I wrote the following on 18 November 2000:
Summary of My Process
Before actually beginning, or even being aware that such a possibility existed, my little voice that over the years, I believe, has kept me from doing anything I would truly regret, was once again screaming, and I do mean screaming, at me to listen. It started in August, and, as usual, at first I discounted what it was saying. I just couldn’t believe it was true. However, over the course of a few weeks of really listening to and thinking about what had been said to me, I realized it was right. A chance rental of the movie “28 Days” got me thinking that rehab was exactly what I needed; something so intense and concentrated that I could not walk away. I asked my therapist if such a thing existed since I had never heard of it for emotional issues, only chemical ones. She told me that, yes, she did know of a place called the Hoffman Institute that had a branch in Wisconsin and that she much respected the work that they’ve done. She got the number and I called that day to have the information sent to me. It didn’t arrive for a week and a half, which stressed me out since I wanted it instantly. Once, in my own mind, I’d made the decision that it was for me, I wanted concrete facts in from of me. I wanted to know when and where and how much. When I finally received the packet, I glanced over it, and my first thought was, oh, this isn’t me for. J read it more thoroughly, and later that evening, he told me he thought it was perfect for me. I re-read it and began to think that maybe he was right. Still, I had my reservations so I asked Cate the next time I saw her. She again told me that she thought it would be very good for me. I thought about it a little more, then made the decision to do it. I called and made the reservation. After that, I felt a little scared and a little excited, too. The next day when Fed-Ex brought my enrollment package, I wondered what I had gotten myself into. I knew, though, that I had to do it. I felt, really, as though my life truly did depend on it. I had made a promise several years earlier to my mother that I would not kill myself, but my spirit (which I know now, saved my life) was dying. I was dying, and if I didn’t do something drastic, my life would cease to exist in any kind of meaningful way. The time had come to take real action or I was finished.
A note before I continue — some of what I will be copying won’t make a lot of sense, unless you’ve actually done the Process, but it is more the feeling of what I’m saying than the specifics of what we were doing in the Process. Also, because I wrote a little over 7 1/2 pages, I will break this into a Part 3. You have to remember this was 2000, and laptops, if available, were not readily used, so everything was written by hand. Of course, I still write in my journal by hand – no keeping it on my computer or iPad. Okay, back to the summary of my Process:
My experiences in the Light Journey, my spirit guide, Child, Intellect and Sanctuary were all so foreign to me. At the end of the visualization, I was more exhausted than anything else. I also felt a sense of fullness, that here are parts of me I never even suspected existed, let alone knew of. I felt as though a lot of missing, very scattered pieces came together at last. I saw lots of colors swirling around and was amazed at the beauty of it all. At times it felt awkward as my emotional child has never had that kind of love and attention that my spirit was paying it that day. After I was able to put those feelings aside, though, I felt very grateful that I could help my emotional child feel loved and whole. My intellect has done a good, no, make that a great job of helping me deny my true feelings about most everything in my life. Having to allow my intellect to actually feel was liberating. It gave me hope. It made me feel as though I CAN DO IT. Whatever IT is. The vision of my sanctuary was very beautiful. The was a huge hammock that my trinity came together in. A place where the sun always shines, even as a gentle rain must sometimes fall to water the giant live oaks that support my hammock. At the end of those visualizations, I felt relief.
I think some of the most destructive patterns I learned from the major females in my life are self-doubt and never feeling good enough, and a sense that joy and happiness are for other people, not for us, or me. After dis-identifying with those patterns through the exercises we did, I felt a sense of freedom and forgiveness. And relief that I am not the patterns I learned. I felt that there is hope.
My experience of using my addictions in the Light also provided hope. I realized that my addictions were, and still can be if I let them, just ways in which I isolate myself from everyone, including myself. It has to be a conscious decision, daily really, not to allow it to happen. In my fantasies, isolation is a wonderful thing, but in reality, it doesn’t really provide anything useful to my spirit or soul. It actually keeps me from the very things I truly crave: love and a sense that I do belong, that I do, in fact, matter.
The most devastating and destructive patterns I learned from the male presence, or lack thereof, in my life are fear of men, of love, of being abandoned and of commitment. My experience of dis-identifying with all those patterns through the exercises was similar to that of the female energy. I also felt a profound sense of relief and lightness.
The compassion session was a sad, but incredibly moving experience. For as long as I can remember, before this week, I have never viewed death as anything other than freedom from pain and the shitty word we live in, and because of that, it turned out to be harder than I would’ve imagined. What made it ‘real’ was going to the cemetery and re-living it again there. That was extremely difficult. For me, just walking into the cemetery was hard enough, but what we did in the actual exercise was very real and sobering. I still don’t believe that death is a bad thing, but I can finally see reasons for sticking around now.
Okay, this is where I am going to stop with the summary today. I have not read this since I left Hoffman and it is kind of hard to take in. I can see so much more clearly now, and I am able to see just how close to the edge I really was. Scary! The good news is I came through it and even now when I start feeling less than good, I have the tools to get myself back to where I need to be, where I prefer to live my life. I learned so many of those tools at Hoffman, and as I have already said several times, Hoffman truly saved my life.