Like many people, I chose a painful life script. Mine was littered with death, loss, abandonment and perceived failure. Your life script may be one of incredible childhood trauma, relationship difficulties, health issues…it doesn’t matter what form our pain script comes in, it can often feel so great that we have no idea how to unravel ourselves from it or indeed to finally let it go.
In my previous blog post Are You Attached to Pain And Suffering? I spoke about how depression and darkness were so much more familiar and comforting to me, to the point where the secondary benefits of my pain script far outweighed how I believed happiness or life contentment could be. I continued to play my story of challenge because the alternative of love, freedom, joy, positive relationships was far scarier than my current painful comfort zone.
What I also discovered was that the protection strategy that was supposed to keep me safe from painful loss was creating an ongoing despair and pain of loss anyway. I also realised through my podcast Are You Frightened To Let Go Of Loved Ones? that I finally had to face my fear of death, not of my own, but of those I loved if I was to ever let go of protecting myself from loss, which not only wasn’t working, but was also limiting my life on a huge scale.
So today I wanted to continue this journey, so that those of you who are facing a similar journey and who want to finally start to make changes can do so, knowing that you are not alone.
Releasing the old script is not a walk in the park
What I have discovered is that while it is really good to be aware of the pain-script we are writing over and over again, awareness is only the beginning. If we have been choosing pain to protect ourselves from perceived greater pain (e.g. happiness – could mean loss, love – could mean abandonment or rejection) for most of our lives, it is unrealistic to think that doing a few therapy sessions or simply being aware is going to change a long-term story overnight.
It can take time, so be prepared to be patient, kind and have absolute compassion for your inner child, because your inner child is the one who is going to struggle with this change the most.
Inner child work is very worthwhile, but most of us, if we are honest, may either not do it, or pay it some brief lip service, a meditation here and there, but during a release of an old script, we need to be more consistent.
When I finally started to become aware of my script recently, it hit me like a bolt of lightning, and I imagined a sudden shift and change in my life. However, this was not how it happened. Instead, as I finally face the fear of loss, life threw a great gift in my face. My best friend (who I was most triggered about re. the fear of loss) got sick for the first time in the 16 years we have lived together. I did not expect how triggered this would make me feel.
This past week I have felt drained, in constant anxiety and for the past few days I have been carrying this undigested fear and grief in my stomach that manifested as sickness and extreme nausea. I couldn’t eat, my sleep has been disturbed and if I was to look at myself from a distance, I would say I was exhibiting the symptoms of someone who had just lost a loved one. I have been grieving deeply the loss of someone who is still here, because I needed to, because this was part of me unravelling my own pain script.
So today as my stomach became more uncomfortable, I felt into it and could feel this sadness as a lump in my throat passing on through my heart and into my stomach. I knew I needed to cry, but something was holding me back. The tough thing about my best friend being sick with shingles is that I have been unable to receive my usual comfort, a big long hug from him, because he has been in so much pain, so coping with my grief felt a lonesome process. However, this morning I walked downstairs where he was lying on the sofa with a blanket over him and sat on the puffy cushion on the floor and held his hand and as he knows me well he just witnessed me cry and lovingly rubbed my back.
I worked through some of my script there and then as he dozed off. I looked at his face and I started to talk to my inner children, of all ages, from the toddler and 4 years old up to the teenager. I talked about death, about how we all die. I had to speak to the part of me that had been protecting me from abundance, joy, friendship, opportunities, success for so long because that part of me feared Michael would die if his role as supporter was no longer required and I started to open up my scope for life from one of limitation to one of expansion and freedom.
After talking for some time to my inner child about death, I then talked about the ‘here and now’ and how this is all we have and how it was important to allow myself to open to receive new friends, a community, a new tribe of people, financial freedom now, so I would not need to be so painfully alone when he dies (and who knows, I may die before him even though he is in his 80’s). And I talked about how keeping friends away and the ability to financially take care of myself was no longer working as a protection strategy.
And so, this was part of my script unravelling process today.
You May Not Be Ready and That’s Okay
This process is not for the faint of heart or those who may not be ready.
Sometimes we are simply not ready to let the story go, it serves too much of a purpose for us, an identity. We can receive more attention and love from the old story, because we cannot see how a new story will work out.
So, don’t beat yourself up if you are not ready. Be patient. You will be ready when you’re ready.
Crying and talking to my inner child released some of the extreme sickness and nausea from my stomach, because sometimes our physical issues are emotional issues first and foremost. If we can work through the emotional pain that has manifested in the physical, we can see how much we can change also.
Releasing the Pressure from Letting Attachments Go
One thing my best friend said to me this morning when I said through my tears ‘I don’t know how to let go of my attachment to you’ was ‘Well don’t let it go. You don’t have to right now and resisting this fact is causing you more issues.’
So sometimes we need to accept we can only do so much as we rewrite our stories. We need to accept sometimes that we are not ready to let go of attachments yet. And it is possible that because my life has been protected from friendship, love, joy and abundance for so long…I am not meant to let go of attachment right now. That as I open to receive more and more, it will become easier to release those attachments and to love from a more whole place.
But for now, baby steps.