As a kid, I thought it was odd that I could not connect and experience others in my environment. This was for people, animals, plants, trees and my stuffed animals alike!
I found it odd, that I could experience myself, be with all these other things and people – and yet not experience them as myself. I was convinced that there was an ‘aliveness’ in everything, but somehow I just couldn’t connect with it. I knew there was more to this reality than met the eye, but I couldn’t quite figure out ‘what’ or ‘how’. I also took note that there were some seriously disturbing things playing out in our world when seeing how people would mistreat one another and how we had organized our society in general. I didn’t like it and I wanted to aim for something better.
I loved the idea of tinctures and potions and would make my own concoctions. The moment we got internet I spent my time on Wiccan websites reading up on ‘how to talk to trees’ and the healing properties of various natural elements. I was curious about bridging the gap between ‘human and nature’ and how to get to a space of harmony. I tried to open up these topics with friends and family, but it wasn’t a very popular subject. The feedback was to ‘get out of fantasy land and get into the real world’. And ‘are you seriously still into this witchy stuff? When are you going to grow up?’
It seemed like dangerous territory and I feared the social scrutiny more than I cared to stick to the subject.
Then came the teenage years and I instead preoccupied myself with being “cool” and all things “serious”. My mother would bring up homeopathy, herbalism and other alternative methods through the years and I would laugh it off as ridiculous.
At some point, we got an RPG Game called ‘Guild Wars’. A fantasy game where you complete quests and side missions and can play with other online players. I first played the game as a Mage. I still liked the idea of magic and I disliked the idea of being up close and ‘in the face’ of battles (which I ascribed to my fear of conflict). I could take part in the battles by doing magic and spells from a safe distance. The mage seemed like the perfect choice and fit for me.
To challenge myself and get over my resistances of being in close-up battle I created a warrior character to play with. I trained my character, got used to being in the heat of the battle and actually got pretty good at it. I got over my resistance and fears, but ultimately still didn’t enjoy it as much as being a mage. By this time, I started to realize that there was a difference between ‘fearing and resisting something’ vs ‘not enjoying it as much’. I thought that if I resisted something and got over it, I would enjoy it as much as anything else. This was not always the case. In some cases, the resistance and fear would drop – I would see and realise ‘I can do this’, but when it came down to having a choice, it still wasn’t a preference. I could be a warrior and be good at it, but it wasn’t my first choice.
To continue challenging myself, I also tried out being a ranger. I liked the idea of having an animal companion but I didn’t like the skill set of the ranger at aaalll. That one was short-lived. I could see that I could play longer as a ranger, but that it ultimately didn’t align with how I enjoy playing the game. Because I had pushed all the way through with the warrior, it was easier to see this and stopped playing as a ranger earlier on. A similar playout happened with playing as a Mesmer.
I then played as a Necromancer, which is pretty much the same as a mage – just, dark magic. This character I mostly liked if I wanted to play by myself without other people, as the Necromancer could deal damage by taking another’s health – and so was pretty ‘self-sufficient’ in that sense.
When I played as other characters, I’d almost always need a Healer to be part of the team as most of the characters’ skill sets were designed to deal damage and not so much about preserving your own life.
Then there was only one character left to play: The Healer – ugh, they looked the least interestingly. In the game, they looked sort of like zen monks, didn’t have any cool weapons or armour. Barely anyone played as a healer, but everyone needed one to succeed in their missions and quests.
My challenge wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t play as all the characters, so off I went and created a healer character to play with. And it turned out… That I really liked it! Where with the Mage I could battle ‘from a safe distance’ – I was now not engaged with the battles at all. With any other character, the focus was always on getting your enemies’ health bars down. My role was not to focus on whatever enemies we encountered but to focus on my teammates and their health. With each player not having to worry about their own survival because I had their backs covered, they could each focus on their unique skill set and focus on what they did best.
I loved this point of focus, keeping my teammates in my awareness at all times, making split-second decisions as to who needed help when and what kind. Whenever I needed to do the next quest or mission, many people lined up to ask me to join their group, as having a good Healer in the more difficult missions often meant the difference between succeeding or failing the mission.
Playing this game as the Healer reminded and reignited this point from childhood. I had judged this side of me as ‘too soft’ and ‘too caring’ and that I would be destroyed in the cut-throat real world. That there was no space or place for these types of expressions and that it would be seen as a weakness to prey upon.
Years later on the Desteni Farm, I broke down in tears from an overwhelming experience of sadness.
In the words of my Support that came through the Portal and Bernard Poolman:
Support: The experience that you’re having is those culminating experiences that you suppress inside yourself in moments where you didn’t allow yourself to actually experience yourself within what you’ve seen and in what you take in about your world, about people or about anything else. The deep, deep-rooted experience has always been there but believed to be not allowed to be experienced because then you’re not strong enough and then you’re not the same, then it means you actually care. And in this world…you may not care. Cause if you care you’re inferior, no-one likes a being that cares.
Bernard: To care is not to love. To care is far beyond love.
To care is to really experience with someone – equal and one and to stand.
It is this care that started coming through the cracks again in playing the Healer in the game. And it is this care that I have been fostering, nurturing and developing that eventually brought me to Life Integration.