From My Adult Eyes
February 10, 2008
Today I did Family Constellation Work with a group at an agency here in town. Almost every month I decide that this is one "career" I don't need to have anymore—and every month we set a date and I work with people again. I can't seem to help myself.
This work puts me deeply in touch with why we are human, and why we sometimes pretend that we are not. The past week I have been completing the revisions on a book I wrote and published in 1987 called Feeling Good About Feeling Bad. I struggled with whether to let the book die a natural death or whether to breathe new life into it. I'm glad I chose to republish it. One of the key things I have learned from NLP (a lifetime ago) is that unless we stay our current and correct age, we are vulnerable to time traveling and becoming become the person we were at age three . . . or five . . . or fifteen . . . or fifty. The brain is such a wily little character---it will toss us back in an instant. Its only goal is to somehow protect us from old hurts and harmful situations, but it forgets that we have grown since then.
Today I was struck by the merger between my former NLP work and the constellation work. The room was full of brave and wonderful people willing to go to great lengths to gain a stronger position in the world-and with their own dreams and desires. The room was also full of these little ones who flip back to being three or five or ten. My NLP training has taught me to recognize this and help the person gain their right age again so we can work on. It is an odd paradox that a painful history would continue to repeat itself throughout our adult lives---but it doesn't have to.
All of my personal battles have been hard won. I'm fifty-four years old and have birthed and raised three children. These children have now made me a grandmother. I have studied hard-my own patterns and the ways of the world. I deserve to stay my age and to have use of all the resources of every minute of those fifty-four years. I refuse to let my wily brain toss me back to being the shy fifth grader who wore a white sweater all year because she was ashamed/uncertain/uneasy about growing breasts. At the same time, if I leave her dangling back there in my own history, I remain vulnerable to her needs. The solution is simple-take care of her, bring her into my world, and the problem resolves itself.
The solution is also difficult. We must be ever vigilant of the instant we travel to another time and become a younger part. It takes discipline of the mind and body and a huge amount of awareness. Most of the time it happens so fast we are not aware it happened until much later . . . sometimes too late to repair the damage it did.
When I first discovered that very shy part, I realized that she had many sisters in my past. One night I did a quiet meditation and imagined myself walking down a peaceful country road. I stayed my adult self while I walked and called out to the little ones hiding out there in the forest. It was the strangest scene-small, shy girls stepped out from behind trees, out of the long grass, from behind boulders and stepped out onto the road with me. They were wary-they did not trust my commitment to their safety and care, but I remained calm and sure and they began to walk along with me. As their trust grew, they began to dance and play and chatter like little girls will. It was so beautiful it brought tears of relief to my eyes.
And I have never forgotten or abandoned them since.
I hope you have a very heart-filled Valentine Day. Keep your money in your pockets and take care of each other in other, more special ways. Talk to each other, walk with each other, dream with each other-and most importantly, look out there at the future and reach for something with a little jazz, a little pizzazz . . . a bit of zest.