The Healing Path

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    That thought about anger serving no futher purpose is very profound Anita. I thought my mother being out of my life for 20 years was enough for me, but her death affeted me more than I expected. I clearly had never really dealt with her primary role in my inner critic. Now she no longer exists, maybe that has given me the opportunity to properly tackle my Bull. (Still loving my matador!!) Could it be that my unspoken need for a ‘happy ending’ stopped me addressing these issues before she died? And hanging on to the pain long after its ‘sell-by’ date. What was that about?

    Another bit of background – My father died some years ago. I had always thought he was a charming, funny man and I never doubted he loved me. After his death I realised that he must have been quite a weak person to have failed to address issues in the family he knew about (although not necessarily the extent of my abuse). He finally divorced my mother and remarried in another country.

    For me, that final separation, has given me the freedom to see them both for the people they were. Not hero and villain, saint and sinner, but just flawed people whose combination had very unfortunate consequences for them and their children.

    And there were good times too. Nothing is ever black and white.

    I will will strive to remember the good times and make them a focus for my childhood memories in future. If I do anything else I will remain a victim. Leslie the matador and Leslie the victim do not need to co-exist.

    Sorry again for taking such a chunk out of your thread. I am again grateful for the opportunity you have given me to come to this understanding. I’d be pleased to keep up this discussion, but I want you to knoe what a difference this has made already.

    With much gratitude, Leslie


    Dear Leslie:

    I am so pleased to make any positive difference in your thinking/ feeling. You wrote that you are sorry to take such a chunk out of my thread, but if it wasn’t for you bringing the thread back to existence, it would be gone, like the other threads I started. None of the threads I started is in existence but this one, and that is because of you.

    I am grateful to you for walking the path along side.

    The abusive inner critic is the legacy of abuse, what keep it going and going until we stop it by walking the healing path, that is by engaging in the process of healing.

    A child is heavily invested in seeing the parents, both or at the least one of the two as good and strong and capable even if he/she is bad, weak and incapable. When you heal and feel your matador-strength, you let go of this false viewing of the parent. It is a good thing you view your father differently: it means you have confidence in your own strength.

    Regarding the “happy ending” fantasy you mentioned in your first paragraph: I thought about this a day or two ago, following communication with you. There is this fantasy only a child can come up with, that if this or that happens, then All-will-be-good. But good for a child is like a picture from a fairy tale book: ALL good, complete and eternal bliss. I am finding out that that fantasy will always be just that, fantasy: there is no re-do. I am never going to be that child with wide eyes, not knowing yet about that deep hurt and betrayal. That child saw magic in the future: perfect safety.

    I cannot be that child again so I cannot enjoy that happiness I so wanted then.

    I can’t verbalize this clearly enough. As I wrote I just started thinking about this a few days ago. There is more there.

    I am glad we are corresponding and I will continue for as long as you are willing.



    Hi anita,
    Sorry I have been so quiet recently. My laptop broke, then I was out of the country for two weeks break. I’m all back together again now though.

    My inner matador has been taking good care of me since we last spoke. I really think he is a master stroke in my healing picture. On more than one occasion recently, when I started to feel overwhelmed, visualising the matador-in-me gave me space to take a second look at the situation. Being able to side-step the initial emotional wave which headed my way allowed me to react more calmly and more appropriately. I think this is something I will get better at over time and I look forward to practising my new skill.

    I hope things are going well with you on your journey.



    Dear Eris:

    Glad you are back on the path, walking alongside me. I am experiencing less fear recently than I used to. More mindful/ paying attention.

    I like what you did when you started feeling overwhelmed, visualizing the matador in you. And I agree, you will get better at it with practice and time, as is true for any skill.

    Glad to have you here, on this thread anytime, no schedule requirements for you to “check in” with me. Anytime you feel like it, anytime that might be helpful to you…



    Hi anita,
    I hope you are well.
    I’ve been away on a trip and getting on with life. My matador has been travelling with me and I think we make a good team. I experience less fear these days but interestingly, now that I have learned to sidestep those emotional blows that used to floor me so easily, I have identified another challenge. I need to learn to stop sidestepping things that I should confront and deal with. Given my history with my mother it is no surprise that I associate dealings with authority figures of any sort with deep pain and humiliation. As a rational adult I know that not everyone is out to hurt me, but the child still quakes in her boots and tends to run away to avoid being hurt.
    My matador is good at helping me deal with the fear, but I need to remember to stand firm when I should deal with issues.

    It is certainly an interesting journey along this healing path. Thank you for inspiring me to start along it.



    Dear Leslie and matador:

    Indeed the two of you are a good team. Please continue to travel together day after day. When dealing with authority figures, practice every time, take every opportunity facing an authority figure and use it to practice looking the person in the eyes, standing tall, keeping your voice calm. Keep calming your child inside as you do that, telling her how well she is doing. Do this even though your heart may be racing and you are dizzy because of adrenaline rushing, the chemical reactions involved in the preparations to fight or run.

    As you practice and build trust in yourself to behave courageously although afraid, the next time and the next, you will be less afraid because you will be trusting yourself, through experience, to endure the fear, the distress, and function well anyway.

    Good to have you back here, both of you!


    Gary R. Smith

    …. I am welcoming you, dear reader, to comment about if and how what I post here applies to you in your life.

    {{What I am noticing very recently is that I am not feeling the need to micro manage myself as before. I don’t need to micro manage my person or my healing like I did before, including overly thinking. There is a healing process in nature. Plants and animals and all living things get injured and then they heal. They do not choose to heal, it just happens. Just as an injured tree does not manage or micro manages its healing, it is not sensible that I do. Not anymore. I can relax into this natural process while I keep practicing insight and skills.}}

    This is perfect for all the over-thinkers. I include myself, and have been on a similar journey of letting go of control, relaxing into trust and practicing insight and skills.

    {{I am also noticing that I am better able to comfort myself, to pay myself positive, kind, gentle attention. I realized I did pay attention to myself all along, only negative attention. This is why my child within was so anxious, I paid her bad, abusive attention. There is a difference. I didn’t know any difference. I am new at this.}}

    Beautiful, Anita.

    May I share the insights and skills that have been most potent for me? I repeat these silently and aloud through the day, feeling them. They return me from drifting into thoughts of the past and projections of the future into the present moment, remind me that there is an original design (such as the healing process of nature) and that opening my heart to give and receive is a choice. I have found that while acceptance is generally beneficial, being authentically grateful for what is — even for the things I have aversion or resistance towards — is super self-empowering. With all my practice, I still miss opportunities for shifting from what hinders to what nurtures and supports — but I catch it earlier and often am able to make the shift after realizing my inner contraction. There was an occurance of this just yesterday, when I realized I contracted towards others due to unconsciously trying to control the situation. I placed blame on others, making the contraction more binding. At first, pride and self-righteousness blocked me from taking self-responsibility. But when I saw it and let go of control and took 100% responsibility, the softening and expansion of my experience was richly rewarding.

    Thank you for your honest and open notes in this thread, shared for everyone’s benefit. Here are my ‘Ten Insights and Skills’:

    Being the Present Moment

    Being the original design

    Opening the heart to give and receive

    Being grateful for what is

    Listening deeply to what Life is saying

    Acting in the Flow

    Letting go of what hinders

    Embracing what nurtures and supports

    Being the unknown, the mystery unfolding

    Serving the wholeness of life

    • This reply was modified 7 years, 11 months ago by Gary R. Smith.
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