Sunday, April 20, 2014

Are You A Victim?

Turn Rain Into Sun

The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain.”
                                                                                                -Dolly Parton


Happy Spring! Isn't it amazing how quickly we can forget our sunny days when we are in the depth of our rainy ones. I love watching the tulips and jonquils bloom this time of year. Their birth seems to bring a sense of life and anticipation of what is to come.

It is the same in life. After we have gotten past the early years of our lives, the rest is really about us. We have to remember we are the ones who need to step up and out. There is no one else who can do that for us, it is our responsibility. I love the word responsibility. It is the ability to respond. We do get caught in an inability to respond. Especially when there has been a very hard life, a difficult fate, as in a parent dying very young, a stillborn or someone leaving us. When those types of things happen in life, we often get stuck in an inability to respond in a way, which helps us move on and grow. We become overwhelmed and wounded in a very grave way. The question becomes how do we become unstuck out of our feelings of shame, blame, loss, anger, fear, feeling a victim, and move on? We certainly don’t want to be in those difficult places and feelings, and we know we need to do the work, but how?

One of the things that the Family Constellation work can do for us is be an impetus towards moving forward. This changes the patterns and compulsions we get into that keep us from responding towards growth. I frequently work with people who are mired with difficult things to accept, being and/or feeling victimized, depression, anxiety and anger. The fact is that we all have aspects of victimhood in us, and we all go through the many emotions. It becomes a problem when we are unable to move through them, and we act upon them in our lives.

What happens when we have difficult life experiences? In one woman’s life her mother left the family when she was very young, leaving her, her young brother and her father. Dad, who had a demanding job, then brings in a woman to help with the children and the household chores. This young girl then bonds with the woman who came in to take care of her. After a few years, this woman is just gone, and with no explanation. The loss is unbearable. A few years later, when she is now around eight years old, her mother wants to be back in the children’s lives, and asks if they can move back with her; she lives in a different city. Dad asks the children what they would like to do, and then poof, they go and live with their mother. At the ripe old age of 8, this little girl now, in effect, loses her father, and moves in with a stranger and her new husband. She is desolate and desperate. She asks to speak with her dad, and isn't able to contact him. This is how this woman’s life began. The losses are too great for her, and she breaks down. Yet somehow she survives, and grows up to womanhood. She got married, has two children of her own and then divorces her husband leaving her to raise the children alone. As a single mother working in the helping field she is open to be able to love again until she breaks down, once again. She is actively involved in putting the pieces of herself and her life together to bring wholeness to herself, her life, and to her children. This is both difficult and rewarding.

During her case we had to deal with very young feelings. In fact, our Constellations revolved around different aspects of herself and helping her to listen to them. I taught her how to bring them all in and embrace them. She was able to have conversations with her father, mother, brother, boyfriend, and caretaker in a new way than before. These conversations occur in the metaphysical sense, not the physical sense. Language is expressed through actions, reactions, body feelings, and understanding differently. Understanding her young language through tears, is very important, with someone to witness and not abandoning her. This is very powerful. In a way, it helps to rewrite history, but in a meta sense. The language and conversations do not and can not change what actually occurred. Going back in time, allowing her to re-live, re-feel, and re-write what happened is very integral in helping her to find a way to move forward from those very young traumas.

We all have shadow sides and light sides. Going into the shadow, with help and direction not only to see repetitive patterns, but also to find a way to move through them, is important to have a bridge from the shadow to the light. When trauma happens to us when we are so young, finding and understanding language, giving it an opportunity to express itself, and bringing in all the players internally as well as externally, helps us to embrace a different present and a new future.


Shift Your Story: Guided Visualization/Meditation
  
When very young things happen to us, we often don’t have the skills as well as breadcrumbs to find our way out and through the forest.

Take a comfortable seat. Have your feet planted securely on the ground in front of you, and begin to breathe deeply. Imagine you are walking in a forest. You become very lost and can’t find your way out. You lose perspective and don’t know directions and begin to panic. You stop and try to locate where you are without success. You begin to cry and yell and scream. You try to go another direction and find you just made a circle and are back in the same place. You try again, and again, you come back to the same place. You are going around in circles with no hope of finding your way out. Suddenly you stop and just breathe. You hear a voice inside of you telling you to slow down and just breathe, and you will find your way out. You listen to the voice and begin to breathe deeply. Take a moment and think about what your forest is and where you feel lost and alone in your forest. Breathe. See it as clearly as you can. This might be in an unhappy marriage, a difficult relationship, a feeling of depression or anxiety you can’t seem to shake, etc. Ask for help in finding your way out and through this issue or dilemma. Imagine someone lifts you up and up past the tree line where you have a much greater perspective on where you are and can see for miles. You begin to see where you are, where you came from, and a direction on how to find your way out of the forest to your home. You then take a moment with your own issue and place or places where you feel lost and gain as much distance and perspective as possible. You begin to see your own internal breadcrumbs to show you a way out. Ideas begin to come to you which are new to you. You decide to follow these breadcrumbs out of the forest and you see and watch the path you take out of the forest towards your home until you do arrive home.

Once home, take a few deep breaths and open your eyes. Before you leave your space, write down, or record your thoughts during this meditation.

Feel free to do this meditation more than once and see what comes to you.