We receive the message when we are ready to hear it. Not a moment too soon—yet exactly at the right time.
I’ve been receiving such messages these past several weeks, messages to release core (parental) wounds. They came complete with crippling body pain that was worse than that pain I’d experienced some 12 years ago while enduring major neck surgery.
They’ve been coming through to my consciousness in bits and pieces, moment by moment, almost incomprehensible, as if trying to focus through a fog.
They are loud and clear now, and things have changed as a result. I’m currently trying to empty my home of items left over from a past relationship. I even went out a few weeks ago and purchased new sheets before having someone new spend the night, as if excising old ghosts of love past.
Everything is going, including all of the old photos and mementos hanging around my home. In doing so, I came across an old shirt, and a professional photo arrangement of my ex and his son, but I couldn’t bring myself to burn them along with the rest of the items whose very presence began to feel like a set of shackles holding me from moving forward, keeping future happiness just out of my grasp.
The other night, I drove over to his house to drop those two items off. In the bag was a printed meme that said something about detaching and everything happening perfectly. On the back of the photo, I wrote, “I couldn’t bring myself to throw this away. I thought someone in your family may enjoy it.”
As I parked in front of his house, a woman was pulling up at the same time. It may have been his mom, but honesty, I didn’t pay attention or look closely to see who was in the car. The woman stayed in her car as I walked up to his door. I knocked. He hollered from inside, “Come on in.” I replied, “It’s not who you think.” He came to the door and the look on his face was priceless. You would’ve thought he was staring at a ghost. In essence, he was. I told him I had some things for him. He asked timidly, “What do you have?” I told him, gave him the bag, and walked away in silence.
Shortly after arriving home from dropping off the items that were holding energetic weight, I had a group coaching call. I talked with the leader about what happened at my ex’s house. She asked me what core wound my ex represented, and how I felt in the relationship.
I told her I felt very alone in the relationship. There was no “We” or “Partnership” in the relationship. I simply felt alone, and that was unacceptable to me. I was very much on my own, even though I had a man by my side. She kept asking me how the relationship with this man reminded me of the relationship I had with my parents.
I felt very dense, I wasn’t getting what she was laying down when she continued to ask me about my core wounds and how they were related to my relationship with this man.
Then she said, “You were alone as a child.” Ah ha! Absolutely, I was. I grew up alone. I co-existed in a house with my parents. My parents were done being parents by the time I was born. I did my own thing while they were completely preoccupied with their own lives. I literally begged them to spend “family time” with me, but it simply was nonexistent as I grew up and learned to navigate life on my own.
Then my coach nailed it—right to my heart when she said, “You don’t need to be with someone who is going to be physically present, and emotionally absent.”
Yep. Right there. That’s it. That’s why my relationship hurt so much. That’s how I grew up. Trying to get attention from parents who existed right next to me but didn’t pay any attention to me. They said they loved me and it appeared they loved me to anyone looking from the outside, but it didn’t feel like love to me.
In fact, I’m not certain I’ve ever experienced what true love really feels like.
Do you know how exhausting and maddening it is trying to earn love from someone who isn’t willing (or more appropriately—able) to give love in the way you need to receive it? Trust me, you don’t want to know. It’s grueling.
The most important part of the group coaching conversation was the confirmation from the leader that the reason my ex and my parents were not able to love me in the way I needed, had absolutely nothing to do with me. Freedom. Finally, forty-five years later.
As I was processing the learning that took place on my group coaching call, I was reminded of the words a gifted healer sent me a few weeks previously that hadn’t resonated with me at the time. However, looking back now, his words are clearly falling into place.
As he and I were chatting about my attempts to engage in new relationships after the expiration of the relationship with my ex, he sent back the following words, “Final thought: consider the difficulty in receiving from others involving recognizing that the parents you loved didn’t give the way you may have wanted or yearned for as a child … Receiving from others involves recognizing that you are deserving to receive and this brings into question why I wasn’t receiving more or the way I wanted from those I really loved as I child … So really opening to receive can involve opening and facing those childhood wounds and calls for the deepest forgiveness that your parents were imperfect humans who were involved with circumstances that says nothing about your lovability as a child and that is now up to you to love that child the ways she always wanted.”
Thinking about his words, “Is up to you to love that child the ways she always wanted.” I’m reminded of advice I just sent someone else in the same vein. It’s been said that the advice you give is the advice you most need to hear. I said to her, “Really everything is on us at this point. To a certain extent, we are a product of our environment, but only until we decide that we will no longer be trapped and decide to break free of it. Your parents don’t control you anymore (only what you allow). We may have shitty families, but if we allow their toxicity to impact us, we aren’t taking good care of ourselves. You are your own number one priority.”
So yes, it’s my responsibility to forgive and move forward, understanding that everyone did the best they could with what they had to work with.
The coach leading the group call was sure to let me know that the way I grew up and the way my relationship dissolved was not my fault. She proclaimed, “It is never about you … ever, ever, ever.” She then reminded me that “You cannot swim with sandbags on your ankles.”
I’m realizing now that my parents and my ex clearly had their own stuff to deal with. More importantly, their issues and their lack of presence in my life had nothing to do with me.
No amount of work, giving, love, honor, respect, courage, bravery, caregiving, money, acts of service, gifts, self-sacrifice, suppression, repression, depression, hiding, silencing of my voice, molding myself into a box I wasn’t meant to fit in could have ever made them love me in the way I needed to be loved, AND THAT’S OK. I release the need to try to re-write history and make it any different than it was.
I have already forgiven my parents, my ex and myself for the way things unfolded. I am releasing everyone (including myself) with love, for we knew not what we were doing.
It’s time to move forward. I love to swim—especially in the ocean:)
You know what else is amazing? As I’ve released this core wound, the pain in my body has resolved itself as well.
Click here to read the next article in this series: Core Wounding and Relfections in the Mirror.