Shortly after my dad unexpectedly died in 1993 I had a breakdown and totally fell apart. It was a combination of marriage, work problems and death. After 10 weekly visits with Dr. Cook, I trusted him enough to experiment with guided imagery. He ‘took’ me through a series of images where I was able to ‘speak to my dad’ and alleviate things that were troubling me. I was able to hear what I needed for him to say to me. It was wonderful and healing.
Later I worked on some things within myself. I needed this breakdown to become a break-through! I imagined me as a child. I was skinny; my white-blonde hair was messed up. I was wearing bib overalls and a plaid untucked shirt. I had my hands on my hips. I remember it so clearly. I was feeling my mother was overwhelmed with four children under the age of four and didn’t have time to nurture me. A ‘grown-up me’ walked over to ‘child me’ and took my hand. She combed my hair and braided it, tucked in my shirt and promised to take care of me. It was at that moment I realized I was the only person who could take care of me. I had to take full responsibility for myself. Happiness was an inside job! Contentment comes from within. [I’m not discounting God in this equation. I KNOW he takes care of me!]
I often see this little girl in my mind and it reminds me of the promise I made. I can’t [and don’t want to] blame anyone for the frustrations I’ve had, for my weight problems, for unfulfilled marriage, for sadness, discontent, or depression. She is a symbol to me. And when I accomplish something of substance or merit, I imagine she is safe and in good hands and will turn out just fine. When I slip up, I remember what I promised and it helps me get back on track. Back to wholeness. Back to wellness.
Right now, I think I’ve done what I can to nurture her.
What is guided imagery? [This from Web Med]
Guided imagery is a program of directed thoughts and suggestions that guide your imagination toward a relaxed, focused state. You can use an instructor, tapes, or scripts to help you through this process.
Guided imagery is based on the concept that your body and mind are connected. Using all of your senses, your body seems to respond as though what you are imagining is real. An example often used is to imagine an orange or a lemon in great detail-the smell, the color, the texture of the peel. Continue to imagine the smell of the lemon, and then see yourself taking a bite of the lemon and feel the juice squirting into your mouth. Many people salivate when they do this. This exercise demonstrates how your body can respond to what you are imagining.
You can achieve a relaxed state when you imagine all the details of a safe, comfortable place, such as a beach or a garden. This relaxed state may aid healing, learning, creativity, and performance. It may help you feel more in control of your emotions and thought processes, which may improve your attitudes, health, and sense of well being.
If you are in a situation similar to where I was 6 months ago [or where I was 16 years ago] realize you do have all the tools, all the answers, and you can find a way to use them. I’m proof!