Daily InspirationIf you shut down your feelings to avoid pain, how can you know what is right or wrong for you? Spirit often speaks to us through our feelings, so when you protect against pain rather than open to learning about what your feelings are telling you, you are shutting out the very guidance you need to feel safe. By Dr. Margaret Paul
Letting Go For Good: embracing helplessnessBy Suzi Korsak
December 11, 2011
Ever wonder why you keep having the same experience each time you go through the six-step process of Inner Bonding? In this article you can learn that at the core of the trouble is embracing helplessness over that which you do not have control, and embracing your ability to be present with your feelings.
If I brace before an accident I am sure to feel more of the trauma than if I move with it...If I'm about to fall when I'm skiing, and I tighten up, I am sure to fall and probably hurt myself...however if I let go and allow my body to find it's balance I'm likely to have a more favorable outcome. The bracing comes from fear of outcome. I have become very aware of how I brace for situations in my life; a tough meeting with a disruptive employee, a talk with my children, budget planning in my businesses. I have anticipated the confrontations and played them out in my head over and over and over until I've thoroughly driven myself mad or at the very least am extremely stressed out.
My inner bonding practice asks something very different from me. It asks me to meet each person from an openness to learning, a place of meeting each situation that arises with compassion and love. I had approached my life from a place of bracing for the worst since I was very young. I came from a violent and dysfunctional home. It was a necessity for me to prepare for danger, and I thought I could control my parents' outbursts and actions by saying the right thing, doing the right thing and being a "good" girl. Sometimes it appeared to work, and I say appear, because I know the truth now. It just happen to be agreeable to them, they made the choice, I didn't influence them, however my young wounded self made the decision that I could control others if I could learn how to please them. I believed if I could just do it right, I could get the love and approval I needed, so I got to work.
I cleaned the chalkboard and erasers, wore the proper dress, made cards and gifts for friends, was polite and always smiling. At home if my strategies weren't working I would hide in my room or in front of the television lost in an old movie. I could control my experience by using the tactics of people pleasing and if that wasn't working I could numb out with food, with television, with a fantasy that my real parents were going to come and claim me. I wanted control over what happened, and how I felt about my life and these were my tactics. The disappointing results were anger, frustration, hopelessness and fear. It wasn't working, so I decided it was because I needed to have new people in my life, if I find the "right" one to love me, I will be happy. Three divorces later as an adult, I was the only recurring theme in my relationships. I now had two children, and I was on my own. What had I been teaching them about love? I'm sure they were confused, at least as confused as I had been.
On one particular May day my sister looked at me and said "you've been depressed for months....let me call Kripalu for you...I think you need some yoga, a massage and clear your head" .....and what followed was quite amusing..."Hello, this is an emergency," my sister said to the woman at the registration desk, "we need to get my sister in a program right away!" The stunned woman on the other end of the phone hesitated, and said "ok" with a question in her voice. "I have her looking at a catalogue now" said my sister....I asked "what about yoga and painting?"...."no room" said the voice on the phone, "yoga and hiking?"....."no room"....."writing?" ...."I'm really sorry, we're booked that weekend too"....and I flipped forward and saw "Healing Your Aloneness with Dr. Margaret Paul and Nancy Weston....OH MY GOD, this is for LOSERS! I bet she has room in THAT program.".....and the small voice on the phone answered my sister as if she had asked "Yes, as a matter of fact we do have room in that program....would she like to sign up for that?".....I shrugged and said "go ahead....it can't hurt"....I had to wait four months to make my trek to the Berkshires to meet Dr. Margaret Paul and learn the most valuable lessons of my life. I realize I was one of the losers I was talking about, losing at the game of "I can make you like me, and if I'm really good, I can make you love me."
I listened intently and became aware that the love I'd been trying to get was already available and could not be earned, coerced or manipulated. The love I needed required me to let go, to stop trying to get love from others but allow love to enter. I became aware that my body was a sacred vessel given to me by God and in it and through it would be all the love, wisdom and direction I could ever need. It wasn't out there, it was all located within me. I experienced a new version of love, pure love, and I knew I had a true path through the six steps of Inner Bonding. The first step was moving into my body, letting go of need to "figure it out" in my head. I had to let go and feel. For someone who didn't feel safe letting go, letting go took me three years of steady Inner Bonding practice. I believe it took me a full year to be aware of my body and all of its messages, although I wasn't ready to be fully present with many of them.
I found myself arguing with myself, and avoiding my feelings, the core feelings and was drowning in self pity, self indulgence and felt despair. The more I learned and practiced, the more opposition. "I can't do it, I don't feel anything but scared, it's hopeless....I'm broken and I'm never going to move past this damaged feeling" I continued to argue with myself and my facilitator...who by the way...reminded me...."just be clear that you are the one doing the choosing, it is YOUR intent...it isn't happening to you." ...."Really? Why would I do a thing like that? It feels awful." Each week attempting to control my intent rather than choosing it, attempting to control "doing it right" and control was more important than letting go and opening to the lesson of the day.....next was the most difficult information for me to hear...."Why not be conscious that you would rather have control over me, over your process, over everybody, let that be your choice. You don't have to change a thing, just be aware of your intent...your choice."
I let that be okay after a struggle, and began to notice the deep suffering that was taking place while I tried to control every thing, everybody, every encounter. It was exhausting and I felt deep deep grief for the years I had abandoned myself in this way. I sat in that state for three months, making the choice and feeling the grief, staying with the grief long enough to know I was the one creating my suffering by trying to control the information rather than learn from it. I was trying to rewrite my history, rather than uncover the lessons, give love to myself in a way that can never be accomplished through control. The love had space to move when I wasn't trying to get it from the outside, and when I wasn't protecting against loss, love had space to move when I opened up my heart for the real thing. My past pain and disappointments were not evaluations of my essence, but actions taken by people who too were trying to control, deal with their own pain. The information of my feelings of the past needed to be released to make room, I could release my badges of dishonor and replace them with love. The information of my present feelings allow me the safety of knowing what is happening around me, in interactions with others...in tapping into the guidance of my feelings, my body, and my connection to Spirit allows me more safety than any protection created in my head with my wounded self. I let go of bracing, and opened to the vast knowledge of my sacred vessel, my body, and with Spirit started a new journey that is steeped deep in love.
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