Building emotional intimacy, or re-connecting, as some call it, is the essence of being; we all want warmth, closeness and acceptance, not unlike the needs of a newborn child.
Nothing feels better than looking into the eyes of someone you love dearly and smiling with the heartfelt knowledge that you are safe, that you are seen for who you are not for whom you think you should be.
Often clients lament to me that the problem they thought they had healed has resurfaced. Sometimes they can see the similarity easily, and other times they are responding as if it is for the first time.
The scars and learned responses from our early childhood feelings are covered with years of protection, shame and denial. Sometimes it feels as if it takes a jackhammer to break through those barriers of numbness to get at the essence of the problem. Those trapped emotions live on in metaphors and symbols as we grow up.
Being able to decipher them easily is the challenge we face daily and can only be achieved by gaining self-awareness. We can overcome those childhood fears but only through constant vigil and the wanting to be free of it.
It takes emotional literacy, which is: matching accurately the feeling to the precise word that describes that moment. Language is one of the tools for freedom; freedom from our own personal glass prison.
I remind my clients that every time they fall over the invisible trip wire, they are retracing the feeling from their childhood and in order to heal it and let go of it, it needs to be in front of you. By retracing it and working with it in a conscious manner, we are gaining authenticity as painful as it can sometimes be.
And, at the end of the day, that is our goal: to reach our authentic self without apology.
Parenthood is the toughest job on the planet, hands down. Mothers are the backbone of every society but get the least amount of support and minimal respect. Fathers regularly are shamed or treated unfairly because of different situations. A condition that I see repeated with all parents is the need for permission and sometimes imposed isolation for their choices with their children.
There is a major question though: Who teaches women and men how to be a ‘good enough’ parents when they never received sufficient nurturing? Parents are role models for their children. How they conduct themselves will be copied, for better or for worse.
There's nothing like a dose of reality to shake us loose from our grip on denial. So, these times can be viewed as both a curse and a blessing. Wake up calls are exactly that: Wake up from the numbing slumber that has dulled one's commitment to take care of themselves, whether it be health, environment or finances.
For some, it takes a catastrophic event to crack the veneer of denial.
And oddly enough, some people still don't change, in spite of the event that had them making all sorts of deals with God as short time ago. They return to their seductive slumber, and continue to complain and posture themselves as the victim.
Where are you in this fire dance? Are you tap dancing so fast your feet are a blur; are you doing the pre-set methodical tango, or are you waltzing through this time, feeling clear and grounded in your own competence to stay in the present so you can feel joy?
One of the key elements in healing is the truth: are you taking responsibility for your choices that may have led you down the path to this point of feeling fearful of the future? In an article I did for a local newspaper, I commented how I stay calm during this time and was very clear about being accountable.
In order to be in the present moment and help our fears calm down, we need to be totally honest with ourselves.
I commented on being compassionate with ourselves, and being patient with our choices that sometimes turn around and bite us. Fear is in the future and sometimes based upon factors we assumed to be real as very young children. So, someone who has a lot of assets may live in fear of loosing their money. Someone who was criticized a lot as a young child, might always assume rejection when dating. Someone who was shamed as a child may always jump to the conclusion that everything they attempt to do will be "wrong." Children are very literal; they believe in Santa Claus, they will believe 2+2=5. How do you break that cycle ? How do you stop the mental dancing around the fire? Share with us the tools you use to keep fear from controlling your life.