About three years ago I went to see a wonderful holistic therapist to talk and clear out residual feelings from my move to the mountains. There had been so many things that happened in a short time expand: finances lost, love disappeared, some of my children living in other states, and the newness of being in a place I couldn’t quite settle into alone. I needed to sit in this sacred place and truly express my journey to someone who had no choice but to sit and listen. Imagine my arrogance! What I got was a completely different experience. As I told her about how much I had gone through in the last few months, in my ultra-hyper-speed voice and gestures (almost padding myself on the back as I realized how much had happened and how I wasn’t in some corner of a room in deep depression), she stopped me and told me to tell her why I was there and what I wanted. I had only two hours, and I needed to get it all out. I wasn’t planning on returning. But then she asked, “What do you want, Millie, and don’t tell me about blah-blah-blah but really get to the bottom of what you want from this session?” I thought, I’m here, lady, I am telling you what has happened. I’m sharing with you intimate moments and, yes, they might be a little bizarre and ridiculous and even boring to you, but I’ve come through them. I wanted her to reassure me that these emotions would not return and the karmic lessons were learned. I wanted some kind of security from an experienced and educated person. What I wanted was to hear, “Wow, you did well. How great for you!” That was my egotistical little voice wanting approval through a paid cheerleader. I somehow wanted a mother to comfort me because mine was gone and I needed to hear that everything was going to be alright from here on.
She kept pressing on and the more she pressed the tighter I became. By the end of the two hours I was barricaded from the world. I wasn’t willing to talk or discuss anything else. In those days I would go on shut-down mode. I would cross my arms against my chest and become pretty quiet while agreeing with that person even though I didn’t agree. That was me…the agreeable one when I knew my truth (or I thought I knew my truth). I walked out of the two hours feeling completely lost in my lack of identity. I had gone in there with a pretty good self-esteem and had left with none. It took weeks to gather the courage to be me again and accept all my faults (while still living in the Land of DeNial). I had been dissected and magnified. It was, to say, one of the most paralyzing events in my psychotherapy history. And, the reality was that I was lost in my own translation. I was also lost in denial. I look back at that experience and marvel at it because NOW I understand what she was trying to get me to understand about myself. I had a difficult time accepting the truth in so many areas of my complexities. Because I am a survivor I refused to hear that I wasn’t doing it right!
That session taught me a lot. I started to think about the many people who expected me to shed some kind of emotion in their presence while sharing. I learned that there are some people who assure me that I’m not doing well when I am actually better than other times. We all handle life differently. It’s as if they are projecting their own insecurities. I have a way of dealing with my life now in a quiet way to process things. When I am ready to discuss the events I do. Sometimes I don’t. And, when I want to share I can do this while laughing in Spanish, and gesturing in English (while making sure that I don’t get lost in my own translation). Perhaps that’s the confusion to the external world. In those two hours years ago I realize that my egotistical voice was telling my spirit that I didn’t need therapy and could handle things on my own. These lies the ego projects cause the turmoil of the psyche. We all need someone at some point whether it is a professional, a friend, a lover, family or a stranger. When we are honest with ourselves we come to the place of healing. Our humanness needs external validation whether we want to accept it or not. We are connected to one another. We aren’t in this life alone.
Don’t be guided or jolted by what others think when they aren’t in accordance with you. Be careful who you share your stories with and expect loving help. Some folks tend to project their opinions and hostility while trying to get a reaction (because they aren’t willing to work with their own issues). We all have our own distinctive way of breaking through. I work through mine while writing, hiking, gardening, and meditation. Sometimes the old Millie kicks into ultra-hyper speed of moving through the issue too quickly. I grab those issues by the tail and pull them closer, turn them around, stare in the face of discomfort to love them. Loving the discomfort, the ugly and the pain is the only way to release it. Years later I understand why this therapist stopped me. I didn’t see it then. I was living in such denial of events and challenges (so much that months ago I died in the ER because of the backed-up stress). The clarity has come from really getting in there and pulling out all the junk I had carried for a lifetime. Forgiveness has been the number one priority to releasing it all to the Divine. Waking up and seeing that control is all an illusion has made a huge difference in my life.
There’s no secret formula to healing. A healthy start is to face the problem. Accept it. Learn from it and release it. It isn’t pretty or comfortable. At times it is shameful and disgusting, but when you allow the process of authenticity to move through you with love everything is possible. The Divine Spirit works in mysterious ways once you allow for it. There is no right way or wrong way. There’s only YOUR way!