So, I’m staring at a blank page. Been awake through the night glaring at it, trying to think of something profound to say. I am still reading Brene Brown’s “Rising Strong”. Well, I guess, I’m going through it a second time. There’s a lot of wisdom to weed through. I wrote about curiosity in a post on March 9th and this is supposed to be related to that. Trouble is, it’s a very heavy topic and I’m not sure how to present it. It has a lot to do with shame so I find myself treading lightly. I guess, in short, it is about answering the questions of curiosity truthfully, with insight into all parties involved by recognizing the whole truth and not just our own.
I’m sure you’ve all heard the old cliche, there are always two sides to a coin? Well, today, I want to be brave enough to look at the other side. I think I have accomplished this with my upbringing in most areas–it has not been easy and I don’t want you to think that this has happened overnight because it has not. It has taken years, decades even, to come to terms with the whole truth and not just my own perspective of what the picture seemed to be. Digging down to find the truth sometimes means accepting a new reality. I don’t think it comes naturally, at least for me, it hasn’t. It is something I have cultivated very slowly into my life in regards to my parents and the environment within which I was raised.
I have to be honest with you, I am finding this extremely difficult today. And, I guess, it is something I need to look at more completely. It’s not that I experienced severe trauma by the hands of my parents directly, but more by their neglect. But it’s not even the trauma that is blocking my senses at the moment, it is the wounds I suffered just by being a part of the family they made. Without getting into too much detail–and I beg your forgiveness for this, and maybe I’ll be able to write my own story in time; it just is not coming out now–I felt extremely unworthy within my family. I was never good enough, smart enough, pretty enough or thoughtful enough. I craved attention, love and acceptance. And I grew up trying to hide all these needs because they just weren’t acceptable (in my family).
Through all the therapy I’ve had over the last 30 years, I have come to accept the fact that my parents did their best with what they had inside themselves as I was growing up. That they, also, had their own childhood wounds passed down from their own untruths within the families they grew up in. Understanding that they really did do the best they could with what they knew, at the time, allows me to form a new truth about my own situation. I was loved and therefore am worthy of love; and, although expectations were set extremely high, they were set with the ideal that I could achieve them; therefore, I was, in fact, thought to be quite intelligent. I believe I was quite thoughtful and empathetic even though there came a time that I disconnected myself from my family. I believe the truth is that I was too connected in the first place and so overwhelmed by the emotions of others in my family that in order to protect myself, I disengaged. So my conclusions of not being enough were actually based on untruths that I had made up in my head, but had never checked out.
This last paragraph is a good example of how thoughts, behaviours and feelings are all connected and how we need to look at all three in order to become whole again. Finding the truth about our lives can be heartbreaking. It takes courage to seek it out, to delve into our lives and weed out the falsehoods we have formed surrounding our worth as human beings. It is a passage worth taking though as it frees us from the negative thought patterns we have so innocently formed in our minds, the deep-seeded feelings of unworthiness we carry around and the behaviours we exhibit in connection with our lack of love for ourselves.
Take the leap–with a good therapist if you have experienced deep trauma, neglect or abuse–and plunge into the sacred waters of your soul!
peace balance empathy