Facing my aloneness

It has taken me many years to find out how alone I have felt deep down inside.  I remember a few years into recovery coming across the book Healing Your Aloneness by Margaret Paul and learning that the deep loneliness we feel comes when we sacrifice a relationship with our True Self to meet someone else’s need and abandon ourselves.  We may also abandon ourselves by reaching to a substance or activity to sooth us when we feel any kind of feeling.  All of these feelings just reflect how alone we felt as children being unnurtured or misunderstood.

There is a time when taking an action that is positive is good for us.  For example choosing to leave a situation when were are being bullied, starting to exercise when we have been neglecting our health due to depression. But there are other times when we reach to an activity to fill a void or mask a pain or realisation that we need to connect with and feel to understand.

I myself have been in recovery from alcohol addiction for over 20 years but in the last few years I have realised I have a food addiction too.  There are times I reach for coffee or food when really I either need to connect with someone else or with myself.  I know my habit of turning towards substances  began when I could not get the nourishment I needed in my home.  Lately I am finding its becoming more and more obvious when I have done the wrong thing by myself in reaching for the wrong “food”.  My body rebels.

In my body therapy I am only just becoming conscious of how terrified and unsafe I have felt since a young age.  Having an accident at 17 and then other traumas I witnessed in my family made me feel the world was not a safe place, unpredictable things could happen to shatter the continuity of life and I had not much power or control over that happening.

One of the damaging aspects of co-dependency and lack of a sold sense of boundaries is that we try to control every aspect of our lives.  If it feels too unsafe we will simply not engage with things that threaten us.  There are times for sure when we should not engage, but there are other times that we really need to. If fear holds us back our world grows smaller and smaller.

After my husband left me and I tried unsuccessfully to move overseas and had a massive accident I retreated home to a house where no one could come and I had no contact with anyone much apart from my Al Anon support group for over a year.  It was the deepest, darkest loneliest time of my life, but I will say one thing.  It was unlike the deep dark loneliness of my addictive years because I was not numb.  In fact I was unthawing. It just didn’t feel safe enough to feel with others.  I had been getting consistent messages from the last few years in my recovery that my feelings were threatening to others.

Its taken me some time to find people who are not threatened by my feelings.  I know I had a fine hair trigger that was hyper alert to abuse.  I have just read a powerful blog about how narcissists cannot be criticised and how doing so awakens narcissistic injury and then rage.  The rage is the rage at the parent who would not let them be vulnerable,  made them believe they were not good enough, humiliated them and made them feel small and they side with the abuser by becoming ashamed of their own vulnerability and never appearing vulnerable again.  If someone threatens to unmask their vulnerability they strike back.

I must say I can relate to this, but my problem in later years has been in being vulnerable and unmasking this around narcissists.  Vulnerability in recovery is best expressed at first with a therapist or with someone who is not narcissistic themselves.  Luckily in the past few years I have found safe people after many stops and starts.  But I still have times when I question who is actually safe and validating.  I have been invalidated so much it seems like second nature.

This weekend I had to make a few decisions to spend time alone with myself.  I had been invited to several events but I was aware that sometimes when I choose to socialise I end up feeling lonelier than I do when I am alone with me.  This weekend I made the decision to spend a lot of time just taking care of myself.  It paid off as I have ended the weekend feeling happier. But I still have a great fear that all of this alone time is not good for me. I get this message all the time from certain people.  “What have you been doing?” they ask with a heightened emphasis on the last word as if just being were a sign of some problem.  I love what John Bradshaw says :  “I am a human being, not a human doing.”

The point is as an introvert I am nourished by time alone and by time spent connecting with others on a deeper level than the purely surface.  Then there are times when it is just great to be out in the world seeing all the vibrant life and living going on in other people’s lives.  If I don’t judge myself as lacking I can see that time alone and just being does great things for me.

Sometimes it seems to me the price of growing is being alone for a time.  In and through coming to know this aloneness instead of running it seems to me that I can come into a deeper relationship with myself.  For so long growing up in my family the focus was always outside of myself.  I don’t remember my parents playing with me much.  The one time Dad did something I wanted was on holiday when we would go to the fair at the coast and ride the Cha Cha.  Otherwise I was dragged around to other activities they enjoyed or left in the car while they went into the club to have a drink.

It seemed also at big family events as the youngest I was on the outside and the observer of things.  I guess what I am saying is that I spent a lot of my young years and teens dissociated in some way from the family and in time I learned to dissociate from myself and my emotions which I did not understand.

I remember after my first AA meeting driving away in the car to a favourite spot near where I lived in nature and just crying my eyes out.  I had for the first time felt like I belonged somewhere with people who were taking down the mask and talking honestly about their addiction.   Sadly many of them spoke about feeling like aliens, alienated from life and only coming alive with the first drink or drug.

Like them I had learned to check out, in the absence of being able to relate to parents or siblings (most especially after the sister I was close to had a cerebral haemorraghe) I began to turn to alcohol.  Then after Dad died I was sent overseas alone again with a bottle of Scotch from the Duty Free which I awoke from a blackout to find nearly empty following a party in London.

Yesterday when reading Peter Walker’s book on Complex PTSD I related to the chapter in which he shared about the various ways we can react to a traumatising environment or childhood.  He uses the notion of the four ‘F’s to outline this : Fight, Flight, Freeze and Fawn.   A fight response leads to narcissism.  A flight response to Obsessive/Compulsive reactions, a freeze response leads to dissociation and a fawn response to co-dependence (see pp. 12 – 19)

I related most to the freeze response (as well as to the fawn response) and we can operate from a number of styles.  Often we flip between two in the effort to both act out trauma and heal.  Freeze states and reactions lead to a depressive dissociation from which it is difficult to feel and relate to anything outside the self. An involvement with self soothing activities which actually lock us up in isolation – eating, internet surfing, television watching, shopping etc is also a part of this state.

Realising what these states are, coming to know why we are trapped in them takes time.  It also takes real courage to move out of them, to seek for a different way of being beyond the old comfortable but life squashing reactions which limit us  and keep our lives small.  Along the way we have to grieve for what we have lost from being trapped here within these reactions and habits, maybe for years.

The  phase of intensely grieving our childhood losses can last for a couple of years.  When sufficient progress is made in grieving, the survivor naturally drops down into the next level of recovery work.  This involves working through the fear by grieving our loss of safety in the world.  At this level we also learn to work through our toxic shame by grieving the loss of our self esteem.

