New hope in healing 1

by Jeremy P., healing 2 student

It seems that real knowledge often comes after a time of forgetting. 

I started looking for healing fresh out of high school, 15 years ago, as if it were some great unknown hovering over my head that I could catch with a butterfly net.  This search pulled me to travel alone through Latin America and Europe working odds-and-ends jobs.  Even while my confidence grew in my understanding of myself, I continued to search.  I ended up in a bunch of Tracker School classes, followed by a vision quest, and another vision quest.  And still I searched.

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An accident led me to pursue nursing as a profession.  I returned to school, with a great desire for what I was pursuing.  Yet through the narrowness of the medical perspective of symptom management, I could see that while many patients may not be ill, they are not healthy, and are deeply suffering. 

I wanted more, so I went back to school to pursue a master’s of nursing.  I love to learn, so the coursework was challenging, yet fulfilling.  Still, more and more stress built, with less and less time for me as I lost sleep from hours of clinical and gained weight from a neglected diet.  So it was that I dropped into an emotional darkness. I had placed so much stress on myself to live to a standard of perfection, I was not able to keep up.  I had stepped off my path, and I felt like I was continually falling down a deep, dark well.

Within the fall, all the light in my life became dark, my clarity and joy clouded, and my purpose lost.  After the election, when the societal darkness was projected across the media, and the craziness of the world felt like an episode of Twilight Zone, I knew I needed to change the direction of my life.  I stopped; I couldn’t let myself continue down the same trajectory I was on: for myself or for this world.  It was clear that I needed to see the world in a more authentic way, true to my nature.

In the midst of this chaos, depression, and stress, I signed up late for healing 1, having already missed the first class of the year. I did not want to wait for another year to start. At my first class in Asheville, I felt like an outsider, not knowing the class structure and surrounded by unfamiliar people who were hugging each other and rejoicing that they had survived the last three months.  But I was welcomed as a friend, a companion on this shared journey. 

As I sat in the circle of chairs, I was asked why I came to the class.  I reflected back on the past several years.  I could see myself walking off my desired path, tossing aside what I viewed as a spiritual life and settling with comfort and education.  I finally was able to see that I had fallen down more than a well: more like an endless, dark abyss.  As I fell, all the connections I had to the world, to those I love, and to myself had broken free.  I was in a dark so deep that only emptiness surrounded me, without lights, with only some essential presence of myself.  I continued to fall, but like an astronaut in space, I was falling so fast I only perceived myself as floating.

Deep in this reflection of my situation and of why I started at healing 1, I realized that something had changed.  I remained weightless, floating within this darkness, but now I could see some light.  Not a glowing radiance of a sunrise, but a dull glow, like the phosphorescence found in the carcass of an old tree stump deep in a dark forest.

Out of the death and decay, a new light and life was born.  Subtle strands connected me to something far away that I couldn’t see.  These strands were the connections that now supported me, even as I continued to fall through the vastness of creation.  They were connections of the friendships I was making, the trust I was building, and the vessel in which I was placed when I started healing 1. 

As I have continued the journey with wildernessFusion, the small threads have become the ropes and wires that support me on my quest to understand myself and the path I am on.  It’s a quest that still has many unknowns, but with this support, I can search with passion, curiosity, and hope, into a broader depth of awareness of who I am.

Sarah Moon