Thursday, December 16, 2010

The ultimate massage

I can feel the anxiety churning in my stomach, ticking like an alarm clock, a reminder: you have a counseling appointment today. Ooh. Counseling for me is not entirely different from visiting a massage therapist for a chronic injury. I know it's going to be a little uncomfortable, at times a little painful, as those muscles are being worked on and the toxins released. But it's one of those weird "enjoy the pain" sort of deals, too. In the counseling office, I learn to embrace the pain because I know the knots being worked on need to be loosened, long to be restored. I don't want to live with toxic knots of tension.

I'll be honest, though, it feels like a lot of work. Like digging. Digging my way out of feeling stuck. Digging my way out of years of accumulated unhealthy mindsets, habits, beliefs and coping behaviors. Sometimes my brain and my emotions feel tired. Yet, it's a good kind of tired. A tired that reminds me of all those evenings in high school I'd come home after track or cross country practice and collapse on the couch feeling like I'd worked myself into a satisfactory exhaustion that day. I'd pushed myself to go farther, and I knew it, though I couldn't measure my progress yet. The real test would come on race day. Yeah, perhaps the experience of working in the counseling office (and outside of it) is a bit like that.

The main difference between counseling work and a hard track practice is that I wake up the next morning, not with sore muscles, but with something much less tangible, something with immeasurable value. I wake up with peace. And that peace seeps through to all those knots of emotional tension in my body, gently covering them like a salve. It's not a salve manufactured by my counselor or my own hard work, but by the hands of the most gifted Healer of all. With this salve, may I possess the courage to continue digging.

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