Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.David Richo
Years ago, back when I owned a communications company, one of my major clients was Emergency Services. I created training materials for them, wrote courses, and gathered field information, video footage and images by going on-the-job with various teams of first responders. I got to see and experience all kinds of accidents, emergencies and disasters.
One day, coming back to base from a situation in which people had been badly injured, and some had died, I began to pack up my bags to go home, as returning firefighters and paramedics streamed into a conference room.
One of the Senior Staff turned to me and said, ‘Nicole, you need to go too. That’s the critical incident debriefing.’
‘It’s okay,’ I said. ‘That’s for the team. I don’t need that for my work.’
‘I know that, Nicole,’ the Commander said. ‘You need it for you. It’s compulsory. Off you go.’
So, I went. And I learned something valuable that day. Therapy is important. Debriefing those critical incidents in our lives is important. It gives us space to decompress, space to reflect on what happened, space to share our feelings, to be supported, and to reflect on lessons learned. It’s a way to let go of trauma, instead of holding it in the body. It’s a way to understand yourself and your responses to situations, and to use that knowledge to make better decisions, and to grow.
I no longer work in Emergency Services, but my work is still filled with the trauma of the lives of my clients and community. I am often the therapist for others, and I hold and ease their troubles. I still have critical incidents from my own life that never had the opportunity to be debriefed and de-triggered.
So, I gave myself an important gift. I gave myself the gift of ongoing therapy, so that I can work through these many critical incidents, unpack them, and go back home less burdened.
Sometimes I go months without a session. Sometimes, my sessions are regular and frequent. It depends on what is going on in my life. I don’t always seek therapy because I am at the end of my rope, or struggling to cope (although that can be a reason). I use it to untangle myself from the pain and suffering of my clients, so that I can sleep at night. I use it to help manage the things I see and know that I find distressing and disturbing. I use it to let go of some of the pain and worry I feel as a result of caring for my clients and community, and being there for them in their own critical incidents. I also seek it out to discuss parts of my life where I see patterns of behaviour I don’t understand or would like to change. I use it to explore feelings and thoughts that I might suppress in order to get through the day, but that sit underneath the surface. I use it to explore the shadow side of myself. I use it to unburden myself. To smooth out the wrinkles. To let the light in to those dark corners.
That battle-wise Incident Commander from my past was right. You need therapy for you. Thank you, kind sir, for some of the best life advice I’ve ever been given.
Talking, and being seen, heard, understood and supported is powerful medicine. I highly recommend it.
Love, tissues, a pot of tea, some clear space, and an open heart, Nicole xx
PS – My Journeymaker’s Planner for 2022 is an excellent companion for your spiritual journey, and can be a friend to you in the good times and the bad. I’ll be kicking off the new year with a free 30 day Challenge to help you connect into your intuition and learn how to support yourself better. Want to join us?
The digital version of The Journeymaker’s Planner 2022 is available at ETSY.
Other supportive tools I have available include:
My limited edition and heavenly Ylang-Ylang Oil for emotional support – available at ETSY.
My limited edition gold-embossed Journeymaker’s Journal for writing and exploring with words – available at ETSY.
My limited edition NURTURE Mala for spiritual and emotional support and nurture – available at ETSY.