Sometimes, when I least expect it, another layer of my grief pops up to the surface to be healed.
I was recently gifted with an opportunity to re-deal with some sticky abandonment issues left over from my mom's death -which was likely a suicide.
Someone really close to my heart left for a few weeks on vacation and my stress level increased to a place I knew (consciously) wasn't appropriate for the present-moment situation.
It was time to practice what I preach.
Here's what I did:
- I got interested and compassionately curious about my stress. I acknowledged it and allowed it.
- I sought support from my teachers and mentors and took inspired action following both their advice, my own advice, and my intuition
I wanted to share the most potent tool I used to help me navigate this process.
It is a writing exercise that helps you get to the bottom of sticky pain patterns (like abandonment issues) that may be caught in your unconscious mind. Simply bringing them into the light of consciousness is deeply healing.
Write this letter to your past self:
I am angry because ...
I am sad because ...
I wish ...
I am sorry that ...
I love you because ...
Please feel free to use mine as an example:
Note: I originally wrote this solely for the eyes of my coach. It is really honest and shows my vulnerability. Please read with a compassionate heart.
Dear Past Me (the fragmented part who still has abandonment issues),
I'm angry because you didn't try hard enough to help her. You got angry at her sometimes when she was drunk and unreliable. You were hard on her when she asked for money for booze and drugs. You were hurt when she left. You gave her the benefit of the doubt and at times you felt stupid for it. At times, you looked at her as a burden and didn't look deep enough to see that she was hurting and needed your support.
I'm sad because you didn't see how much support you actually gave her. You didn't give yourself enough credit. You did the best you could with what you had at the time. And, even though you had limited energy as you were grieving the loss of your boyfriend, you still showed up for her. You flew to Costa Rica twice. You brought David to see her. You stood up for her with others who had lost hope. You played mediator with her and family. You loved her more than anyone. You didn't give her money sometimes because you didn't want her to buy booze and drugs with it. You worried about her safety. You did give her money sometimes because you didn't want to loose her. Or perhaps more, you didn't want her to loose you. You were all she had at time and you knew it. You gave her everything you had.
I wish you could see how amazing you really were in that situation. How strong and self-less you acted. I wish you could see that she didn't really abandon you. She abandoned herself. It was not your fault. I wish you could see that people love you for you and you don't have to try to make them love you. She was sick. Not everyone is. I wish you could see that trying to make her better was not your job. It's not your job to fix people. It's only your job to align with the truth of who you are and allow that to radiate therefore creating the space for others to do the same.
I'm sorry that you didn't put yourself first during those years. I'm sorry that you constantly self-abandoned in the name of helping others. I'm sorry that you put yourself out of alignment because you thought you were helping others.
I love you because you care. Because helping others is in your nature and part of your alignment is in helping others..as long as your thoughts, feelings and actions actually feel right for you. I love you because you are strong and you got me through it all. I love you because you choose to see the good in people and situations. I love you because even though your heart has been as broken as a heart can get, you still allow yourself to love deeply and truly. I love you because you are not afraid to be yourself and show your vulnerability. I love you because you are honest. I love you because you love to laugh at life. I love you simply because you are you.
I invite you to try the exercise for yourself. Please let me know if you have any questions or if I can support you in any way. I'd love to hear how it goes for you.