I woke up this morning with this beautiful analogy in my thoughts. I’m a mountain girl. I grew up around Missoula, MT and absolutely love the area. One of my favorite things was to walk in the streams (or brooks/creeks) and look at the pretty rocks. I learned pretty quickly though that the beautiful rocks in the water changed drastically once dry and to just leave them where they were. Plus, my mom didn’t much appreciate me having piles of rocks in my room.
Today it came to me that our lives are like a stream. Everything we experience is like the bed of the stream. The boulders in the middle are the big events in our lives. They are obvious and are usually sticking out of the water. They don’t really alter the direction of the stream and if they aren’t too big, then the water can actually run over them and keep going. Some are much too large for that and the water is divided and forced to go around the barrier, sometimes causing us to get stuck at it and sometimes just going around it.
The rest of the natural path under quick flowing water is made of rocks, pebbles, sand and the natural dirt of the area. The water continues to rush over billions of pebbles unhindered. That’s our life! All of our experiences are either various sized pebbles that sit under the surface, unseen, yet still guiding our direction or large, obvious boulders disrupting the smooth surface of our lives. The pebbles build up over time and make the most change in the course of the water. Layer after layer can be added and, from the outside, the course of the water appears the same. Slowly the direction of the stream can be changed by adding layers pebbles. The water will continue to trickle over the pebbles and easily glide over the small rocks. Eventually, if you add enough, even the boulder is covered and hidden by the water. Have you ever walked through a beautiful, crystal clear stream? You can see everything through the water, except where you have stepped or disturbed the creekbed. The once still bottom quickly muddies the water and makes it impossible to see anything. It takes a few seconds or so for the rushing water to clear the area again.
When I experienced AFT, I went into it totally aware of the boulders in my life. I’ve got them all mapped out. Some are so impactful they actually changed the course that I was going. Those I’m aware of and I learned from. Not all of them are bad either! Some are huge, life changing positive things. Some are serious God moments that made me aware of something and I changed in an instant. Some are big, ugly events that sit huge and forlorn in the middle of my way.
So, when I sat down for my first AFT, I thought I was well prepared. I know the things holding me back. I’m super self aware and always reading and learning and trying to move forward. What AFT did for me was unmuddy the water where I’d been walking so I could see the many pebbles under the surface. That first session, it wasn’t the boulders in my life that came forward. It was a tiny pile of pebbles cast into my stream by my stepmother. It was echoes of being told I wasn’t important, I wasn’t attractive and I … well I just wasn’t. Now, most of those things she didn’t say outright. She said things like, You know, you aren’t nearly as smart as you think you are or If you’d just lose weight you would almost be pretty. I don’t know why she insisted to me that I wasn’t smart or pretty. I don’t know why she found me to be such a threat. I’ll never know why she talked to me that way as she’s gone now, but now it really doesn’t matter.
Until that moment in that AFT session, I’d buried those memories. I dismissed them as unimportant. I haven’t even seen her in 30+ years. What she said to me didn’t matter. I had boulders in my life that said I was smart and I did matter. Those pebbles were still there though. So many of them hiding there. The AFT session brought them forward and I was able to deal with them and actually let them go for the first time. Decades after having dumptrucks of them poured into my stream, I finally saw them for what they really were. It was like holding dry, ugly rocks under crystal clear water and seeing them for the first time. It was so impactful for me! I hadn’t realized how many times over the years those negative pebbles were being handed to me! They did alter the direction I wanted to go, it was slow and over time and almost imperceptible, but it was there. They were hiding in the shadows of the boulders and in the muddied waters.
Really, it was like AFT just unmuddied the waters and let me see what was really sitting there. Normally, whenever I got to a well known boulder, I would just see the boulder and move around it. I was very aware of it and knew it to be a barrier for me. Those millions of tiny pebbles though, I never noticed them. It wasn’t just my stepmother, there were a few others that fed to the pile as well. They left my life almost as quickly as they entered it, so I never gave any thought to any of them. In that session I recognized the issue, acknowledged it, understood how it was stopping me and moved on from it. Thus, the word FREEDOM in Aroma Freedom Technique!
The water is beautiful and clear once again. I recognize what was said wasn’t really anything against me personally. It was her own hurts, her own issues and her need for … I don’t know what, but I released it and acknowledged that I am enough.
I want that for you! To look into the water and see it clear up is such an amazing experience. Changing the course of my future by acknowledging my past and letting it go… priceless.