Warning! There is a Black Hole in Dr. Patrick Carnes’s Gentle Path- Planting the Seed for Recovery.
Yes, it is true. There is a black hole in the Gentle Path. You are supposed to fall into this hole before your journey down the gentle path. Those of you that have been down “The Gentle Path” with Dr. Patrick Carnes know that at the start of your journey, there is the giant black hole that everyone forgot to tell you about.
You buy the book, fall into the hole and desperately try to figure out how to get out of the black hole, or maybe you have no strength at this time, and passively lay down at the bottom of the hole. That is okay. There is no code for behaviors or feelings down in the hole. The thing is: You are exactly where you need to be at this time. No matter what approach you take while you are down in the black hole, the black hole is frightening. It doesn’t feel good to be down there surrounded by the darkness. Feelings of despair, hopelessness and confusion may come seeping in. Maybe you are numb? Maybe you lie on the bottom and feel nothing?
You want out! You hate the black hole that is now robbing you of your decision making skills, your physical strength and your motivations. You desperately flail around trying to climb out or maybe you are still just lying there numb and cold at the bottom, barely moving. This is the time where you muster up strength to reach out to your therapist and your support group. You will be guided and supported, but you will not get a lifeline to instantly repel you out of the hole. You will not get an instant rescue because you are actually exactly where you need to be. You are supposed to be in the hole. The hole has something to teach you- you just don’t know it yet. Stop flailing and breathe….if you are numb and just lying there…move your eyeballs and just look around for now. When the time is right, you will know that while you were down there, you were actually cultivating the soil around you, cultivating it to plant your seed. This is your seed to recovery; the seed will eventually grow into a beautiful flower.
So no one may have told you about the black hole in the path. It is a necessary hole because you cannot have the beautiful flower without planting the seed and tenderly nurturing it over time. Take the stroll along the Gentle Path; know that you will fall into the hole and that you will come out of the black hole- when the time is right.
Written by: Ingela Edwards, MS, LPC-Intern, National Certified Counselor, McKinney, TX.
Supervised by: Debra Larsen, MS, LPC-S
Ingela Edwards, LPC, NCC, SRT, CCPS is an individual and marriage therapist