I am certain of nothing but the holiness of the Heart’s
affections and the truth of the Imagination.”
~*~ John Keats ~*~
I had an appointment with my new therapist today. I was nervous to start with her because she doesn’t use the methods that my old therapist used. This new therapist does EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy, and other related therapies. It sounded scary to me but in my first session, last week, when she was telling me all about it and how it works I was fascinated. It is highly effective for PTSD which is one of my issues, as well as the other issues like depression, anxiety, and even bipolar disorder and agoraphobia. First we establish a practice to help me find an inner center of calm using visualization, breathing exercises, and I am using aromatherapy which she does in her office which is perfect with the breathing. These things help you pinpoint the problem and bring you back to a state of calm. We did more of it today and I am just amazed at how effective it is.
What has kind of shocked me and given me a great feeling of ease with this was to discover how afraid I am almost all the time, and to learn that I can control the fear myself. And it reminded me of an incredible book I read more than 25 years ago, Love Is Letting Go Of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky. I need to learn to let go of fear, I need to release the anxiety and find my way out of depression, and I need to learn how to love, not fear, life and all of the people, places, and things around me. To know that this could even help my agoraphobia is just amazing.
And I need to learn to trust. I find myself constantly immediately going to a place of fear about money and how in the world I will be okay. I have been denied 3x for disability and I am 61. I could get social security at 62 but you don’t get much then and I will get significantly more if I can hold out to 65, but how in the world am I supposed to do that? This takes me down and down into such a spiral of depression and fear that I get lost, but, I was just learning, with Cognitive Behavior Therapy with my last therapist (I only saw her 7 weeks and she left for another job. My current therapist doesn’t do CBT.), how to recognize these spirals and what tools to use to cope with and move past them. I just didn’t have long enough to really practice it. But I am seeing that these new methods can be miraculous. To know that you have the power to affect positive change, and to have tools to use is amazing. I have a special place I visualize and a keyword that takes me there. I do the breathing exercise and the fear begins to melt away, and as it does I find myself in a place of love, not fear. I begin to learn that I can trust.
Years ago I heard someone say, “Trust the process, it’s larger than you.” I need to trust Pastiche, my new zine, because it is a place of pure love, and when I am working on it, a state of bliss. It brings me to the holiness of the heart’s affections, and the truth of the imagination. For some reason I trust myself completely when I am working on it, and I know that it has the potential to expand and to grow into so much more. I am working on an ecourse that I will advertise in the next issue. I can sell my paintings in Pastiche. There is so much more. Trust the process, it is surely larger than me, I tell myself. Find my safe place, call up the word that takes me there, breathe, use the essential oils — today I am wearing a wonderful, pure, organic lavender oil and every time I breathed in I could smell it, I took it in. I have ordered a diffuser for my studio here at my therapist’s suggestion and some essential oil blends that work with my issues. I am going to work hard at this. Fear won’t solve anything. Love and belief in myself will. The holiness of the heart’s affections are found in my safe place, I breathe them in with each breath, my heart expands.
The truth of the imagination. When I am inspired to create a page in Pastiche, and I begin, nothing else exists, I am in a state of grace, there is no fear, no doubt, no worry, I am just one with the piece before me. The power of the imagination to lift me up and into the work is astonishing. No drug, or therapist, or method could create what the imagination does. More powerful than fairy dust and magic lanterns, it is pure energy, potent, blazing across my mind so that I am blind to the rest of the world. This is love. This is the one place that I can feel a kind of supreme love for myself. I even feel shy writing that but it’s true. I touch down on whatever is holy about my life, this earthly existence, my role in this lifetime. I am, primarily, a scribe at the banquet of life. I watch from my perch, I see, I listen, and I record it all without judgment, without fear. It is the one place that I am not afraid, the one activity that puts me squarely in the place where I know God exists and I am one with him and he with me. Potent possibilities abundant. Kapow! But then I step off the page and out of the work and I fall… fall …. fall back into the valley of fear. I have to learn to bring with me, out of that work space, the knowledge that I am okay, that all is well, that everything is holy including me, and you, and everyone all around. I have to go to my safe place and I have to believe what I see. I have to go home to my heart. I will find my way.
For some time I have seen a doctor or nurse practitioner to have my medications checked and evaluated every 3 months but I was not having private therapy. I was afraid to go back to those old days of having to drudge up years of sexual abuse and all the other horrors. I just didn’t want to go there. But after the fire last year I was so traumatized I just couldn’t get my footing. I am so glad I am back in therapy and that there are new methods that step over all the old stuff and straight into the present and the future. It is a miracle to me and I’ve only just begun.
Holiness, truth, here, now. I am ready. And I will be okay, one way or the other. I can at least say that now, and I almost begin to believe it. Soon, really soon.
Trust in yourself. Believe in yourself. At the bottom we are all we have and we have to do everything we possibly can to fully live what poet Mary Oliver called “this one wild and precious life.” Oliver asks what we will do with it? I intend to live mine fully, in fact I intend to set the world on fire! It’s never to late to believe, and to start over again.
Here I go!