Daily InspirationAre you afraid to be seen? Are you afraid for someone to look deeply into your eyes and see your soul? Are you afraid that what they will see is nothingness? Your wounded self believes you are empty, nothing. Yet you are a great gift, a child of God, a child of Love. Your soul is love. When you discover this, you will know who you are, and you will no longer be afraid. By Dr. Margaret Paul
The Flip Side of LoveBy Michael Barmak
June 01, 2009
Have you ever wondered if all of your difficult feelings represent unhealed parts of your soul? Some feelings, even painful ones, are natural and can lead us into loving action.
I look out my office window and watch three of our neighbor's children. The baby is trying to get out of his stroller. The second boy is playing basketball and a third son is juggling a soccer ball. The other two brothers are probably inside getting ready for school.
I feel a pang in my heart. I always wanted a big family. I love kids. I love my son. I have one boy. He's my greatest blessing. Every day I thank God for giving me a healthy, beautiful, precious soul to raise. He brings me immense joy. Boundless love. Contagious energy, excitement and curiosity.
Now the toddler runs over to his baby brother and pushes him back into his seat. He gives him a hug and a kiss and then jumps into his toy car for a ride. The older one kicks his red and white soccer ball against the front steps.
I feel the twinge again. I could lower my blinds and not watch them. But I can't avoid them. I mean, they live across the street.
I remind myself how lucky I am to be a dad. It took my wife and I two years, two miscarriages and one surgery to have a child. We prayed and prayed for a child. We half-jokingly talked about having twins just to get it all over with at once. Our first priority was having a healthy baby. We got our wish.
There are many reasons why we are not having another child. There are many reasons why we're not considering adopting. They're all good reasons.
Yet I still feel a yearning. A longing. Is this an unhealed part of my heart? Did I circumvent a part of my destiny?
I believe that we are born with a blue-print of our life and our free will allows us to change our life map. However, our decisions may not always in our highest good. Did I make a wrong turn?
I look back across the street. Now I see an abandoned tricycle, toy car and soccer ball. They form the three points of a triangle. I have a triangle too: My wife, my son and me.
Intellectually I've examined the advantages and disadvantages to only having one child vs. being the father of two or more children. I always reach the same conclusion. My life would be different. Not better or worse. Just different. A win-win situation. Yet why do I still have this deep longing that gets triggered every time I see larger families?
My Inner Bonding knowledge and experience has helped me over the past fifteen years become a stronger loving adult. I have healed many of my deep wounds and am constantly working on others when they surface. The Six Step process has given me the tools to do my inner healing. For that I am very grateful. I'm much less sensitive to other people's anger and judgment. I rarely act out of need for approval or fear of abandonment.
So I ask myself. Are my neighbor's children another trigger? Is my longing letting me know that there is another piece of my soul that needs attending to? Am I wounded in some way? Are my feelings trying to tell me something?
I do what I always do when I'm stuck. I turn to Guidance. Step Four of the Inner Bonding process.
"Guidance, is it true that the pain in my heart represents a deep wound that I haven't healed?"
Guidance responds immediately.
"No. This isn't an empty piece of you that needs to be filled. You are complete. You are full of love. You allow me to fill you completely with my compassion, hope and love. You share this with your family. You offer this to others. Your pain is there for a good reason. It is there to remind you to be in gratitude for what you have. For the gift I gave you. For your son. It is there for you to transform into loving action. It is truly a joy, not a pain to be ashamed of or to try to take away. It is the flip side of love."
The flip side of love. It makes perfect sense. Love and longing can co-exist . Just because my sad feelings get 'triggered' doesn't mean that I need to do anything about them. Difficult feelings are not always coming from an unhealed part of me. Some circumstances in life I can't make all better, redo or replace. They just are. And that can actually be a good thing.
I feel tears well up in my eyes. I feel my body become flush with a warm sensation.
My son slept later than usual this morning so my wife and I decided to keep him home from school. He knows I'm in my office typing. While I've been writing, he's been calling out to me every couple of minutes asking me if I want to play with him yet? Each time I've told him I'll be there in a couple of minutes. That was more than a couple of minutes ago.
I hear him calling out to me again.
"What are you doing in there daddy?
"I'm typing up something."
"I don't hear you typing."
"I'm typing softly."
"Do you want to play yet?"
I look over at the toys left on my neighbor's lawn. I wonder if my son feels abandoned too when I'm not 100% fully there for him.
I remember my Guidance's message: "Transform (your pain) into loving action".
I shift my longing into gratitude. I take the love that fills my soul and share all of it with my son in the way that means the most to him. We 'play' trains.
Now that's loving.
© 2009 by Michael Barmak
Michael Barmak, LCSW is a Certified Inner Bonding Facilitator in private practice. He works with individuals and couples in person and on the phone. Michael can be reached at 908-276-8191 or at his website, michaelbarmak.com.
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