Let us be
A voice of love
What good will it do
To add to the number of angry unhappy voices
Crying in the wilderness
Bemoaning the fate of a past we could never control
What will it profit us
To hold on too long
To the feelings of hatred or upset or anger
That may just be natural responses to pain and suffering
But sooner or later become if sustained
Only tools of rationalisation and defence
Surely if we dare to look deeper
There is something far more expansive going on
Than a contractive view could ever guess
Causing the knots of pain
Only to twist
Tighter inside our bodies
Seeking release from shame
Truly I believe that when we answer with love
When we contain with love
When we bear all injuries with love
Our souls participate within
The awakening of a healing
That arises from deep within pain
Revealing a purpose of forward evolution we should never distain
Opening for us
A doorway into freedom
Don’t believe me
When I say I don’t need you
When I say it is safer to live here
Within my perfectly circumscribed orbit
Behind barriers of fear
That I disguise with illusions
Of how I am just too sensitive to pain
And feel everything
Maybe at times
Its nothing more
Than a kind of dark narcissism
For is it really true
That malevolent forces out there
Are out to destroy me
Or is it all about the degree of love we have
To bring to any situation
Most surely we don’t have to be naïve
For there are those
Who may still chose to hurt us so
But if we can only find the will
And self belief
To not taking it personally
We will find so much more relief
From all of those demons in our head
That tell us it is not safe to shed
Our protective overcoat
For the force of love we feel from within
Is surely strong enough to over come
Most of everything
If we only have the strength to believe
In a present that is brighter
Than all of our darkest yesterdays
You are teaching me
What it means to love wholeheartedly
Its some kind of miracle to me
But also strange
To experience a love that takes care of my fear
This is something I have never known
Is that why now
When ever we talk
It feels like I am coming home?
In your presence there is stability and grace
And I’ve never ever seen you show a nasty face
A stream of positivity
Just radiates from you
Shining light into darker wounded places
Deep inside my soul
Revealing then anew
And there are times tonight
I have just cried
As wounds I learned to hide
Awakened from inside
And as I reveal to you the source of all of this
I feel every single wall come down
As my vulnerable side
Reveals itself hiding in the shadows
But there is such strength in this
Calmness and security
Revealing a powerful foundation
Our growing love upon
.. love melts us. When we feel love, our entire being becomes that love and the channels in our bodies begin to open. We have to bring our bodies into our spirituality. The body should not be rejected. Enlightenment, transformation, healing, whatever we are aspiring to, we cannot experience any of them without bringing the body into spirituality. So there is healing in the body, there is enlightenment in the body. When we become that divine love, the body literally begins to melt, the channels, the chakras within it, begin to open, and we feel more love, more courage. When we feel this divine love, the mind begins to melt, and it undoes all the knots inside it. There is a large mass of knots in the mind: our belief systems and the thought patterns that we are so attached to are the knots in our minds. These knots bind, imprison, and torment us. They take freedom and peace away from us. This love that I am speaking about is a pure experience of melting our frozen hearts.
This true love is not the feeling that we are one with the universe. True love embraces everything, it does not reject anything. This love that I am speaking about is something we can cultivate. There are many methodologies to cultivate this love. There are beautiful songs we can sing. There are profound verses we can recite. There are mediations we can practice as a means to cultivate this love. Sooner or later we feel that we become this pure love, this objectless love… the very quintessence of your being is pure love. The nature of the river is this beautiful flow, even though it sometimes freezes. To truly realise that the very quintessence of your being is true love, you may have to have self knowledge, which is this honest and complete understanding of yourself. It is being aware of your divinity as well as your limitations. YOu already know that you have divinity, and you know that you have courage and love. You know that you are generous and open hearted. You also know that sometimes you are able to give of yourself for the well being of everyone else. It won`t be difficult for you to own your own holiness. At the same time you have limitations – fear, insecurity and selfishness. Once you become aware of these limitations, don’t try to demonize or condemn them. If you demonize your imperfections, then you may end up being more and more frozen.
Once you become aware of your coarse neuroses as well as your subtle neuroses, love them. Love all your neuroses. Love all your imperfections. Learn to love your fear and your anger as well. Always be aware of them, and they will dissolve on their own. They will keep dissolving without any effort. As time goes by, you become more and more this melting, living mandala rather than this frozen one. Your heart is filled with more joy and more love. You feel more and more connected to this world as a paradise – an imperfect paradise, not a perfect paradise. In the end, you may love everyone and everything that exists.
