Is it your time to roar?

You are much greater than you know.

The founder of Somatic Experiencing, Peter Levine, wrote a well-known book called Waking the Tiger. The title refers to a common experience of victims of trauma. During some past threat, they attempted to protect themselves but were defeated or overwhelmed. Afterwards, they may have become “frozen”, i.e. they lost some ability to defend themselves, to believe in themselves, to say “no”, or set other boundaries. The phrase “Waking the Tiger” refers to the need to rouse the powerful, self-protective instinct within ourselves from its trauma-induced freeze state.

Ironically, over the years I have repeatedly had the experience of meeting people who have heard of Levine’s work saying to me, “Oh, yes, isn’t he the one who wrote ‘Taming the Tiger’?” They remember it wrong in such a profound way, as if it would be desirable, instead of reawakening our personal power, to “tame” it still further. I wonder if it says something about our culture that so many remember it that way.

In the following poem, I’m pointing to the magical perfection in our relationships and circumstances. Though we may complain about misunderstandings and unmet needs, (yes, I do that too!), ultimately, I believe, the “stage” of our lives is designed and destined to give us what is required…not necessarily what we want, but what is required for us to awaken to who we really are and the power that is uniquely ours to express. We are here to learn to roar.

The word “sangha” refers to a teaching or religious community, a gathering of souls destined to learn lessons through sharing their lives.

Sangha

You know the feeling.
You’ve been searching for a long time
for the ones you belong with,
who will recognize and welcome you home.

You know what it’s like to be the ugly duckling.
“Who are these waddlers I’ve been thrown in with?
What pond did they come from?”
There’s the one who mistrusts you,
another that makes you cringe,
one who excites your sexual longing,
who you dream could complete your life,
some you admire, some who irritate,
several who seem smarter and faster,
and a couple you’re sure are dumber.

There’s even one who knows who you are
when you won’t yet admit you do.

This ragtag bunch doesn’t look like the
the family you’ve been searching for.
You never doubted you’d recognize the right ones instantly,
comforting as angels and radiant with love.

But you’re blinded by ignorance.
Like the lion cub in the story, raised with sheep,
you think you know who you are,
but you’ve never learned to roar.

These ones you’re with now will drive you crazy
pulling you this way and that,
And when you get really tired of crazy,
you’ll roar,
and realize you’re home.

These ones you’re with now…
they’re exactly the right ones.

God loves disguises.

 

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Paul Chubbuck is a practicing psychotherapist in Fort Collins, CO, using Somatic Experiencing® to help people release unresolved trauma. He may be reached at 970-493-2958 or through his website at www.releasingthepast.com.

Your comments, questions, and stories are welcome below. I will respond.

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    • J. Nemes

      Paul, thanks for these offerings. I enjoy reading them very much and find them very helpful and illuminating. I was reading about Neem Karoli Baba last night and stumbled upon the phrase “Sub Ishwar hai,” or ‘It’s all God.” I was shown through my readings the way the divine has worked in my life through these “disguises.” When I can relax my skeptical Western mind and just reflect on what has happened to me, it seems very clear that the phrase is true. I look forward to seeing you again Paul and want to encourage you to continue your writing and this blog. I think that you have a real gift and it inspires me to recognize my own and have the courage to offer it to myself and the world. Many Blessings and much Love! ~John

      • Anonymous

        Yeah, John. Sounds like you’re ready to roar.