Deep down I knew that when it came to healing, I still had some work to do. I decided to dust off my copy of Trauma and Recovery by Judith Lewis Herman. Herman explains that the first principle of recovery is empowerment. That others may offer advice, support and care, but not cure. For any intervention, no matter how well-intentioned, that takes away your power is not in fact a healing relationship. So I really wanted to learn a way to heal myself, but I wasn’t quite sure how and where to start. And then, on a beautiful summer’s day in the forest I met a wolf. As I looked into her kind and wise eyes, I immediately felt that she was the one to ask for help. The wolf told me a story about how other animals process trauma. A deer who survives an attack will find a hiding place and start to shiver. This helps to shake out the excess charge in her body. Trembling is a natural response to trauma that some of us have unlearned or forgotten. But by trusting our bodies, we can re-member it again.
I keep thinking that at some point in my life I’m going to have everything figured out. But it never seems to happen. At the beginning of this year my life was on track: I had a good job, a lovely home, sweet friends… the only thing missing was a unicorn. How I longed to meet an unique creature to share my silent dreams with. Now, after the whirlwind of this new relationship, it feels like I have gone through the looking glass. For the first time in my life, I feel embraced by a love that is quiet, reserved and overwhelmingly secure. But right now, I have not a clue what I am supposed to be doing when it comes to work and whether my small home near the sea will have room enough for the two of us and the life we imagine. I feel completely lost, but I cannot help but smile. And that is something I would not trade for all the financial treasure in the world. So, there is nothing to do but to accept this fated change. As I allow love to flow into my life, I must have faith that the rest will follow.
Seek and you shall not find. I always think I got this one, but somehow I never quite learn. For a while now I’ve been on a quest to find a unicorn. I know there lives one deep in the forest somewhere, so I went down there everyday and did everything I could possibly think of. I sat down on the grass and quietly read my book, making sure not to make any sudden movements. I looked behind every tree. Chased every butterfly and rainbow. Tried to squint my eyes hard enough so that a white deer looked like it might(?) have an almost invisible horn. None of these things worked, of course, but I was having the most wonderful time wandering around this beautiful place and meeting the most amazing creatures. Until one day, having forgotten all about my quest and just dancing around joyfully with my woodland friends… a unicorn magically appeared. I couldn’t tell you where he had come from, he was just there in front of me, moving his little feet and inviting me to dance with him.
Things change. Something that used to work perfectly for you, suddenly doesn’t anymore. For a while you keep thinking: if we could just get back to the way it was… But there comes a point where you have to surrender and accept it. To cut the dead wood and trust the magic of new beginnings. Case in point, I’ve made the decision to leave my (very steady) temp job. I used to love having to go into town every afternoon, but lately it’s draining my creative energy. It wasn’t until I was started reading The Magical Approach by Jane Roberts that I understood why. The book explains that creative time follows the rhythms of the earth, the seasons and tides of nature. But our society is based on production time, you know, nine-to-five-assembly-line time. It is based on the principle that each minute is valuable and most be devoted to work. But, as the book reminded me, relaxation is the champion of creativity – not its enemy. For inspiration you need empty time, where time is allowed to flow.
It’s a quiet summer evening. Raindrops are falling from the grey sky, there’s some light thunder in the background. A pigeon sits on a branch just outside my balcony, slightly hunched. In the distance I can see the lights of my neighbours garden. I’ve been given oceans of time just to sit, rest and dream. A few days ago I had an accident – a single unguarded moment and I fell down. The same way as I did exactly five years ago. When it happened, my first thought was: ‘not again!’ Last time my rehabilitation took almost six months. But so many things are different now. My life is so much richer, filled with the positive energy of beautiful people and animal friends. I’ve picked up new skills along the way, like the basics of first aid and where to get crutches. I’ve learned about healing trauma, how to follow the rhythm of my own body, the foods that nurture you, which herbs quicken the healing process, and about the magic power of touch. I’ve learned how to stop striving, always wanting to arrive in another place than where you are right now. Most importantly I’ve learned not to despair, but to trust in myself and the universe.