“Holding on to my grievances give me a sense of power, which protects me from feeling vulnerable. It’s a way of standing up for myself and defending myself from being hurt, disappointed, or rejected again. It keeps me vigilant”
This hardening of our hearts is the ‘beast’ in us. It is the wounded beauty that has lost faith in itself because it was never fully seen or recognized.
“What keeps the wound and hardening from healing is not knowing that we are lovely and loveable just as we are while imagining that other people hold the key to this.”
I am the security guard with a Most Wanted Criminal Poster on my wall and I am constantly scanning the environment for this villain — the “bad other”. In this vigilance and single investment, I miss the love and goodness available to me. I will blow myself up to get back at those who have harmed me — to be right.
From Grievance To Grief – The Medicine Is Found In The Poison
First we must experience our hurt as bearable. No one has ever modeled for us how to bear pain in a strong, dignified and fruitful way.
In the pain lies a simple truth—an oozing sore—we do not feel loved or loveable. We all share this truth to some extent. To turn away from this truth is to abandon ourselves and perpetuate the re-wounding.
In acknowledging the pain we must make direct contact with it. We must feel it, open to it, give it space, allow it to be as big as it is and enter it. (We call this radical acceptance.) The pain has been a forbidden feeling for all our lives, and entering it is a great act of courage and faith. As we open and allow the feeling, a decompression takes place. Our habit is to stuff our pain into a tight and small inner space where it becomes the “bad other” that we also must protect ourselves from and close our hearts to. As we allow the pain spread out into a bigger space it literally relaxes a bit and becomes easier to approach and be with. As we learn to open our hearts to our own pain we become whole with ourselves, no longer doing battle with this part of us. We are entering pain instead of holding it separate from ourselves. We need to do this as a felt sense in our bodies. A sweetness or presence of something bigger—of our personal capacity to love—melding with love itself, often begins to take over. In this process we are fully able to meet another’s pain as well. This process needs contact and then space and contact and then space. If we go too fast we may find ourselves needing to drum back up the drama or old stories. This is a good clue that we need to adjust our pacing of contact and space.
This is the difference between conscious and unconscious suffering. In conscious suffering we are able to connect with the pain as a direct cry from our hearts for connection versus a battlefield cry for victory or death!