"At one point the group which included more than half a dozen specialists and students , crowded into a small room where a middle-aged woman sat in a dentist's chair. She had suffered for many years from a problem with her jaw known as TMJ, making it almost impossible for her to open her mouth without pain. She had come to the Center after unsuccessful treatment elsewhere. After DR. Mehta explained the case to his colleagues and students, Bob asked if he might very briefly speak to the woman.
" You don't have to answer this question and I'd more than understand if you don't feel comfortable in this setting, he said to her. "But I'm curious. What is it that you cannot say ? What is the secret ?"
The woman looked at him , blinked , then broke into tears. Her mouth opened as she sobbed. Finally , she began to speak of her past, which included sexual abuse and her father's threats if she told anyone. She still had not told her husband, who was not unlike her father in some ways, and she feared he would leave her if he knew about the incest.
" Tell me about the pain now," Bob asked gently.
The woman furrowed her brows and moved her jaw, tentatively at first, then more.
"There's hardly any," she said finally.
The woman's body had tried to make sure that her father's command was carried out by making it painful to speak."
This story has stayed with me since I read it a few days ago in Bob Murray and Alicia Fortinberry's book.'Creating Optimism'.
I have always been fascinated with healing stories. How amazing that they met, that Bob asked the 'right 'question . That she was 'ripe' to answer. I love hearing ways in which people find and reintegrate bits that have been lost or suppressed. This story also reminds me how secrets harm us and keep us from living a full life.
Don't Forget Sunday.
We are having an open , free , T'ai Chi morning in Fitzgerald's Park this Sunday (July 10th) from 11am to 1pm.
The session will include warm ups, form, some pushing hands , lots of fun and connecting.
All welcome - feel free to let your friends know or bring someone along.