This morning, in my meditation, I had a lovely image come to me: I saw my fear as a very demanding third child. I know the reason why she is demanding is because she has experienced a lot of pain, and I know that this pain will heal with love and compassion. And that is what I feel for her. I was thrilled to realise that, the reason why I can finally look at my fear with compassion, is because it is not overpowering me any more. And that is HUGE.
Fear of not being loved has been by my side most of my life, I believe inherited from my maternal lineage and reinforced throughout my childhood by very demanding parents. I was seldom hit, but it was because I became a very good (frightened) girl. It became my normal state of being and, in the end, I didn’t even notice it. I was even a very functional happy adult! Yet, looking back, I can see that from a mild sense of anxiety to full blown panic, all shades of that fear have been my regular companions throughout my life. I realised, at some point on my journey of self-healing, that this was my core wounding, my most significant piece of work to do in this lifetime, the biggest block between me and joy. And in the last half a year, it has been my main focus of attention.
The thing that finally nailed it was Somatic Experiencing. One of my sisters, who has trained in Somatic Counselling Psychotherapy, reckons is the only way to treat trauma. I am quite inclined to believe her, since after years and years of personal development and therapy, the fear-of-not-being-loved went from something that was bigger than me every time, to a child I now understand and appreciate.
I am still working on it and yet, I am a different person already. Now I can talk to my fear rather than being unconsciously run by it. Now I see it creep in a comment, a feeling, an impulse; and I can set Loving Limits around it. I often hear my mentor talk about using Loving Limits with our own unresorceful states (guilt, anger, fear, jealousy…), but today I understood how I could do it. I could say to the little girl inside: ‘Yes, I see it is scary to miss the school bus in the morning. You got into a lot of trouble when you were little if you were late. I understand. Oh, my! And it was painful! I see your pain, darling! Oh, sweetheart! Let me hold you. I know! It was so scary! Yes, I hear you.’
I stop, I don’t allow her to dictate my behaviour: that’s the limit. I take the time to hear, understand and comfort her: that’s the love. It works so beautifully that it feels like magic.
She eventually relaxes. Then I can be for her the mother she would have liked to have: ‘Today you won’t get into trouble. I am here to protect you. I am here to tell you that it doesn’t matter to miss the bus. What really matters is to love your children’. She quickly comes up with a problem: ‘Yes, that all sounds very good, but what about their dad? He’ll be upset if I am not efficient!’ My husband, in his Mister Efficient incarnation, often takes on the role of the parents I don’t have around any more; in this way, he is helping me polish this issue to its subtlest expression! I smile and agree: ‘Yes, he might. And that is his problem. I know what is most important to us, and I can protect you from him, too’. She knows that is true. She trusts me. She relaxes. Joy springs up from underneath. Now I am ready to go and tell the kids to get dressed for school.
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