If we were never emotionally connected to or nurtured in childhood, in adulthood we are left with the most terrible emptiness and pain. Therapist Pete Walker calls this ‘the abandonment melange’ and its also called abandonment depression. Many of us, before we get to therapy or get awareness around our early attachment wounds fly blind with such a wound which in recovery circles is often referred to as ‘the hole in the soul.’ Trouble was when I was in AA I was led to believe I was born with this wound not that I developed it in the context of early relationships, that is an awareness I have had to painstakingly grow and allow to emerge out of great pain and disaster in later relationships including forcing my ex husband to carry some of what I was unconscious of for years, another wounding its taken me some years to realise and forgive myself for.
Now that I am making a heart centred connection with a partner who is emotionally available to me I find at times this wound is being stirred up in me more and more due to the situation he is in where he has to be out of contact for a lot of the time. I realised yesterday that I acted out some of my disappointment at not being able to connect with him due to mutual cross scheduling by making some nasty comments about his ex wife. He took them in his stride and there may have been a bit of truth to what I said but never the less I found myself dismayed with how I had reacted to him leaving for patrol and not being able to speak.
I shot off a few angry texts including one saying how I hated him for being in the situation he is in and putting me through it then waited anxiously and received a very loving reply back about 6.30 last night which soothed my fears. However I noticed the same reaction starting up this morning when I missed him again and he failed to respond to a text I sent last njght. I see I am reacting at the moment because I have never really allowed myself to be as vulnerable with a partner as I am being in this relationship and because he is giving me EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED AND NEVER GOT FROM EITHER PARENT. At times it awakens great grief, anxiety and fear as well as warmer feelings.
Luckily I was reading through another bloggers blog on this subject as well as Foreboding Joy (the term Brene Brown gives to allowing ourselves to gain pleasure from something that is a source of great desire only to thwart it with thoughts of doom) a short while ago and I came across this paragraph which really shone a light on my current situation.
I told T (her therapist) that it confused me that getting what I have always wanted caused me such a lot of pain (and joy, admittedly) and T explained that having deep, childhood, unmet needs – met was VERY painful. She said getting what you’ve always wanted can cause awful sadness and pain. I didn’t understand that. T said that this was one of the reasons that therapists had to be so careful not to “overdo it”. She said that them overdoing it could cause us more pain! T said “this is why although I understand you want more reassurance and warmth in my emails, it is important that I am very careful”…
Both of my parents are incapable of emotional closeness with me and I craved that so very much all of my life. It hurts me a lot to really realise that neither of my parents gave me the connection and emotional closeness that they should have – could have. But understanding it wasn’t me, my fault, that helps to ease some shame. It makes me so determined to never repeat that pattern with my own children. Also, it makes me determined to never waste time with anyone who isn’t able to tolerate emotional closeness again. I only hurt myself trying to change them. I guess I was trying to “right a wrong”. Trying to finally “get” an emotionally distant guy. To change the ending of that childhood story where I never did “get” either mum or dad.
Those two paragraphs could have been written by me. I realise in this relationship I am given all the things I longed for, love, respect, attention, affection, unconditional positive regard, kindness, empathy and love. At times I find myself crying when I receive these things from Scott but at times I can find myself wanting to shut it down as well. It scares me at times to see there is a part of me that may try to sabotage this relationship but reading this particular blog again today nearly a year later big lights came on for me. Today I told Scott I will be more careful what I say when I feel disappointed or left alone at times, the way I react comes out of a craving for connection and love (and a deeper unconscious grief and anger I am carrying at emotionally unavailable parents) the last thing I want to do is destroy that.. the best thing that has happened to me in years and years and years.
There is nothing worse for a child than having our inner reality undermined. Being told “no you don’t feel that way” “just get over it” “that didn’t hurt, you are such a baby” and worse things and this is the legacy sadly of those brought up in narcissistic homes. Children raised in these homes learn to shut up and repress the reality of their True Self pretty quickly (especially anger which goes along with invalidation abuse but has to be supressed for us to survive). We carry great fear and there is never really any freedom to take an unimpeded breath. For those of us who meet partners in life later who aren’t this way and want to see, hear, validate and love us as we are, the struggle to trust is even harder. IT IS something therapist and author Janet Woitiz deals with in her book The Intimacy Struggle which I have had for years but am rereading now I am in a new relationship that is so vastly different to the old ones.
There are ten fears that Janet outlines which hit the nail on the head for me lately. Children from alcoholic or narcissistic and emotionally neglectful homes often will detonate a relationship that offers them exactly what they need as soon as it gets close and intimate, its due to a profound fear of abandonment we cannot often even fully admit to ourselves. Partners of such people go through shock and confusion as the one they love acts out, especially after a time of closeness and connection. The adult child will quickly pull the rug out from under such closeness by starting a fight, disappearing or going disconnected in some way, all due to not being able to stand the heat of their own feelings of sadness and longing for what they were denied needing or wanting from a young age which are evoked in intimate relationships. As pointed out by Robert Firestone who has done a lot of work with inner voices and the inner critic often we will start to hear criticisms and doubts in our heads when intimacy threatens us putting ourselves or the other person down if we carry past unresolved attachment wounds. Its something addressed too in the book on attachment by therapists Amir Levine and Rachel Heller ‘Attached : The New Science of Adult Attachment and How It Can Help You Find – And Keep Love.
