Have you ever wished you were somewhere else other than where you are? Somewhere where you can be who you really are, say what you need to say, do what you need to do and feel what you need to feel?

Well, imagine you are standing before a large opening surrounded by bright LIGHT....a threshold, if you will, one that is presenting to you any kind of world imaginable, and you can bring any part of you that needs to simply *be*, or be seen or be heard or be felt in order to heal. The Gateway offers worlds that are open to hearing, seeing, believing and capturing just what it is that you need to in order to heal whatever it is that pains you so.  Step forward, choose the world you would like to visit and pass through the Gateway into it. The world you choose is magical and anything or anyone you need to be there will be there with you. Bring all of you into your world....your hurts, your pain, your anger, your rage, your grief, your fear, your terror ---- anything you desire to bring.

Two of us have passed through this Gateway and have taken the opportunity to be, do, say, think and feel what we chose. Cautiously, we both stepped through the Gateway and entered worlds that supported us, comforted us, cared for us and held for us just what it was that we needed to heal the wounded part we brought. We felt the safety and the magic of our chosen world. We spoke of long ago times that continued to give us pain, we spoke to people, things and places that we needed to speak with in order to heal our pain.

 I (Eric) entered the Gateway with much trepidation, I feared that I would bring my pain, hurt, sadness and raging storms to this place and cause it to be damaged. My Guide however, knew that this world was more resilient than that and took me in. I wandered a bit through a meadow, near a beautiful waterfall and then there was a little tan husky racing across the meadow toward me. It was my young friend from years ago, he'd died in a terrible accident, at my hands, killed by a rage. But there he was! A fur kid who had all the space he wanted, who didn't know a fear or want anymore. He ran up to me and gleefully greeted me, I cried and he licked the tears from my cheeks. He didn't care about my rages he loved me, unconditionally. Then, together, my friend, my Guide and I went to a pond where I received a gift that I'd never seen before, love. It entered a darkened mind and drove out fear and I was re-newed. I found that I could allow the chains that held my mind in sadness, guilt, fear and darkness dissolve. I felt sadness give way to hope and then joy!

I (Mary D.) found myself in the middle of a forest and I sat down beneath a strong and tall evergreen and soon I begin to share my pain that was shrouded with guilt and shame. I felt safe enough to go to the depth of where my pain was and I wailed and cried and screamed. Then I added the words that needed to be said aloud and they were heard by all of Mother Nature present in the world that was chosen for me (I stood at the threshold not knowing where I could go or which world to choose and was led by a Guide to one where I could begin to heal my pain.). As I continued to say, do, feel and be myself in the safety of this world without judgment, discount or denial; surrounded by people, things and places that needed to see, hear and believe me, I was able to begin my own healing. My wailing became a soft breeze, my tears a rainbow, my pain a strong ally for me and my shame and guilt I left behind in the pond I had to swim over in order to get to my forest.

And suddenly, the two of us realized that others could find a world for themselves as well where they could come and begin to heal some of their hurts. So, as I passed through the Gateway on my return, I stopped and asked if anyone could come to the threshold who wishes to be healed. The Gateway responded to me, "Certainly, invite them to come to my threshold. Anyone is welcome here."

