We’ve all had times in our lives where we’ve reacted rather than responded. Boomerang emotionalism rather than calm exchange. When our reaction to something is larger than the situation itself it’s largely due to unfinished history. Thus, I teach my students when things feel hysterical it’s historical.
I’ve been writing frequently about this because, to me, this deep inner work is revelatory, rich and ultimately freedom-giving.
When people close to us die it churns up the mangle of history. Feelings and memories fly around like askew missiles; unpredictable and volatile. There also is no prescribed time-line as to how long this will continue. It’s like that meme that says “I walk around like everything is fine, but deep down inside my shoe my sock is falling off”. We can present the facade over the gaping wound, which I dare to say is how most people walk around in the world. We are all a bunch of unfinished historicals reacting and ricocheting around each other.
It’s easy to blame, point fingers and wear the” V” of perpetual victim-hood. It’s painless to don the cloak of self-righteousness. The real work and sustained relief is as a result of correct view of self.
Recent experiences in my life, interactions with people, have helped me to further see myself more clearly. Of course I want them to see their part, but I have no control over that, nor any control over their opinion of me. I invariably wish we all could play a version of Doctor: “I’ll show you mine if you show me yours” in terms of our wounds. Without fail, every single time someone lets down their guard with me and speaks from the heart the relationship matures. We find we aren’t so very different after all. The exhaustive posturing is the peacock of the ego, without which there is just the softness of who we really are.
I prefer that.