Doubts in the Darkness, Flame in the Soul

Part of becoming a massage/health therapist is understanding the condition and health of the other person. Though almost always when I ask someone before a massage how they are doing today, I get a variance on “I’m fine”. One of my teachers, Sharon, has pointed out that “fine” is an acronym for “Fucked, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional” 🙂

We go round the class telling her how our massage and study is going, and usually I am quick to justify my condition as one of progress. But lately I’ve felt stronger in being honest with where I’m at, plus I’m feeling “half sick of shadows” (as the Lady of Shallot would say.)

So I told her and the class that actually, it hadn’t been going too well, I’ve done very little massages in the last month and my confidence has actually been falling rather than growing because of this. That all I’d really realised is that it was important to keep massaging and I needed to figure out how to make it more of a priority in my time.

I caught her again at the end of the day, she ask me if I was ok, I paused and said “no” and then proceeded to tell her the rest of it…

When I made the decision to start this course I encountered so much fear in myself I was amazed. But I started anyway because I thought ‘I might as well’, it would be interesting, give me something to do and so on. The question of whether or not I could become a practioner was placed firmly in the future realm of possibility, too daunting to face up to.

There’s only so long you can hide. I find myself at another crossroads, or perhaps another plateau with another mountain of fears and doubts rising up before me. This course is one of the toughest in the country, in terms of the depth the anatomy goes to (depth of about A-level but such a broad coverage!).. it is also very much focused on building up our confidence towards being a real practitioner. Right now we’ve started learning about making client record cards, getting disclaimer signatures and so on… it all mounts up to a rising tide of…something..awareness that I could really do this, of how much there is to do, I feel overwhelmed and slightly daunted.

The question is : Am I going to commit to this seriously, invest hard in the remaining 6 months, with the aim NOT of just doing a course, learning some stuff, getting a qualification…but coming out the end of it prepared to start earning money, taking my own first steps into a whole new way of living? Or else I just keep letting it slide, the novelty gone, and be back to sqaure one this time next year wondering what I’m doing.

I’m not aiming to be a massage therapist ultimately – this would just be the start for me. But there is such a massive BLOCK in me, doubt and fear, a voice that says I am kidding myself to believe I could be a healer. Even as I type this, I can hear it. The reason I doubt it is because it would be too good to be true. The reason I doubt it is because I feel weak. Because I feel scared. Scared of not being one, and scared of succeeding and what that means.

And I wonder – should I listen to these voices? Are they a sign that this was all a mistake and I should keep looking for a direction in life. Where is the enthusiasm and drive? And all around me, the days darken.

Sharon, the teacher, is an amazing woman who looks 20 years younger than she is… healed herself from serious eczema (we’re talking no eyebrows level) by sorting her lifestyle out which is inspiration in itself. She has an amazing encouraging energy, uses a mix of healing techniques from around the world. Intuitive, empathic and a little psychic. Makes it all seem so effortless. How could I be anything like her?

But as I expressed my fears, she started talking, and told me how it was likely everyone was going through similar fears – but more than that, *she* had gone through the same thing when she was learning, and even when she finished. She told me how much courage I’d had starting this course, when I was still scared of touching people. That she could see improvement in me, that my whole energy has changed in the last few months. That I have wonderful hands, soft and loving, and I should NEVER doubt them or my ability. I think we were both crying by this stage! I was struck by her genuineness and said so. She gave me a massive hug. More than that she expressed such faith in ME and my own understanding that cut right to my soul, she KNOWS what I’m going through because she has gone through the very same.. I felt so touched and loved and encouraged and raw.

What stands out the most now is one thing – which is, these fears and doubts I’m working through, far from being a discouraging sign, indicate just how important the whole thing is to me. We don’t get emotional about jobs and vocations we care little about. And it’s true! I’ve been interested in human health and lives for years now, but always as an outsider, a scholar looking wistfully in.. actually taking steps to develop a skill and knowledge of my own is perhaps the most important thing I’ve ever attempted. The ongoing potential that could be opened up from this blows me away. Also the very nature of this study is that it brings into question my own health, life, being.. no wonder there is so much coming up to deal with and process.

……………..phew………………..*breathes out*

I’ve had so much support from friends and even strangers in the last few months I feel loved and encouraged. The craniosacral work, the decaffeination, all these things are opening up new energy, focus and centering. Not just Sharon, but a whole host of others have through words and kindess given me fuel for a fire that is starting to burn now.

I want to draw a whole pile of warrior wolf women right now. I’ve wrangled a week off over Christmas and I’m going to tidy my room, get my anatomy notes in order and some revision done. I still have doubts and fears and this crazy self sneering but I’m seeing these things for what they are…

I’ve accomplished so much in the last year, getting away from home and starting to build my own identity. Harder than it sounds!!! Like alchemical work it takes along time and perhaps is never complete. I am starting from nothing but each brick I place is solid. This is how it feels.

I am not quite there yet, but I hope over the winter solstice and the next few days I will cohere together all this into a core sense of purpose. What I have realised is the importance of -having- some higher purpose, moral stand point, “motivation”. What IS my motivation? THIS is the question winter brings..

4 thoughts on “Doubts in the Darkness, Flame in the Soul”

  1. we are not healers, we are channels for healing, we facilitate healing. each person heals themself.

    also, usually all we can see is the healing we still ourselves have to do. and for a long time i thought i had to heal myself in order to have validity to heal others. i am finally in a place where i’m comfortable with my boundaries and self care to where it is healthy for me to step into a role to facilitate healing now, and it will not drain me. but in order to enact our gifts, to listen to a person and shift energy to allow them opening, this does not require that we are “not broken” or in some kind of perfect balance (which doesn’t exist).

    so maybe some of your fears are around the validity of calling yourself a healer. so don’t. there is certainly always value in providing a space of witness and light for anyone, whether as a friend or as a bodyworker. we have a responsibility in the role of bodyworker to act ethically, authentically and with medical knowledge. we are responsible for identifying the source of someone’s chronic muscle pain, even addressing the site of the pain with technique and educating the person on how to heal themselves and change their habits. but we are not responsible for the act of healing; this is always under the realm of control of the client. does this speak to you ? either way, explore your fears and also ask your heart, is continuing w/the training resonant? will it add to your journey? you will know immediately the answer, if you just listen. if it’s hard to hear, try writing out dialog. me: so heart, why am i doing this? heart: … write whatever comes w/o thinking!

    i have faith in you

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