I (Nytechylde) step through the gateway, and at first, it is a dark and desolate place and I am frightened.. hesitating, I take another step.. With each step that I take into that world, a little color sprouts here and there, not all at once mind you, but a little bit at a time, so as to not frighten me away....and sooner or later, I step into my past, into a house that has haunted me for the past 10 years.. not for bad or sad memories.. but because of all the happy ones I had there...I find myself in the spare bedroom of that old Victorian house in Chicago.. My grandmother is here, and she is reading a story to me. I can see her kind, wrinkled face, as she reads to me, the reflection of the book in her hands and my own face as she looks up at me from time to time from the book, the small scar on her nose that she tells me she got from running and tripping when she was a child. The chapter is almost finished, and now she is showing me a picture from the book that she is reading, a picture of a little girl running down a mountain. The book is Heidi. She finishes the chapter, closes the book and puts it on the dresser just a few feet from the bed, leans down and kisses me on each cheek, one on the forehead, one on each eye, and one on the nose (I always insisted that she kiss my eyes closed so I could sleep), then she turns off the light and walks out of the room, closing the door, but not all the way, so the light from the nightlight in the kitchen can shine in and keep me safe, saying to me "Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite." I giggle and turn over in my bed and drift off to sleep. I wake up in the morning, grandma is making breakfast. I sit at the table with her and grandpa and I eat my breakfast of oats and toast, then I help her clear the dishes when we are done. Grandpa goes into the living room to watch the morning shows, grandma stays in the kitchen with me and we play with playdough. Grandma always likes playing with me...I look up at grandma and I tell her how much I love her, and she smiles and tells me how much she loves me and how much grandpa loves me...then the scene fades from my view..now I am in the living room, and I am behind grandpa's chair, and I am pretending to be a barber and he is pretending to be my customer, I comb his white hair from side to side, and grandpa ends up looking quite silly, so I show him his reflection in the small hand mirror...we both laugh...and as the laughter fades.. so too does this scene, and I find myself in the garden.. there are roses and lady slippers and forget-me-nots.. and a small patch of grass, hardly big enough to be a yard of any sort, and then I realize that I am in the back yard...and I am alone.. and I look up at the sky, but only there isn't any sky, just a big empty void.. I look in the white garage that is trimmed in kelly green.. I can smell the old smell of a car that used to sit in that garage.. but there is no one there.. I climb the thirteen steps up to the back porch and I peer into the enclosed porch through the glass of the storm door.. but there is no one there.. I open the door.. I walk in... I open the door to the kitchen.. it's mint green with white trim.. the floor is linoleum and I can still see the little grayed pockmarks in it that grandma told me were caused by a broken bottle.. I can smell that house.. it hasn't changed in my mind.. I open the door to the pantry and I find my little hidey hole that is still there, that place beneath the steps.. the smooth plaster on the walls.. the pots and pans neatly hanging on the wall.. the window that went to no where but the back porch...the shelves neatly papered in white shelf lining with a yellow accordian trim along the edges...I find the cookie jar, and I open it.. and surprisingly, there are some lemon sandwich cookies.. my favorite, so I snatch one and devour it.. then...I walk out of the pantry, and I open the door to the attic.. I climb the steps, they circle up to the right, and they are painted gray with black no skid tiles in the middle so you don't, slip.. and I come to the top of the steps...I see a small girl, roller skating on the yellow and gray checked linoleum, a green pillow tied to her rear end so she doesn't hurt herself if she falls, and grandma is sitting on the sidelines laughing with her and I realize that it is me.. and this too fades.. so I go back down the stairs, and I sit at the kitchen table...its dark except for the nightlight on the stove.. I sit in grandpa's seat...and I sit for a long time.. I sit so long that I see myself, 10 years younger, come through the hallway and sit in my grandmother's seat, only the other me can't see me... she looks very sad, and she's crying.. and she is clutching a picture close to her chest.. and she looks so alone...she keeps saying that she didn't get a chance to say goodbye... and I want to tell her that I am here for her, but she doesn't hear me, she just rocks back and forth.. and I get up and walk into the living room, my father is sitting in grandpa's chair, and my mother is sitting in my grandmother's spot on the sofa, and my brother is watching TV... and no one notices me.. no one notices me at all.. and nothing has changed... except for one thing...it all looks wrong.. grandma isn't here.. she isn't here anymore....so I turn... I go into the kitchen.. and I sit down in front of myself, and I start talking to the me that is frightened and alone and sad.. I start to tell her that things will get better, soon, you will be a mother of two children who will love you and who you can love back.. you must be patient, you must be strong, and I take her into my arms and I rock her back and forth...and she falls asleep, so I pick her up, and I carry her into grandma's spare bedroom and lay her on the bed, tucking her in, I can feel the heat from her body from the fever that she has.. she had the flu that week...and I kiss her on both cheeks, on the forehead, on both eyes and on the nose, and I say to her "Sleep tight and don't let the bed bugs bite." and she turns over and goes to sleep, and I quietly tip toe out of the room, shutting the door, but not all the way because the nightlight will keep the boogeyman away.....and I turn around, and there is my grandmother, and she takes my hand and she tells me "I always knew that you loved me, even if you didn't get to say goodbye, and I will never stop loving you dear.." and we walk out to the back porch, she opens the door, we step out into the night air, walk down the steps, and with each step, I get smaller, and she gets larger, until I am just the size of a 5 year old, and she picks me up and we walk down the gangway (that's the space between the house and the neighbor's house, that's what they call that up there)...and I keep getting smaller...until I am small enough to fit into my blue baby buggy, and I am lying in my baby buggy, and I am looking up at her, the sky is blue, and grandma is making that clicking sound with her dentures, and she is smiling at me and I know that I am smiling back because I see my baby face reflecting back at me in her glasses...and I look next to me and I see baby Kathi smiling at me too...

Do you wish to step through the Gateway (alone or with a Guide) into a world where you find all the safety you need to expose what is hurting, angering or frightening you and begin to heal what might be there that needs to heal? You can say anything you wish in this world you choose --- you can meet others there that you wish to speak to and say things that have long been on your mind --- you can be and do, say and feel whatever your heart desires in this world. Leave behind what you do not wish to take back with you and take back what it is that you do. Knowing that whatever you choose to leave behind will be a symbol to other survivors that you, a fellow survivor, has done, said, been and felt what you needed to do on the other side of the Gateway......and that they too can come through and heal.


"Come," says the GATEWAY........"Your world awaits you."