Sometimes it's hard for me to convey how much of a difference massage school can make in a person's life. I got this thank you email last month and was really touched by our graduate's words. I've reprinted it with his permission.
Rebecca (as well Donna, Davida, Ryan, and Kim),
I've been meaning to write to you for a while now but find this is the best time for me to do so. I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for helping me discover, in myself, the ability to be who I can. Even though I was still and arrogant little shit while at RMIHA, I was instilled with the tools to be someone who is compassionate and can learn to love-to love with my entire being. These last few years have been extremely difficult for me, and most especially my relationship with [my partner]. We entered each others lives as unhealthy, destructive children, who tried to love each other without knowing how to love ourselves. We tried, but our fear of pain kept us from fully opening up to each other and that fear spilled over into every aspect of US. When the bottom fell out we were both wounded so deeply, and old wounds that were never resolved joined in the fray. I pushed her away, and she felt abandoned. If, for nobody other than myself, I want you to know that I am indebted to you, because in that darkness of fear and pain, I found a grain of light. A grain of infinite possibility that I am a beautiful person. A grain that was revealed to me through my education at RMIHA. I realized that the person who really hurt me the most was myself, because I had not forgiven myself for things I still carried with me, and they prevented me from loving myself, and in turn, loving [my partner]. I have been buried in David Richo's books (which I also would not have known without my education) and I have realized that I can forgive myself, and I can love myself. And that now I can truly love those around me. To love them in a way which I had never known before. I see now that massage was not what I really learned, rather, I learned how but be human. How to feel, and how to love, truly and deeply. And so, from the bottom of my heart, thank you-so very much thank you. I'm ready to begin a new chapter in my life, and a new relationship with [my partner] that will finally be healthy and productive, and be the father that [my son] needs...I'm ready to grow up.
much love always,
-ef, Class of 2005