How I Healed Myself and Got a Little Help Along the Way
Hope Stanger - Founder and Therapist, Therapy Beyond Walls
On December 20, 2012, I was hit by a car while walking back from the movies, thrown into the windshield, which I cracked, and subsequently landed in the crosswalk. I was taken by ambulence to Stamford Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut. This was a pivotal and life-changing moment for me Not only did everything that felt right and good and happy suddenly get ripped away and replaced with trauma; not only did my world suddenly become very small, but it was then that I was either going to take the path I thought I believed in all these years; the path of healing - and follow it - or else toss it in the trash can and forget I even felt that way.
Two and a half days later, I checked out of the hospital and returned to my home to heal, which I did for many months, supported by healers, dear friends and practitioners. I had broken the bones in my face in three places and my knee in two. I was told that I absolutely needed surgery and that it needed to happen soon. I heard the words, "You need to have surgery on your face and have a metal plate put in, which has risks, but if you don't, you will be deformed forever." My knee, I was told emphatically, needed to be operated on immediately as well. I said, "thank you" to each doctor and equally as emphatically followed the voice inside of me that knew what I needed to do to heal.
In this post, from my nutrition and emotion blog, you hear my "voice" a month later through its words. I was only a month (to the day) into healing, and that voice of vulnerability comes through, but what also gets revealed is my deeper voice, the one that knows that I am here for a reason, that underneath the trauma of what had happened to change my world could not let me forget why I am here in the first place - my purpose.
In fact, somewhere under the physical pain of healing and lack of mobility; the emotional detox of coming to terms with what had happened and whether I could believe I would ever be the same; the need to now really trust my healing team and put my trust in others; and the limitations of my daily life, was the message that would soothe me and make it all make sense. We always want to ask ourselves, not why did this happen, and not, "it happened for a reason," which doesn't always feel good, but, as T. Harv Eker says, "What message is there for me in this?" In other words, how can I take what happened and choose to take something valuable from it that could enhance my life, even if I'm not able to fully or even partly feel that right now, and even if all I might feel at this moment is scared, traumatized and hurting?
The voice that showed up for me was spoken to me by a friend who said, "Hope, you came here with a purpose and that cannot be taken away." At that moment of crisis, she knew who I was and was reminding me, in case I forgot.
And that changed my life and was as powerful a healing tool as any of my others.
I think I knew my purpose from when I was around fourteen, but I did not actually find it until many years and couple of careers later. At fourteen, my best friend and I were friends with a guy who had some issues, and our natural inclination was to want to help him feel better. So, we bought the book, 'Games Alcoholics Play,' proceeded to read it and then applied its knowledge in helping to heal our friend and offering him our therapy. When I think about this now, I smile with the innocence and purity of it, and I also can't believe it took so many years to see and trust my purpose and change my career, which I did a little over fifteen years ago. Since that day, there's never been a doubt about what I came here to do.
We each have the capacity to heal, and there is innate knowledge and wisdom inside of you as to how that happens uniquely for you. Trust that inner knowing, that voice, when all around you and embedded in you, you might be getting other messages. Our trauma can be so deep and so many years old that it clouds our intuition or groundedness - the trauma of loss, abuse and childhood and adult life gone awry, and the trauma of other people's beliefs - but that little voice is there. You just need to get really quiet and listen. Then remember your purpose - what makes you uniquely you and what makes you feel right inside in a way different than anything else? Purpose doesn't have to be large; it just needs to feel right. Connect with those feelings and healing will begin right there.
As I finish writing this first post on the Therapy Beyond Walls web site, I hope you take away something meaningful and helpful. I encourage you to leave comments, questions and insights below in the comment section, and I look forward to hearing your voice.
Founder and Therapist, Therapy Beyond Walls
A New Model In Therapy
Healing Trauma, Relationships and Eating Disorders