A good friend has written a summary of our work together. I'd suggested that she journal about her progress, so she'd always have a reminder of how far she has come. I was unprepared for the beauty and simplicity of her words. When I received this email, I was so deeply moved that I asked her if I could share it with you. She said she'd be honored and "if we can help others to take that first step, I would love it." And so, here it is.
When I came to you, I had overwhelming feelings of gloom and doom with . . . . as far as I could see. No reason. I had a home, a job, and was self-supportive. And to me that should be enough to make you a happy person. However I felt very empty and sad. In our work together, I saw that my feelings were coming from years of stories that I felt unable to change or control. So I stuffed all of this until finally at 58 years old I couldn't breathe. I really couldn't breathe. I felt as though it was too much effort to breathe. I remember my first walk into your pasture, taking a deep breath, and at that point I attached myself to that place thinking I had to get out of my world to relax and breathe. Then simply taking deep breaths seemed to be a tremendous help. From that point, doing body scans and talking to my scared little girl and recognizing her I started to feel better, much better.
All the stories I had stuffed because they meant that I was stupid or undeserving, all my trying not to be like the alcoholic that had raised me. All those stories I faced for what they really were came up and I was able to face them and let them go. I gave my little girl attention and listened to her fears and almost immediately she was one with me. Since then I talk to myself a lot and know that my feelings are just energy that I have to allow to pass through my body. But they must be listened to and not stuffed.
I am sure the future will bring up more stories. My hope is that I can remind myself to acknowledge them and process them in a healthy way. I tell myself, "I love you" every day. I will always need to I think because for so many years and so many circumstances I have felt undeserving of love.
So today, I love myself and feel worthy of that love and I feel calm and I feel like I am smiling inside. I have things to work on but I am confident that now I am in a stable place with myself to conquer what comes. I must close in saying it amazes me that I had no idea where to start or what to do. Turns out the answers were IN ME all the time. Thanks Shell.
Thank you friend, from all of us.