After my last blog post where I dared to speak out loud about the financial investment I’ve made in therapy, I had some interesting reactions from people: Some were concerned that I didn’t have health insurance to pay for therapy. Others cringed inside, saying, “I have been afraid to add up that number, for fear of what I’ll see.”
Years ago, I had a friend who told me that her real therapy truly began when she began to pay out of her pocket. Before then, she went to therapy until her annual coverage ran out, then stopped and waited until the following year when the insurance company would restart payments. She said, it was only when I got a part time job solely to pay for my therapy that I began to really grow.
At the beginning, some so badly want to use their insurance and refuse to pay for any part of their therapy. They don’t want to have to pay; not realizing it is their own life they hold over a cliff. Their insides, their soul—their own soul they try to find ways out of paying for.
How could it be? I wonder to myself. They bend and shape themselves in a dance to arrange to pay the least amount possible. This is their life, and I am appalled that we are in the 21st century and we still don’t know how precious our lives are. We still don’t know that who we are exists totally in an inner dimension. How could it be that we would so little value our insides? How could it be?
I am still perplexed by it. I gathered up all my pennies as a struggling student to get money together to pay for therapy. It was the only place that just wanted money out of me. I saw it as a very, very clean deal. This arrangement was so simple that I was grateful my first real therapist took my money. He received money from me and that’s all I had to give. With that money I bought myself a relationship in which to explore myself. I bought the privilege to play out all my fears, all my doubts, and all my attachments. I bought that right, to say what I wanted, to be who I wanted, to test, to express, to hide.
I bought a real live player on the other side, something I had never had before. Someone who interacted with me with all he had. Someone who challenged the hell out of me—someone who loved me and cared about me. Someone who had moist eyes at times when I explored things, someone who fought for me and reacted for me long before I could do those things for myself. Someone who knew I had a self before I knew I had a self—someone who knew I had feelings and responses before I knew, before I could let them out.
Someone who let me cling—and attach and be connected to. Someone, another across the room, someone. Another. There isn’t enough money in the world to pay for what I received. Money can’t do it. In fact, nothing material can ever equal what I received. It is invaluable, like priceless artifacts, or nature, or the Grand Canyon or the rainforest, or a sunset. Who can put price tags on that?
So knowing this, I am a touch short and defensive when new clients call and only want to use their insurance. I am defensive and almost indignant. I know what they don’t—if they could/would gather up their pennies and embark with their hands filled, magic could happen in their lives. Real magic where alchemically things change—the type of magic we see in movies and childhood fantasies. They don’t see that a life, their own unique life, awaits them. It is calling them and so much time has been lost already. A life is standing by waiting for them to engage with it. Perched, unique, special callings await our glance. If only we would look over there to see what beckons in the corner—if only we could glimpse the depth of our being, the purpose of our life.
If only we could look straight into that empty corner to see and hear how life and our own soul are calling us to step up to the plate, to show up for our lives. If only there weren’t so many distractions that prevent us from harkening our true colors. Are we willing to hear this call? It isn’t a silent or quiet call at all, really. Once you know to listen in the right way. Once you surrender to it. Life becomes so easy because there are no other choices. One begins to see that staying in the pain of unconscious darkness is overwhelming. One begins to see that allowing an insurance company to dictate their growth journey is a certain form of poverty.