Facing the depth of our abandonment trauma comes next, according to Walker along with an unmasking and releasing of self protective defences we had to keep in place to protect ourselves from injury while young.

It is interesting to me that on the path of recovery, which is long and slow, material we need often comes to us just at the right time.  I feel this way about Walker’s book.  It meshes with the work I have been doing in talk and body therapy, most especially at the moment as I have begun to experience just how much I have checked out and erect defences against hurt.  Letting them down is slow work, fraught with fear.  Being patient and kind with myself is essential.  Writing and blogging gives me a way to share about it as it is occurring.

I’m not often the space where I advise or recommend.  I have a respect for each person’s path and need to find their own way.  However Complex PTSD : From Surviving to Thriving by Peter Walker seems to be an extremely valuable resource on the way to recovery.

Complex PTSD

Its strength is that in the book Pete Walker doesn’t just outline what is wrong but what can be done to heal from Trauma and a traumatising childhood.  His book is written by someone who has walked the path (is his surname any accident, I ask?  Pete Walker has obviously walked his talk). So I am giving the book a big recommendation and will be sharing some more information from it on my blog.

 

Permission to grieve

Can you allow yourself to feel your feelings? Most especially do you feel permission within to go deeply into the grief you feel?

I am writing this post is in response to thoughts and feelings triggered after reading a fantastic blog : The Mourner’s Bill of Rights. (I am sorry I cannot provide the link right now, I am having trouble accessing it.)

When my own grief hit following my father’s death in 1985 I was encouraged to go far away from my family alone to the other side of the world. I was already indulging a lot in addiction as there was so much earlier grief over my accident in 1979 and my oldest sister’s cerebral haemoraghe, psychotic break, subsequent abandonment and loss of her family, as well as her suicide attempt.

In the absence of knowing how to grieve, finding a place and permission to grieve I now know I turned to substances such as alcohol and the lighter drugs. What occurred for me was that my grief got buried and transformed into a frantic search for connection, most especially to men. I would open my body and my heart only to have it broken because my behaviour at times could be very much a push pull dynamic of fear, grief, longing and confusion all tied with a lot of mixed up complex feelings of which grief was one.

As result I had by the age of 31, six terminations of pregnancy over which I felt such shame.  At the same time on some level I was conscious that I did not want to bring a child in the world that I knew I was so ill equipped to nurture and support.

At the age of 31 I got into recovery and my drinking and drug taking stopped, but the emergence of my grieving process took a lot longer. Following my first AA meeting a dam burst inside me as I recognised a place I could let go of an old dysfunctional pattern of seeking relief and reach for healing,  a place where I could be honest about my life.  I heard the words “many of us do recover if we develop the capacity to be honest.”

At many meetings in the early days I would just sit and cry my eyes out, listening to other’s stories, empathising with their pain, connected to my own deeply buried pain.

In time I moved away from meetings and got into therapy after my husband and I moved overseas. In 1999 my grief broke open in therapy, I suffered a very deep depression and I needed the support of 3 days a week therapy. My husband got really angry about this.

I remember one day I was in bed at 10 am as I had been urged to take some time off work (something I NEVER did) for depression by my therapist. My husband came in to the room and shouted at me to get out of bed.  He made scathing comments about how my therapist was only after my money and was constantly asking what we were talking about.  I feel so sad about this now.  He had his own grief too, he just didn’t want to explore or feel it too much.  One day he said to me “I want back the happy girl I married.”

In time I started to feel I could not really go through this process of feeling in my relationship. Rather than move away I clung on and made the decision to move back to Australia to my family which was the very last place I was going to get any recognition of my grief process, and admittedly this ended in much more unhappiness for me.

At one level my Mum was trying to offer support but at the other she was telling me I had to move on and get over it. This now I know has to do with my Mum’s difficulty feeling and sharing her own feelings of grief.

At one point my sister asked my mother to choose who she would rather spend time with following the first Christmas in the four months after my separation Mum decided to spend with me. My mother chose my sister as she told me “she isn’t sad all the time like you”.   I was so angry and hurt but rather than express it I began to get headaches.

Following this I made the decision to move back overseas where I moved in with a family to lodge who sadly treated me in the same way. As I have shared before here I went over the handlebars of my bike one day while living with them and hit my head open and was in hospital for a week. They made it clear I needed to make other arrangements for a place to live as they didn’t want anyone sad in the house.  Their daughter had just lost her best friend and my sadness was an all too painful reminder.

I moved to Glastonbury and attempted more therapy, in time it was so difficult financially I made the decision move home again. I then went into almost total isolation at the coast house my Dad had built in the years just before my accident.

There I just wrote and grieved when I could. I had little support. I see that now. In time I attracted another relationship in which when my grief arose I was met with anger and rage. I clung on, sadly for four years to this relationship.

Four years later I moved back to my family and home town again. Was I mad? What was I hoping for after everything? Validation, understanding, support are the answers. Instead I saw my sister’s descent into more acute bi polar disorder as she struggled herself and met with similar invalidation. I struggled to support my Mum following a painful knee reconstruction that ended up in serious clotting and over the next two years through several hospitalisations.  I also struggled to support my sister as she underwent shock therapy, unending medication and four hospitalisations.

Over the past four years I have been learning a lot about invalidation and how people who try to express true grief can be sidelined or exiled or their process numbed out with excessive medication.  I saw my older sister end up bloated from all the drugs she was given the moment a true feeling tried to burst our of her.  It was a sad story of abandonment and emotional invalidation playing out I have had to feel and witness.  I feel  little scared of being judged, but I wanted to stand by and love my family, or was it too painful to move away.

Going through all of this has taught me truths.  One of these truths is that the injuries we go through leave deep scars. The losses we go through which can be many when we come from an emotionally non nurturant or distant, preoccupied family like mine can be subtle and deep. There is also the deeper multigenerational sadness that we may unconsciously carry if we are attuned in this way. The legacy we have been handed to address and heal can be a painful one. I do believe that one person in the family may be the designated carrier for the more deeply painful emotions.

We can see this on an astrological level when there is a connection between our personal planets, Sun, Moon, Venus, Mercury and Mars and the planets Saturn, Neptune and Pluto. Strong Pluto aspects most especially show that it is our fate to undergo a descent into loss at some stage in our life, a loss which has a deeply transformative effect on our soul.

But in terms of the Pluto connection we may also encounter deep resistance within ourself or others from going there or even of letting go of the wounding and injuring patterns.

The truth is that we need to give ourself permission to feel and grieve, most especially in a society that may be defended against suffering grief and may exile those who are grieving or present them too much with shadow stuff others do not want to face.

