I have been cocooning the last few days. Loving my Siena hillside escape.
And in this deep space of connection, introspection, writing and and love for all that is – I am seeing people I love and things I do from a different perspective. Maybe it’s the distance or the intoxication of these Tuscan winelands. who knows?
So a school mum, shared with me telephonically how hurt she was by something her dad did to her, how it made her feel alone and abandoned. And I heard her out and empathized and encouraged her to see it from his point of view and forgive and let it go.
The interesting about this scenario is, this same mum did to her 18 year old kid- about 2 years ago -exactly what she just shared, her dad had done to her. What amazed me – was how she couldn’t see it.? How when I brought it to her attention she denied that it was the same thing and truly couldn’t see it. It was really as if she had reframed what she had done to her own daughter and the memory of the event is now forever stored in this ‘easier to believe’ rewritten script.
Shortly after this incident I heard my best friend reflect on how supportive and accepting she had been to me during my difficult personal processing times. Now this is no new friend – a friend of decades: and again I was stunned. Cos from my point of view the way she ‘supported’ me was to dissociate from me and not address the areas I was dealing with nor the means by which I was trying to clarify. And I really used to feel quite alone and neglected, but assumed this was the way she could cope.
So what I took from this was-:
1) An understanding that we recreate stories about our own shadow parts – that we find difficult to integrate – and then believe these fictional stories about events. To help us cope? Maybe..
2) And when we deal with others, we do for them what we think they need without communicating to ask if thats what they needed in the first place. Why? Are we afraid they might ask more of us – and we will have to admit to ourselves that the ‘more’ is out of our comfort zone and accept that we can’t give them what they need? Or is it cos we assume we know what’s best for them? Or better yet – do we prefer being oblivious to their needs and play the whole thing out so we can tell ourselves we are a good friend?
These human anomalies, memory glitches even downright untruths we tell ourselves -have got me looking into myself and shining the light on my shadow aspects and the stories I tell myself to be able to better face myself in the mirror.
It’s been an exercise of looking at who I have been from someone else’s perspective – and then asking myself whether I could have done it any better? If not, I forgive myself for any pain I might have caused and I own it. I own that I’m not ‘supportive’ or ‘the best parent ever’ – not all of the time and not to everyone. I own that I can be inadequate in that area and flag it (if I think it necessary) as an area of improvement.
This mirror I tell you it lies. It’s about looking deeper than the illusion we first see. Deeper than the perception we create about ourselves. It is work for the brave – time to call out the inner lion or lioness!