Feeling Safe

Esther at age 5When I run into problems, I normally feel resistant, wondering what I have done to create this seemingly insurmountable problem. In the past I always blamed myself when I had to face or heal something I considered “awful.” Recently, I have had to face a diagnosis of adrenal fatigue, which several doctors say could take a couple of years to heal. As a result I’ve been trying to calm and soothe myself, without feeling I had the tools to do so. Meanwhile, the human resources department at work was trying to put undue pressure on me to fill forms and run to the doctor each time I missed a day of work. All my feelings of “pressure to perform” — “not good enough” — “undeservability” came up. These buttons were put on me by my family of origin, and got “pushed” from the time I was very young. I was not accepted in my family. I was always the “outsider” after all I was “just a girl.” My six brothers always had each other, but I had no one. How many times I heard, “You’re not good enough.” — “You were a mistake” — “Get out of here!” — “Shut up!” and finally a death threat from my own father, when I was only 14. I was so afraid of him that I left home by the age of 16.

Feeling Unsafe as an Adult

Such dysfunctional familial dynamics resulted in me growing up and feeling rejected in so many ways. Due to social isolation, I never had friends at school, and no one to play with at home, either. Sure, I had brothers, but they didn’t want to play with me. After all I was “just a ‘girl'”.

Well, the life I endured as a child seemed to follow me into adulthood. I ended up marrying a man who devalued me and cheated on me all the time. When I decided to leave the family religion as an adult, my kids turned against me, choosing to obey the “disfellowshipping order.” Loyalty to their god was more important than family ties.

Now I ask myself the question, why do the wounds from the past seem to follow me into the present? What did I do to deserve this kind of treatment? Wasn’t I just an unloved, lonely, and unwanted child? More importantly, how could I get to to a place of “feeling safe” as an adult?

Self-Healing Exercises

Some schools of thought teach that I must not resist, but instead learn to accept and love myself, in order to heal that old energy of the past. To put into perspective, I reasoned that resistance was futile, so why not just be more accepting of my present circumstances. Why not “surrender”? After all, resisting dis-ease was doing nothing for me, except wearing me out.

So, I surrendered to the illness. This I did by taking time off work because of the extreme exhaustion and anxiety. The angst is likely the reason for the hypoadrenia for which I was diagnosed last June.

Whatever arises love that by Matt KahnLately, I located a healer who talks about healing the wounds of the past by using self-love practices. I’ve been following Matt Kahn  and have been trying out some of his exercises in order to self-soothe and calm my anxiety. Recently, he wrote a book called “Whatever Arises — Love That.” Along with the book were included about eighty audio clips. I’ve been listening to the audios at night when I can’t sleep. One of the most helpful features of his audios are the exercises where he says, “Repeat after me…” His theory is that if we self-soothe using our own voice, instead of listening to someone else’s voice, over time we can heal old patterns by re-writing the critical self-talk with which we were raised.

Safety and Self-Love

I truly resonate with what Matt Kahn says. When I first moved to B.C. after getting disfellowshipped from the family religion, I was reading Louise Hay’s “Heal Your Body” a book of affirmations into my voice recorder, in order to re-write my belief system. So, when Matt Kahn speaks of listening to my own voice and speak lovingly with my Self — my inner being, my inner child — it made sense. That part of my Self that still suffers from childhood wounds of rejection, feeling unloved and unwanted needed to be “re-parented” so-to-speak — by me! I heartily embraced his teachings about self-love. It seems to be the next natural step in healing my lifetime of wounds. After all, how do I find safety, after growing up as a terrorized child? How do I embrace my “feeling safe” task after all these years of being afraid?

Against a lifetime of odds, I have been learning to be more attentive, loving, and thoughtful towards my self. I am working towards feeling safe — a state of calmness — which I really appreciate, in order to feel safe and heal the adrenal fatigue.

What do you do to self-soothe and offer love to your inner child?

Esther on Twitter: @_phoenixoffaith
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