I have slept with a hammer under my bed every night since I was a little girl. When I moved from Hawaii to LA, I brought my hammer with me. It moved with me from apartment to apartment. Even in intimate relationships with my partner sleeping soundly next to me, my hammer was never far away. Whenever I felt scared, I would quietly slip my hand under the bed and lightly grip the handle to feel safe. Some nights when the darkness felt suffocating, I would sleep with it under my pillow. I never thought much about it. It’s normal to sleep with a hammer under your pillow, right?
I always thought my hammer represented safety. But I realize now that it represented fear. Whenever I instinctively reached down to touch its handle, I was touching the imprint that past trauma had left behind. I needed that hammer to protect the frightened little girl in me that never felt safe.
I just moved into my own place last month and for the first time in my life, I put away my hammer. I didn’t realize the significance at the time. I just remember unpacking my boxes, looking at the hammer, looking at my bed, and instead of putting it in its usual place, I packed it away in my toolbox high up on a shelf in another room.
Tonight, I was talking with a good friend about old wounds and my desire for deep healing. He looked me in the eye and challenged, “what if you are already healed?” I felt instantly resistant because there are so many parts of myself that I am still working on and days when I feel like I’m failing miserably.
But what if he was right? What if reaching for healing, was the same as constantly reaching for my hammer? We grab for things that are out of our reach. What if healing existed within me at this very moment and every moment?
On my drive home, it suddenly hit me like a lightening bolt. I FUCKING PUT AWAY MY HAMMER. My spirit had always known what my rational mind couldn’t hear. Tonight my Spirit spoke: You are safe. You put down your hammer.