My ego excels at victimhood.
Ah – the relief of confession.
I’ll spare you details of my darker side and silly little fits and just admit it: here I am again, trying to get out of my own way in order to grow.
To truly support my own growth.
To get unstuck.
To learn how to support others even when this entails silence.
I am ready to give up the guilt that inhibits my ability to act and transform. I am ready to give up the anger that I thought for so long was acceptable to use as a crutch.
I am setting my sights as high as can be.
“Growing up means growing out of the emotional reactive patterns that were laid down in childhood. I should mention that an important part of this work is learning how to hold our emotions and reactivity in a space of kindness and understanding.” (Interview with John Welwood)
As I learn to watch my patterns that were laid down in childhood, I also learn to see similar patterns amongst loved ones. This is a time where one ought to be grateful for new understandings.
Instead, I dwell in self-judgement that I have not yet learned the lesson.
Instead, I feel pained that our definitions of support are not congruent and that we know not how to support each other, least of all ourselves.
Growing out of my reactive patterns and the victimhood that ensues involves a lot more kindness than I am accustomed to- for myself and for those I am triggered by.
These moments of acknowledging old wounds are quite beautiful because these are actually ripe times to affect change. The more I notice each regression, the easier it becomes to step outside of my drama, confront it and change it. There is a positive amidst the muck! Releasing my ‘shoulds’, my anger at situations or the pressure to fix everything is a huge area of unlearning for me.
I hereby step up to my high sights with the following budgie habit-busters:
- I will be with myself. I can choose to hold my obstacles and wounds that arise with loving-kindness. I will visualize my emotions melting.
- I will go into a room on my own and punch pillows and scream away as needed.
- I will journal, read and flush out my thoughts and maybe publish them online so that strangers can read about them in a somewhat coherent fashion.
- I will try to get cozy in this space of not fixing anything and not running away either. To simply settle in a new territory in the middle.
Rather than operate from a stuck place of guilt or blame, we must appreciate all the people who support us: those who listen, mirror our reactions and those who are reminders that we’re all kind of stuck and trying the best way we know how to grow and stand taller.
I leave you with an excerpt from an interview with John Welwood (below). It has shed light for me on the old wounds that have been surfacing with people that I love.
There is much danger in hiding our wounds.
There is much space in being aware of them, leaving no place for a victim.
Allow yourself to feel supported.
“The deeper the love between two people, the more it flushes out all the obstacles to love—our deepest, darkest wounds and unworked emotional reactivity. When their worst side starts coming out, most people see it as a threat to their love But it’s really the opposite: Love is the greatest healing power on earth, but it can only heal what presents itself to be healed. Love wants to bend and reshape us so that we become a clearer channel through which it can flow. It’s as though the power of love brings these old wounds to the surface, so they can be held in love’s embrace. If they stay hidden, they can’t be healed. And if they’re not healed, they keep generating clouds that block the flow of love. So to fully love, we must be willing to expose our wounds. Of course, we get really freaked out when we see, hear, feel the worst parts of ourselves coming out and the reactions going back and forth. You shut down, and I react to your shutdown, and then you react to my reaction, and it keeps escalating. Most people are familiar with this kind of ego-to-ego combat, and with it comes a fork in the road. If you have some commitment to conscious relationship, and can hold this friction in the space of loving awareness, it can become what I call “sacred combat.” Two partners are not only lovers, but also worthy opponents, who can help each other see exactly what they most need to see about themselves if they are to heal their old wounds and grievances, which only keep them stuck in the nightmare of the past.”
(interview with John Welwood)