Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Speaking To My Nine Year Old Self

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The month of October has begun.  And as we change our calendars it is definitely clear that change is unfolding outside our windows.  The leaves are changing colors.  The air is turning crisp.  The summer of 2014 is now a memory.

I had a very productive meeting with my therapist today.  We did some hypnosis work to more deeply explore the time I was a nine year old boy.  If you have closely followed my blog throughout this past summer you will know that the summer prior to my ninth birthday was an important time in my own development.  That summer followed the near loss of my father.  My alienation, fury and sadness went deep ‘underground’ in my psyche after I nearly lost my father.

Unexpected imagery filled my mind as I journeyed with my nine year old boy self.  My boy self appeared quite quickly.  After acknowledging and welcoming him I noticed he was holding a thread that disappeared into darkness behind him.  We ultimately followed that thread through an immense darkness until I found myself in a very unfamiliar setting.

I found myself in what seemed to be an anteroom of a medieval castle.  And then I bore unwitting witness to someone being assaulted and then kicked down a flight of stone steps.  The person, who struck me as being a peasant based on his clothing, was then carried outside and further attacked by a group of people.  It was raining outside as this took place.  I couldn’t even see the person once he was carried outside because he was completely encircled by those attacking him.  I could only make out occasional glimpses as he writhed in the mud and begged for mercy.

When my nine year old self first appeared he made it known to me that he was carrying a certain form of protection.  Looking back now a very short time after the therapy session concluded I cannot help but think of this scene from the movie Sybil in which her doctor interacted with one of her many personalities.  I recall her doctor taking note of the clenched fist one of Sybil’s personalities brandished to her.  This particular personality seemed intent on being armed as a means of protecting herself as well as Sybil as a whole.  I can empathize with such a hyper-vigilant attitude.  Such an attitude is not uncommon to carry after a person has been deeply traumatized.

My nine year old self eventually handed over the protective item he had been carrying.  He did so as an expression of his faith in me.  I also sensed he was willing to lay down his tool of protection and allow himself to trust in the unfolding process I have been engaged in for the last fifteen months.

My therapist reframed the protection that appeared in the session imagery as more than something that could be used as a weapon.  It could be used in a passively positive way as a form of protection.  But it could also be used in an active way to ‘cut the crap’.  Through my conscious intention I can decisively remove the dross from my life and focus exclusively on that which is healthy and good.

My therapist also spoke about introducing more light into my life as a way of addressing the dark and foreboding quality of the castle scene I bore witness to.  Whether the scene was purely a construct of my own creation infused with vivid metaphor or was instead an actual event from some past life is, in one sense, completely irrelevant.  Regardless of the ultimate ‘truth’ of the scene I found myself in I do agree with my therapist’s emphasis on light and joy.  Creating more light and joy is a fundamental priority in my own life now.

Here in the present world of October 1, 2014 I find myself feeling quite elated.  A number of positive developments are carrying me forward in the direction of a much better life.  As my therapist noted during my session today the past does not equal the future.  It certainly does not have to.  We can consciously choose to move in the direction of healing.

Post Script

Fifty Day Challenge, Day #6

Healthy activities I engaged in today:

  • I swam 12 laps at the YMCA
  • I went for a walk in the Loring Park area
  • I met with my therapist and had a productive session as I noted above
  • I volunteered some of my time this evening in support of the work of Free Arts Minnesota

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I invite you to accompany me as I document my own journey of healing. My blog is designed to offer inspiration and solace to others. If you find it of value I welcome you to share it with others. Aloha!