In my own case I am still on the journey to accept and feel my own grief. I am finding more support now in this process after many challenges, stops and starts along the way.

When my oldest sister died last year I was able to grieve a small amount with her sons. There was an attempt at one point by her oldest son to shut the process down and turn the whole event into a “celebration”.  This son in particular struggles so much to accept his own painful feelings of grief and powerlessness over how his father abandoned my sister following her illness all those years ago.

In another case I was told by the second son’s wife that I needed to live my life for Jude now, rather than be pulled down by grief. A few years ago I could not have stood up to this in a kind way and spoke for my need to feel and grieve but this year I was able to.

My purpose in writing this blog is to encourage those out there who are undergoing grief to feel it deeply, to seek out those people who will help you to express it and to avoid those people who try to invalidate you and shut you down.

I do believe that so much of aborted mourning goes into addictions and war. Just look at what happened after 9/11 with the “war on terror”. That was during the last Saturn Pluto opposition in the signs Gemini and Sagittarius 14 years ago. At the moment Saturn has entered Sagittarius and will soon aspect Pluto again. Have we learned anything since then about the powerful reactions to and defences we can mount against fully feeling our grief and the powerlessness we feel when tragedy strikes?

For me I know I have gone a long way along in my grieving process and found ways to tap in, I also know at times my blocked grief and need to assert and express has led to painful body symptoms.  Our minds can lie but our bodies know the truth.

Grieving is not easy, it makes us tired and takes a lot of energy but it is also deeply enriching for in our grief is the love we felt for what we lost and what had value. Grieving allows us to let go eventually into the depths where we can feel most deeply the voice of our own soul.

Grieving itself may be our own dark night.  It is a process and we dont have a lot of control over it, but we can surrender to it, allow it a voice and a channel.  We can also expect to meet misunderstanding and misjudgement from some people.  Never the less trust your grief, give it a voice, don’t let anyone take that precious if painful gift away from you.

My wish

This a cry from the heart blog which comes from a very raw and vulnerable place.  I just spoke to my sister and when I ended the call, I was brimming with sadness and inside my heart from the ache I was feeling came the cry “I wish my sister wasn’t on medication”.

I also wish my sister had never had to go through the violence of shock treatment which she did two years ago. I felt sick today while we were talking, my sister is suffering really bad nausea and a headache because she has recently had her medication changed. I cannot tell you how many different medications she has been on over the past 10 years but after her suicide attempt two years ago I had to take home a bag of empty packets she used and there were about five different meds in it. When I googled several of them I read the following “may cause (amongst a heap of other things) anxiety”. WTF.

Sorry is it obvious I am in a recovery programme and have been for over 20 years and I HATE THE FUCKING MEDICALISAED PSYCHIATRIC SYSTEM which offers fuck all insight into childhood at times and just resorts to drugs?

While my sister was in intensive care following the suicide attempt in 2013 a doctor asked me :

“why is your sister on an anticonvulsive.”

I was so distressed that I exploded.

“You want to fucking know why, because they don’t have a clue, they play Russian roulette with her meds and take a look at the result, without any awareness we have a family history of alcoholism on my mother’s side.”

I expected them to send in the men with white coats and put me in a straight jacket, following my angry outburst.  I had really screamed in the middle of the ICU unit.  Instead I was stunned to see them treat me with tenderness and a new found respect. The nurses took me to another room and sat me down while I began to cry and tell them about our history. They had put my sister on yet more medication which they then decided to stop. They showed real compassion and care for me and for my sister.

Possibly my sister needs to be on meds as it is clear she cannot manage her moods alone and without this, but never the less it makes me feel so very sad to see what she has to go through and the lack of emotional nurture and insight that at times surrounds her. My heart breaks for her. I wish she had a therapist, that she could explore the impact of her childhood, and our family with, as I have done as I believe it may help her more, but in the end it’s not my decision and its out of my power and control.

At the moment I am just aware that my sister is suffering deeply and I can’t do anything but call her, show my support, concern and love and then let go to focus on my own recovery.

I can also share about these feelings in a blog for at the moment there is no recovery meeting to go to pour it out.  Just being able to voice it in this space will help me to process and come to terms with my feelings and the burden I feel in seeing another sister suffer in this awful way with so many memories of how my other sister ended up at the end of her life bloated from all the drugs they gave her that never took away the deeper pain she suffered until it all got to much and death came for her last year.

Having written this I am aware both sisters could have tried to find a healthier way, but could not.  This gives me the incentive to keep working hard to heal myself and make healthy choices and find a way to deal with the feelings in a positive way.

Feeling good enough

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Here is a question for you.  Do you believe you are “good enough”?  My thoughtful self balks at even writing those two words, which invite another couple of questions, good enough for whom or what? This post is provoked both by reading the daily meditation for 19 September in my daily reader, One Foot in Front of the Other,  on perfectionism and also by the remorselessly critical inner voice that lays me to siege from time to time and most especially on the days when I am not travelling as well.

In this reading Tian Dayton, the author writes :

Dark forecasting was a residue of a childhood dysfunction and trauma. I experienced a loss of trust and faith that the world was a predictable, safe place, that my needs were meet-able and not too much, that relationships could be fulfilling rather than disappointing.

As the reading goes on Tian talks of how a sense of seeking perfection of ourselves and others and looking for the worst can begin to prevail in our lives and alter the way we think about people, life, experiences and relationships. It can also affect the way we think about ourselves, most especially if how we were or expressed ourselves was deemed to be bad or an inconvenience for others, our true feelings and needs, ignored, punished, misunderstood, denigrated or shamed, leading us to internalise this treatment. The healing path is to recognise the impact of our past and the role it plays in our thinking.

Today my inner critic began one of its familiar rants :  what a waste of space I am, growing less attractive, as I age, just not measuring up at all. Today was the first time I’ve told the voice full throttle to Fuck the hell Off. I was aware that my body was being pulled into the downward spiral of post traumatic stress. As I yelled back at the voice and allowed my self to get really angry at it (this dear reader is a first for me!!!) I did some powerful; resistance stretching, got dressed and moved out into the brisk cold windswept day to walk, my dog Jasper by the lake. I then went to our local fruit and veg markets, read my book and had a cup of coffee.

While I was smack bang in the middle of this experience I looked down and noticed the complex textures and colours in my denim jeans, flecked cardigan and scarf.  I felt the wind on my face and as well as feeling with my fingers the texture of the page. At that moment I felt joy in just being present.  I had the awareness that I was actually grounded in my body rather than stuck in a world of thoughts. I also had a very strong experience of how full and complete the present moment is.

