As I travel across an ocean to be with my teacher in Switzerland for a week and sit in the inner-folds of my heart, I am readying my bags.
Yes, I have the enzymes, underwear and moisturizer. But I also the awareness of the work I am bringing to the planet.
Why love to heal us? Why?
I had to ask myself that question almost 6 years ago when everything I recognized as familiar dissolved. I thought I was unlucky...had been dealt a bad card by life. My glamorous life with a big house, solid marriage, magical dinner parties, class parent...all a make believe scene..gone in a day. Little did I know that what I considered to be unlucky was the universe's way showing me the way to freedom. But to come to this conclusion I had to traverse in the places inside of myself I considered to be the most hostile, broken and sources of the most frightening scenarios. Wait.. Love was asking me to examine the ugliest and scariest places? Yes. That was so confusing. I realized I had never built up the courage to do this because I did not believe in myself. I had chosen to be in a loveless marriage to be safe and it was very painful to wake up to that fact. I hid behind the idea that I knew how to do good and noble things like help others get better when I lacked the courage to do it for myself. I had to own that. It was so embarrassing. I cried for weeks and weeks under the weight of knowing that I was trying to tell others how to heal their lives when I had no idea how to do it for myself.
Because from the outside it appeared that I did. Perfect diet. Perfect clothes, perfect photos of my perfect life. I created that perspective; that no one would know I was faking it. And here is the funny part; I did not even realize I was faking it! I just thought I was doing what everyone else did to be important and valuable. Blog? yes. Volunteering mom? yes. Study vast amount of science to be a great nutritionist? yes. The safety and security I was looking for and thought I would find in the safety of the outward constructs of my life turned out to be a house of cards. The security actually laid in the vulnerable place when I admitted I did not know how to achieve happiness and my willingness to sit in a place of loving myself while I figured it out. That is real security. Loving myself doing hard and difficult things is the most secure place I have being a human. That was a big upside of life falling to pieces to the point where I could not go back to it for safety. There is extreme beauty in knowing that now. Life loved me so much that it would give me transformation to know how to build my internal resources which was the security I had been praying, hoping and striving for. Illness can be a similar path if we choose it to be.
It turned out that it did not matter that n-acetyl-cysteine was a precursor to glutathione. Or that stomach acid is required for calcium absorption.
What mattered was how loving I was when I was with my clients. And how could I be loving with my clients when I was full of secret self-judgements and fantasies? All built on ego and the idea that somehow physical heath was separate from the dark and stormy places inside of me I would bury at any cost.
So I broke open. I did. I let the waves of transformation have their way with me. I made a decision to trust that love may be somehow woven into the crushing waves that brought me to my knees and dissolved everything. In that place I had to own the fact that I knew absolutely nothing about how to be happy. I could not be in the healing world and call myself a healer unless I was willing to traverse the darkest path inside of myself and bring love to that place so it could heal. This was the scariest thing I had ever done. Standing on a cliff and diving. Every single day. Every moment. I had to commit to this. I had to create a space inside myself of fearlessness for myself. I had to decide I was worth it. Was I worth extreme and radical self-care and self-loving? Not at first. It was super clunky. Unfamiliar. Scary. But this is the path that created joy. Loving my ugliest pieces brought happiness not because the they weren't ugly anymore, but because I decided there was nothing in me that did not deserve my love. What a relief. I did not have to pick and choose what the world saw of me. I just decided all of me would finally be enough. Now I stay present in each moment with the idea that I can love all of me, not just the bright and shiny parts.
Being a nutritionist after this experience meant that I had to change how I sat with my clients. How I offered my loving. How compassionate I could be with them mattered. I could not disregard it. Now it is the center of everything I do. I don't proclaim to know the most about orthomolecular nutrition. Or blood chemistry. Although I study them deeply. Now I consider each encounter with clients in my practice as an opportunity to love and honor them. That is the touchstone to my work. At the end of the day I ask myself "was I as loving as I could be" and that is how I measure my efforts. And in that equation, I ask myself equally, "Jessica were you loving to yourself today."
So now I am vulnerable and tender to me. And it is only from that place of vulnerability that I can offer anything of value to my clients. And that is what I am going to do for the next week. I am going to go be with the places inside of myself that need to be loved by me. It is the most constant practice in my life for the past 10 years to do this. And everything that comes present that is good or bad in my life is an opportunity to do that. This is the only route of healing that makes sense to me. And then when I ask my clients to do this, there will be an understanding that I traverse the same fertile ground. It is a broader perspective to take than just changing our diet or taking supplements. It is the idea that wrapping our arms around ourselves is the healing.
I liked this NYT article. More and more research is coming forward that says the unconscious mind of the healer is the most important aspect of care. Not how much they know about saturated fats, vitamin C or AIP. It is their loving hearts. It is how much they are willing to be vulnerable for themselves that is the indicator for how far they can go in their loving for patients. I am sharing the NYT article that beautifully sums this up in a readable format.
I love all of you.