Until we can allow ourselves to feel the pain over all that we lost the difficult consequences that the multi generational legacy of addiction has brought to us, the love we lost, the connections that got broken or could not properly form because of our own stinted capacity to relate that was a curse of a childhood in which we never got to truly trust and connect how can we heal?
It seems to me often that there is an investment in only looking on the surface of things. We don’t help people to look down to the roots of what gave rise to a plant that was stinted in its ability to grow. If we didn’t get the right food, light, warmth, comfort and nurture, this leaves a legacy and yet there is a place deep within us that can know that this was the reason we suffered and in feeling for our pain, in allowing our souls to admit it to consciousness we can heal.
I believe there is something in the soul that needs to open to the truth of our suffering and only by taking that course do we effect both an understanding and a deepening as well as some kind of resolution. Without this capacity to open to our own suffering, how can we open to the suffering of others?
If we have to shut the door on all pain and use our different defences of judgement or rage to keep the bars of that defence in place how can we ever truly enter the chambers of the heart that contain the healing balm and elixir of love?
These thoughts were in my mind and heart as I read today’s daily mediation from Tian Dayton in my daily recovery reader.
There are many losses that I go through because of this disease (alcoholism) which need grieving.
She then goes onto to articulate some of these losses.
All of these losses are real and need to be grieved so that I can move through them, learn, grow and embrace the life that is now becoming more real and more my own each day.
Tian ends the reading the following quote from David Hare:
It’s hard enough to grieve, but when you don’t know the truth, everything freezes and you can’t move on.
Sometimes we don’t want to know the truth, we may erect defences or even lie to ourselves or others. We then go into the deep freezing taking along with us feelings that when thawed by the light of consciousness would become a living river which carry us on to healing.
If we have lived long enough and come to be honest about the course of our lives, we may see many difficult choices we make which led to suffering, for ourselves and for others. The pain of these when brought to awareness in honesty becomes in Kahlil Gibrain’s words “the bitter potion through which the physician within you heals your sick self.”
Lately I have been thinking about how blame can be a defence against feeling the suffering and pain we may have within us that needs to be felt. Release from self pity or unnecessary or inappropriate guilt and shame is essential in this life because it is human to err. Along the way in this life we will make mistakes but that too is part of the journey. It is only when we don’t learn from them and make the necessary changes that we stay stuck. So the pain we feel in opening to the learning, may be the price of our liberation.
Most certainly I know within my own soul how good it feels to finally be able to open the door that has been barred shut by blame, shame, denial or guilt and allow the torrent of pent up feeling beneath these to be released in a healthy way.
My shame keeps me in prison by not allowing me to see that I am human and make mistakes and that I am not God and do not have unlimited power. Neither does anyone else. Blame keeps me in prison by keeping the focus outside of myself rather than on myself so that I can see the necessary steps that need to be taken to move away from what hinders, wounds or hurts.
In the past few weeks I have been allowing myself to feel both the grief and anger that are part of the lack of affirmation I had in my own life that led me to a pit of addiction over years. I have not lived within that black place for many years now. While in the addiction all was hidden from me. The path out involved a prolonged sojourn in some very dark woods, especially at age 40 when I went into the place of deep aloneness and undoing.
Over the past 13 years so much has been unravelling, trying to make its way out, to be acknowledged and felt. At times in ignorance I turned to places and people who could not, would not validate it. I also went through the inner argument which was a consequence of a painful path whose truths could not always be felt or articulated.
Today I am feeling deep grief and pain, for my sister smashed up in hospital, falling as a consequence of being placed on medication which has now allowed her feelings a place to come out. I have had two mornings of searing anxiety which has been expressed in deep electrical body pain, that was only released as I opened the barred door and cried with and for my sister and acknowledged deeply my own powerless over her.
That admission of powerlessness in some way floods me with strength, peace and power. It liberates me from the strangle hold of anxiety that comes when I don’t realise that I have no power over others, only over my own choices and that I can make the choice to love even those who in their ignorance hurt due to their own unconsciousness and so end up suffering. And I can see too how that applies to the way I treat myself, at times.
In feeling my own pain and grief over these things I am liberated and the empty spaces and places deep within my own heart are filled with healing. I can cry deeply and release the grief that was buried under anger, I can see where unjustified anger has caused me even deeper pain and release that too. I can see where my demand for consciousness within a situation and with others where such demands were not realistic ends up wounding me more and leads to more imprisonment and suffering. I can also see where anger was a necessary feeling that needed to be embraced and understood and how the feeling of it would allow me to take action and set appropriate boundaries against what hurt.
As I reflect on the astrological significance of these things I recognise that the Venus square to Pluto is in effect. I am being taken to some depths of healing today and I am sure even deeper recognitions will come over the next few days. For today it feels good to feel once more freedom from anxiety and peace deep within.