I’ve been having some bodywork lately to deal with the impact of my post traumatic stress. I needed to call the therapist today as I was getting overwhelmed. In my state of overwhelm, she drew attention to the fact I wasn’t breathing, when the breath slowed down there was a deep sadness and a lot of tears, I had not been able to feel before our contact.  This experience made me question :

How often am I actually split off from my body, from what I am actually feeling?

How often am I trapped in thoughts instead of just noticing where I am presently in the room?

And how much of my thoughts related to memories of the past experiences that hurt me and keep me trapped, in the car or flung flat on my back with a massive head trauma which made me feel disoriented, nauseated and overpowered by trauma?

Also :  how much does that experience entrap me now if I don’t keep track of the present moment and make the differentiation between the past and present?

I am not entirely sure how this relates to feelings of not being good enough only to mention that I recently read that one of the impacts of trauma is to blame ourselves, even when we are not at fault.  Also add to this that our trauma in affecting others may lead them to blame us for it too.

On the difficult days I feel I am not very far along in my life and have been in a kind of prison for the 10 years since that last major trauma on the first anniversary of my marriage ending. My attitude then shifts to the negative when I focus on that too much, instead of seeing all the ways in which I have coped and continued to front up on the tough days when I can. Considering the number of times I have felt extremely suicidal, just being alive is a miracle for me.

Being discarded by someone can leave us feeling we did not measure up in some way. It’s a painful legacy to deal with. I was watching a show about a person who had been discarded in such a way last night and she was crying about feeling like in some way she had failed to “measure up” and wasn’t good enough. I could really empathise with her pain. I know it well.   But whose standard was it she was failing to measure up to? Was it realistic for her? Should her feelings for herself be tied to this person’s lack of approval?

It’s a journey to move away from that kind of pain. It takes a real mental effort, not one that is about denying reality but about accepting it. I have to watch also when my own inner standard it too high for who I really am in this life and turns toward the negative, when the expectations I have internalised are not mine but someone else’s.

Tian writes

My mind can be my greatest enemy or my greatest ally. It depends on how I use it. When my day goes sour rather than try to manipulate others (by trying to be what they want) or complain about my fate I will step back and observe what is going through my mind.

What is going through my mind may not be about the reality and promise of the present moment which holds all kinds of simple pleasures and gifts but about past things or circumstances I cannot change, such as someone not loving me as I am or my past trauma which I also cannot change.  But I do have power on this day.  I do have the choice to love and care for myself in this moment by thinking in a way which frees me rather than locking me deeper in an inner prison of trauma and dark forecasting which endlessly repeats.

Lessons in regret and self forgiveness

Ever noticed how many different perspectives there are to take on certain feelings, issues and events?  This morning I was listening to a radio programme which was dealing with the subject of regret:  those things we do and say that we wish, with the perspective of hindsight we never said or did, but are left with the at times all so painful truth that we can never undo or redo.  We often struggle with the knowledge that they had certain consequences which at the time we could never know (although we may be in denial about this if we are being too hard on ourselves).

At the time we did what we needed to, or at the time we may have had an intuition that the said thing would hurt ourselves or others, but we went ahead never the less.  In this case the regret can be even more powerful, because somewhere we sensed that it wasn’t the right thing to do and we struggle with that knowledge.

The talk back programme today involved psychologists, an interviewer who had recently spoken to two people on her radio programme The Spirit of Things who had lived lives, made choices or done things which caused heartbreak for themselves and others. One of the people was the radio interviewer who made a prank call to the hospital in London where Princess Kate was being cared for following the birth of baby George. The outcome of this call was that one of the nurses ended up committing suicide. The person being interviewed on Sunday night struggled for a long time with feelings of guilt and depression over her actions which had unintended consequences which she had to work really hard to overcome. The second interviewee was a woman who through her addiction to heroin became a prostitute to support her habit.  This path took her down a very dark road which eventually led to sobriety and recovery and a complete transformation.   (On an astrological note its interesting to note that the planet of transformation though such dark experiences is currently slowing to station forward after five month retrograde).

Both people ended up being able to use the pain of the regretful experience to turn their lives around and the key to transformation in both cases led through introspection and pain to self compassion and self forgiveness at the end of a long road.

How often do we beat ourselves up for that thing we did which ended in painful consequences for ourselves or others that we could have in no way foretold? Or we may have been committing actions we were not fully conscious of due to certain beliefs which were false. In both cases the committing of the regretful action was necessary to growth and growth could never have been achieved without the insight of self awareness and forgiveness, also compassion for the self, who at that time was not fully aware of so many things.

I took great comfort from the programme today and the lesson I took away was that it was the perceptual filter through which we are able to view these experiences was what made all the difference in whether regret became a destructive inward implosion into self abuse and castigation, or a transformative experience which led to deeper understanding of and compassion for self and others.  In the end it is all a matter of perspective and a journey along the road of coming to peace with the very human condition of imperfection, vulnerability, ignorance and mistakes.

Early into my own recovery from addiction I was lucky enough to come across the writing of Jungian analyst, Marion Woodman who has written a wonderful book called Addiction to Perfection. In it she explores the lives of her analysands who were raised by an ethos of unrealistic perfection, many of them learned to bury and deny their own humanity and imperfections in a quest for control of the uncontrollable.   One of the loveliest questions in this book that stays with me so many years later is inspired by a poem by W H Auden : “Can I learn to love my crooked neighbour with my own crooked heart.” (and perhaps more importantly can I learn to love my own crooked heart and accept it as it is?)

Not all of us get the opportunity to grow straight, tall and true. We may have learned to bend ourselves out of shame (that was a typo but I will leave it here, I meant to write shape… mmm)..to get the love which in the end we need to find within in. In the face of much external criticism we learn to criticise ourselves with the same perfectionistic, unreal standards.   No one has struggled with this more than me.

For a long time I struggled with the inner accuser who I internalised from school and home and this voice could lay me to waste. I attracted it in many of my relationships and absorbed its painful judgements wholesale. It is only in the last six months or so that I have been able to challenge this voice with a voice of compassion and love.

Many listeners of the programme on Radio National this morning expressed gratitude for the opportunity to hear the perspectives of others on the programme. One person spoke about the painful consequences that follow when we keep our regrets buried or hidden inside and struggle with them silently.