Its helpful to know when our fear of intimacy is being evoked. It may not always stop us acting out but it will start to bring awareness which is the first step, then maybe we can have a talk to our partner about it later if we can be honest and they are open. Partners of adult children of trauma, addiction or neglect can also educate themselves to the vulnerabilities of their partners if they don’t suffer this way and are more securely attached.
Below is a list of fears which Janet Woitiz outlines in her excellent book.
- Adult Children fear hurting others due to their own pain and sensitivity. They make excellent loyal partners for this reason but such fear may make them into people pleasers because their fear of conflict is so high.
- Adult Children fear the person others see them to be does not exist. They were not able to be their full selves and were never unconditionally accepted.
- Adult Children fear they will lose control if they love someone or connect with them, often due to the fact their homes were out of control or they had overly controlling parents.
- Adult Children will deny things hurt or matter, its a defensive approach to make themselves appear bullet proof and deny their vulnerability which was never safe before.
- Adult Children fear any love given is not real, things going well is so unfamiliar to them it seems unreal since all they knew growing up was chaos. High drama doesn’t go along with a healthy relationship and they never experienced peaceful connected relating so they have no template for it.
- Adult Children fear their anger when exposed will lead to abandonment. They have a power keg of it anyway due to the way they were treated growing up. They have difficulty asking for help then get upset if partners don’t mind read due to a fear of expressing needs.
- Adult Children feel shame for being themselves and they feel responsible for everything that went wrong in their families. This is unrealistic but its very true for them. So how could you love them when they are so bad?
- Adult Children fear that if you really get to know them you will find out they are unlovable. They were probably led to believe this anyway due to the way they were treated or blamed for things growing up that were not their fault. They often feel failures that they could not fix their dysfunctional family.
- Adult Children have difficulty tolerating the discomfort that is a natural part of getting close to others. Feelings naturally get stirred up with intimacy and adult children fear their feelings or don’t really know how to deal with them so often they cut and run.
- Adult Children fear they will be left and this fear harks back to their history. It is important these fears are not discounted and that a loving partner gives them constant reassurance, they didn’t ask to be abandoned growing up, it wasn’t their fault and they don’t “have to get over it”. Their fear needs to be understood and soothed until they can learn to trust in a present that is profoundly different to their traumatic past.
You say I am all you need
And oh my heart is troubled
For I know that the depths of my soul
Cannot find completion
Only in another
And it makes me sad
To think I could hurt you
When I say to you
Don’t look to me to heal your wounds
What has become of me?
Is it just
That I have had to travel so very far
Over the harshest of roads?
And is a part of me closing a door
On the possibility of healing
Through a truly connected love?
Perhaps I will forever
Hold a part of myself back
Because I know what it is to lose
But I also know
That out of loss
And of that absence left
Comes a larger presence at times
For at times
All I need is this
Or Computer screen with an open page
A place to pour out my soul
And enter my wild imagining
Found in reverie
Discovered in aloneness
But that is only part of me
The part that fears I won’t be free
If you try to possess and capture me
And yet another part of me
Needs and loves you too
So if I say these words
Just stay with me
But please allow my soul
A place to be free
You thought love was the wave
That came crashing around you
In which you might find oblivion or drown
But, no Love what remained
After that wave finally washed you
Up upon the shore of broken dreams
Within whose wrecking and breaking
You discovered a force far deeper than desire
Yes Love is the seed that
Is then planted
Growing with a power
That can never be obliterated
Once it has taken root
And begun to sprout and bloom
Within your soul
If your love is real
Purely and simply
I am in heaven
And maybe the purpose of heaven
Is to open our eyes
To the hell we have lived in before
A place created in our minds and hearts
Where fear and past pain
Eclipsing the view we were born with
Of grace and wide open spaces
Where freedom could dwell
Where as before
We only knew a succession of locked rooms
Or dudgeons containing ghosts
But if then love swept in
Radically changing our perception
How could it not be
That we could find our piece of heaven
A place where hearts connect
And all our worst fears and imaginings are met with love
Dissolved in the light of a love
So freely given
That asks nothing
But to love
Lead me into the light
Do not allow my fear and foreboding
To imprison me
Keeping me hostage in my mind
Grant me the courage to extend myself
Beyond my own small world
And limited view
To enter the reality of others
Let me remember that no one
Is truly a stranger
And when those who do not like to open
Keep their eyes downcast
And walk on by me on this path called life
Only frowning or muttering to themselves
Let me bless them on their way
Let me enjoy the journey
Keep my heart open
And most of all
Grant me and everyone else