I can still feel the dry summer dust against my skin. Each year, as a little kid, suitcase in hand, standing along the dirt road at the end of our long gravel driveway. This was my mother’s house following the divorce and she intended to put as much space between her and my father as possible. My father was a willing participant.
At this time in my life – and until this very day, my mother and father hate each other. That’s why they divorced when I was about three. I got caught in the line of fire. He moved to the other side of the country so was given custody of me during the summers (way before the idea of joint custody emerged) and he’d drive a long way to get me. These hand-offs were orchestrated so they could avoid interacting with each other.
She’d equip me with my little bag and send me down the driveway where he’d be waiting for the pickup. The return of me a few weeks later was equally perfunctory, dropping me off at that same dusty corner following my time with Dad, his new family, cousins, water and sun, which was a highlight of my year. The return created a rush of agony through my entire body. I was going back to an alcoholic mother prone to angry and unpredictable outbursts. And my father, having met his obligation, returned to his new family. I wouldn’t hear from him again until winter, when I got the birthday card and money.
How’s This for Connecting the Dots?
These early imprints of loss and abandonment played themselves out in adulthood. I had a terrible time with goodbyes. Kissing boyfriends goodbye, seeing friends off, my dogs going to doggie heaven, even the wrap-up of a retreat or the conclusion of a course or project that I’d really enjoyed.
Sure the feeling was in different degrees that correlated to the gravity of the loss. Regardless, sadness or grief washed over me with a deep gloom as I marinated in the “missing” of this person or experience. It felt awful.
I lived many decades with the belief that these losses were my fault. I did something or said something to make it happen. When I began exploring this feeling through the work that I now teach, Emotional Liberation, the dots started connecting so that I could heal from these false beliefs. Turned out that this goodbye thing was underpinned by a deep hurt because as a child saying goodbye was a cataclysmic event for me.
Feeling into the Emotional Pain is the Ticket
You can begin to see why goodbyes – any and all goodbyes – were so painful for me. But once I was able to be present with the emotions of sadness and grief and began exploring it with my Emotional Liberation approaches, the trauma emerged so it could be released.
Today, goodbyes and conclusions for me are beautiful moments in time when I feel the fullness in my heart of the fondness and love I have for various people, animals, places and experiences.
Of course, I’m sad when the occasion arises – when I lose something very meaningful to me – whatever that might be. But I’m no longer devastated and consumed with gloom or despair because through the Emotional Liberation work I have learned how to release while continuing to love, perhaps more deeply than I have ever before.
How’s Your Level of Sadness or Despair?
It doesn’t matter. When you bring your desire and commitment to meet the emotion within a specific framework for doing this, you can learn to move through it with intention and compassion effectively and efficiently.
With Love, Becca