Sunday, November 14, 2010

On The Transformation of Suffering

Almost 30 years ago, I completed graduate school.  My intention was to become a professional clinician with the skills necessary to help reduce suffering in the world, one person at a time.  I did believe, and still do, that "saving one person is like saving a world." 

Over the course of my professional practice, I know that I did indeed help reduce suffering - for some more profoundly than for others.  I learned a range of techniques and modalities, constantly on the quest to go deeper into the source of the suffering and to find better ways out of it.

Now here I am, recently returned from our extended road trip, in somewhat of a standstill.  Yes, I can crank up the wheels to get my private practice going again, but I've been paying close attention to my inner direction and I notice my reluctance to seek clients now.  What am I waiting for?

I started this blog with the image of "confronting my tiger."  Even after several entries, I'm aware that my anxiety continues to surface when I think about writing.  What conditions from my past continue to limit me in the present?  Wouldn't rushing back in to help relieve the suffering of others be my personal addictive strategy - albeit a socially acceptable one! -  to distract myself from my own buried pain? 

I brace myself.  Right NOW is the opportunity to look deeply at the source of my own suffering.  If I understand it, I can hope to transform it, however long it takes.  The lessons I've learned in the course of my own professional practice  - about how healing happens - can help me transform my own negative habit patterns. My entries about my own process, as I confront my tiger, may provide me with a map of where I went and hopefully, how I successfully got the hell out of there!  Even though the map is not the territory, as we know, somewhere down the line my map may be useful to a reader who feels lost or in peril.