At times its so hard to appreciate that others are doing their very best when we are not getting what we want or need especially from someone we long for something from in the way of validation or connection. In this situation the limits of our ability to relate is diminished and its a sad complex feeling when there are deep feelings of hurt or frustration around the relationship or certain things we experience.
The best we can do in this situation is let go and only we can make the decision to do this as in some way the decision involves drawing a line underneath something and perhaps closing a doorway of possibility in our heart we long to keep open. Then there are the aftershocks we go through as we try to get our head around a situation that has no real solution. We truly find ourselves in a place where our will and desire is powerless to effect any change. And I guess that is where I have found the AA serenity prayer so essential, especially in praying for the wisdom to know the difference between what I can and cannot change. And so often our feelings are just our feelings, they arise organically out of who we are as a person and what we value in our lives and I am sure there is a way to at times change how we feel?
This last question is one that still confuses and mystifies me to a degree because my Mum always tells me I need to feel differently about things and so I guess I have been conditioned to surrender my own feelings and point of view at times. It occurs to me that this plays a huge part in keeping me stuck and angry as validation is so important of our emotions because as energy in motion of the spirit and soul inside us, such emotions give us so much essential information about what is necessary to keep us well and in a good place.
Learning to recognise our emotions and feelings makes the difference between knowing who we are and what is good for us. It plays a part in giving us information about what we may need to set boundaries up against.
That is why I feel I struggled a fair bit yesterday after the Sunday encounter with my Mum. I had a dream last night that the caretaker of the building where my Mum lives wanted to have a sexual relationship with me, he was pressuring me and because I know he is married I told him it would be wrong, but he was trying then to invade my boundaries using his will and power. I awoke quiet startled and twisted around and feeling like I had to fight to get back to being on my centre. When I thought about the dream I thought about how so often when I try to address or confront something with my Mum she uses the defence of how hard her own life has been and how unfair it is that I am bringing it all up, she may also collapse in tears but they aren’t adult tears, they are like the tears of a little kid having a tantrum over something. I then feel so guilty and that I have to take care of her feelings and put my own aside. And this happened to a degree on Sunday. Even though we connected and shared mutual pain, I also felt such guilt and shame for having caused my mother sorrow by trying to address and get her to see some of my own pain. But while it was going on I was talking to myself about what was happening inwardly and saying I didn’t feel it was really fair, but that I would have to accept it as I cannot change my Mum or her reactions. She had so much to deal with after my father died due to her own father loss issues that she ran into a new relationship too fast, instead of fully working through her grief. And that left me alone when I finally returned from overseas.
Thinking about this it isn’t any wonder that yesterday I felt very sad and defeated. I spoke in a recent post about the unhealed wound but after writing it, I began to think how I don’t want an unhealed wound to forever dog my life in totally negative ways. There needs to be a time when I recognise the deep unfairness of a lot I have gone through in the working out of familial and ancestral karma but also don’t identify with it as strongly since its a wound that should not really forever affect my sense of self. For what I am seeing is that I am a very kind person with so many good qualities. The thing that has really dogged me all of my life is low self esteem and that is now something I need to begin to work harder to address.
The fact is that I suffer emotionally when I try to play the role of emotional caretaker of others feelings. It is something I have done for lot of my life and at heart it comes out of a feeling of guilt and low self esteem over things that really are not to do with me at all. How different the last 14 years would have been for me if I was more able to put the focus fairly and squarely on my own life?
I guess some deep patterns can take a long time to see. I understand now though why I felt the need to rebel in my family. I see now how deeply and unconsciously a traumatic past has affected me and I see the part I can play in keeping the co-dependency dance going. Even though it was painful last week having limited contact with Mum I did feel better for it in the long run and I recognise the need to separate emotionally has now become essential for me.
I have compassion for my Mum. In many ways I don’t blame her any more as I feel she never got the support to really understand her emotions and that my father understand how to deal with emotions even less than my Mum did. I think the reason I so often give way in my own relationships is that that is what I saw my father do. Hard as it was the painful incident over the auction for the town house all those weeks ago with Venus retrograde showed me essential things about my relationship with my father and what I did and didn’t learn from and longed for from him.
As I see it now the most critical work I need to do is self parenting my inner child and younger adult self. I am reading Louise Hay’s book The Power is Within You at the moment and she speaks a lot in that book about how we can be with and establish a strong caring connection with our inner child, that part of us that is the source of all our power, love, truth and joy. When we neglect this little one or tell her or him horrible things our parents may have told us or were told themselves we really suffer. I look back on all the mean and unloving things I have said to myself over years and as Louise says would you really feel like you wanted to leap out of bed if you knew deep inside you were going to face a nasty inner adult beating you over the head all day for not being good enough? Its only natural in this situation that we feel depressed. And our inner child has a lot of lesson to learn about detaching from others’ reactions which are hurtful or come out of their own disconnected state.
Self love, self joy, self compassion are such important things. Learning to be strong and to be able to say “No” to what is painful or not good for us in the long run is just SO IMPORTANT. If we don’t champion ourselves and our own lives how can we grow strong? How can we be there? How can we really love others, if loving others means not taking care of us? And loving others means recognising that often they struggle so much too and are not always there to meet our needs. That so often they cannot be there for us in the ways we may have needed. So often we transfer old pain of an abandoned or neglected inner child in upon new relationships with people who carry their own deep wounds as well and may not be fully equipped to help, love or understand us. Loving them as well as us means recognising this, really, well at least I feel it does for me. For only through this kind of awareness can I really find peace, calm and freedom. And with these strongly in place I can take care of me and look for relationships where frustration does not outweigh connection and satisfaction of my real needs.