Vacuums + The Wounded Healer
There's a lot that I hoped to erase. There's a lot that I did erase. But no matter how much I trick myself or regroove my brain, I know full well what remains. It's all still there.
In high school I worked at a department store in a concrete strip mall in Philadelphia. Always a competent worker, I was promoted from the children's department to a commissioned role selling vacuums.
The three colleagues I worked with were all gray-haired, but not all mature. Two women and one man. The women were jealous and cruel to me and looked at me in disdain when I'd show up in my mini shirts and faux snakeskin knee boots. They choked on my hairspray fumes as they crinkled their noses.
One of the women frankly warned, "If you were my daughter, I'd keep you chained up in my basement."
That makes me laugh now as much as it did then.
The only man that I sold vacuums with was tall, smiley and oh so kind. We talked about true love, which I had yet to experience. We talked about loss and the look in his eye when he shared about his wife still breaks my heart. Although different, I told him about losses I'd been experiencing and how they made me feel.
He made eye contact and cared about what I said. He was engaging and grandfather-like. He didn't care about my Uranian revolution, it did not threaten him.
Several times a week I'd take my breaks at the local pizza place, ordering a diet Pepsi and smoking a Marlboro menthol light. I was often alone and I liked it that way, free to think about what my dreams were, how I'd soon leave this work and these pizza shop breaks behind me as I explored the world.
Mostly, I dreamed of moving to New York City. Of running away and finding a larger city to hide in.
I'm sure I would have if I didn't have the network of people that cared so deeply about me. A network that I believe saved my life. Mainly the persistent presence of my mom and sister - but there was a larger current of community too full of aunts, uncles, friends, cousins - a whole network of people.
Their love, I was all tangled up in.
Astrologer Liz Greene teaches in The Astrologer, the Counsellor and the Priest, that Chiron, symbolic of the wounded healer, lives within the astrologer. A wounding experience deepens our ability to empathize and offer compassion.
So aren't we all wounded healers, I wonder?
I don't consider myself a healer in the traditional sense of the word but I do find astrology to be the only language that has offered me the comfort of healing thus far.
So, if by interpreting the symbolic language of the sky through meaningful conversations with people, resonance and comfort appear, perhaps there is a sense of healing that can be found.
It's unique to everyone and reception plays a key role. The wounded interpreter feels more appropriate for the work that I do.
The wounds that live within me have not been erased, much to my dismay. Now a mother, they feel even deeper because I can imagine how my wounds impacted my mother as she watched them unfold.
Acceptance is something I write privately about often and the joke is now on me as I work to accept a turbulent storyline that has permeated most of my life.
I encourage my children to allow their challenges to be their teachers.
I ask them to invite difficulty as I believe embedded within it we find our personal guru.