virginia mckinnie




AGE: 44

"Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the origin of all poems,
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from yourself."






Not paying attention
I was on Prozac for about two or three months and then I said, "I don’t want to continue a chemical, an artificial feel-good." So I started seeing a psychotherapist, Judy, who was really instrumental in bringing me onto a healing path. But, also, I saw my life pivot back to all the things that I knew in my heart that had been squeezed out and drummed out of me by life in general, by people around me. By not paying attention to these aspects and understandings of my true self, and not really paying attention to what I know to be true and right and good and what I’m here for, and what’s important in life, I had created within myself a real need for healing. So, I think the convergence of all these factors were pivotal.

Mountains to climb
I think that one of the things that made me really nervous about this interview was that I was thinking, but I’m not healed. I’m not healed. Because I see all these things in my life now that I consider "unhealed" aspects. It’s like the bear goes up to the top of the mountain and what does he see? More mountains. And I think that becoming healed you just get to the top of a mountain, you look around and you think, Oh, but look at all those other mountains I could climb. And you have to choose them one at a time. So, now I don’t feel like I’m healed completely, though some aspects of my life have found healing, but rather I think that healing is a long process and journey.To really be true

Healing for me it is an authenticity, to really be true to that Self with a capital "S." Because to do anything else really fractures me emotionally and psychologically. I think those two things are tied. It creates a lot of little subs (subpersonalities) running around arguing with themselves, trying to talk louder than anybody else. And they’re still there. I have many subs and it’s interesting to watch them come out and take the stage. But there is the recognition that the larger Self is really at the heart of my existence. And if I don’t allow this authentic self, don’t really pay attention and allow this authenticity to come through in my life, then my existence gets too noisy, too hectic. I lose my sense of peace and joy.

A profound beauty
I think what I had in 1993 was a sense of being led back to a profound beauty within myself. And then after that I’ve come to realize, oh, that’s the authentic - that’s really me. And that authentic self, the beautiful self abides in each and all of us. That pure beauty is wrought by God, by the divine. And when we allow ourselves to move away from our authentic selves, we get clouded and murky and busy and noisy on the inside. Then we really lose ourselves, our joy, and our beauty -- not because they go away, but because we are ignoring our capacity to experience these aspects of ourselves.

No separation
I think a great deal of my healing took place during Psychosynthesis (see links). That had to do with finding a community of people, of dealing with psychological and emotional issues, and spiritual issues all in the same breath. There wasn’t any separation. And I had felt that there wasn’t, in fact, a separation. But again, I thought that perhaps I’m the only one that feels this way, that for someone to be psychologically whole and healthy, they need some sort of spiritual grounding. And it doesn’t necessarily have to be religious, but some sort of spiritual grounding. So, those three years were very significant to me. A lot of healing took place during that time.
And also during that time I started seeing a body therapist, Ellen. Because of something our teacher, Tom said at the very beginning of Psychosynthesis: "Think about your body, your spirit, and your mind, and which do you need to have more association with. Which do you need to get in touch with more? And find some way you can get it." My mind--I read, I write, in fact, sometimes I probably exercise my intellect too much. My spirit I’ve always paid attention to. I’ve always prayed or meditated so that meditation became quite easy for me to do. When someone sort of showed me what meditation was, I thought, "Oh, okay, I know that."

More than my body
But paying attention to my body. . . I always felt like my body was something that was a hindrance. I thought, "Oh, if I just didn’t have this sort of body," or "Oh, if I just didn’t look like this, or feel like this," or "If this didn’t hurt," or "If I were only an inch or two taller or shorter." Whatever, it was always my body that sort of got in my way. And, it was significant for me to get to the point to say, in fact, the sort of statement that Tom taught us in the beginning, "I have a mind, but I am not my mind. I have a spirit, but I’m not, or I have a whatever." And getting to "I have a body, but I am not my body." I had to change that and say, "I have a body and I am more than my body."

Slowly being restructured
One of the beliefs that is slowly being restructured for me, even right now, is that life is hard. I was very quick to latch onto the Buddhist notions of life is suffering. And just in the past year or so I’ve started saying, "You know what? Life may have pains in it. But we are not creatures that are meant to suffer. We’re just not." I mean, I don’t think birds suffer or does that dog look like she’s suffering or anything? You know, she’s just happy being a dog. I’m not sure that we are creatures that are born to suffer and I think we create it. So, I’m trying to work out of this notion that suffering is somehow a moral signature. You know, I’ve really been a good person because I’ve suffered through it. Well, I’m not sure that that’s a recommendation. That’s one of the things that’s really been challenged for me because, I mean, that’s very Christian, especially being raised in the buckle of the Bible Belt. Alot of people who have suffered and are very proud of their suffering just want to make real certain that you participate in their suffering. They do because they’re so bought into it. I think part of their rationalization is, "I must be doing the right thing because I’ve been doing it all my life."

The day to day
I think anytime that I sort of deliberately exposed myself to spiritual or psychological or emotional work, and I do it long enough, I have epiphanies. Even if its an epiphany about the fact that epiphanies ain’t where it’s at. It’s the day-to-day. You know, I really would like an epiphany right now and it’s not happening. So, I guess day-to-day one just puts, you know, it’s a sort of a trudging thing. And as I said, I had an epiphany about that because I really wanted deep insight and transformation and it was like the Universe said, "You know, you got everything you need. What else do you want me to hand to you."

Really recognizing
My healing process has had platforms. There’s this huge painful initiation that one has to go through of really recognizing that, "Oh, I’m either in crisis," or "I have some issues I need to deal with." And recognizing first that "Oh, I really have a problem here," or "I don’t want to be like this anymore," or whatever that initial stage is of recognition that "Oh, here’s a real problem within myself," or "Here’s a wound, here’s a pain that I haven’t paid attention to before." And that’s a sort of long process that doesn’t happen overnight. And that’s a very painful thing. And part of that is thinking you can fix it yourself, and then you finally realize "Well, maybe I need to go talk to someone, or anyone," whether it’s a friend, whether it’s God, whether it’s a community, whether it’s a therapist, to sort of break through the isolation.

Fun in the stuck places
There is a point after six months to a year or so, after you’ve wrestled with some of the demons and some of the issues and recognized your own resources and worth and value. Then there’s like a plateau, where you’re looking behind getting some insight as to where you’ve been and what you have. And then you say, "Okay, where do I go from here?" I tend to hit plateaus, and then I feel stuck. And I used to really dislike being stuck. And I know I’ve even gotten to where being stuck is okay. Because there’s things I can do even when I’m stuck. So, I’ve learned to have fun, even in the stuck places. I’m learning to have fun again. So, even in stuck places, it’s like, that’s okay. I won’t be stuck forever. And then you get over that.
So there are plateaus and apart from the real initiation there is bridging the separateness. The initiation of "Oh, I’ve got a problem," and bridging the separateness. Reaching out to some other source. And then the return to yourself and recognition of what you have and how you can deal with it. And you go on from there.

Writing from the heart
There’s sort of a parallel between spiritual healing and writing from a place that is productive and whole and healthy. Writing from the heart that is whole and healthy. And really opening your voice. That’s what I want to incorporate in my work. And also teach people who are in the healing process that writing is important. Writing, to a great extent, is some sort of exorcism of all this negativity. You can just write it all out like crazy. And in the meantime, get caught up and take yourself to a different place as well. You get a lot of the poison out of you through writing.





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