Beginning to Reclaim My ENCHANTED SELF - Part 1Written by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
Please stay with me as I share this excerpt from The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy over two weeks with you. This section reveals way that I initially began to reclaim my own Enchanted Self.
My enchanted self was beginning to emerge, unpeeling as an onion is unpeeled, layer by layer. This is important because I think so many of us shy away from our innermost positive feelings perhaps as much as we do from dark shadows around us. The search for The Enchanted Self is intimate in revealing and it's scary -- and maybe people really won't understand or appreciate it. Maybe we have to fight through shame or humiliation before we find it. Maybe we won't understand or give credit to our own enchanted selves when we do! That would be most violating thing of all, if I were to find my own enchanted self and then discard it. If I can't have it anymore, because I thrown it out.
One of my first self-discoveries was recognizing my lost capacities for engaging with people without being paid. As I interviewed women I realized how much fun I was having, how I felt on equal footing and yet privileged to be hearing their stories, how "female" I felt and how connected. I loved this wonderful opportunity to have time with women that was not social time and yet not work time, either. I began to realize how hungry I had been for this kind of "at ease time" with women. My childhood had pushed me away from such time with women. After all, I had to get out, to get going, to be competent and, often, competitive, not connected.
The second layer was feeling profoundly more connected to women, all women, than I had ever felt before. I found myself suddenly able to ally myself with and have compassion for many women, an ability which had eluded me prior to these interviews. Family members, friends, my mother, all took a softer hue.
Beginning to Reclaim My ENCHANTED SELF - Part 2Written by Dr. Barbara Becker Holstein
Thank you for staying with me as I continue with part two of this excerpt from The Enchanted Self, A Positive Therapy. This section concludes way I began to reclaim my own Enchanted Self.
The third unwrapping came when I needed major surgery, an emergency hysterectomy. I found myself able to permit women to nurture me through this emergency in a way that I do think I was able to do before I began this project. I no longer felt I needed to rely on authority of male. I yearned for care taking, nurturing capacities that many women offer so much more freely than do most men. My surgeon was a woman and I insisted on private-duty female nurses for a while. I allowed them to cradle me, soothe me, massage me and nurse me.
The next layer that was reached was my capacity to run my practice differently, as I recovered. I was able to relinquish some of my controls and to soften professional/client boundaries as appropriate. I gave them best that I could while still being totally honest. Why was in a recovery state, I saw clients in my living room or provided telephone sessions. I put my feet up; accepted gifts and food from clients. I let them nourish me and take care of me for a while.