Having met David many years earlier in a Gurdjieff school where I briefly participated, I was surprised when he brought an “at risk” adolescent for treatment at the mental health clinic where I was employed. We developed a mutual mission to keep this child alive, with the hope that she would eventually thrive. When we reconnected at a play in Abita Springs, I felt both a connection and an aversion, which confused me.

Around this time, I was preparing for another personal retreat in New Mexico to do breath work. I had completed the fundamental healing with “Mother;” I had become comfortable with my internal feminine and, as always, I was open to whatever next piece my healing would reveal. During my breath work session, I was transported to Egypt for a sacred healing process where I was lying on a table. As with many significant breath work sessions, I can recall it today in great detail. The healer was a cat walking around my body and spreading healing. This scene reflected a certain initiation ritual which would allow me to deepen my spiritual process. After the session, I completed artwork and remained contemplative.

The following day I had an astrology reading schedule with a local astrologer. The session affirmed the trajectory of my healing process. I felt an unusually strong connection with the astrologer; in fact, the session ran longer than most of her sessions. After returning to Arroyo Seco, the astrologer stayed in my mind. I decided to ask her to join me for tea and I brought her flowers. I didn’t completely understand what was happening to me internally, but I felt giddy and somewhat undone. While reflecting on my visit and my breath work session, it occurred to me that the astrologer’s name was Kat. Was there some significance to “being initiated by a cat?” I was filled with a mixture of curiosity, excitement, and terror. I considered what a decision like this would have on my life. I impulsively called David long-distance, which injected energy into that relationship. I realized that i knew that I was entering this relationship with David out of fear, but I could feel comfort that it was at least conventional. I remember telling David about this encounter and I shared my suspicion that an encounter with Kat would bring deep healing on the feminine level. He truly empathized, but he personally preferred for it not to become actualized. As it was, I stayed with David and the symptoms gradually progressed over the next eleven years. It is likely that the illness that was in remission would have exacerbated either way, I just can’t know that answer from this vantage point .

Two decades later, I have few regrets for the decisions I have made. As I sit in my solitary meditative space, I look with awe at the profound healing in my life. I’m remembering my hypothesis, that this illness can be an opportunity to heal the deepest wound for a woman, disconnection from the Feminine. While watching a documentary regarding Edie Windsor and her revolutionary fight for marriage equality, I learned that her partner had lived with a progressive form of multiple sclerosis until 2008 when she succumbed to the illness. When I watched Thea, I was struck by how unusual it was to see another woman so profoundly disabled, yet as joyful as me. I was curious about Thea’s early mothering and it was revealed that her mother had died when she was an infant. Coincidence?

I am not at all concluding that one’s sexual preference leads to deeper healing; I need to be clear about that. I also believe that masculine/feminine energy is not necessarily gender-based, however in my situation my healing had to come through women. I can see a deep level of healing that has occurred through the love and care of my female caregivers. I have developed an ease with them and with my body that I never could have imagined possible. There was a level of self-hatred that I lived with on the level of the body that is no longer there. It is less important to me how the self-hatred gets cleared, but that it gets replaced with volumes of self-love.

Thank you for entering into this Journey with me and witnessing the ups and downs, the losses and wins, of an ordinary soul having an extraordinary human existence.

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