While in Guatemala, on retreat recently, working on the wounds of love, I had the experience of being a child again and of being abandoned by my grandmother. She left my family home, to live with her brother, the priest, after a fight with my father. I had just turned one year old. I never got the precise details about my grandmother’s comments to my father about his farming practices, except to know he disliked her “interference” in what he thought was now his. They had already lived together for about eight years at that time on her family farm and they became as far apart as his farm was from hers, five miles away.
This had profound consequences for me as I was her “baby,” sleeping with her, being fed by her, cared for in all ways, kept warm in the winter in her room with a small turf fireplace. In a religious sense, I was her “Godchild” and she was the one who promised at my baptism to care for my wellbeing. When she left my home, my mother was about to have a forth child.
At that time, when I was the one year old, I got into the bag of sugar in the bottom of a grocery cabinet. My father made a wooden crate for me to keep me in one place. The crate was hammered together of rough wood, in a temper by him. He loved sugar, always taking a pinch with his fingers as he went past the bowl, which was left on the table permanently, to lace the many cups of lovely tea, he constantly drank. He did not want to see the sugar spilt all over me and on the floor in front of the cabinet. I have some memories of my rage at the new arrangements, loss of caretaker and confinement.
The pictures above were drawn in 1980s when I first came in contact with the buried box in my psyche. They showed up on either side of a mandala below. This mandala is a representation of a completeness held as the area of wounding emerges.
The abandonment was a shock to me and I formed a shell at that time that put the permanent question into me as to how to not have that happen to me again. How could I be, so that I could reverse that kind of happening? Looking over the edge of a stinky wooden box, I looked around for my absent “granny” and was bereft. This formed a distortion in me and I was squashed under a shell of a new defense system, that looks for the pattern to repeat itself, that attempts control.
In the moment of healing the wounds of love I had that insight that I always look for ways to avoid this rejection from the person who loves me, within close relationships. This in turn made intimate relationships difficult when I become doubtful, unsure if there would be a sudden change, based on perceived threat from the other, something said or done that I did not understand, coming from the other person’s wounded-ness and nothing to do with me.
After this session I went to have a massage and ended up crying a lot to the therapist, about the whole situation with the grandmother. He worked on my tightened up lower back. He was a skillful Chinese Style therapist who worked on pressure points and cleared out the crucifying pain as I sat with the insight I had just gathered in the previous session. The bringing together of the opposites, the loss and the insight about the shell I formed as a result of that wound, brought my body back into alignment.
The end of a dream I had prior to this work had me pulling two trailer loads of baggage all by myself down hill, not able to control the weight of them. Now the new question is to go forward without worry about how I should be, and put out love toward the other, put away the selfish desire for protection and bask in the protection that love of the other brings. Blue and Green flowing out of my hands, before my feet, like the blue and green everywhere reminding me of what true defenses I have. No need for the old thorns anymore.
This work helps me see how the pattern stays within, repeating itself until inner work brings it to light. It is hard to see ourselves go by. I see it reflected in others, noticing their patterns, but my own shadow remains illusive until I do a retreat, am led in body work, listening to music “Oh Mother Hear my Cry,” dragging it all out of me on to the floor in front of me, and seeing it for the mess it is. It will not serve me well as a defense system. What I need now is the defense found in pouring out love for others, of consulting my heart, placing my hands to facilitate that outward flow toward the other, which in turn influences all I say and do to help the other. This in turn feeds me all I need.
If we do not work on bringing the opposites together, then the body will become ill, whether it is a lower stiff back, tightened ligaments, a broken bone, depression. I am pushing toward wholeness and will not get there without bringing the opposites together. In my case it was seeing the shadow side, my defense system that gets in the way of wholeness. The opposite is a pouring out of love. And will I take one step forward and two back sometimes. I will, but my dreams will bring in the correction again until I get it more wholly, practice it more fully.
That is why a retreat is good for unearthing a complex that is gumming up my works. The follow up work with dreams will ensure that the wound is cleaned and healed as much as needed until it becomes a stepping-stone within. As a dream helper, I needed to go on that retreat, so I can be more present with working on other people’s dreams.
Do bring dreams along so that you can get started on bringing wholeness to yourself from the spiritual point of view, which in turn brings wholeness to the whole body, mind and spirit. Come see me for some inner work with dreams. I like to see people weekly as the unconscious is encouraged to be fruitful to those who pay it attention and respect, building up a base on which everything is brought to remembrance, old wounds, shadow and defense systems. Choosing this way is easy, simple, and personal to you. You are working on your immediate images, fresh from the unconscious. When we do the individual work, we, our families and our society flourish as we manage what is before us in love and in light and in healing. Love from Rose.
Beautiful work for yourself! Thank you for the acknowledgment in the next email.
I think I didn’t tell you this dream of mine about the animus a few months ago.: I am at one end of a long hall like an early romanesque church. At the other end are three men and one indistinct woman. The men are: Vitae, my first husband Paul, and his brother Thad. All three (now all dead) were love interests for me. They say to me: “I have been fascinated with you all my life/” It makes much more sense if this sentence is attributed to me, though as anima and animuses it could apply well enough. At this point I am confused, thinking that the ex-brother in law was Vitae’s brother! He did share a duplex with us for a while in Berkeley. I go outside looking for Vitae. I see him asleep on a foam rubber mattress lying in the sunshine. I look closely and find him appearing quite young and fit.
I love getting your blog/emails.
Hi Margot, I wonder if you are getting out in the sun today and enjoying that sunshine and I know you are young and fit. Love Rose
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