In my twelve step programme there is a way to make peace with these kind of regrets, through sharing with someone else and through making amends if that is necessary, either to ourselves or others. What a lovely awareness that we don’t need to struggle alone, that we can open up and reveal our very human vulnerability and be loved anyway.   A very precious gift.

I took a great sense of peace into my day today after listening to so many callers on this programme sharing their experience, insight and hope.  It inspired me to share it here too.  So I hope it touches someone’s heart.

At the ending… is a new beginning : reflections on bearing with and growing through pain

Ever feel like you have reached the end of a huge journey?  One that seemed to take ages and took you down so many twisted, convoluted, difficult pathways at times you felt like you would never find home or find yourself on solid ground again?

Ever felt like an avalanche had fallen on you very soul, that you were weighted down with the burden of so much painful “stuff” that you could never rise again?   It seems difficult to breathe with all that is pressing down and you are fighting to stay alive but the fighting is at the same time about bearing with the burden of all that is coming down, that must be felt, accepted, surrendered to and through the surrendering, shed?

Ever felt like it would never end in the depths of the darkest night that it was all too painful and hopeless to bear?

And then have you ever woken to find the landscape cleared by the avalanche, your toes touching fresh soil and the view you have is vast, but it was a vastness that came out of a heap of pain finally accepted.

Addicts like to run from pain.  We don’t want to have to face the tough stuff.  Its not only that its that when we were young containers that would help us to contain, soothe and make sense of our painful feelings were absent.  Or we were loaded with the painful unresolved stuff of others who could not bear their own darkness, insecurity and confusion so dumped it into us without us knowing.

We go forward into life longing for an Eden where these inner feelings of confusion and pain will disappear, we may actively seek it through a host of addictions, not even knowing what the pain is about our what we are doing, just acting out the wound unconsciously, until some kind of turning point comes, a rock bottom where we are not able to run and hide any longer but must start to face up to the part we have played in perpetrating our own pain, due to our unconsciousness and launch on a path to recognising how we got set up to play the game in the first place.

Certain deep revelations have been being integrated by me over the past weeks.  Its no mistake that Saturn has been stationing to move forward over the past few weeks. For me it will soon pass out of the third house for the final time, crossing the IC of the chart which has to do with birth, psychic foundations and the inward basis of security that we need to find in order to begin a time of building towards a form of self expression which honours the unique fate and karma of our past, without being trapped in it by a victim consciousness.

At the moment Saturn is transiting in waxing square to my natal Uranus in the first soon it will repeat the waning square aspect to Chiron in the seventh and the waxing square to natal Pluto in my first.  It seems on the weekend I entered a very dark space of understanding the full impact of all the Uranian shocks, separations and dramatic tearing apart events that I experienced from the time of Uranus moving towards the waxing square with its natal position (the degrees of where Saturn is now transiting, it is giving me a deeper insight into my dharma/karma as one born with Uranus in the first.

I am never going to have been a person with a normal kind of history.  I will have an inherent tendency to be a bit of a loner (most especially with Pluto in the first two).  Part of my identity will be tied up with being a shock force in others lives at times and I wont find it easy to fit in or just go with the normal flow of things.  I will often feel separate or apart.  Its not just about my history, I am now beginning to see, this position is tied up with needed to be a revolutionary in some small way, most especially I hope it will and does involved being a revolutionary to my past conditioning, understanding it, gaining intuitive insight and being reborn on some level.  At the ending is the new beginning.  Shattering happens for a purpose.

Ever noticed when you are on the brink of change that things begin to break?  I remember when my marriage was ending my partner threw a glass across the room and it shattered into fragments.  This was my Uranus opposition to natal Uranus and the Furies were being unleashed as I was taking some time out for me.  He didn’t like it and was justifiably mad.  If I chose not to make the break for a time the Furies would probably have been unleashed inside me.  Its not easy to change.  You can’t make an omelette without breaking some eggs, so the saying goes.

In the end the Furies were sent back to me when my partner walked out, 11 years ago tomorrow.  We were married 11 years in all so perhaps there is now an end to the grief that was felt in that ending, an ending whose pain evoked the pain of so many other endings, so many losses never fully grieved.

There is a wonderful book by the Jungian therapist, Murray Stein that I read many years ago called In Midlife.  In that book Murray talks of the midlife passage being a time when we bury the corpse of ourselves, of the conditioned self, of all the losses large and small that have made up the first half (hopefully) of our lives, all the wrong turnings that led to pain, all the sadness of not living as our true selves (if over years we only lived out of the false self).

In this prolonged journey that may take many years we are undergoing a psychic death rebirth experience that we can choose or not choose to consciously participate in.  While it is happening this dark night may just consume us totally.  We may find ourselves crippled by a terrible depression and yet hiding in the shadows of that dark place are so many things we need to feel and release and grieve.  The experience of that grief will be the necessary cost of our new life emerging, a sacrifice of old hopes, dreams and ideals.  Much of this is not fully conscious when it is happening, only made obvious once we are to some degree on our way out of the dark woods, Dante spoke of.

I guess this is what I am feeling today, this sense of emerging from the dark wood.  I am aware the transiting Sun is just following Mercury out of the 12th house of my chart today.  Mars is about half a sign behind it, still buried deep in the middle of the 12th house (but soon to be leaving the sign Cancer of deep memory and feelings).  Today I am feeling the warmth of some of the Sun’s rays emerging over the horizon. There is a dim light at this stage and it is not as dark and cold as it was.  I am getting insights into so much.

I had a huge outburst a few weeks ago with my family.  I unleashed the Furies on them over a lot of stuff I had been internalising (in true Mars Saturn Moon in the 6th fashion) over many years.  At the time the Furies were mirrored back to me in a sense of outrage and yet the relationship survived the unleashing of it.   Getting it out of my system has helped me.  The two people involved have Saturn square to my Moon, Mars, Sun, Venus and Mercury and smack bang on my natal Neptune.  Where I want to go deep, there I hit a wall.  It is a necessary wall.  It is a wall that will help me to mature,  it is a wall that will make my unruly idealistic self righteous Uranus in the first come to grips with some painful realities that don’t live up to my Promethian ideal.

Last week I re read the book The Scapegoat Complex by Sylvia Bretton Perrera and saw my journey on many pages.  I came across the following that seemed to sum up where I am at the moment:

She …(began) to sacrifice her demand for a perfect mirroring from her therapist and her family as she began to sacrifice the demand for a lost paradise state and to accept the true burden that was her life.

