Thursday, February 28, 2008

Healing is a two-way gift

"I read your blog, and you surely have a lot going on with Scott. I'm sorry it has taken this turn, but I was thinking last night in bed that things like this make life much simpler. It's kind of like breastfeeding. My child needs me. Everything else stops. Everything else falls away. My child needs me. It's like a call that rises above all the other swirling voices in your head. There is nothing to do but answer it. A zen-like, now moment. My child needs me." (My friend Kristin)

"Spirit has a way of setting up conditions that must be responded to..." ? (A quote from Sharon, my mentor and therapist--but I can't remember the rest of it. I suppose it had to do with--what, a new phase of growth, perhaps?)

I think that one of the aims of therapy is to reclaim my disowned and True Self. This involves healing the rift torn when I had to lie about what was true in order to placate the environment I was dependent upon.

Another goal is to catch on to the ways I've participated in the illusion that the world is an unsafe place, and begin to create safety, and beauty.

A corollary of that is to wake up to a world that holds magic, and miracles. A world that I can trust...that I can trust that miracles are being worked and the question is "how" will the miracle come...not if (I will get what I need/want).

When I found Billy's class I thought the miracle had indeed come--that I'd found a place where Scott's needs were met without seriously sacrificing mine. Happily ever after.

Then reality reveals that Scott's needs aren't perfectly wrapped up and disposed of. Over a period of several weeks it's clear that if he is going to thrive, then more of me is going to be required, even in the more nurturing environment of this school.

So then I question miracles and whether trust in them is an illusion, or worse, a delusion. Maybe it's just whistling in the dark. And what of the question that goes way beyond me and my little world? Where was a miracle for all those forced into the most horrific of circumstances in World War II? Millions of people are suffering excruciatingly right now, in this world. Where is their miracle? where was Suzy's miracle? Why do we live in a world where innocence and vulnerability suffer the cruelties of the worst of adults?

Perhaps, suggests Sharon, this situation where I must either respond to Scott's needs or turn a blind eye to them is a place where I either participate in the world being 'unsafe', or create safety. Perhaps it also represents an opportunity of movement beyond the place where I needed at least 7 hours a day to myself. Perhaps that's not what I need in order to do my work now. Perhaps some of this work on myself is now being worked out in being this Presence for Scott. I've needed seven hours a day to work on healing myself; the next phase of healing is to provide for Scott what was not available for me: a loving and intimate voice, navigating with him through the details of a classroom environment. I suppose this is the sort of Presence that we humans have needed and lacked: in our cells we have been very alone and tried to manage as best we could. Some of us better than others. We needed and deserved a loving parental voice, deep inside our very cells, to sustain us and teach us to sustain ourselves in times of stress. Most of us had parents who weren't in tune enough with their own deeper selves to be able to provide that support to us. Even loving parents. Of course, some parents were overtly cruel.

So in a way, providing this Voice for Scott is also providing It for me. In love filling this space inside him, I am filled too. So the reality is, he is also giving me a Gift.

This is a way I create Safety for Scott, and for myself also.

So it's very interesting to reflect back to the image of the dream I had when I returned to therapy with Sharon a little over a year ago. This was the dream where he'd fallen into a stream and was being swept toward the ocean. I was annoyed with him in the dream, before he fell in and I was further annoyed at the prospect that I might need to get wet when I didn't want to. In the dream I'm poised above, paralyzed by the choice of jumping in after him, or running along the top and meeting him where he washes out.

I see that I made my choice. Before I've realized it, I see I jumped in with him some time ago.


Lori said...

The image I have after reading this post is of proverbial scales falling off your eyes, of chains falling away.

Realizing that on some level, this is exactly what you chose to experience.

Do you feel this?

excavator said...

I'm feeling an affirmation of the idea that it is an act of kindness to offer up our neediness, our fears, anxiety. That these are our gifts to offer, and in exchange we receive the kindness in the Universe. And then that exchange releases a marvelous explosion of gratitude, joy, wonder, which is also our gift back to the Universe. And then the pulse begins again.

I've been sitting here in silence for a few moments, so I guess it's time to stop.

Suzy said...

Interesting post. I think what happens also is that once you release the fear and pain to others or the Universe (easier said than done) you begin to awaken other people's awareness which in turn, most often, sets up a dialog when there was once none.

Although keeping things to ourselves presents it's own safety net. It's the risk taking that invites change and growth.