Feeling Relief and So Much More

I’m sharing one reader’s response to one of my blog posts – “Were You Seen, Safe, Soothed, and Secure?”  I’m imagining it will be meaningful for you.  I’m grateful that the reader has given me permission to use it here.

Photo courtesy of Vera Kratochvil
Photo courtesy of Vera Kratochvil

The reader’s words:

I’m in the twenty percent of the attachment model.  As I’ve told you, most of the time my parents didn’t listen to my concerns or give me much individual attention—empathy was lacking. I’ve known this for a long time. My task as an adult is to not dwell on the past but instead focus on the positive gifts from my parents: a strong work ethic and moral compass, a spiritual world view, a practice of honesty, acceptance of personal responsibility for self and others, a love of nature, enjoyment of humor, a belief in the importance of family, and a commitment to compassion for those who suffer. Perhaps it all comes down to ‘Count your blessings’ not ‘Count your deprivations.’

My response:

I’m imagining you’re interested in hearing my perspective, similar and different, from yours.  So, here goes!

I, too, let the ‘adult me’ take in the positive gifts that have been given to me.

I also let the adult part nurture the young part in me that sometimes gets stimulated.  I hold her with the compassion and empathy I didn’t receive as a child.

Does that make sense?

The reader’s response:

I like what you said about the adult part of you nurturing the child part of you.  I too have reactions from my childhood experiences returning now and then that need to be recognized and responded to with compassion.

Thich Nhat Hanh says, “It’s like a mother, when the baby is crying, she picks up the baby and she holds the baby tenderly in her arms. Your pain, your anxiety is your baby. You have to take care of it. You have to go back to yourself, to recognize the suffering in you, embrace the suffering, and you get a relief.”

And in addition to ‘relief,’ I’d like to add that our young part also feels seen, safe, soothed, secure, and LOVED.  As a budding sense of secure attachment develops within ourselves.  And how beautiful is that!

Love, Teresa

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