There comes a moment in therapy, if a person stays with the process long enough and works hard enough, when that person can finally see the bottom of the pit, that place from which so many of one’s beliefs and feelings about one’s self have originated.  This is the place where I am in therapy right now.  It’s not a place where I want to be, but it’s where I am, and I know innately that my task is to make the most of this moment and this place.  For the work I do now will, I feel, be the foundation upon which I shape new and enlightened beliefs and feelings about myself.  That’s what I visualize the result of my efforts will be. Peering into the pit, then, is not only important, but it is essential to the future I want to build for myself.   

Again, I think of little Inger and what happened to her when she trod on the loaf (See post of March 10th: “The Girl Who Trod on a Loaf: Why Is It Important to Me?”).  And there she was, suddenly at the bottom of the pit, dwelling amongst the snakes, toads, spiders and all the other monstrous creatures of her Hell.  Well, the difference right now between my situation and that of Inger’s is that I’m not actually IN the pit—I’m looking into it, but I’m not condemned to live in it the rest of my life.  Of that I am certain.  Inger did not have that certainty.  As far as she knew, she was in her pit until the end of time, and she had no choice in the matter.  Of our two situations, mine and Inger’s, I much prefer my own situation because I know that through my own efforts and with the support of my therapist, I can liberate myself.  That thought gives me hope, a hope that Inger did not have.   

So, now that I can see what lies at the bottom of the pit, what am I going to do with the information?  Well, I’ll no doubt spend a period of time recovering from what I have seen, from the horrors. For one thing, what I have seen at the bottom of the pit makes me angry!  How could grown adults have done what they did to me, a helpless infant and later a helpless child?  Their job was to help me be all I could be, to help me fulfill the God-given promise that dwelled within me at my birth!  Instead, they looked at me as a mirror in which they saw their own twisted images of themselves, and they tried to shape me to be like they were.  What they succeeded in doing was to shape my perceptions of myself, but they did not succeed in shaping me to BE what they were.  There is a difference, and I know that now.  My job is to erase the traces of their efforts, their twistedness, and to fill the mirror with my own image, a reflection of my own truth.   

After I have recovered sufficiently from the experience of peering into the bottom of the pit and understand the implications of my discovery, I will find a place to store the information, to quarantine it, where it will do no harm and will then begin the process of knowing and accepting reality, at least reality as I know reality.  Then I suppose I will be able to start the process of substituting reality for unreality—new beliefs for old beliefs.  Upon doing that, I will be starting to actually reshape myself.  Not that I haven’t already been working on that task for years.  With the new understanding I have, however, I should be able to work more efficiently at the task.  I hope the task doesn’t take longer than I have life to live, but if it does, at least I’ll die experiencing the process of my task.  It would be worse to die without experiencing that process, for in the process alone lie some of the rewards that go along with a new, untwisted and more realistic concept of self.   

The steps I’ve outlined above sound nice and neat and clearly sequential, I know, but I also know that as I move from one step to the next, the beginning and ending of each step will not necessarily be well marked.  That’s the way of this process.  It’s messy! Steps in the therapy process are not usually well defined, at least not for me.  Maybe for some people they are, but not for me.  Why is that?  For one thing, like other people, probably, I process on various levels.  While an issue may be taken care of on one level, that same issue may still be in process on another level and another level and another level . . .   In my experience, I’ll think I’ve dealt with something and brought the matter to closure only to discover later that the same issue in a slightly different form needs to be worked on in another context or on another level.  How many levels are there??   

I’ve been asking that question for a long time and still can’t answer it.  Wish I could.  That information might help anyone who is thinking about beginning the process.  It’s always nice to know the ins and outs of a task and how long it will take before one begins, but with therapy, that information is simply not available.  A person must, as I did, just begin and hope someday to see the end.  In my case, I hope to finish while I’m living so I can enjoy the result for a while before my life is over.   

On the other hand, as I said, I would much rather die in the process after having started it than not start it at all.  Of course, for me right now, that’s not a consideration because I am already in the process.  For you, though, it might be a consideration.  I do not regret having started the process, and I do not regret embarking on this stage of the process at age seventy-three.  Maybe those words will help you if you are trying to decide whether therapy is worth your time and effort.  I know it is, but that’s just what I know.  However, I pray that you may know it, too. 

 Peace and Blessings . . .