The burden in my case is the burden of a childhood in which insufficient mirroring and bonding was given to help me deal with painful feelings and develop a healthy relationship with them, my body, my true feelings and self, with my insides.  This burden led me to addiction and to much damage the full pain of which had to be felt, the true anger of which borne with and transformed, integrated over time.  In her book Perrera associates the Scapegoated Individual as the one who is marked out as the shit eater.  In myth there is a figure who takes the shadow stuff of the family, into its mouth, all the poisons and transforms them.  This she has seen is often the role of someone in the family who has to carry the burden of rejected qualities and feelings.

One of the complex and thorny problems of having suffered and failed to develop a healthy narcissism in childhood relates to our tendency to identify with the victim role and with suffering as a lifestyle.  Our inverted healthy narcissism fallen into the shadows acts as a magnet to attract us to overt narcissists who cannot honor us, as we cannot honor ourselves.  The pain of this sets us on a journey to heal.  Suffering is the price of our release.

Learning new ways to be with and contain intense and painful feelings and understand the message they have for us, brings an end to unnecessary suffering.  Letting go of the victim/scapegoat role, frees those of us who have suffered under it for a new life, one in which we love even our most vulnerable feeling self without apology or shame and in and through loving it mature, learning to make less impossible, unrealistic demands.  In the ending of that old pattern, lies our new beginning.  We can let pain go and recognise it as our necessary teacher.

Its a fine line this, feeling our pain to contain, transform and release it without  being trapped by it, weighed under buried or drowned.  Maybe for a time we do drown but if we can keep with it we will surface again.  Pain will leave its scars on us, through these we will become human, humble, both small and large, but not in a grandiose but rather a majestic way.  One that lets us be a light and recognise ourselves as part of a greater light, one we can share and spread and use to warm our souls and the souls of others following behind on the same path out of the dark night, into the light.

Orpheus : Reflections on Looking Back

I go through a huge tug of war in my mind at times, on this long and complicated, twisted, winding road of healing engaged deeply as I am, not only with memories of the past that haunt and echo along a chamber of years, but pulled in and dragged deeply down by underground emotions never completely integrated that lie subterranean like vast underground reservoirs.

One reservoir contains grief, another anger and yet another confusion, loneliness, self doubt, thwarted development and questioning. And yet there is another powerful place that I visit, one that contains joy, celebration, wonder, happiness and awe, one that is filled with longings and desires that have no thwarted hurt contained within them.  This is the place I am longing to live but I know its existence depends upon the truth of the other world too being felt and understood.

The conflict I have been experiencing at present is with questioning the need and desire to look back and dive down deep into those older pools of suffering which I KNOW have been essential to navigate, when I feel the greater peace experienced in the light filled world.  And so today after reading another writers blog on Orpheus I have been prompted to write this blog.

In the mythic tale of Orpheus, we meet someone who has endured a great loss in the realm of love.  The love of Orpheus, Eurydice has died and been taken to the Underworld.  Orpheus pines and longs for his lost love, he courts the favour of the Gods who strike a bargain with Orpheus, they allow him to visit the Underworld and reclaim Eurydice on one condition : that he does not look back.

Orpheus travels to the Underworld to be reunited with Eurydice but as they are leaving Orpheus is prompted by either fear or mistrust to look back where in Eurydice is taken once again.  I should imagine that now Orpheus has undergone twin losses, the initial painful loss of his love and the second missed opportunity made more tormenting due to his so called mistake or error.

Astrologers Liz Green and Juliet Sharman Burke associated Orpheus and his myth with the planetary energy of Neptune.  And  I resonate strongly with the story of Orpheus, I have strong Neptune and Neptune rules my Chiron in Pisces in the seventh house or relationships.

There was a time fourteen years ago when I had the chance to move forward in my own personal life and make a break from a complex family history of tragedy to the other side of the world.  I took steps in my new life to move towards healing and understanding,  I was in therapy and moving towards a course of study in Psychological Astrology.  And at this time Saturn was passing through my 9th house of overseas journeys, higher learning and just crossing the midheaven into the 10th house of career.

At this time as psychic forces were building within me to make the break I had a powerful dream.  In the dream I was ascending a spiral staircase and on the stair case as I was climbing the stairs with my husband coming down the stairs was another couple.

Next in the dream on there was a powerful explosion of energy it was not only on the stair it was deep within my spine (in the dream the staircase a powerful metaphor for my spine?).  Then I was in a room and the walls were closing in on me.  It was as though I was trying to be born and reach through to the new life but I was being squeezed.

At this time there was a powerful pull deep within my psyche to return to Australia.  My mother had fallen my sister who has recently died was undergoing difficulties our house lease ended with no possibility of extending.  And so my husband and I returned.  Within three years my marriage was ended.  I was alone in the underworld in a deep dark place.  I had looked back and lost, captured and trapped.

Its interesting to me to consider as I write that Saturn is now opposite the position it was in when I had the spiral staircase dream and so much came to pass that brought me back.  It was as if Saturn had to travel back down from its elevated view in order for me to renegotiate essential experiences of my development which could only be understood by returning and loosing everything, thus launching me on the interior journey but that underground journey came at a terrible price.  I was consenting on some level to being buried for some years deep in the dark night.

As Saturn crossed my ascendant some seven years later I had another relationship which challenged the path I was on of healing and negotiating the past.  The entire first house transit of Saturn engaged me on a push pull dynamic of self and other. In the end the urge for self became too strong and the relationship shattered when he wanted me to be a satellite of his self.  When Saturn went into the second house of self value the conflict of his extraverted narcissism rubbing against my own buried introverted narcissism caused a rupture and I was drawn on the path of reclaiming my own sense of self love and self value.

Looking back, experiencing the entire reservoir of feeling left behind and buried in the deep underworld of myself has been essential and yet there have been so many challenges to this journey from others who saw it as a kind of indulgence.  And at the moment this blog is not even making sense and yet I must persist after having written it once and having lost entirely that first draft, since on the second writing it is morphing less into a meditation on Orpheus and looking back and more into an exploration of Saturn as it has passed through the eastern hemisphere of my chart since 2001.

The spiral staircase in my dream has also for me the resonance image of the journey of growth in consciousness of our deeper soul self as we travel through life, a journey I see as spiral in nature in that we seem to go through cycles and repetitions as we travel which enable us both to dig deep and get at an under standing (seeing underneath what happened of which we were not conscious before) and get a broader view from above.

To expand on some themes of the dream maybe in the dream travelling as I was up the stairs I thought that on some level that by going overseas and getting away from the family I could gain freedom and perspective and yet in the dream while travelling in this direction I met a couple travelling back down (down under to Australia the land of my birth) and the explosion happened. I was pulled back to experience the tragedy and trauma here first hand with all others stripped away for a time.

