I wrote this yesteday.
None of us enjoy embracing pain or failure, it’s not easy to admit when we feel broken or in need of help, love and connection. It is also not easy to feel all of our feelings in families and culture steeped in denial or resistance or blame.
Ultimately all of those qualities of support, love and connection need to be built up from within in time, but since, as humans we thrive on connection and mirroring, we absolutely can not heal well in isolation from other people and love, that said, in order to break away from social conditioning we may have to go into the wilderness, abandonment wound or a feeling of deep emptiness to heal and find out who we really are when, in the words of Carl Jung “what we believed supported us, no longer supports us any more.”
Complex PTSD therapist Pete Walker describes this painful abandonment place or experience as the abandonment melange, a place where a complex tangle of mixed up feelings can confront us. I came across a quote from trauma therapist Tian Dayton in an older blog yesterday in which she said the primary feelings we have when old childhood pain comes up is often fear and overwhelm. We struggle to contain and make sense of a lot of it but persistent work, inner connecting and descending in to hold the hand of our frightened child will help. We do have a loving witness deep within us that can help us.
I was back there in that deep lonely dark place on Tuesday and Wednesday and to be honest the pain was crushing, but to be honest, relief only came as I allowed myself to rest and surrender and be in it, letting go of resistance, even as a mean voice tried to tell me I was being ended. I have thought about it lately and wondered if this was how Christ felt alone in the desert when Satan was sent to crush or tempt him.
This place is about the past and I heard a very interesting thing from an aboriginal woman today on how her parents and elders taught her to view life, they told her that the future is not ahead of us, but behind us, we can never know how it will unfold due to the fact we carry the past with us all of the time and until we face and learn from it we cannot live and embrace a better future.. Gosh that made so much sense to me. And it made me also realize how insane our own culture becomes when we are taught to identify with false roles and accoutrements of ‘ego’ or the false self that only keep us hidden and trapped.
I watched a follow up video with a continued interview with Alain de Botton last night on You Tube, in it he spoke about this phenomena, about how in this day and age we do not just learn to embrace the common place and ordinary and simple experiences and acts of beauty but instead run around trying to acquire success and outer things that so often do not feed our soul. And when we chase the false Gods we never really will find any kind of real contentment, peace, surrender, joy or happiness. We find it impossible to sit still, to listen tenderly and gently to.our own heart beat. Meeting ourselves needs to be our priority if we really seek peace.
I was rewarded today by feelings of joy, humor and happiness. Getting to therapy yesterday helped as the bloody remorseless inner critic was back with his big stick criticising everything, to day none of the ‘mess’ seemed like mess at all, just random life. Thank God for that. I got out and did my groceries and I noticed my breathing was slower, I was more patient on the road, and I got helped in the Supermarket to be served first which rocked, I was meeting kindness everywhere.
On the way back to the car park I saw a gorgeous African baby and was rewarded with an amazing smile from both he and his Mum, that made my morning.
So facing the emptiness works it really really does, today despite the over cast grey skies inside my heart the sun is shining, for that I am just so so grateful.