Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Preparation for a Prayer

Last spring, as I approached a particular NAET treatment, I became inexplicably anxious. I looked for ways to procrastinate, postponing appointments, finding other things that just needed to be treated first, forgetting to do the necessary preparatory work. The morning of the treatment, I awoke from a dream that my father had had sex with me. It was repulsive: his casual use of me. I went into my healer's room shaking with a fear I couldn't explain.

During the treatment, I had a conversation with my dead mother that, by midnight that night, indicated to me the depravity of the sexual abuse of my childhood and adolescence. I began to think I had repressed memories far beyond the few incidents that I could recall. It was a realization that tipped the axis of my identity sideways.

The apprehension with which I'd gone in for the treatment began to make sense.

Tomorrrow morning, at the height of the full moon eclipse, and some conjunction of Venus and Pluto that my astrologer assures me is auspicious, I will perform a purification and initiation ritual. My intention is to strip away the denial and repression that keeps me from realizing my spiritual potential, to purify my vision, and to commit myself to my life's calling more deeply, though I will not know really what that is until the blinders fall away from my inner sight. It is a step of faith, fidelity to the path, because I know that the rigors of vocation will be more than I can imagine at this point.

The trepidation that wavered into total terror, then rushed headlong into stunned horror, that accompanied last spring's NAET treatment also finds me now as I prepare for this coming ritual. What knowledge am I about to face? To what life am I committing myself?

The ceremony itself is little more than minor theater with fire and salt, psychological smoke and mirrors. But psychologist-priest that I am, I know the power of theater to give life to the soul. It is a powerful statement of faith, of my willingness to follow a calling I've denied my whole life.

It is that commitment I fear. What if it is too hard? What will it cost me? It will, of course, cost me everything I have. That is what callings are. They demand your life, one way or another.

This ritual is a declaration that I am willing to meet that price. I will follow the truth that is yet to be revealed, lead where it will, cost what it may.

I shake with reverent fear, holy terror, and determination. The demon in my head, who is not yet convinced that this is grace, screams in pain. A door is opening into new depths and the migrainous screeching of its hinges alerts me to the potential horrors lurking within. Do I really want to enter? How can I not and hope to live with myself?

Would that this cup should pass from me. But be it not my will, but Thine.

1 comment:

  1. Sandra,

    My rituals end up being journal entries that, if done in the Old Testament style, I'd be creating an altar like a line in the sand, reminding me that the past is the past. I guess you could call them contracts with God where I decide to change and then count on divine help to follow through. I need the change to come, but there's a missing element that I need in order to move forward. So I look to God to come fill that void in me to take me into the next step. It takes radical faith.

    I'm reminded of the NAET treatments (prescribed my neurologist for headache and allergy) that I did for B vitamins, back when I first started NAET work. My urine looked like chalk, and every night, I cried out in my sleep. I didn't have specific nightmares, but I woke up many times a night at first. Towards the end, I could sleep through most of the night, but I heard from my husband that it was still a problem for him!

    I'm also reminded of the EMDR session I had where I delved into the painful memories of being molested. I knew that the man drank at family gatherings but was too little to remember or even know what he drank. I was about a mile away from the therapist's office that night, and the taste-memory of gin suddenly became so strong in my mouth, I became afraid that I'd get pulled over for drunk driving. It didn't come up in the session with the counselor, but with the memories of the trauma came a memory of gin in this man's mouth -- in my mouth. And I decided that this is why I intensely hated the taste of gin as an adult. How intricate and complex we are, and how complicated early childhood abuse makes things all the more tangled for us!

    I now end up on health cleanses that turn into prayers for spiritual renewal. I'm getting ready to do the big liver cleanse with olive oil and lemon again, and I pray that along with the preservatives and cholesterol that ends up junking up my liver, that God will purge my gall. With the seemingly never ending cleanse from yeast which I'm resigned to have to do and stay on most of the time, I pray that the decay that grows in me will pass away.

    They always seem like something bigger than I am, and I do them in faith that I will be whole. I never expect to arrive, but I do hope that I will have made major strides in the journey. We have such a process of hope that we must work through when life has disappointed us. I don't think that there is much room for passing that cup to avoid the pain, once you see it as such. It is the travail of the soul, and there's something in us that knows that if we shrink back from it, we'll drink from it in another way. We might as well just face it, even though it reminds us of how limited and helpless we are, dependent on something or someone greater than ourselves to help us.

    We might as well just say "Slan" and drink ("health," "safe journey," "homeward bound," and "goodbye," all wrapped up in Gaelic). We die to what was in order to live anew. That seed that falls into the ground stops being a seed and becomes transformed into something else, as the dry hull softens and tears, as the life inside it stretches and reaches. You have to become something completely different, and that's a thing to shake in holy terror about. It is a leap of faith and a call of duty to do what we know we must, no matter what theater we play in.

    Slan to you, friend!