Hey Pinkies, Joy here. I just experienced one of the most powerful weekends of my life: the end of my year-long integral coaching certification program. I haven’t remotely processed it all so the components of it will come dribbling out slowly over the next … well, lifetime. But one of the first of a million awakenings came on a topic that was remarkably relevant to what we’re up to in this blessed community.
The original hurt
The concept presented was that of narcissistic wounding (don’t be thrown by the adjective; this has nothing to do with narcissism as we commonly know it). I’ll attempt to summarize based upon my limited knowledge of the topic and invite you Pinkies to clarify or add to anything I may have missed.
The notion is that, without exception, all humans become compartmentalized starting in infancy and continuing throughout childhood. Our parents (caretakers/loved ones/tribes) accept certain pieces of us, and in a number of ways make it clear that there are other parts that aren’t okay. Of course none of this is done maliciously or even consciously … it happens with our parents’ understanding of what is necessary for a person to survive and thrive. Regardless, at this young age, we begin to put the unwanted/unacceptable parts away. The idea is similar to the concept of the shadow: whatever parts of us aren’t fully expressed go underground and, in adulthood, become intolerable to us when acted out in another.
To say the very least, this doesn’t feel good. It results in an abandonment of our true selves, and an unconscious knowledge that part of us is not being seen. It’s painful. Excruciating. It is a wound.
There are lots of things we unconsciously do with this wound – we cover it over with our personality (cleverness, humor, defensiveness, shyness, resistance, achievement, whatever). We take it into relationships and join institutions on the hope that the other person or people will heal it. However, the only way it CAN be healed is to be acknowledged. For the person – the WHOLE person – to be recognized, without expectation and without judgment. To be loved without condition. To be regarded. To be SEEN.
There are very few places and relationships in which this happens. Many a human being will go through a whole lifetime carrying their wound.
Sitting in the classroom, hearing all the words we use daily at Owning Pink in a completely different context, I suddenly perked up.
Oh my god.
This is what WE do. This is what WE do. We SEE each other. We see each other for everything we are … the magnificence and the brokenness and the divinity and the warts. The joy and the sorrow. We see all that each of us is and isn’t. We see the whole of each other. And we love one another still. We love one another MORE. I would have jumped up and shrieked at the revelation if it weren’t for my own narcissistic wound holding me back from taking up space or attention or sound waves.
This is what we do.
Duh, Joy, have you been here for the past year? Of course this is what we do. That’s why this works. This is what has attracted Pinkies from all walks of life, from everywhere in the world.
I know, I know, but see … I guess I hadn’t realized how universal this was. How life-and-death vital it is. I didn’t realize that there isn’t one among us who feels completely whole. I didn’t realize HOW powerful it was to be seen until a moment this weekend when another saw me, and I was instantly reduced to racking, cleansing sobs. I didn’t know that being seen leads to newness and rebirth. I didn’t know what courage and fearlessness and connection and power it makes way for. I didn’t know that it redefines aliveness. I didn’t know that being seen kills – at least temporarily – any doubts one may have about oneself.
I didn't know.
Until now, I didn’t know – at least, not with my whole body – that love is all there is.
All any of us needs is to be seen. And loved. And that’s what we do here. With each other. For each other. Every day. We begin to stitch back together the most essential tear in the fabric of our wholeness. We stop the bleeding. We are the saviors of each other.
Thank you, Pinkies, for what you have always done, even if I didn’t know you were doing it. Have no doubt about your power to change things. You already have.
Healing (and much more story to come),
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