SOMTIMES ONE NEED ONLY ASK ~ Part VI [Final]
Originally Published December 15, 2003
By Christine Ford
A most interesting interplay exists between a Spiritual Teacher and a Student, an alive, ever-shifting balance of possibilities and expansion, of questions and answers, of growth and change, not only on the part of the Student, but for the Teacher as well. Yes, a Student approaches a Teacher with the ultimate of awe and respect, but even THAT expands and changes along the way, in degrees and nuances that cannot be expressed, but only experienced as the bounds and parameters of the mentoring process take on shapes and forms never imagined. What I am struggling to make clear simply is that the relationship between a Spiritual Teacher and Student is not a static, defined, rigid construct like a land mass, but rather a shifting, churning, eternally moving entity like the ocean in a storm; an infinite process of unfoldment, discovery and growth. This became crystal clear to me on the evening of November 18, 2003.
Thirteen years ago I was injured at school by a student while attempting to keep him from hurting himself. The damage done was quite extensive, and I was labeled permanently disabled. The injury involved damage to my spine, which has created a thirteen-year struggle of visits to doctors of all kinds, several courses of physical therapy, daily medication, and the ever-looming possibility of surgery. The injury changed my life in ways too extensive to go into.
I was left feeling abused and violated by “the system”, for the child who innocently caused this damage to me should NOT have been in my classroom, and I had spent from August until February when the accident occurred documenting and sending his behaviors daily to the administration center. Their answer was that there was no where else for him, that he did not fit into ANY category, and that I had the experience and patience to deal with him. My reply was that with 12 other appropriately placed mentally handicapped students and only one assistant; it was just a matter of time before someone would be injured by his extreme behaviors. My classroom was not equipped to deal with a student so involved, in terms of physical layout (no “secured seclusion”, i.e. time out room) or just plain manpower! We were doing the child NO service other than keeping him from harming himself, at the expense of taking valuable educational time away from the other 12 kids.
My helpless pleas fell on deaf ears, making me feel abandoned and at the mercy of circumstances until finally I was hurt. Was it a self-fulfilling prophecy? I have asked myself that question time and time again; my anger towards “the system” which I so strongly felt should have and could have prevented this grew as I waved my frustration and resentment for thirteen years like a banner, allowing it to fester, poison, and color every aspect of my being. I was blissfully unaware of the power I had inadvertently given it, unconscious of the precious time and energy I had denigrated, until Dr. Strickler offered me the mirror to see the situation for what it really was that evening of November 18, 2003.
How many times have I heard him speak of the patterns upon which we build our lives? How many chances has he given me to uncover the underlying psychology, the poor me, martyr syndrome, the helpless victim of circumstance view that I limit myself with? Yes, I have actually seen it in other areas, but I have allowed this one GIGANTIC all-encompassing pattern to hold me hostage my entire life. And for the past thirteen years I have functioned oblivious to the fact that I was a victim NOT of the circumstance, but rather a victim, indeed a prisoner, of my own beliefs, anger, rage, feelings of helplessness and inadequacy.
On the evening of November 18, 2003, my physical body was most positively healed of injuries sustained back in 2000, and that healing was initiated and directed by Dr. Strickler, of that I have no doubt. There are the accounts of Wendy and Suzy to support that, though I have nearly no memory of the actual experience at all. All I remember is hearing his voice, feeling safe and secure, and being told at different points to open or close my eyes; it was like I wasn’t even there. There are facts that I can share though… the ease with which I move, the immediate comments from people at work who want to know what doctor I went to because they see such change, the levelness of my shoulders, which had been drastically uneven since the injury, the returning of feeling in my arms and hands, and most significantly, upon a trip to the doctor, a report stating that my height is 5’ 6 ½”, an increase of 1½ inches over the 5’ 5” that I had measured previously.
Of the physical healing, there is visible proof, and of course for that I am most grateful. But the healing of Spirit, the understanding of psychology, the forgiving of myself to myself that has been triggered by the realization of what REALLY occurred on so many levels is where the true healing lies for me. The miracle of Revelation is what happened that night, and with it, the freeing of a part of me that I have allowed to be held in bondage for lifetimes. There is constantly growing insight and motion towards health on all levels, mentally, physically, emotionally, and Spiritually, that was started that night.
Once, about 8 years ago, I did ask Dr. Strickler if there was anything he could do to help heal my injury. He told me at that time that it was mine to deal with, Karma was involved, and there was nothing he could do. NOW I can admit that with that answer I felt, IN THE STATE OF MIND I WAS FUNCTIONING IN AT THAT TIME, abandoned, helpless, and rejected, and I never broached the subject with him again, never spoke with him about “physical” healing again, until he healed Suzy that night. Even after that, with all that I have learned and grown into, I had to be prompted to ASK. My stubborn resentment at being “turned down” had trapped me in an area of my mind that didn’t allow me to ASK Dr. Strickler to help me with this particular problem that had so encompassed and imprisoned every area of my life. And simply by asking again, at the right place and in the right time, I was healed and set free.
Quite interestingly enough, the day after I wrote this article to this point, I was literally knocked on my ass by a student at school. I ended up with a severely bruised tailbone, and am now am undergoing a round of physical therapy, and I’m REALLY hurting! As I have been taught, I have questioned the “why” of it all. Did I intentionally do something to bring this injury to myself? Is there a part of me that WANTS to be hurt, injured, so that I can hide behind it and not be an active participant in life? Do I feel that I need for people to feel sorry for me, or do I just feel a need to be punished for something I don’t even know I’ve done? Is there a reason I won’t allow myself to be whole and healthy? Is there a Force out there that doesn’t WANT me to be healthy?
Believe me, all those questions and more I have asked, and though I do not have the answers, there is one thing that I do know as sure as I’m sitting here. This will NOT be a thirteen-year healing process. I will NOT give it control over my life. I think more than anything, it is a challenge, a throwing down of the gauntlet, so to speak. I have very quickly been given a chance to stand up and take action, to handle the situation differently, to show just how sure I am that the past thirteen years of pain and suffering were brought upon me by MYSELF, AND that they WILL NOT be revisited! I am able to overcome and heal; I am worthy of having a strong, healthy body. I suppose we will see how this one unravels as time goes by.
Now back to my opening, about the ever-changing relationship of a student and teacher. Time for a confession. Over the years of mentoring, I have not especially looked upon Dr. Strickler as a “healer”. Oh my God! One of those “you can’t see the forest for the trees” deals! Without a doubt, he is a most talented teacher and mentor, a genius of a man who can amazingly lecture unprepared for hours and always deliver ever expanding interpretations with a new twist. He has the patience of a Saint, the gentleness of a loving father, when it comes to explaining and RE-explaining concepts and constructs that are elementary to him. He watches in silence as we make similar mistakes over and over, never interfering, but helping us learn and gain from those errors when we realize they have been made, and forgiving us each time for being so stupid!
All this and more I saw in Dr. Strickler from the beginning, but what I did not see is that from the moment I sat down across the table from him for that first reading, my “healing” began. He is a Healer in the purest, most complete sense of the word; not only of the physical, but of the Spiritual, emotional, mental, and intellectual areas as well. And the most beautiful part of all is that he does it through love and compassion, and all you have to do is ASK.
What a Revelation! What a gift of healing to receive at this very sacred season. I humbly thank the Lord of Life for opening this realization to me. And as ever, always, my gratitude goes to Dr. Strickler for his strength, wisdom and seeming eternal patience.
May The One bless you with the ability to acknowledge
the areas in which you are sabotaging your destiny,
and the courage to take action to change . . .