As a single parent with a difficult relationship with my "X" and many previous years of physical and mental abuse by him, I had been living a horror of child custody cases. I held uncontrollable anger at him for mistreatment, broken faith, and abuse toward myself and my young daughter. His Court strategy was to carefully harass me within the gray areas of the law, while honoring no boundaries of respect, concern for my daughter, or limits on how evil or devious he could be. His strategy was working too, as I did not have the coping skills for abuse, nor did I believe it to be my responsibility to absorb this abuse, even though I did. So with a lack of self defense skills and an error in the perception of my responsibility, I was headed down a painful road of bad judgments and loss of control. I succumbed to my faults as the buttons were pushed, and when I could hold no more, I would respond by unleashing my anger with both physical and emotional force.
Basic therapy was not offering me solutions, but rather, only diagnosis and recognition of my problem. I needed to bridge the gap between recognition and solution. While remaining in therapy, I searched for additional help with this terrifying problem. For a while, I tried using a low dose of prescription drugs to help with calming and clarity, but the results were minimal and revealed no answers.
My heart's aching and longing for solution led me to pursue any possible spiritual help that I could find. In the meantime, fearing that my condition was physiological, I had a complete physical, underwent psychological screening and was tested for chemical imbalances. Nothing came up abnormal. Frustrated, I went to a self-help, spiritually oriented bookstore. I found so much information that instead of pinpointing a solution, I realized a new search had just begun.
In my exploration, I consulted with two different clairvoyants for some quick answers. The gap was still not bridged. I became very anxious, as it is unnerving to feel you don't have the ability to overcome an obstacle that is surely going to destroy your future and happiness. There was no peace, no asylum. The frustration motivated me to a relentless search. I also changed therapists, to one who specialized in abusive relationships. I needed to calm myself in order to gain clarity. I joined a group meditation and understood its function and benefits. No answers came.
A friend mentioned acupuncture had cured her asthma and gave me a brochure indicating it would work on stress. Still believing that my inability to cope with stress was the problem, I sought this ancient healing art. I found it to be clearing, but still found no answers. The doctor said I had bad energy. I then pursued the Japanese method of Reiki, an old established healing modality that focuses on the body's energy field. It is believed to correct the blocked flow of energy, which prevents healing from occurring. Although I felt spiritually and physically uplifted with this treatment, I still suffered with angry outbursts from time to time. Still no long-term solution, no permanent bridge for crossing over.
My new therapist greatly helped me to reflect on and review my reasoning and coping skills. She supported and encouraged the spiritual quest I had begun, to help guide my growth and healing. She was supportive of alternative methods which revealed an unprecedented receptiveness in the field of psychology. That is, the ideal reasoning of unrestricted opportunity through the merging of spiritual and cognitive reconcile. I knew I had an ally of intellect and integrity. Now, I felt I was on the right track. My resources matched up, backing my search for the spiritual healing that I felt compelled to find my answers in. My efforts were well thought out and responsible, while both the conventional and unconventional resources accepted and complimented one another.
Necessity is the mother of invention. Now, with the conventionally acceptable support of my therapist's progressive approach, I felt more confident and correct in my own personal pursuit, due to the credibility she granted. This opened the door for my consciousness to go full steam ahead and pursue the reasoning of alternative paths that were available. Following this awakening, I discovered an ad for an Expo that provided seminars and demonstrations of a variety of alternative healing practices. I looked it over and marked my selections. I discussed it with my therapist and was again encouraged. One of my selections included a seminar in which a "Shaman" would demonstrate and provide the opportunity to experience the technique of "Journeying."
A Shamanic Journey
During the workshop, Paul Sivert explained the purpose and techniques of the Shamanic Journey, and all those who had come were invited to participate in their own experience. The goal of journeying is not always the same, but in this instance, we were all to "bury something we didn't need" along the way. It was a useful mission, as we all have issues that would be better off left behind, things we should be done with. I found the journey to be more than I'd expected as I was to bury my anger, and it couldn't be disposed of in any manner that I attempted. At the end of the seminar, the Shaman offered that if anyone had a negative experience, to see him after class. We made an appointment, and I knew then that the real journey, the one I had hoped for, was finally about to begin.
