I am feeling for my nephew and his partner and family at the moment. The place they are living has been becoming a harder and harder situation for them over the past year or so. The gallery my nephew put so much love into had to be closed due to the owners selling to those who put the rent up far too much for it to be sustainable any more and then last week they were told their rental property is being sold as well. After a lot of thinking it through (and I should image agony and heartache as well), they have decided to pack up and move a long way south to Tasmania.
In one way it may be a good move for them, to be able to live more sustainably in a cooler climate with perhaps more artistic possibilities, never the less last night I woke up feeling very distressed for them. They will be moving away from his two brothers and their children won’t see their cousins all the time, Tasmania is a long way away. I felt so sad for them last night and it’s probably a case of projection on my part of my old pain around moves. But it’s also a concern around old ancestral pattern repeating, having to move due to financial constrictions rather than purely to heart felt considerations and making another separation all around the anniversary of my sister (and my nephew’s mother’s) death.
And it calls to mind the painful migration that occurred for my nephew after his mother’s aneurysm in the 1980s when he was about the same age as his young son. Knowing all of this history makes my heart ache for them but at the same time I have to put some of the emotional considerations aside (or do I?) to recognise that much of life and growth and forward movement does involve at times painful separations. Birth or change is painful and involves death of certain things too. I still feel for my nephew.
I’ve noticed that night mind for me can be full of these kinds of agonies and connections. And then this morning I awoke feeling very sad because of all the separations and knowing how my sister’s death anniversary brings up essential themes of this kind of movement and disconnection. Its a strong reminder of my painful family history where a lot of connections suffered. At the same time I see the ancestral history playing out with it themes all of which are somehow so much bigger than one finite human consciousness.
There is a theme here for me of noticing the sadness and realising how ‘big’ life and certain issues are. A knowing of this has almost paralysed me at times that its been hard to make any move forward and I am called to remember while writing this how on Friday I had a big ah ha moment of realisation when I saw how much I associated forward movement with death or danger or accident. Its a deep imprint and one I need to be mindful of as the unconscious is very powerful whether we choose to realise it or not. It cannot just be glossed over.
Last night I was thinking of all the things I could do to try and help my nephew so he did not have to go through this kind of separation again. Maybe they could move into my house as a family and I could go and rent something else and then we could all live in my home town as a happy family, but I know this dream is probably an illusion or deeply impractical and I am reminded of the Al Anon three Cs : I didn’t cause what is happening for them, I can’t control it and I cannot cure it either. Those kinds of ideas are I guess all a part of my co-dependent feelings at times (all around what may be a good move for them in the end) but reading this back I know they come out of my own deep wish and longing for closer physical and emotional connections which has been so thwarted at times and caused me a lot of grief.
The deep love I have for my nephew is real. I feel sad that I haven’t felt up to visiting him prior to this but I have been putting the focus on my own life and staying in my centre while I choose to do the inner work of understanding the part of my painful unconscious history. But I also realise that that there is a degree of fear of being close and then threatened with the sadness of loss when I have to go away again. Maybe I have been protecting my heart from all the love inside that can get so big at times and feels so overpowering to me. I recognise that this is deeply true for my life and it is something I want to change a bit. I now feel there is perhaps a way to be close while not losing myself and being totally overwhelmed by my feelings. In the end I live inside my own skin and that is the only thing that I have some control over at all in this life, dealing with all the things in life that affect us is big work, especially if we have known pain in the past. It helps me to sit down and write about the feelings and all the thoughts my mind goes through so that I can achieve clarity. I see more of myself and have to act fewer things out.
In the end for me I guess its about containment, knowing that however painful or sad I do have the ability to deal with my feelings, knowing that its okay to love and hope and long even if at time that longing isn’t returned or always easy. Knowing that I have the capacity to survive and reach out for connection, well that’s a big step for me. And each day is full of little deaths, changes and endings but new beginnings too. For my nephew I pray this move doesn’t bring isolation for him and his family, I pray it is the start of a new beginning and hope that I can make some trips to visit in years to come when I feel even stronger within myself and capable of being together with him and his family.