Let me start this story from 2014. It was
about 15 years after I finished my work with a 3Keys practitioner.
During those 15 years, I used the 3Keys tools in a rather disorganized and random way to address only the most painful stuff. I knew during those years that I wasn’t really staying on top of all my triggers. I was only half-listening to my inner child, and while I tried to give her what she wanted, she honestly didn’t have my full attention. Some of what I knew she would ask for was more than I felt I could give. But life was okay.
By 2014, though, things weren’t okay. I lived in Tucson and had a job which, after eight years, I hated. I was very far from living from INFJ. Around that time, I unexpectedly received a small amount of money that was large enough to inspire confidence to take a leap. With never-ending encouragement from Pat (with whom I had never really been out of touch), I quit my job. I had no idea what I would do. I just put one foot in front of the other.
To make a very long story short, I launched a consulting business doing some of the similar, unpleasant work I had left behind from my previous job. However, it was only part-time, and I had room on my plate to expand my healing certifications (I was already a Reiki Master) and open a healing business. After several years of having 3Keys ask me if I wanted 3Keys Practitioner certification, I finally said yes. I went through that training, I got MBTI and hypnosis certified, and I started my healing business.
worked my butt off. I did everything I knew how to generate interest in 3Keys, but it was hard. I felt like I was slogging through waist-deep mud. I networked. I scheduled workshops, but sometimes there wasn’t enough interest to proceed. I had an initial 3Keys client who dropped out after about 20 hours of work. I couldn’t find another one. In sum, despite my best efforts, I hit a dead end. I decided for a variety of reasons to move to a new state and find a full-time job so I could pay the bills. The 3Keys practitioner told me she thought it was a timing issue—it just wasn’t the right time and place for whatever reason to make the 3Keys thing work—and the move and the new job would give me a year to figure things out.
Well, the move and the new job gave me something else: an opportunity to do my own work. The situation I was in was so painful i
n so many different ways, all replicating the issues from growing up with both a mother and a father who are Enneagram Fours. I learned at birth that I existed to meet their needs. My INFJ self was invisible, unseen and unheard. I learned quite early that I had to be their perfect little girl in order to survive. I felt like an outsider and that I didn’t belong anywhere. As a young child, that reality was sad and terrifying, and I was convinced something was wrong with me to make me so unlovable. As an adolescent, I was furious.
Almost every day that I lived in Minneapolis, I ran across a trigger from those early experiences. I knew I was triggered because first there was anger, the adolescent response of my One defense system. Underneath that, there was grief and fear and feeling defective. I was in such pain that there was no choice but to finally stay completely on top of my triggers and give my inner child every single thing she needed and wanted. That meant doing a piece of work several days a week (no exaggeration), adhering stringently to all of the 3As: feeling the feelings of the child, doing the anger work, affirming the child, and taking specific actions on her behalf to address the triggering situation and give her what she needed.
After a year in Minneapolis, my reason for being there—addressing more deeply my family of origin issues—was completed. I knew that my time there had served its purpose, and it wasn’t where I was supposed to stay. I remember one day saying out loud to the Universe, “I am ready to leave here as soon as possible.” Not long after that, I had a job offer in New Hampshire and I made another move.
Let’s fast forward a few years. The New Hampshire job was a repeat of the job in Tucson I had quit in 2014. The similarities felt like the Universe hammering me over the head saying, “When are you going to get it?” Thankfully, my commitment to staying on top of my healing work was still very much alive. I would watch for the anger, the biggest sign for me that I’ve been triggered, and do the required work. I was learning new things about how the Seven supplements my One defense through the numbing effect of denial. I started to become aware of some significant truths that I had been denying, the most important of which was how I was continuing in many respects to wear the cloak of “perfect little girl” for my exceedingly needy Four parents. When I saw that and talked to the inner child about it, she gave me her orders: NO MORE PRETENDING. I immediately took action and set much more rigid boundaries that now severely limit my interactions with them.
Earlier this year, driven by the inner child’s needs and with the never-ending support of the 3Keys Practitioner, I took another huge leap of faith. I quit my job. I let go, I rested and recovered from all the stress I had been under over the previous four years, and I got quiet and listened to receive the Universe’s guidance for the next steps. Here’s what materialized within four months: part-time consulting work that eased my financial worries, a 3Keys client, and acceptance into a chaplaincy program that will allow me to fully transition within a few years to work as a healer in any variety of ways. These changes have allowed me to live from INFJ more than 50% of the time, and I am astounded at how it feels to show up in the world being who I really am for the first time in my life. (It only took 54 years.)
Another benefit of the chaplaincy program is that I have already begun providing healing services to individuals, small groups, and at a community organization. Each month, more and more people are reaching out to me, clamoring to take advantage of what I’m offering. I find that quite unexpectedly, in a way like I’ve never experienced before, I am attracting people into my orbit, and there is wisdom coming through me as I facilitate these sessions that isn’t really from me. By faithfully doing my own work, I’ve finally gotten out of my own way. I have become a clear channel for the Universe to use my best INFJ abilities for the good of others.
In reflecting on this journey and where I find myself now, here are the conclusions I’ve drawn. When I don’t fully commit to doing my own work, when I don’t remain vigilant to observe how my defense system tries to sneak up on me, when I don’t really listen to my inner child and ignore what she tells me are her wants and needs, the connection between me, others and the Universe is clogged. Like a nasty sink drain that is filled with hair and gunk, there is only the thinnest stream of wisdom I can channel through as an INFJ healer. What’s more, those I’m trying to help (who are, by and large, Intuitives) pick up on all my gunk and are much less attracted to what I’m offering as a result. How can they trust me to help them with their gunk if it’s obvious I’m not dealing with mine? In hindsight, when I was trying to launch my healing business in 2015, I was a clogged drain.
I now understand why it didn’t work out.
Conversely, when I do my own work (which is a never-ending process as long as I’m alive and breathing), and when I take the leaps of faith as directed by my wise Inner Child, the drain is unclogged. I become more myself, perhaps even the purest version of myself, which feels like No Self (a Buddhist concept). In this pure state, I have no personal agenda, I have no need to be affirmed, acknowledged or valued by anyone outside of myself, and I have nothing lurking under the surface competing for my attention. This No Self feels like Unity, like Oneness, and that provides the opening for the Universe to work through me. In realizing the truth of this for myself, I am more motivated than ever to do whatever it takes to be that clear channel so that others may benefit and heal.