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Lessons from a Graveyard


The best therapy workshop I ever did was from an organization called the Hoffman institute. You stay at one of their residential treatment facilities, they have them all over the country, and I believe out of the country…for seven days.


All you work on for seven days is the issues you have that were caused by your mommy and daddy, or whomever your surrogate parents were when you were a kid.


It’s like 10 years of therapy in one week. They use many different kinds of therapies in that week to get around all the walls we have to protect ourselves from dealing with crap that hurts us – all the crap we think we can stuff inside and not deal with, and all the demons we run away from with booze, drugs, sex, work, food, exercise, etc…


One of the cool things we did one day was take a walk out to a cemetery and talked about if we died today. Who would show up at our funeral, who would speak our eulogy, and what would they say about us today?


Then we talked about who we wished would come to our funeral, who do we wish would give our eulogy, what do we wish they would say about us and think about us? What kind of a legacy would we like to leave?


What would we need to heal? Who would we need to forgive? What skills would we need to learn to get us from where we are to where we want to be?


Today I was very busy. I’m actually too busy and the stress is starting to affect me, but when I was driving past the cemetery and I saw the gravediggers at work, I pulled over to watch them. I recorded this short clip for you. I wanted to share this with you. I wanted to tell you what they did at Hoffman, and I hope that you will ponder the same questions they asked us.


I feel much more confident today about who would show up at my funeral and what they would say then I did a year ago – never mind 10 years ago when I did Hoffman! The biggest thing that I consider a negative for me and what just absolutely makes me suffer and drives me crazy, is my constant worrying about not being loved and excepted for who I am. Am I a burden to my loved ones? Will my husband leave? Do my friends like me?


Seriously, it makes total sense! You know my past! No wonder I don’t trust human beings! I know those fears come from my wounded child self.


I’m old enough to not let it stop me from being who I am, but I haven’t grown up enough to not worry about it.


I’m just saying that I have a lot of terrific skills, like my ability to feel true gratitude and see beauty in so many things! I love that about me!


AND… I will be really relieved when the day comes (please God, let it come in this lifetime!) when I’m not worried about being seen as overwhelming or the court jester or being unworthy, unwanted, blah blah blah!


I refuse to conform. I refuse to settle. I’m 100% authentic (most of the time), but I live in a mind that’s constantly telling me that I’m too much. I post too much. I’m too weird. I’m not really helping things. I’m too…you name it.


I do have a couple of people that I care about who say that to me. They say I share too much. I’m too overwhelming. Blah blah blah.


But every time I let that feeling start to drag me down, one of you will say something, or a stranger will come up to me somewhere. Somehow one of you will reach me and share something so beautiful that I just know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it’s God speaking through you, telling me you really are doing what you’re supposed to be doing, Catherine, don’t stop.


So as I’m watching the gravediggers dig today, I’m thinking about all of this.


Even though I am not comfortable being out of the box ( little coffin humor there), I do feel like I’m living my purpose and I’m living my destiny, so if my legacy is that I was verbose in my trying to spread healing love, compassion and forgiveness, and also adamant that grown-ups should stop having sex with children…so be it.


Well, I’m good. If I died today, unlike a year ago or any time prior to a year ago, I’m good. I’m not done yet. I got shit to do. I WILL make my PSAs, and I’ll just be glad when the the neurotic egomaniac in me stops giving a shit about other people, because it’s a real drag sometimes. Just saying…


What about you? How are you doing? These are great journalist questions, huh?




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