A few years ago the buildings and parking lot on a quarter of the city block across the street from my office was slated to be a site to build a community health center. The sign showed a beautiful, modern building with many windows and plants all around inside the windows as well as on front and side lawns.
From my office I was able to see as the wooden houses were torn down by a big Excavator machine and removed in dump trucks. The large brick garage was demolished and carted away in big dump trucks too. Then the parking lot was pulled up and also taken away in dump trucks. As the parking lot was pulled up in sections piece by piece another project was initiated. The lot was organized into sections with wooden stakes and rope cordoned off into squares to look almost like a checkerboard. One section at a time, working from the edges to the middle, the sections were dug up slowly and thoroughly with big backhoes, smaller backhoes, lastly by people with shovels and other tools. Each section was cleared out to be later filled and packed with dirt and soil brought in by dump trucks.
This process brought from the earth bicycles, pieces of clothing, shoes, patio chairs and a table, toys, tricycles, car tires, balls, bats, pieces of sidewalk, bases, tennis racquets, swing sets, more pieces of sidewalk, motor bikes, more car tires and more car tires and more car tires. So much debris came out of the ground. Dump truck after dump truck carried it all away. Except the car tires. A 20 foot dumpster was positioned on the street and was stacked to above the rim with car tires. One day the dumpster was gone. Then when the quarter of the block was cleared it was packed and leveled with dirt. The next crew started work laying the foundation for the new building.
This process took planning, collaboration and coordination across many people, companies, trades and skills resulting in a bright and useful building to serve the community. It even had a courtyard and pretty trees on the roof.
It was so interesting to watch each step of building that building. I was so grateful that my office gave me a front row seat to observe that process over time. It all seemed like a metaphor to the process I am honored to engage in with folks in therapy. Helping people to identify and acknowledge habits or procedurally learned ways of being or reactions that no long serve them well. Often it can be challenging to work collaboratively to move or shift parts of us that used to really serve us but now not so much. Healing from trauma and/or changing addictive behaviors is a process. It can take a while and can turn up old stuff that we can learn to let go of.