When we have close relationships with other people, there are going to be inevitable ruptures that will happen. Some of those ruptures may not make sense in the moment, yet they can leave you staggered.
I’ll never forget one day talking on the phone with a very dear, close friend. I heard them say, ”I don't know if I can call you back, I'm so overwhelmed I just don't think I can."
When I took in this expression from my trusted friend, I felt a sense of shock run through me, as if cold icy water had splashed in my face. My stomach contracted, and my heart burned, desperately crying out in confusion for companionship, mattering and understanding. Then I felt my whole sense of self slowly become numb, and cellular exhaustion descended upon my heart and soul. The rest of the day was a blur as I experienced everything and everyone as an irritation and annoyance.
I didn't bother to arise early the next morning, but hid underneath the warm thick covers, waiting with a glimmer of hope for my scheduled empathy call to ring in. Relief coursed through my body as I answered the call yet I noticed a bit of inner resistance and disconnect as I was asked what age this shocked part of self was.
"I don't have a sense of being any age at all." I responded. Encouraged to drop into my body sensations, I felt the familiar burn in my chest, and contraction in my belly. Then, suddenly, my throat clenched, and tears stung my eyes and the remembrance of my best friend's birthday party, in seventh grade, sprang into my mind's eye. Time traveling, I heard the new girl from school demand I be left behind in the woods, utterly alone. Shock, despair, confusion and bewildered disbelief numbed me. Even after finding my way back to my friend's house, and sometime later after everyone returned, I realized I was completely invisible and no longer mattered to my once loved and warm community.
"This brings tears to my eyes. Does your Compassionate Self have a guess for this little you?" My empathy angel asked, "Or would you like some support with guesses?"
Barely able to speak, I gratefully received a steady flow of life serving guesses for this younger part of self, and witnessed layer after layer of shame, horror, and embarrassment release from my body. I breathed in the resonant tone of voice laced with grace, care, tenderness and love, and allowed my body to shake as it released the blocked emotions.
I realized that when I had turned to my mother, for comfort and understanding, she had been as confused and bewildered as I, and simply said she didn't know why it had happened. Left with no support to make sense of my sudden isolation, my body repressed the sharp pain of the memory until I was held with the kind of support that sought not to take away my pain, but to help me sit with it, acknowledge it, and release it.
Then my Compassionate Self-Witness, my right pre-frontal cortex, brought two gorgeous black Friesian horses back in time and invited my younger self to ride home with her. With the warm wind blowing through our hair, we rode over the grassy hills, under a warm blue sky, all the way back to the barn. Days later now, I notice the cells of my body feel open, light, energized and present. Such a new experience.
It is essential to realize that any barrier we experience, when it comes to fully accepting our children or others, originates in our own past conditioning. When we are unable to accept them, it's because old wounds have been triggered in us. When we are willing to allow these tender, vulnerable parts of ourselves to be held, and welcomed back with loving acceptance and gratitude, we discover the path to holding others in that same Light of Love and acceptance.