The Therapy Session
Oh, my. This nearly brought tears to my eyes a few times. I'm grateful for the encouragement to get to know the hidden, and not so hidden, personalities that have been running me. Very liberating. And what did I find? The first and loudest voice was my very own, and more than one incarnation of her. Not unfamiliar creatures, having done battle with them before. But there's something about really calling them out and naming them and then addressing them. I feel that I still have some work to do on this, but I will call myself out on one thing right now and pledge not to wait until I think I'm done enough or my writing good enough or whatever enough to show up with my findings! Because that has been my way for a very long time, and I realize that it keeps my light under a bushel basket.
I found it absolutely fascinating that quite a few of my committee members could be construed as the shadow side of those whom I now trust and invite to be on my new Committee. For instance, my first husband when I was in my twenties never saw the value in the work I did to create beauty in both functional and non-functional objects...I see him as the shadow side of my current husband, Dave, whose support and enthusiasm puts wind under my wings. And there are two Sarahs in my life from the same circle, one in whose company I feel like the unruly child who has just broken another rule; the other from whom I get nothing but encouragement to reach and grow and try. Also two Michaels: one a former friend, artist (and now turncoat); the other a young teacher and budding textile star who has said "yes" to mentoring me. Then there's my mom, who when I first attended the University of WA made it clear that she wanted me to be an oceanographer, when all I wanted to do was take art classes. But did I? No...because one had to declare a major in art, and my younger self had no one in my life who noticed my creative urge, and I had trouble valuing it, too. My Mom now comes to me in my dreams and I palpably feel her love and support. (I'm a big dreamer...run dream groups...take great guidance and inspiration from the dreamtime...and for me it's plenty OK to spend extra time in bed!) Last shadow character is a former boss named Pat, who in our graphic design firm had no time or room for my inspirations and vision. Now a transformed person and close friend, she believes in me wholeheartedly, and I trust her to be authentic and truthful with me.
I find it very comforting to feel in synch with many of the emotions and experiences of others, and even see some of the same words here and there. Like...."weird". My father said to me when I was a grown woman: "You were a weird kid." I wish I'd asked for more detail at the time, and had a real conversation with him about it. With time and mellowing, I now consider this something of a relief, that I wasn't like all the other children. I could hear my own little drumbeat, and I'm on its trail!