Unless you’ve spent your entire life living in a cave, you’re probably aware of one of the more unfortunate but common events that occur in the upkeep of a house: the maintenance issue that turns into a nightmare, a sort of “series of unfortunate domestic events.” You notice something — a spot on the ceiling, say, and — ah! Ahhh the roof is leaking… a pain in the neck, but fixable; this stuff happens when you have a house. You can handle it.
So you call your local handyperson in to take a look at repairing the ceiling and the likely problem with the roof, only it turns out that it wasn’t a leak in the roof, it was a leak in a pipe inside the house, and apparently it’s been leaking for quite some time. The entire crawlspace between your roof and your ceiling is covered with mold that has already made its way into the walls, which can be a hideous problem in itself, health-wise.
Ideally, the person experiencing what they thought was a simple problem that could be easily fixed but turned out to be a disaster, would handle the disaster in much the same way as they handled what they thought would have been a fairly innocuous repair issue, but that’s not usually what happens. Because what they thought was going to cost them a few hundred dollars and some minor inconvenience, now looks like a thousand dollar repair or more and the potential of temporary relocation. They might not have enough money; they might be under six different kinds of stress personally or at their job, and the maintenance of a calm and orderly state of mind under those circumstances ranges from exceedingly difficult to highly unlikely.
Well, healing yourself — or working with a therapist, as many people do — can sometimes turn out to be more than a little like the aforementioned domestic scenario. However, when we’re talking about a personal healing — a psychological/emotional issue or series of issues — while we could entertain a mental collapse of some sort when we discover that we’ve not advanced quite as far as we thought we had, we have an option that many, if not most, homeowners don’t have: the immediate choice to look at what has happened with the collapse of our mental state as an opportunity to attain a level of clarity and freedom that we had no access to previously.
Imagine the poor homeowner as a sailor whose boat has experienced serious damage and can only see their boat sinking to the depths below, their dollars floating away on the tide…. the ship of the not-quite-healed may be sinking too, but that boat’s in shallow water and if they take a moment to look, they can see treasure just below, on the sea floor, that with only a little effort, can be theirs.
I began my path towards becoming the person that I really am (as opposed to the person that I had become as the result of abuse) in 1992. In 2003, 11 years later, when I was gifted with the knowledge of how to advance my own healing, on my own, without having to pay someone to help me with it, I began working with myself, with my errant mind, and the with way that I interacted with the world. It only took me a couple of minutes each day, so I used the technique every day, and by the end of five years, in 2008, I was able to see clearly what kind of relationship I’d gotten my (former) self into, how that had suited my then slightly warped vision of my world, and why I had remained in that relationship for as long as I had (24 years). It was critical to my healing that I get out of it and I did.
Within a year, signs abounded that my life had shifted in a wonderful way. I felt as if I were living in heaven. Then, another eight years later, an unpleasant surprise: the 2016 elections which managed to hijack my childhood self from all the places where she was still hiding out, unbeknownst to me, deep in the cellular consciousness of my body. But because of the seemingly inescapable electronic presence of a monstrously unpleasant man, a person almost larger than life — much in the way that adults can seem larger-than-life to children — that little girl who was still secreted away deep inside came out of hiding and made it absolutely clear to me that there were still issues that needed to be addressed, things so unsavory that I had been in no way prepared to address them earlier. I needed the strength I’d accumulated in the previous years to get me through the realizations that were confronting me.
I won’t lie to you and say that I took it well; I didn’t. I looked at that little girl — and the problems she brought with her — straight in the face for about a month and a half, denying that I needed to do anything about anything, internally insisting that surely by now I must have addressed all there was to be addressed. I ended up sick in bed for two weeks, after which time I openly admitted that I had been lying to myself and that I needed to dive back into the crap heap that had been my childhood with my handy tools and get to work yet again.
I’d thought I’d been fixed! Healed! ‘Disappointed’ doesn’t even come close to how I felt. But once I admitted to myself that there was — clearly — more to be done, I came around pretty quickly and was able to just make out the treasure that lay within my reach and I went for it. It took six ugly months of pretty much nightly work (so about, 180 minutes of setup time plus whatever it took to process it) and some of the worst, ugliest and most unpleasant nightmares that I have ever had, to tap into a level of comfort and security that I have not before experienced and I can’t say too much about what it did for my already pretty decent libido.
I’m not going to make the same mistake twice. I’m not going to let myself think, “Oh goody, I’m all healed.” I’ll just be staying in the Now Moment now, enjoying myself and not even hoping for the best because the best happens to be just this moment and I’ll treasure it.