I was sitting in the corner balled up, just watching. I can’t remember if I was frozen in my tracks or if I was an emotional wreck. I must’ve been about 5 years old and I just felt like my whole world was falling apart. I don’t know the specific reason for them fighting this time around, all I could focus on was that my dad was leaving and I was petrified.
“Everything is going to be ok. You are safe. I will never abandon you. I love you.” Fast forward to 23 years later- and it wasn’t until now that I realized the reason my immense fear of being alone had taunted me, like a ghost, for so long. I was in the middle of meditating when once again I was feeling uneasy, like something was wrong in my life. No matter how many times I tried to focus in on the feeling and asked my inner guidance for the answers I never was able to figure it out. I knew it wasn’t that I was with the wrong person, or that something else was going on in my career. I was sure of my path and the person I was becoming and whom I chose to have in my life, but no matter what I did or tried, I couldn’t shake the fear I felt in my chest or the way it seemed to grow, turning into an ache in my back. It made me question and even doubt many of my decisions.
On this particular day I just asked for the universe to send me the answers I needed, trusting and having faith that it would come. I allowed myself to observe my uneasy emotions without trying to make it go away, I honored them. The following day I awoke from a much-needed nap and the first thought I had, seeping through the grogginess of waking up and not knowing what happened, was that I needed to heal my inner child and something about me in the experience I described above. So, without much thought I searched on Youtube “healing inner child so I can heal my relationship.” The video that I was drawn to was one about healing the inner child’s fear of abandonment. Something clicked.
I watched the video and did as instructed. It took me to this specific memory of me as a child where I truly believed that I was unloved and was going to be abandoned. Then it had me come back as an adult and notice all the ways that I was abandoning myself now, and how I was putting the expectations and responsibility of loving myself and always being there for me in the hands of other people. The meditation proved to be powerful for me as well as extremely difficult, and it initially left me in my feelings and with a heaviness in my chest. It was like when I first took a Yin Yoga class and I went so deep in a pose that I felt a popping sensation in my chest and an immense need to burst into tears-which I somehow refrained from doing.
On my commute to work today I listened to more videos about healing and how our inner child’s wounds effect our current relationships. As I was in the classroom, I was putting a child to sleep and I imagined she was a younger me, and I just repeated in my head that I would never abandon her as I helped her fall asleep. I knew I had the epiphany I needed to help me heal the root of the problem and I am determined to do the work. I left that child overcome with compassion and sense of inner peace I had only felt in the past when I would heal something traumatic.
I know the work has just begun, but I am extremely grateful to have discovered this wound and I am ready to heal it. I’ve spent a lot of time always fearing being left, looking for holes in my relationship and trying to prove why someone didn’t love me. I didn’t know it then, but I was using these defense mechanisms to try to avoid the pain of being abandoned- if I left first or if I was prepared for a break up then perhaps it wouldn’t hurt as bad. Of course, this only proved to bring me more experiences and people who ended up leaving me, and it made sense. How could I expect someone to be committed if I wasn’t even devoted to loving myself?
I know that this shadow work is going to lead me to freedom, and the ability to finally treating myself and being treated by others from a place of unconditional love. I know that its ok to be happy, that I am safe with myself, and that I don’t need to spend my time trying to prove my relationships of being too good to be true. Life will always have its ups and downs but never again will I abandon myself.