In our first meeting, after a brief assessment, the Shaman determined that an Extraction was necessary. I came with my mind WIDE OPEN, not only for being receptive to the healing but, I also admit, with one eye open, watching for "smoke and mirrors."
Paul explained that an extraction is a spiritual healing that removes a spiritual intrusion (unwanted negative energy) from the individual's energy field. He explained that as a human being, we have four bodies: physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual. Healing that is initiated at the spiritual level may have a profound effect on our other bodies as well. This process of integration is what is missing in our current method of psychotherapy. The spiritual healing ceremonies we would participate in would benefit me in ways that I couldn't truly expect, because of my current level of pain. I was ready for some evidence that the healing would come to me NOW.
The ceremony itself could be described as symbolic, metaphoric, spiritual, psychologically therapeutic, or any and all of the above. I began my experience cautiously and viewed it as symbolic and spiritual. I relied more heavily on the symbolic influences because I did not want to be swayed by my own thoughts or emotions. Rather, I sought to allow a purposeful transformation that could be created through visualization of the symbolic images.
As the Shaman had informed and prepared me, I lay comfortably on a couch and experienced his work. While participating within myself, many things were removed. Near the end, I saw a small beam of light penetrate the darkness behind my closed eyes. He signaled me to return my consciousness to the awareness of the room, awakening reality. My first thought- feeling-emotion was, in a word, "JOY." It rendered me nearly speechless for a few moments in its intensity and has not only lasted, but grown.
On my second visit, Paul planned to conduct a Soul Retrieval Ceremony. The Shaman was to retrieve the stolen piece of my soul that my "X" had taken possession of, which was now stored in the lower world, held by Mother Earth until it could be safely returned to me. Considering the cruel history with my "X," this vision was easy to accept. However, I was very uneasy about the prospect of what might return with it. The Shaman then assured me that he would allow no negative or foreign stowaways to return attached to what was mine. Still uneasy, yet in trust, we began the soul retrieval ceremony, each of us journeying toward the same goal.
Ultimately, he returned with my soul, breathing it into the top of my head and solar plexus. Still journeying, the wind swept around me and I felt the return of my ally. Although our separate journeys were different, with different messages to tell, the information received was congruent, relevant, and highly useful in replacing old obstacles with new beliefs; laying the groundwork for healthier reasoning and a revised perception of my actual reality and position therein; and changing the way I view and feel about my life and its opportunities. The imagery created a deliberate and purposeful change in my beliefs. My beliefs reconstructed the way I view my world.
Gifts . . .
Another visit required a journey to seek allies with gifts to protect me. I wanted to overcome my vulnerability to abusive attacks that make my anger grow hot. A power animal and medicine gift were returned, and I then used this imagery in times when I thought I might be weak and affected. I was surprised at the lack of anxiety and threat that was usually present during these instances, and knew that this healing had worked for me.
The avenue of change that the Shaman offered was the creative imagery that unlocked my cell door. In reality, I had locked myself in, because my belief system was incorrect and my inner conscience knew my guilt. Consciously, because of the intensity of my emotions regarding the issues, I was unable to undo the layers of difficulty and apply the reflective reasoning necessary to resolve problems without the interference of my inner and outer conflict.The creative imagery enabled me to separate the emotional confusion from the real problem, and reinvent alternate preferred scenarios with the deliberate goal of achieving an appropriate resolution.
The new beliefs that resulted were based on newfound choices that were always available but unattainable, due to the obstacles of fear-based beliefs and subsequent emotions that prevented the breakthrough of more effective and relevant concepts and their application.
In addition to the invaluable changes and learned techniques that I have accomplished, I have realized a significant increase in my sense of spirituality. My updated, new concept of my ever- present lifelong relationship with God has become renewed, and I feel I may have more than I thought to offer others. Shamanic healing was, for me, like finding the long lost lyrics to the music that I have always known by heart.
By Angelie Blesse