And so I find myself here today, on the 15th of July remembering deeply after yesterday diving into one of the deep underground reservoirs the time in July 2004 when my husband returned and packed all his things to leave me alone on the 4th of August just as the Sun crossed my ascendant.  I was looked down on by he and his family, misjudged, discarded for being too sad, for not being the happier person he needed me to be.  And so,  I was launched onto my own healing journey and the remembering of all the other losses evoked by that leaving cycling and cycling around the history over 11 more revolutions, Eurydice in my own Underworld and only partly at home here longing for Orpheus to return as he longed and grieved for me.

Am I Orpheus or Eurydice?  I am both.  I am both he who travels down into that place and she who is there.  I am also the one who returns to the Upper world informed by the suffering of the Underworld, carrying that suffering and all those powerful memories of loss of so called “mistakes” which were really just deeper learnings forward, translating it all into a longing for life, real deep, true authentic soul life in which there is a part for everything, loss, grief, longing, desire, love and ultimately joy.

This joy is not happiness it is a joy that rests not on the absence of consciousness of suffering and its fruit but is joy that is all more valuable, powerful and poignant for having been informed by the agony and ecstasy of darker experiences and emotions not negated but endured, alchemised.

The Light within the Dark

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Deep down in here it is dark

But somewhere the light is shining

Shadows are being thrown over things

By a past that was full

Of so many painful experiences

Hurts, betrayals, losses and endings

Trauma, smashing ups, crushing pain

The consequences of difficult decisions

And the deep tearing of much life taken

I carry the memory of all this

And the cellular imprints

Deep within

And wake each morning

Struggling to breathe

Holding fast on the knife edge of pain

Paying attention to

And loosening the contraction

Of this prolonged dark night

And re-birth

And yet there is light

In the sweet kindness that is shown

In the sunny greeting of my little dog

Doing his joyous “where’s breakfast?” dance

In the sparkle of sun on water

In the compassion and empathy you show

In the recognition that pain is pain

Deep, dark and difficult at times

But with its own gifts too

Now is growing the understanding

That this pain can be held

In the sweet embrace of love

When you look on me tenderly

And with compassion

And when I do the same for me

And for others too

Then a powerful light grows

Deep within the darkness

And I realise the pain of holding on

Is recognised in the light of understanding

And released in the light of that recognition

I open my clenched fists

And take deep breaths

And surrender to the love

That wants to enter

That love does not erase the memory of pain

But holds it tenderly

And is the soothing balm

That will work its powerful alchemy

Helping the sting to fade

With time

Through this opening

I find the courage to move out

Into the light

Where love can be found

Deep within the hearts

Of those who have suffered

And let love win

And made their peace with nature

And life

In all its terrible beauty majesty and mystery

Seeing with the Eyes of Love

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If I could see with the eyes of love what would my heart say?

These words came to me when I was thinking about the feelings I am feeling being in contact with my Mum lately. A little over a month ago she had a bad fall. She was trying to lug a suitcase down three flights of stairs at my sister’s apartment, alone, without assistance because she didn’t want to be a bother to anyone. It broke my heart that this happened but I must admit I was pretty pissed off too.

There have been two others years in the last four in which both my sister and Mum have been in hospital at the same time of the year and I have been the only relative here to give any kind of support. And this year my sister was re-admitted to the long term psychiatric part of the hospital to get her medication stabilised following two falls in the week prior to my Mum having the fall.

This happening to my Mum has highlighted a lot of the issues which we inherited from parents who had to go it alone and be strong in the face of major challenges and trauma. In the past thirty years Mum had to deal with me nearly losing my life at 17, my sister having a haemorraghe and being abandoned by her husband, my father’s illness from cancer and sudden death, her mother’s illness and death and lately the breakdown in the marriages of my other sister and I. At 90 Mum is questioning so deeply all of this trauma and sadness. Much of it wasn’t her fault but it was an outgrowth of the difficult childhood’s both she and my father had.

Looking at an aging parent, particularly one who has been made more vulnerable and fragile as the result of an injury is not easy for those of us who love them. Often if we are on our own ourselves there isn’t anyone there to hold our hand as we struggle with mixed emotions.

For me I have had a lot of anger to my Mum over emotional abandonment which was not so obvious and came from a failure to see into my heart and needs due to the fact of her own history.   And the truth is, despite this my mother did and does love me. She just had a very different way of showing it.

Now I feel the love that she has, I feel her finally getting what my pain has been about, at times I am even getting her validation. At the same time I am giving her validation as I have done in the past.

My own recovery journey opened me to the realisation that what occurred in my life was just a result of emotional neglect passed down due to external circumstances. In both my parent’s lives inward deficiencies were due to a lack of sufficient nurture, which was the case for many of the generations born during the 1920’s and 1930’s.

Today I can look on my Mum with the eyes of love, I can feel the acute vulnerability of the little girl who had to be strong from a very young age. I am aware of the journey and of the values she and my father found most important as a result of the acute economic scarcity they suffered in their own life and the consequences for their children.

Looking on my parents with the eyes of love tells me that they did the very best they could with what they were given. And that realisation makes the feeling of love for them grow within my own heart. In many ways I feel that the long journey through the dark night of the soul that I have undergone over the past 10 years or so has been the result of carried pain that needed to be released in order to realise that there is a deep core within me that is not wounded, that can love.

It has been a long and painful journey to feel the intense feelings of longing, despair, rage and grief at times, but what I now realise is that the true feeling of these feelings was necessary for me to shed the wounded traumatised self and grow into the heart of love of the inner child, who is not wounded but has the capacity to look on the wounded with eyes of compassion and love. I have realised that when we carry hurt and pain inside that cannot be validated we cannot be released into the love which these things hide.

Recently I have been following a local soapie in which the father dies. His teenage son is struggling with anger, his father was killed as the result of carelessness, the driver of a car was texting and ran into his father by accident and the father was killed. The young son is struggling with anger, hurt, rage, buried grief and pain. In one scene he trashes the floral tributes left by the roadside where his father has been killed and when his mother finds the wreckage, she has an intuition that it was her son.

Rather than be angry with him, she shows him empathy and love in his struggle, tenderly but firmly she confronts him and this enables him to release some of the layers of rage and anger that bury his grief deep inside.

