[Private journal entry written on Friday, February 3, 2012]
Today, I sent off an email to Edward . . .
Hi, Edward –
Are you enjoying all the snow?
This seemed like a good day to send a status report, so, here it goes . . .
I’ve been processing what occurred in our last session. First, I am tickled that I was able to say to you what I really wanted to say to you (“How dare you dangle that possibility in front of me!”) I think that might be the first time in my life I’ve been able to authentically put my anger into words and say those words to the person to whom I wanted to say them – at least, it was the first time I’ve done that in a healthy way. That is a huge milestone. I appreciate the extra time you spent with me to help me “pull myself together” at the end of the session.
I was significantly impacted by the session on an emotional level, specifically by the last few minutes of the session. I’ve remained functional (at least enough to perform the “must do’s”) since the session, but I’ve had to fight to do so. I’ve spent a lot of time under the covers and have been doing a lot of numbing/coping behaviors to deal with the intense emotions that are hanging around. But, I’m still functioning for the most part.
I was fighting a battle with myself in the minutes before I said what I really wanted to say to you . . . I kept telling myself it was not reasonable and mature to say those words . . . that you obviously were just doing your job (setting possibilities in front of me, refusing to see me as disgusting, etc.) and it would be silly of me to be angry at you for doing so . . . a reasonable, mature person wouldn’t say those words.
But I felt safe enough with you to say them anyway – I believed you would give me the safe space to say them and you wouldn’t shame me for saying them. I believed you would not judge and criticize and shame me, rather you would help me process what I was experiencing. And that is what allowed me to say those words. But, I didn’t feel my anger was justified – not before I said those words and not after.
Since the session, I’ve been having the same conversation with myself – that it might have been okay to say those words to my therapist in the context of a therapy session, but that nevertheless, the anger behind the words is silly and unjustified.
I’m realizing this is the same conversation I have with myself concerning the anger around what happened with my dad. I believe that anger towards my dad is not justified, that a reasonable and mature person (according to my dad’s definition of such) would not experience that anger, that allowing myself to experience and express such silly anger would be like stepping backwards in my growth and healing . . . because part of “getting my act together” and being a desirable, likeable, loveable person is taking the “high road” and being reasonable and mature. So, I’m still trying to get my mind around all of that.
And . . . here is another bit of news . . . on Wednesday morning, at the conscious business group I’ve been attending, one of the members brought a copy of a newly published “coffee table” book titled A Beautiful World by Dr. Brian Luke Seaward (I’ve learned he goes by “Luke”). It is mostly photographs he has taken from all over the world, and it also has a little bit of text describing the location and a little bit about his travels to that location, what was happening in his life at that time, etc.
The photographs are absolutely breathtaking. I immediately decided that I wanted to get a copy for my mom because she loves those kinds of books — she gets inspiration from them for her watercolor painting.
The group member has an art gallery in Loveland that also hosts holistic classes and services. She is hosting a book signing there for Luke on the 15th and she invited all of the group members. My teaching schedule won’t allow me to attend, so I asked her if I could buy a copy directly from her. She doesn’t have any books on hand – Luke has the only supply as he self-published the book. So, she gave me his phone number in Boulder and told me to call him directly.
I called him today and we made arrangements for me to pre-pay for the book. Then, I can pick it up from the art gallery after the 15th. But, I also learned from him that, on the night of his book signing, he will be at the art gallery until 9pm. So, I might be able to catch the last 30 minutes of his presentation, depending on how that day unfolds.
Anyway, in the process of doing all that, I checked out his web site and discovered he is a health psychologist and apparently is pretty well known . . . endorsed by Deepak Chopra, for example. He teaches on holistic living, nutrition, stress management, etc. One of the presentations he offers is on the “Hero’s Journey” as described by Joseph Campbell. So, I dug a bit deeper into his notes on that topic and realized that maybe I’m on my own hero’s journey . . . and that the struggles I’m experiencing are all part of this journey . . . that the struggles are necessary and beneficial . . . that I’m not broken, I’m just on a journey that causes me to dig deep . . . and the digging deep is not always pretty . . . but I’m actually amazing because I’m brave enough and strong enough to persist and endure while on this journey.
At least, in this moment, that feels like a story I can embrace.
So . . . there is my brain dump for the week . . . thanks, in advance, for reading it! I’ll see you on the 15th!