I had a massage the other day. My mum had given me Neals Yard vouchers for Christmas so I decided that was the best way to spend them.
I went to the same man I saw last time I had a massage... three years ago. Unsurprisingly, he didn't remember me. Until I was laying on the bench, and then he recognised my tattoo and the piercings on my neck.
As Chris worked to release three years' worth of knots, I was reminded of the last time I was there, and all the things that have happened since. All the drama and trauma and fighting and... resisting.
My back was ridiculously tense, after carrying S inside me for 8 months, and then outside of me for another 21 months. Plus all the non-physical stress I've been through. There were a lot of knots, and anyone who has had a massage before knows that when they find that great big knot in your back and start working to release it... your first reaction is to resist it. You want to tense up and try and squirm away from that niggly, sort-of pain. But really, you know that the only way out of this is through. You know that there is a massive knot there, and you know you'll feel better once it's gone, and you know the only way to make it go is to just try and relax and let this person massage it out... but you still feel like you want to tense up and try and shield yourself from that nasty, niggly feeling every time their hands go over it.
Sounds a bit like life, doesn't it?
Sometimes, you know what you have to do. And you know that once it's done and sorted, life will be easier. Maybe you have a lot of issues to work through, but you don't want to take the lid off that particular box because you've kept it on there this long for a damn good reason. Maybe it's only one thing you need to face, but it's massive and messy and painful and you'd really rather not. And so it sits there, just on the edge of your consciousness, popping into your head when you're trying to sleep at night or someone mentions something that reminds you of it...
Or maybe it's just simple things, like opening and email or text message you suspect might contain something you don't want to hear. Or not opening any post with a window. Or avoiding a person.
And then, one day, you decide to just bloody deal with it. Stop resisting, and deal with it. So you open every one of the 72 unread messages in your mail box. Or you make yourself think about the things you've been avoiding thinking about for so long.
That's what I've been doing lately. Everything from reading my emails to dealing with long-buried issues. It's niggly. But the only way out is through, just as it was when I was getting that massage. But I'm sure it will all be worth it in the end.
In other news, never leave it 3 stressful years between massages.