Sharing a beautiful prose poem: Finally

This piece was just shared by a colleague and really encapsulates for me the essence of the first steps on the journey home to self…

Finally
By Lisa A. McCrohan
What would you finally have to feel
if
one evening
after a long day
you decided
to slow down
let the dirty dishes sit there
in the sink or even on the counter
stopped busying yourself with
perfecting things that really don’t matter
turned off the TV
put down your smart phone
put down the fork or glass
stopped numbing yourself
with your addiction of choice
and you paused for a moment –
came into stillness
listening to your breath
allowing its rhythm to carry you
into your heart?
What would you finally have to feel?
the anger
the sadness
the grief, regret or rage
that has been pushed down
denied, buried
for too long now?
Maybe it’s the longing –
the longing to belong
the longing to know
you are enough
the longing to be held
the longing to say
what’s been on your heart
for decades.
Maybe you’d finally have to feel
that one tender wound
still fresh, still raw,
still too easily opened
that happened long ago.
What armors your heart, dear one?
What fear keeps you from fully living,
fully feeling,
fully loving?
What would you finally have to feel
if
you
took off
the armor
and held whatever it is
with kindness and compassion
with spaciousness and light –
yes, finally,
in the soft light
with air to breathe?
What would you finally have to see
be with
tend to
and hold,
dear one?
What would you finally have to feel?
What would you finally have to feel
against your chest
inside your belly
under your ribs?
The cries?
The moans
that you didn’t believe
any human being
could make?
Your body shaking?
Your legs kicking?
Your fists pounding?
The emptiness?
The raw rage
and utter sadness?
Maybe it’s time.
Maybe it’s finally time
to heal.
Time to feel.
Time to let your body do
what it knows it needs to do.
Time to sit
come into stillness
feel the rhythm of your breath
carrying you into your heart
to befriend
and reclaim
Yourself
again.

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First Steps

First Steps on the Journey to Conscious Parenting

What I haven’t yet related in this blog is that, initially, I didn’t set out on a journey to change my parenting, rather I set out on the pre-requisite journey – that of healing and learning to love myself…

Five years ago, I was a person crippled by anxiety and fear, by self-doubt, self-loathing and despair.  My relationship with my children was poor, guilt-ridden, exhausting – I yelled at my kids a lot.  I remember my eldest daughter telling me she wished her best friend’s Mom was her Mom because there was never any screaming at her house.  Over the course of a couple of years, as I healed and learned to forgive and to love myself, I was growing in myself a state of inner resourcefulness.  And, it was from this place of inner resourcefulness (self-compassion, self-love), that I was able to take a good, honest look at my parenting behaviours and my relationship with my children.

I mention this, not only to demonstrate the distance it’s possible to travel in a few years, but mainly because if we don’t address our own pain, our own woundedness, we will be sure to unintentionally inflict those same wounds on our children – despite our best intentions to the contrary.  I also mention this because the human spirit is extremely resilient and I’m amazed, humbled and grateful for the manner in which, as I’ve healed, I have been able to create the loving space within myself and within our home for my children’s healing to occur as well.

I think the deepest, most basic wound from which most of us suffer is that of never having been truly ‘seen’ [psychologists call this ‘proximal’ abandonment] and so, having been rejected on the most basic of soul levels, we repress and even attempt to outright murder our own true and authentic self.  This is the disease of disconnect of which I’ve been speaking.  We have lost or murdered our true self because it was never welcomed, it was never honoured, it was never seen [on the contrary, it was overtly suppressed] – by our parents, by our teachers, by our community and THIS is the wound that we inflict again upon our children.  And we do it in so many ways:

  • by cribbing children instead of carrying them or sleeping with them, ignoring their deep need for psycho-emotional bonding and attachment [a need that actually takes precedence over and above the satiation of basic physical needs like the need for food or sleep]
  • by letting our children ‘cry it out’ when studies are now showing children, even up to the ages of four and five, are unable to regulate their own psycho-emotional state and require soothing from a calm adult in order to learn how to properly self-soothe
  • by shaming them for exhibiting the same violent behaviour we unconsciously perpetrate on them on a daily basis
  • by being so busy doing that there is no space for simply being present with oneself, let alone with our children
  • by keeping our children so busy doing there is no space for them to simply be present with themselves
  • by violating our children’s inherent rights to self-ownership and self-expression, leaving no space for the unfolding of their own uniqueness
  • by attempting to control and mold them according to our own idea of what a ‘good’ child is
  • and so, consequently, by continuously violating them physically, emotionally and psychologically.

And we do it because we are so shell-shocked ourselves, because we are so disconnected from the vulnerable inner self that was so violated and shamed when we were children that it went into the deepest of hiding places.  The disconnection is so extreme and it is so ‘normalized’, most of us don’t even realize there is even a healing journey to begin.

And so, of course, I encourage you to begin the journey ‘home’.  It takes immense courage, immense resolve and immense humility.   Give yourself the necessary permission to hold yourself, to dare to be seen, to slow down, breathe out, and take those necessary first steps towards healing…

This is how a better world is birthed.

Resources:

Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype – Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D

Warming the Stone Child: Myths and Stories about Abandonment and the Unmothered Child – Clarissa Pinkola Estes, Ph.D {Audio Work}

Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love – Dr. Sue Johnson

http://www.kindredcommunity.com

Wheels of Life: The Classic Guide to the Chakra System – Anodea Judith, Ph.D

EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique) Tapping Manual Download (acupressure/tapping to aid in the freeing-up and release of repressed emotions and trauma)

Peter Levine’s Work and Healing Methodologies: http://www.somaticexperiencing.com  and http://www.traumahealing.com/somatic-experiencing/peter-levine.html

Survivors and Partners: healing the relationships of sexual abuse survivors – Paul A. Hansen

Belleruth Nazpartek’s guided imagery for healing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder