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In case you’re wondering, personal therapy is something akin to recognizing one has a bloody, matted, gravelly, road-rash head-wound. The path to recovery requires treating shock, stopping the blood flow, and making sure the vitals signs are stable. Next comes rinsing off the blood, either shaving or washing and combing the hair, picking the small rocks and debris out of the wound, sterilizing it, and then protecting it while the area heals. Not all areas are affected by the actual injury, but the whole system suffers the shock. Though healing occurs, tenderness persists, and it is not uncommon to hesitate getting back onto the bike once it is safe to go outside. One hopes the scars don’t keloid.
For someone who has NOT been so wounded, it is tempting to underestimate the severity and sometimes even necessity of the cleansing and healing process. Perhaps those most resistant to the process are those who have suffered their own wounds in eternity past, whose skin has healed over the gravel and dirt, who are afraid that uncovering the wound to clean it out would be intense enough to cause death. Afterall, suck it up! I know for a long time, I wasn’t willing to reach up and touch the gravel under my skin because there was a deep awareness that the de-graveling process would cause a lot of upset, not only to my system but to the system of my family and the community I had built around me.
Even more, I knew that the emotional pebbles in this analogy were made up of sadness and grief and that to open those areas up might just create a gravitational pull that would suck me into a vortex of never-ending despair. I have been depressed; lost a year or two in school to the comfort of my mattress (good thing I got out of a discipline dependent on science labs!) The thought of going back there is terrifying, almost enough to send me spiraling just thinking about it.
But like the wound on the head, the wound of the spirit can heal. We are resilient beings. We have all the pieces in place to survive and even thrive in the most bewildering of circumstances. There is a sacred honor we have to each other to be real with each other, vulnerable and authentic. I am not talking to dumbasses and buttheads. I am talking to the people who share my tribe, my heritage as a compassionate and intentional human who wants to help reconnect—maybe redeem— the broken pieces brought on by the dark side of human nature.
Maybe the Mayans tapped into some higher knowledge and they have it right; maybe the Biblical prophecies are spot on and some Messianic-pre-requisites are currently being set in motion; maybe we’re just all hurling around this ball of minerals which will, despite our abuse and cluelessness, manage to outlast us by millions of years, but something you and I share is this: in each of those scenarios, we only have a limited number of years to make the most of what we have. Whatcha going to do with yours?