Bring Your Whole Self to the Experience
"I have found an “undesirable” aspect of myself—one about which I previously had felt ashamed—to be the very quality that allowed me to meet another person’s suffering with compassion instead of fear or pity. It is not only our expertise but exploration of our own suffering that enables us to build an empathetic bridge and be of real assistance to others.
To be whole, we need to include and connect all parts of ourselves. Wholeness does not mean perfection. It means no part left out."
In early fall, I was feeling tremendously resourced. I simply felt good, solid, and open. There were no fires in my life waiting to be put out, so I chose to dive deep. I started digging into some core patterns/pains of feeling abandoned. It's a BIG one. And the little part of me that experiences this most, well she's pretty damn vulnerable. She's sweet and scared, sure that no-one could love her even though that's what she desires above all.
When she is feeling her need for love and acceptance acutely, or stewing in her perceived aloneness and rejection, she wants to hide. Actually, she wants to be buried underground, surrounded by dirt, invisible to the world.
When I'm with her in this, it's hard to make eye contact or talk with anyone. It's excruciating even to breathe. I feel paralyzed, ashamed, consumed by this feeling of 'how could anybody love this?' It's a terrible feeling.
So in addition to therapy and talks with intimate friends, I've been doing what I do best. I've been dancing her.
I ask her, 'what do you need? How do you want to dance today?'
Sometimes she wants to hold hands and be swung around, thrown up in the air, and feel beheld as the delightful, wild creature she is. Sometimes she wants to be held close, rocked from within. Sometimes she wants to run the show and dance her emotional, moody dances, free to be the drama queen she is. When the dance is done, be it 2 min. or 2 hours, I feel a sense of grounded joy. I feel like I am welcomed home on this planet in a more and more integrated way.
The more she wants to hide and run away and stew in her rejection, the more tenderly I coax her out and offer her the dance. And the more I do this, the more readily she shows up, ready to move.
The more I relate with her, the better I am at holding space for the little children in my clients, friends, family... the more I can make room for when their children show up, or the hard/shameful/bashful parts that want to hide and be invisible, the parts that feel unwelcome.
Invite your little one, your embarrassed, heartbroken, rejected one. Your angry, disgruntled or despairing one. Invite them to dance and be danced. And watch what happens.