Years ago, as a depressed young woman battling anxiety, I went–against my will but under strong advisement–to see a psychologist. Filling out the ‘why are you here’ form unsettled me with questions like, ‘Do You Think You’re Christ?’ Or ‘Do You Hear Voices Telling you To Kill People?’
No! Does anyone else? I glanced around apprehensively at the other patients in the waiting room wondering, but not daring to ask, ‘What are you in for?’ And zipped past the closed-door where rumor had it they performed exorcisms on route to my therapist’s office, fearful I might catch something–or someone–and thinking I should have worn garlic around my neck and clutched a Crucifix.
Not to worry. As it turned out, my sessions were with a kind older woman who served herbal tea and simply spoke with me. A wise, motherly soul. Apart from the treks down memory lane and repeated urging to take care of myself physically and soothe the inner child, the single most important thing I gleaned was this nugget of wisdom: ‘Find what it is you most want to do and give yourself permission to do it.’
Wow. Powerful stuff. Would you believe that’s what gave me the courage to throw myself into my writing? It all began as therapy and in many ways, still is. Which is why I’ll always write as I feel led, by dreams, spirit guides, my ancestors speaking to me, Divine inspiration, and whatever calls to my heart. I will not and never have gone after what’s popular in the current publishing world. To sell out in that regard would be to betray the muse. And I’d wind up back at the therapist’s office.
More tea, anyone? Oh, and she advises naps. And eat your vegetables.