“Author unknown” wrote a poem I discovered many years ago when I was doing psychotherapy, It was so painfully profound I often read it to my clients at workshops or retreats. It set a tone that invited genuine, heartfelt sharing, one of the major goals for these events, geared toward healing the “Inner Child” and relationships.
I used to explain what I did, professionally, by describing myself as an “Inner Child” therapist. That wasn’t precisely, 100% accurate. It was close enough; a way of using common-use language to build a bridge from me to another person. In actuality, I was a practicing psychotherapist trained, primarily, in the mode of psychology from which the theoretical concept of the “Inner Child” came.
The modality is known as Transactional Analysis (TA). And, my application of it was integrated with Gestalt therapy. The marriage of TA and Gestalt created a clinical treatment approach that seeks to heal psychological wounds by helping clients integrate the disenfranchised parts of the Self into a healthy Whole. It is a modality, however, that is also so much more than that – subjects for another time. The poem was an impactful piece that underscores the former intent.
I've had some insights about myself, over the years, prompted by this poem. They came to me, especially, in the past few years as I struggled to find my place in the mainstream world after my “trial by fire” (being blind).
It began –
"Don't be fooled by me. Don't be fooled by the face I wear. For I wear a mask. I wear a 1,000 masks that I am afraid to take off and none of them are me...."
For me being blind was very much a shamanic death and rebirth experience. That was how I chose to hold what I was going through. My return to the mainstream world from that endurance test brought me to realize that in significant ways – all of the 1,000 I wear are ME; parts of me that make up my Whole Self.