I have been reflecting on my experience today in yoga class of my inner child looking this way and that, towards others, hoping to be seen and then of the sad feeling that came when there was really no one to connect to from my deep feelings. I became aware of a pattern of looking outward when I needed to turn my gaze back within. I had the revelation in the active imagination today that I need to turn the child’s face back towards me, the adult. I am no longer a child but the inner child in me can often be abandoned by that inner adult the one whose true responsibility it is to take care of this inner child.
I am aware that after some years of becoming more and more conscious of my anger towards my mother for what I didn’t get I am now moving past that anger to the grief that was underneath it. I could not really feel the true grief if I was always reacting in anger towards the person who due to her own limits could not give to me what I needed. I can see that my Mum gets really annoyed when I try to point out any grief about certain things. We had a huge fight five or so years ago about it and I swore at her. She told me to leave her house and so I drove for four hours through the night to the next major town and slept in my car, I was homeless as my ex had just broken off the relationship a few weeks before while I was visiting my Mum. I had no home to go to, and this all happened on the anniversary of my father’s death, it was extremely traumatic. I couldn’t go back to my mother’s place for some months, until things became badly unstuck in the town. I was engaged in a fruitless battle with my Mum for recognition and attention of my emotions. Now that I have a good therapist that recognition has come, and my therapist has made clear to me that while she can support me, it is up to me to feel my feelings, she consistently affirms that my feelings make sense, even though often I have been told they don’t.
I was not sure for so many years of how I was using various addictions to run from these feelings and due to my difficulty with making sense of feelings. When I attend any AA meetings (and this is rarer these days) I often hear others share how much difficulty they have in feeling and staying with painful feelings. Often they judge themselves for natural feelings, or substitute certain feelings for other primary feelings. Today I feel I am making progress. I am really making progress in being a better mother to myself and understanding that I do have the power to contain my own feelings and make sense of them..
Today when I realised I needed to turn back towards myself I think I made a big step forward in my recovery. I am also recognising I feel less painful symptoms in my body when I find a home there for myself in which I can be fully alive to and receptive towards all my feelings and meet them in a tender way and allow them to diffuse instead of build, escalate and magnify. With the capacity to tolerate difficult emotions, the capacity to experience the positive ones increases too and I start to feel a real sense of homecoming and peace. This for me is what emotional recovery means.