“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” Rumi
I remember my first therapy session like it was yesterday. On 9 April 2009, I entered a therapy centre shaking like a leaf. I felt cold as fear coursed through my veins. Could I even articulate the stuff that weighed me down? I didn’t let myself acknowledge it, never mind discuss it with a stranger. What if I was too damaged and beyond repair?
A few weeks before that visit I met a man. There was a possibility of something in the air, but I could feel all my unhealthy patterns raring their ugly heads. I was getting needy and insecure, and while I knew intellectually that there was nothing worse than that behaviour, I couldn’t help myself. I just needed a quick fix, so that I could finally have a healthy relationship.
My therapist was a young woman. Within the first 15 minutes of our session, I told her about my history of sexual trauma, abusive relationships, dysfunctional family…. I wasn’t ready to explore all those issues, I just wanted her to know what she was letting herself into.
‘Will you take me on despite all of this?’ I asked as we were finishing.
‘Yes, of course.’
‘I’m going to see you until the end.’ I added.
‘What do you mean?’
‘Well, until I heal completely.’
She didn’t say anything. I was hoping she’d say ‘Yes, sure’, and contradict my housemate who kept telling me that she was in therapy for eight years and still couldn’t have a relationship. Eight years! I didn’t have that much time. Maybe she just healed slowly. Maybe she wasn’t consistent enough. Maybe she was too broken. I’ll be different.
I dived into every single approach that came within my line of vision:
- family constellations,
- movement of being,
- five rhythms dance,
- Journey by Brandon Bays,
- Compassion Key,
- Non-personal awareness,
- Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping)
- the list goes on and on.
I travelled around the UK and even abroad to attend workshops, retreats and have 1:1 support. I’m not talking about one off occasional treatments. I dedicated myself to each practice for years on end.
Well, eight long years, to be precise.
Here’s what I didn’t understand back then. I thought I was going to a therapist so that she ‘fixed’ me.
There are no fixes. This a journey with no destination. And you can’t rush it either.
To me nowadays, the healing path is about growth and transformation. No matter how well you do, when you release limiting beliefs, you can do much better.
At the same time, paradoxically, there is nothing to fix. We are already whole.
Yes, this is not to deny that there are hurt aspects of ourselves too. Both – And, as one of my teachers says, meaning that both statements are true: we are both whole and we have wounded parts too.
Our wounded aspects can sometimes run the show. Just like with that relationship I mentioned at the start: I was so ‘identified’ with needy and insecure parts of myself, I couldn’t fully appreciate who I truly was.
Today, I don’t feel broken anymore. I can connect with the wholeness of myself, which remained pure despite life circumstances. At the same time, life happens. In no way do I want to pretend that I’ve got all my sh*t together. I get triggered and upset from time to time. Like everyone else, I face challenges, because having tools to support others does not make me immune to problems. But I walk my talk. I use all the methods I know day in and day out. If I get stuck, I tap, I do self-directed compassion, and non-personal awareness. I regularly see a range of therapists and healers, and pay a lot of money to get the support I need.
I’ve already arrived. And my journey continues. Both – And.
“Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.” Rumi