myself and tell myself to keep it together. I wanted to wish every feeling away. I still often despise this aspect of my being, wanting a way to hide my emotions, but also, not feel them at all. Feeling deeply can be so hard!
    I still struggle, but I know that this aspect of me allows me to connect to others and is why I am perceptive and compassionate to how others are feeling. I think it is the thing that drew me to practicing Reiki and being a healer. So, it is a gift. 🙂

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    1. Dearest Amanda,
      I agree, your emotiveness is a gift.
      As my favorite spiritual teacher Matt Kahn says, “What we’re feeling we’re healing.” I think that’s so true. When we feel, we allow the layers of tension, fear, and other emotions to release and flow through and out of us. We allow ourselves to break the bonds of restriction that society tends to put upon us, and we are then free. Emotions free us!
      Thank you for sharing your self-love story, Amanda. I appreciate you. I see you.

      Like

  3. Wow, this is such a beautiful and inspiring post. Thank you for sharing your story and allowing yourself to be vulnerable. I’ve always struggled with self doubt and low self esteem, but my sense of self worth plummeted after an abusive relationship. The horrible things this person said to me and that profound sense of unworthiness are always lingering in the back of my mind, although it has lessened over time. I have turned to writing and telling my story in hopes of healing myself and others going through the same thing. I’ve learned that by sharing our stories we can find solidarity and remind ourselves that we are not alone.
    Wishing you all the best – speak766

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    1. Dear friend, thank you so much for your words. I am so glad to hear that you have founds ways of healing yourself: through writing, and through sharing with others. It is so important that we find a voice to share our innermost truths–this is how we come alive. Thank you again for your sharing here. Much love to you xo

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As a 54 yr. old female, married for 29 yrs., I’m learning how to trust my God and my awesome self as I learn to believe why I was created and for what special purposes. Finding that specialness about myself has been a wonderful, sometimes daunting journey of taking responsibility for every aspect of my own life! I have blamed and shamed others for not knowing how to meet my needs. I’m learning how to communicate from a more loving & caring place for my own survival because I want to be better every day. Not perfect! I want to be comfortable with who I am so others are Blest and want to be around me! I want to live as if there is no time, or amount of money that can persuade me from becoming my authentic self! As a wife, mother, aunt, cousin, sister, daughter, and friend, I’m learning how my lack of belief in myself is my ego trying to protect me from past hurts that inhibit me from moving forward into certain areas of my life! I just finished a 30+ yr. career of teaching Special Needs babies through 26 yr. old adults and I’m beginning a new career in Network Marketing to help others be free of a 9-5 boss driven job to becoming their own boss and creating the schedule of their dreams! Now, I have to be so disciplined with my time if I want to be financially responsible for myself because I’m not expecting my husband to take care of me. I’ve never had so much freedom to do whatever I want, when I want to, and yet I’m scared of succeeding and failing at the same time! I’ve taken this summer to allow myself to not schedule too much so I could have more time to see what it is I really love, am good at, and how realistic it is. My sweet niece Anya emailed me about writing something in this blog about self healing and I couldn’t be more thrilled to tell you about my transition from a dependent wife, mother, aunt, cousin, sister, daughter, and friend to a self healing woman that continues to learn about how extremely important it is to love & believe in myself first. I began journaling every day last October 27th after reading a book called “The Miracle Morning” by Hal Elrod. Scribing is one of the 5 exercises he recommends. It’s been almost a year that I’ve been faithful in journaling through an Our Daily Bread App on my phone. I send it to my email & then print it out at the end of each month so I can transcribe this journey daily. I’ve never grown so much or listened to more audio books than I have these past 11 months! A whole new world has opened up and I feen to get a new book before I’m done with the last. Self love comes with self healing when we choose to spend enough time with ourselves, believing in ourselves, and learning how to shut out the ego,naysayers, and dream stealers so I can focus on and spend more time with my God, those that lift me up & challenge me in a healthy way, and allow me to do the same for them! Anya is one of the lights that shines in my life and I couldn’t be more proud of her! Thank you for letting me express some of my self healing practices during this transitional period and for helping me along the way! Love never ends when it begins with you!

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    1. Dear Sue,
      I feel blessed every day to know you are my family: both in my “earth family” and also a member of my soul family. We have been drawn together, time and time again, to share with each other, uplift each other, and sometimes challenge each other.

      When I read your story, I see I have so much I can learn from you: and that makes me excited! I myself am learning to break the constraints of society in terms of not being financially dependent upon anyone else, and also learning to reach for my authentic dreams despite the naysaysers who say that we must work at jobs we hate in order to make a buck.

      I love that you took the time this summer to relax your schedule to discover what you love and what you are good at. There is a Japanese concept called ikigai, and it means “the intersection of what we love, what we are good at, and what the world wants and values from us.” Basically, one’s ikigai is one’s reason for being. I am so glad you are on the road to finding your unique ikigai, Sue.

      Sending you love, and many thanks for sharing your self-healing story. We are all blessed by your sharing! xo

      Like

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