As a kid, I often felt helpless and unsafe around the people who were supposed to love me the most.
I was at the mercy of their fluctuating moods and addictions.
The experience of not being cherished or wanted was ongoing and relentless.
My personal work today is sitting with how that wounding gets tweaked now as I meet people who resemble the cast of characters from childhood–the ones who seem unsafe, wildly fluctuating in their moods, addicted, and unable to cherish or respect me.
On each of our paths, situations will arise where the patterns are repeated. Do not be afraid. Greet these as opportunities to deepen your heart space.
I hope this won’t sound like woo-woo mumbo jumbo to you: I really do know that life gives us what we need in order to heal so we can shine our light most powerfully in the world. This is always my perspective even if sometimes it takes me days or weeks to come back around to this knowing.
It’s so unpleasant when an old wound comes knocking on your heart when the upset feels fresh and hot, and you cannot get out of it.
But do you have the strength to gently notice what’s familiar about this time? Can you ask yourself if you’ve ever been here before?
It’s easy to get all up in your upset and rail on and on about this or that person, it’s easy to cry, Woe is me! But the real Soul Ninja knows there is something here for their evolution. Do not be afraid to look.
In my practice, while sitting with how the heart knocks feel familiar, I remembered a time when I was very small and my mother and I were visiting relatives. We were all sitting outside on the balcony, enjoying lunch when one of my uncles swooped me up into his arms and held me over the railing.
This was at the top of an eight-story building.
He had been drinking and I remember him picking me up, and swinging me over the side. Terrified he was going to drop me, I went limp. It was as if every cell in my body ceased to move. The terror was so big, I did not have even the air to cry out. I could hear the laughter back on the balcony, and as my body was lifted back over the railing, the first face I saw was my mother’s. She was laughing and pointing at me. Everybody was in on the joke but me.
Nothing was said. Nothing was done.
I don’t remember anything else about that trip, but as I write this to you today, I feel the tiny tremors in my spine and my belly hurts. To this day, I cannot fathom why anyone would ever lift a small child and do such a thing. Why a mother would not only stand by and do nothing but then laugh when it was over? Why a father would not kick the living shit out of an uncle who treated his daughter this way. I try not to linger on the whys.
I know my family was seriously screwed up. Wounded.
But we are all wounded in one way or another. And we are all being asked to do our work to heal.
I tell people there is a little red thread that sews through the fabric of our lives. This little red thread connects important events and patterns for us. It has a vibration that promises wholeness if only we could make the connection and do the work of healing. This little red thread represents you and your common denominator responses to the situations — your experience of the event or interaction with the other person and the way you receive those happenings inside your heart. This is the red thread sewing through the story.
The little red thread for me here is that there’s this pattern where I want to go limp when the people around me begin to act inappropriately. A part of me retreats and becomes quiet. It is difficult to coax myself out again, hard to catch my breath. I am becoming more and more attuned to how this is happening and I am showing up with all of it. There is something that the little girl in me is trying to do, something she is still needing to heal. I am exploring this.
There was no safe place for her, and so I must create that safe place.
As a healer, I see how other people suffer in relationships too. It’s often a topic in our sessions together. People ask me how to feel better. How do I stop being upset? How do I stop suffering? When will this ever stop?
While I don’t have every answer for you, I will say it’s pretty challenging for you to weather the storms without a foundation to cling to. For me, that foundation is my A Course in Miracles practice which is something I study and meditate on most days. There are so many beautiful teachings out there for you to follow, just pick something and get going. Life gets easier when we practice consistently. But for that to work, you need to commit from your own heart.
Committing from your own heart is never about being perfect. It’s about having a practice you can turn to which can act as a foundation for you to stand on. Sometimes it seems to me people cling to the notion that salvation comes in a perfect track record but this is not what will make us whole. In seeking perfection, we miss the essence of what is truly being offered.
Relationships are challenging. Stuff comes up.
People scratch at our original wounding.
Often they pick at the scab, but sometimes they rip it open. And although neither of us may fully get this at the moment when it’s happening, the truth is this: the Universe is conspiring with the people around us to help wake us up.
That wound that will not heal needs to be cleaned of all its infectious tissue, all that is not healthy needs to go. That wound which will not close needs some assistance. So yes, sometimes people come in and stir things up, they upset the scabs we are trying so hard to protect.
I wish it were easier to remember all of this right there at the moment when we’d most like to punch someone in the face or maybe cut and run. But whenever we remember, whenever we find the little red thread it is good enough. We are being woken up. The original wounding is asking to be addressed. To be healed. Because there ARE gifts which come from our wounding, but left unhealed, we won’t be able to see them.
A while ago my friend told me about the Japanese art of Kintsugi, which means ‘golden joinery’ or ‘to patch with gold.’ Broken pottery shards are healed with a mixture of tree resin and gold. The intention behind the repair is to have something better than new.
Our broken hearts become even more beautiful as we do the work to heal and rejoin what has been shattered.
We’re after a Kintsugi heart: broken open, golden lines, better than new.
May this help your heart to continue to heal. I am sending love to you!
this post was first published 10/2016