Each year I pick a symbol and a primary word with one or two secondary words to be the focus of the year. My talisman this year has been dragonflies- wonderful symbolism. My symbol for 2012 is snake or serpent. It came to me and I am discovering more and more why. I thought my primary word for 2012 would be trust but I realized instead I am almost complete with trust. Not surprisingly then I find myself at the 11th gateway or door, being tested to see if I am indeed complete. The universe has kindly supplied me with the prefect test. Sometimes I stand in awe of the perfection of the warp and weft of each of our lives. I was aware of many of the layers that were challenging and healing me. Yet another crucial piece of the puzzle dropped in for me just two days ago. I discover the situation I face now is eerily reminiscent of one that occurred 14 years ago in terms of the feelings it has evoked. At that time I was getting my Master’s in Spiritual and Counseling Psychology. I was doing what was called a trio with a client- me, a counselor- my best friend, and a neutral observer, processing a deep issue. I had reverted to being 5 years old as was not uncommon in these profound sessions. I was speaking in a little girl’s voice. I told my best friend/ counselor that I was certain that if I reveled this deep wound to her, she would leave me. She swore again and again she would never leave me so I told her my secret- one now I honestly don’t even remember yet it terrified me to reveal it as I was so certain if I did, my best friend would leave me. It was so terrifying we decided afterwards to go into the mountains and do an elaborate ceremony to confirm our lasting friendship. We stayed over night and with deep reverence created circles, promised vows, built standing stones and so on to sanctify our undying friendship. We came down from the mountain (anybody see any symbolism here) and from that day forward, she would never again interact with me socially. I panicked. We were in a support group set up by the school as part of the program and thus I was forced to see her twice a month for “support.” I begged the school to release me from that group- they refused. I pleaded with her to explain what happened. She said nothing had happened, she didn’t know what I meant. The year before we had lunch together every single day of graduate school. The next year not once. She never called me and wouldn’t meet me- everything changed overnight. Years later when I was totally neutral, I asked her what happened. She still had no explanation, recollection or memory, and was totally blase about it. I am clear now it was a soul agreement and one that forced me to a very difficult healing, where I learned to stand up for myself instead of look to others for support. It culminated in a dramatic scene the day I got engaged to be married. I was sharing my joy when the group informed me they found me untrustworthy. One member of the group said it was because I had gone to Mexico just when she and I had become friends- I was deliberately being hurtful. One said it was because I had told someone she had gotten divorced- common knowledge I thought yet she considered it breaking confidentiality ( it was about 10 months after the divorce had begun). All pretty bizarre reasons. I felt so crushed and hurt I literally threw myself on the floor in the bathroom for privacy and was hugging the toilet until something inside me said, stand up, know your own Truth, own Yourself. I did and everything changed.
Now something vaguely similar has occurred. My sense is the underlying dynamic is very different yet the outer circumstances feel somehow similar and again activate that old wound. The question I get now is very different from the one I asked then. Then all my attention went to trying to determine why my friend did this and how, if possible I could change the relationship back to the way I preferred. My question to myself now is - where does trust come from? I understand very well where my lack of trust comes from- exploring those dynamics of childhood wounding is a large reason I became a licensed therapist. What I recognize now is how easy it is for me to trust when people behave in ways I find trustworthy. How hard it is when my needs for intimacy, connection, mutuality do not feel met. How easy it is then to project all kinds of meanings that aren't even there. Where is my trust then? I realize that until now my trust has been based on experiencing the people around me as trustworthy, understanding what they mean, feeling the connection is not broken. Again I am a beggar, dependent on how others behave to establish inner trust. I recognize attachment is more or less the opposite of love. This has been so hard for me to understand. Having an adopted daughter, it was all about having her attach. The ideal is to have good attachment in childhood so we can feel safe in our own being. Since almost none of us got that, what then?
If I put my eggs in your basket, I will consciously or unconsciously want to control you, want you to act in ways that meet my needs when perhaps they don’t meet your own. I will never be free. Now of course I want relationships with mutual respect and caring- yet not this unhealthy attachment. This is the wound I intend to heal this year 2011 so that I am open to my new qualities for 2012. I am not sure yet but am playing with power and creativity. Unconditional Love is my life quality so that goes without saying. By freeing myself of attachment, I can trust no matter what the outer circumstances are. I do not need you to act in a way that engenders trust and always tip toes around my particular conditioning. I recognize everyones needs and conditioning are different. I may need to move away from you if I find you truly untrustworthy but I find I not longer tend to attract people who are genuinely untrustworthy. I am certainly getting to this place of trust yet find the universe kindly supplying me with the last crumbs to heal. In this other situation I get how the wounds come from my own perceptions rather than "reality." Somehow beneath the pain and hurt my one year old feels- her wound is that she can not trust without more external evidence she should, since as a child she really needed her caregivers to be trustworthy and they were not- I find a strange trust as the foundation of this circumstance. I trust both of us to honor our soul agreements, I trust that Love lies at the foundation of our connection, I trust mySelf to be there regardless of outcome, I trust that I will find a way to heal this previously unhealed primal inability to trust life, trust mySelf fully, under all conditions. And so it is.