After weeks of very very dry weather and loads of hot days, rain finally began to pour down about 7 pm last night. I went out and danced naked in the rain and before bed time went out to feel some of the soft dropsof rain on my skin that were being carried by the tree leaves. This morning I awoke to the cool, soothing and freshness of it and as it does my mind began to wander back to the UK where there is that softness and rain so much of the time. That thought led to thoughts of tenderness for my ex husband and by the time I came out to have my lemon drink I was feeling sad. I shed a few tears and when certain thoughts started I just let the feelings underneath come up, touching them lightly and letting them go. Softly, softly, gently, gently.
Things were burning up a fair bit last week. I felt the heat of some sad news I didnt share on my blog. I took my sister out for her birthday on Monday and we shared a lovely lunch and talked. I am aware of the fact that our connection is tenous. I am open to a new kind of relationship since my Mum died, but earlier in the day I received a call from my nephew’s wife to say that since he stopped drinking he has become angry and mean and took to his youngest son with the cricket bat on the bum scaring the other children. I felt so sad to hear this news as this boy suffered a lot due to what happened to his mother, my older sister who had a cerebral bleed in her early 30s and was then abandoned by his Dad. I remember him as a child being so soft but in later years he has become defended and hard and I sense him carrying a lot of emotions that have been buried.
We all have this inner psychological stuff which remains lodged deep inside. For some of us its heavier and more life threatening or denying than it is for others. We don’t always know when we are reacting out of this past pain, anger, sadness/grief or fear, we may hide the truth from ourselves for many years. And then there are the feelings we may be carrying for parents or grandparents or even great great grandparents, that multigenerational trauma that just keeps replaying over generations and which I drew attention in around September last year in my blog and the work of Mark Wolynn with multigenerational trauma.
In my nephew’s case I see the links back our great great grandfather’s alcoholism. My older sister, his Mum abused alcohol and over worked, as my own mother did (although Mum never abused alcohol just used a few drinks each night to relax). When things fell apart for her in 1980 the aftermath was painful and my nephew was caught up in it, dragged this way and that by his father, abandoned at times, made to live in the garage with his brothers by the new woman my brother in law ended up having an affair with at the time of my sister’s breakdown and then being sent away or told with his older brother he was now totally alone and had to fend for himself at age 13 or 14. Its a lot of pain to carry and then the father brought him back in the later years and my nephew drew close siding with him at times.
Its really got me to thinking how important it is in our recovery to be aware of the deeper roots of our pain, but also to go softly, softly with it. That will not be how we really feel if the scars that emerge in the course of our recovery go deep, but still I do believe that even in the face of rage, sadness and anger love is really the only answer, and tenderness too. After the flames of some fires burn down we may see what was destroyed or lost in the wreckage laying life hope and promise to ash and it`s at this time we most need to go gently, gently, softly, softly.
Buddhist Nun Pema Chodron talks about learned to be present with the soft sore spot in our hearts that can at times cause such distress. But before we can do this work we first need to know the sore spot is there and what its about. Often it is not so much what others say to but its more about the sore spot that is triggered by those who are not fully conscious. If we feel worthwhile enough deep inside we are able to realise that person has another agenda, is oblivious or ignorant. Its still good to point out how it can hurt, as we need this loving self protection and in time we may not even need to do this. If our tender heart or soft self was so often negated or frowned upon that soft sore spot can be a bit of a hot mess really. Then we need the soothing care and loving presence of others who allow and help us to contain the bonfire that rages inside at times, until it burns itself out, or becomes contained enough to light a fire that keeps us nurtured and warm. But at times it does help us not to add more fuel to the fire.
For myself I am now more aware of the fire that burned away deep within my own body and soul over many years, not only for my own pain but for the pain I watched others go through. I am aware of the anxiety ridden nature of my childhood which was a place where there was little chance to find rest, attention, presence, soothing and comfort or much nurturing at all. Problem was I did not really come to see or understand this for many, many years into my own recovery. I now see how essential it is for me to go gently, gently, softly, softly with myself. Certain hurts take time and presence and attention to soothe and heal. To let go of the pain of. For giving or giving into the letting go of what happened does take time and is very different to excusing or rationalising abusive or neglectful behaviours we suffered at the hands of others. We may have to go through a lot of anger and sadness and even fear and shame on our healing journey.
One of the gifts of our suffering too and learning how to contain that suffering is that we can recognise the pain and suffering of others and be a softly, softly, gently, gently presence in their lives. We are most certainly not alone when we suffer and at times it really helps to reach out rather than go over old suffering that cannot be changed. If we can just recognise it is there and touch it gently without getting stuck or fixated there we can free that desire energy that was lost, hurt, wounded or squashed for other things. We can realise that we can be the loving presence in the world for ourselves and others, but we can also have protective self soothing boundaries and skills to protect agaisnt further hurt.
8 thoughts on “Softly, softly”
I am sorry to hear about all that you’ve been through. My family also has layers of trauma, and I once read that it is difficult for siblings to relate to one another when they are still dealing with their personal pain. I know this has been true for my siblings and I. We keep a tentative distance.
I am so sorry I missed replying to this comment two years ago… I have just been revisiting some old posts and saw it tonight.. yes, sibling relationships can be so difficult can’t they I am really trying to work on this but its never completely comfortable. So sorry I missed this before ❤
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No problem. Those familial relationships seem to carry through many years, lol.
this is so beautifully written. I love your rawness and honesty. Keep writing, I’m a huge fan! xo
Bless you, thank you so much. ❤ ❤ ❤
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You’re more than welcome xo 😘
It means every person have some kind of pain sorryy to hear about this same situation is with almost every one its just how every single person deals with it in different manners. Some are strong and don’t express some let out in anger or frustration. And i just love your writings it helps me alot ❤
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I am glad if it does. I have made a lot of mistakes in my own life but I know they came out of things I was struggling with at the time. We are all different and handle things differently. Believe me I have lashed out at times and we need to have our ability to express but we also have at times to accept tough things and lashing out unfortunately often ends in tears when others dont fully understand the cry for love or time or attention or respect hidden inside . ❤