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Stories of Joy and Pain

A Significant Session

by Lisa Samson

Sam and I go into the back primal room, and I'm losing my nerve. I let him know this, and that my fear is about going into some really deep work with a man present. So we talk about it for a bit, and I find I'm getting angry with myself that I'm getting sidetracked. That made my mind up.

I let myself go down into what I've always felt was a bottomless black hole, and an image came to me of being a very small baby lying in my crib with someone in the room. The next thing I know, I'm pushing out/away with my legs and arms, and I'm struggling with something, I don't know what. I scream until I can't breathe, and as I come fighting back up for air, I say "Stop I mean it!" This was significant, in that I understood my limits and respected them even in the midst of a life-and-death primal.

So we take some time to bring me out and get me more grounded in the present. And then Sam is looking me in the eyes and he says, "I think this is why you're here, Lisa, this is why you came this weekend." We talk about what I want to do, that it was very brave and significant for me to be able to stop and stay right where I was and see how I feel. I tell him what my perceptions were, and that I felt like someone was trying to hurt, or possibly kill me, and I decide to go back down. It's amazing to me now, how easily I made that decision, based on the amount of fear I was feeling, and at that moment I had no idea of the outcome.

So down I go again with a death grip on Sam's hand and when I can't breath anymore, instead of the fear ripping me apart there's this unbelievable strength that comes, and I'm finally fighting and screaming, "NO!!", and suddenly I let go and come out the "other side."

It took some time for me to realize what had happened, and even before I could really register that I had gotten past that horrible fear, I was sobbing and asking, "Why, why didn't they want me?" The pain was somehow a little more bearable, I believe now, because I could feel how incredibly strong I was for making it through. I cried for awhile and told Sam I was having a little trouble with a man being there with me. After some time I was aware of his heart beat and I guess the idea came to me that it was just a heart beat, everything living has one, and I don't have to compare or feel threatened, or act enticing, or be anything in relation to that heart beat. And for the first time since I've been doing this work I looked down into that crib with baby Lisa in it and instead of feeling all the rejection and pain and ugliness - I saw and felt a beautiful baby. Then I was reaching out for her and bringing her up into my arms, feeling her wiggling into me, all of her sweetness and innocence. Then there wasn't any more division, the little baby was me and I was holding me and feeling how beautiful I was, how wonderful and sweet, so strong and with so much potential. I believe it was the first time I - loved - me.

Then I was aware of a tingling vibration all through my body. I kept wiggling my toes and flexing my muscles as I continued to recognize myself. And as if I could stand anymore joy suddenly I could feel my heart!! And then I cried more tears of joy. It was like tiny celebrations going on all through my body! I lay there for a long time in Sam's arms crying tears of joy, laughing and smiling, feeling the love I hold for myself. Then after a time I would just think of someone and suddenly I was with them sharing my joy. I felt so wonderful and I said so many prayers. Then I cried more tears when I

realized that the next time I held my children "I" would really be there in a way I had never been before.

I talked and shared with Sam every minute expression of coming through the other side, and he told me about the first time he came through. I remembered saying to him how simple it is to just BE. Getting there is not, it is so much work, but I did it. I dreamed and dared, I planned, I made the decisions every step of the way, I faced the demons and won. I cried from my pain, I felt love for myself, and finally I said a prayer that someday I might help others find their way through to that kind of joy.

Editor's note:

"A Significant Session" is the very first submission for our "Stories of Joy and Pain." I want to thank new IPA member Lisa Samson for courageously sharing her truth.

"Stories" Submissions

• 250-500 words or less are ideal for the newsletter. Selections up to 2000 words would be saved for the website or a book. Keep in mind that short selections are often the most inspirational.

• Express from your personal perspective, and refrain from using names unless you have written permission from the individuals mentioned.

• Choose subject matter that has deep personal meaning for you and speaks of your primal life and experience.

• Please submit via email to

This article appeared in the Winter 2001 IPA Newsletter.

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