In my own case, I think the deep feelings of grief around the death of my father in my early 20s were buried by alcohol. Feelings would erupt when I got into a close relationship with anyone in my life as the unconscious fear of loss was so strong, yet so deeply buried that I needed to drink in order to release it. Sadly I was not shown compassion, empathy or understanding by others. This led to more hurt and fractures in relationships. Friends did not abandon me, though some lovers left and that was painful, especially when they blamed me for the breakdown of the relationship.

It has taken me some years to process the pain around this and come to a deeper understanding of what was mild borderline behaviour. That has only been possible to the extent that I have been shown compassion, love and understanding by others who recognised what was really going on.

Seeing with the eyes of love seems so essential to me at the moment. A heart hardened by hurt or misunderstanding and lack of empathy creates more hurt as it blocks out the love trapped inside restlessly beating its wings against the cage of defences and denial and longing to fly free. When we do the healing work to release the darker emotions without remaining trapped in them, allowing them to work their alchemy on our wounded souls, we can and are reborn and released to a newness.

This evening I read the following meditation which really spoke to what I am experiencing at present.

Inner Newness

I am new inside. I feel pink and tender as if young tissue were growing within me. I have been willing to take the ultimate risk by looking at the state of my life and my own insides, not as I wish them to be, but as they actually are. I have experienced an inner death, I have walked through spaces inside my mind and heart that felt risk life threatening, and I have felt the terror of full honesty. What I did not expect was this sense of birth and newness. Somehow life feels full of possibility and new experiences. I thought that I would be stuck in anger and blame forever, but I see today that I did not need to feel so down on myself for feeling those feelings. They are just part of a process; I move and shift and change and move and shift and change.

Tian Dayton

Growth is the only evidence of life.

John Henry Newman.

I could not have expressed it better.   The next stage of the dark night journey is emergence from the prison of past suffering into the light of newness, hope, and life, fresh and brand new and enlarged by the suffering we have found the courage to feel.  Seeing into our own heart and its feeling its blockages and hurts, defences, fears and resistances is the way in which we hold ourselves and love ourselves so we can bear testament to the life force within that wants to grow and longs to give and receive love free of the defences which keep us separate.

The Hand of My Inner Child

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The inner child in us never stops longing for sweetness, for connection, for joy, for passion for a deeply vibrant life.

I probably can’t speak for everyone but in my own life and especially more recently after a period of tapping into my young self’s longing for attention, understanding, love, empathy comfort and support and grieving all the ways in which it was absent in the course of my growing up I have become aware that that child and her longing lives on in me, has lived on in my throughout all the years of my addiction and recovery.

Just a moment ago I had a powerful experience of seeing my inner child in my mind’s eye.  In my imagination I took her little hand in mine and started to cry and I had a powerful realisation of how far she has had to travel on this long journey of coming to consciousness and recovering, not only from my own history but the history of my two parents two, both of whose inner children struggled too.

I thought of how over so many years the love this little girl was most longing for was mine, the adult self who grew but was also wounded in lots of essential ways, and driven my unmet needs and hungers in to some fairly devastating experiences.  I understood her deep loneliness in a family that was devoted to pursuing externals at the expense of a relationship with an inner life and with each other at a truly intimate level and the painful consequences of that.  That longing in me drove most of my addiction.

In the past few months I have been experiencing a lot of anger at my mother and two siblings who are still alive. I have been angry for the hurts, for the lack of empathy.  I know my anger is valid as it came out of unmet needs but it was not realistic as all of my siblings were wounded too. Today I read the following reading which really helped me to understand this.  It is from my daily reader : One Foot in Front of the Other by Tian Dayton. it says:

My siblings and I grew up with (alcoholism – my mother was the adult grandchild of an alcoholic). This disease became part of how we related to each other…..When our parents dropped the ball, we stepped into that void by trying to take over responsibilities our parents were ignoring. We grew to have way too much power over each other. We took advantage of each other’s vulnerability as often as we helped each other through, and that made our relationships very confusing. We formed traumatic bonds living in the trenches with active addiction. We weren’t really young together…..As I get healthier, I can see this more clearly, and that hurts, but it also liberates me from feeling beholden to anxious and ambivalent bonds. Today I can learn new styles of bonding. I can take what was healthy and carry it forward as I release the unhealthy parts. ..

This reading helped me so much to understand the complexity of what I have been dealing with over these past years. My surviving sister has suffered from bi polar disorder for some years. In some of her manic states she has said the most painful and hurtful things, at a time I was undergoing so much grief and pain from my marriage ending.

When the pieces have fallen apart for her, on four of her hospitalisations I have been there for her but I have feel so angry and deep ambivalent at times about having to play this role for a sister who has hurt and from whom I have never received true empathy and nurture.

Today I realise I can give a little to this relationship, but not everything and most certainly not at expense of myself because the return is not great. I give because I still feel the love that is there, but I am suffering as I long for healthier more nurturing relationships with women in my life who have a greater depth of understanding, care and empathy for me. In the end I will only find those relationships, though to the degree that I hold the hand of my inner child and listen deeply to her about what she really needs to be whole, healthy and happy.

Today when I saw my younger self she was with a lion. I have often had to roar like a lion when I was being abused emotionally by my sister. I needed that lion’s roar and strength to keep me safe but deep inside the lion was bleeding heart that suffered too from being hurt.  I had work to do with feeling that hurt and learning about where it came from, roaring was not enough. I had to learn to step away, to take my courage, to be with my inner child when she was in need, not to always pass the responsibility off, most especially to wounded or wounding others who will not care for me and love me. In the end it is my responsibility to take care of me and find those who care.

I must say I had one of those profound moments just this morning when I felt this inner bonding with my inner child. I had just had two conversations one with my sister and the other with my mother. I learn so much when ever I have any interactions with either of them lately, I feel more peace, more understanding, less hurt it’s a sign I am separating myself in some way from the enmeshment that has keep us bound and struggling for long years and that I have worked through a lot of the feelings.

For today I need to nurture myself, to give myself good things, to be aware of the child in me who loves the dog, loves to sing and dance and needs joy and happiness in the day in order to feel the wholeness of her own being.

Carl Jung has said that the divine child is that part of us that is most deeply spiritual and connected. To be in touch with it is to be in touch with an aspect of essence which is so necessary to our wholeness as emotional and spiritual beings on this planet. This is the truth I feel most deeply within me today and need to share.  As I see my inner child she is radiant and the most essential part of who I am.  From me she needs, care, attention, love, empathy, respect, containment and caring discipline. And she needs a place to sound forth her song and dance her dance, in the unique way only she knows.