Integrating the fear of death.
When I was 12, I almost died.
That was 23 years ago.
I've told the story of how it happened hundreds of times.
I was a kid with horrible asthma. I was sick all the time. I woke up suffocating one night. I saw a white light. I screamed I'm not ready to go yet as I threw myself on the hood of my mom's car in our driveway.
I didn't know what to do with this experience. I didn't talk about it. I don't even think I told my mom. I just did what you do: I spent a week in the hospital recovering.
I was talking to a client yesterday about closure, and this experience came up.
Because, you see, even though this thing happened 23 years ago, and I've told the story hundreds of times, the last time I told it, I cried.
Because I was able to feel at a new level how terrified I was that night. I felt my fear. And I was able to feel that fear because of a series of events the preceded me reliving that experience that resulted in me growing enough in other areas to feel it.
I had disassociated with it that night. I became courageous because that was what I needed to do to survive death.
In order for me to fully recover and heal from the terror of nearly dying, I needed to go on a journey. I wasn't ready to feel the fear of dying until last Sunday.
This is the example I used for why it's futile to seek closure.
The path is not linear, it's spiral. We go to the depths of our capability to heal on a thing, and then we move on, and eventually, we circle back around and go deeper, we feel more, we integrate more. Evidence of our growth is how quickly we bounce back the subsequent times.
I felt afraid for approximately 60 seconds last week and I cried profusely. And then everything in my life completely shifted. Because finally, my fear was integrated.
And then I began to thrive.
It's not about closure. It's about integration.