By the time I was in my late twenties, I had already been going to psychologists for a decade, had consulted numerous New Age healers, and read every self-help book I could get my hands on. I was still young, but desperate to figure out the root of my unhappiness before it threatened to extinguish me first.
They say that every problem contains its own solution, but in all my efforts I could not see one. Until I realized that focussing on the problem could only take me so far, and that I could not fix the issue at hand with the same level of consciousness that had created it.
Then one night I had a dream. And in my dream I heard a man’s voice. He may have told me several things, but I only remember one. In a very gentle tone, he said: “Margo, you don’t need therapy. You need love.”
Although I didn’t know it at the time, this piece of information would change everything in the years to come. During that time, I went from looking for a needle in a haystack to finding the needle: the missing link that gave purpose and meaning to my world. I had discovered the glue that would bind me to life. And because love was a loaded word for me, I decided to call this glue “the connection.”
The first manifestation of this glue that I discovered was the healing power of spending time in nature. Out in the mountains, I felt freed from the turmoil and disingenuousness of the human world. But as much as I felt at peace in her midst, I couldn’t seem to transpose this feeling into any other area of my life.
I began searching for ways to reconnect with the human world, and one of the first ways that it came to me was in the form of a woman named Karen, who embodied the truth that being listened to is more healing than any advice you could ever be given. It is proof of the power of confession: I told Karen details about my life that I had never told anyone. Karen listened to me like she was riveted to a fascinating movie, and this validation of my inner world had a profound effect on me. I felt connected to, and understood by someone outside myself for the first time ever. As outrageous as parts of my story were, confessing them to another lessened their hold on me. And in the reflection of Karen’s eyes I knew for the first time in my life that I wasn’t crazy, that the things I had lived through would have had a profound effect on anyone who had lived through them.
Karen helped me to find Elaine who, out of the dozens of mental health care professionals that I saw over the course of the years was somehow able to connect with me on a personal level. Like Karen, she gave me the gift of listening to my story, but in addition gave me tools and techniques to deal with the myriad symptoms of my childhood trauma.
Next came the kids. I quickly realized that children under a certain age are anchored to the present moment, and could help anchor me there as well. Their natural state is one of play, something I had forgotten how to do, if I had ever known how to do it.
In the end, I realized that everything was leading me back to me; that what I was really doing was gluing myself back together, healing the disconnect that had occurred as a result of the trauma I had lived through.
I have learned that we heal ourselves not by focussing on what went wrong, but on giving ourselves the necessary tools to re-connect with life, and with the world. There are many tools, including therapy, but ultimately it is love that brings us home.