For the past few weeks on Wednesdays, I have been blogging about varying things that I have been learning about and reading up on the subjects that most interest me. Today is no different. The avid reader that I am, I am excited to share some of what I have been reading up on. I wanted to touch on the subject of abandonment or feelings of abandonment and rejection that we experience from time to time in our life. I also want to touch on some of the core things going on inside us that pre-disposition us for abandonment patterns throughout life, that leave us feeling like, “Will I ever be good enough?” “Am I lovable?” “Why do the people I love always leave?” or, “why do I feel so empty, like nothing ever fills me?” or “Why do I always doubt myself?”

Chances are, if you wrestle with those questions, you have felt abandoned at some point in your life. I would even hedge a bet that it has occurred more than once, like a repeating cycle, or a record re-playing over and over the same song, because there is a scratch on the record. I know we don’t use records these days, we barely use cd’s anymore, just download it from iTunes on your iPhone or iPad, or whatever the latest MAC technology is offering! But I like the concept, because it is very much true of us. Like the old record player that can’t get past the scratch on the record, and repeats over and over… Much of our life is the same. There is a wound, a scratch per say, an injury incurred in a current or past relationship. And as much as we want, we try so hard to overcome it and be drawn to different types of people, the kind that won’t abandon, or betray or who can actually connect emotionally, but for whatever reason, we keep going through the same issues over and over and over. Different face, same problem, or varying form of abandonment, but nonetheless…it IS abandonment.

I’ve had what I refer to as my fair share of abandonment experiences in life. Perhaps more than my fair share. In fact, I might even go so far as to say, I don’t think my poor little heart can take another fall like that again! I always say of myself, that I am nothing without love. If I stop loving, I have no purpose left on this earth. What happens when you go through something so traumatic that you reach that point? You think… I just can’t handle one more betrayal, one more abandonment… I don’t know if love can survive in my heart, as if the candle inside of you is about to be snuffed out.

I’d say if you have reached that point, as I have, it’s time to learn how to stop going around the same mountain and figure out what’s at the root! It’s time to mend the wounds and fill the holes that just leak and leak every time anything tries to fill it.

There is this one passage of scripture I truly love as I identify with it so well! It goes something like this:

“My People have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug for themselves cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.” Jeremiah 2:13

I like this verse because it reminds me personally that the source of my life does not, nor should not come from a person, but that God, the giver of life, has an abundance of life he lavishly is ready to bestow on me at a moments notice, whenever I allow myself to trust him enough to meet that deep need no one else can perfectly fill. It also reminds me of my independence, and how I go to other things and people to try to fill the empty voids inside my soul. It is no secret that women have a never ending need for connection and intimacy, and we need it constantly, and consume it like we are starving. Why? Because there is a cistern we have dug for ourselves, going to other things and people and places trying to fill the emptiness ourselves. But what we are largely unaware of, is that our cisterns are broken, and cannot hold the water that represents life. It’s sinking out of the cisterns we built for ourselves out of that crack in the cistern into the ground beneath us, leaving us cracked and dry and continually feeling empty, and continually searching for something else to fill us.

Now I know I am mostly speaking on a spiritual level, and it is true that nothing can ever fill us more than that divine connection to our creator, but there are other natural contributors as well. I am a realist. I know we were created to connect deeply, that we were not meant to be alone or abandoned… No wonder solitary confinement is the cruelest of punishments, for no one was meant to be alone. We were made for relationships. But as humans, we are flawed and we can be self-seeking, or wounded ourselves and unable or incapable of being what someone else needs us to be. All kinds of circumstances and backgrounds cause our brokenness in how we connect to each other, injure each other, and break each other’s hearts. It was not meant to be this way.

But the reality we live in is tainted with flawed individuals all trying to connect to each other and find fulfilling and lasting meaningful relationships. Intuitively, we KNOW that is what we were made for, and we search for it our whole lives. Now because we experience trials and errors in our patterns of relating to each other, inevitably, someone is left wounded, abandoned by another from time to time. Hurting people hurt people. It’s just the way it is.

Looking at some possible roots of abandonment, we can often go back to childhood and find an ‘absent parent’, unavailable to the needs of the child, an alcoholic perhaps that neglects the child’s needs due to drunkenness, if not worse, engaging in some form of abuse. Perhaps your parents simply could not figure out how to effectively communicate with each other and the marriage broke down and one parent left, these are real scenarios not to be discarded by pat answers from some holy religious book. But the fact remains, God never meant for us to connect only to Him, but to each other as well. Those needs to connect intimately with others in our life are God-given as well. It was His plan to begin with. But he never desired the pain we experience as a result of living in a broken world. But though we are broken, there is healing, and God generously desires to bandage our wounds. In fact, Jesus not only died on the cross for our sins, he also took all of our wounds and injuries, and sickness on himself too, caring so deeply for us marred by the fallen condition of human nature.

But there is hope! There is light at the end of the tunnel! There is a chance, a real chance to heal, restore, mend the wounds and move on, healed and whole and complete! Believe it or not!

I recently read a book called “The Journey from Abandonment to Healing”, by Susan Anderson. If you have ever felt abandoned, dismissed, washed up or thrown away and discarded like the trash from a significant relationship in you life, tell me if you do not identify with this quote from her book:

“People going through the anguish of love loss often feel that their lives have been permanently altered, that they will never be the same, will never love again. I’m writing to assure you that as devastated as you may be right now, your feelings of despair and hopelessness are in fact temporary, and they are a normal part of grieving over a relationship. In fact, only by grappling with the feeling that your life is over can you begin to rebuild…Anyone who feels this pain is in a legitimate crisis. Many feel as if they have been stabbed in the heart so many times that they don’t know which hole to plug up first. But these overwhelming feelings do not in any way imply that you are weak, dependent, or undeserving. In spite of the intensity of your feelings, you are still the competent, responsible person you thought you were. Your breakup, with all of its emotional excess, has not diminished you. In fact, being able to feel so deeply is a testament to your strength and tenacity. Only by giving yourself over to your feelings can you find your way out of them.”

We cannot simply ignore the pain and try and go on. It goes with us whether we deny it or not. In fact, studies show the importance of not resisting your emotions, because the more you resist dealing with them, the more intense they get, the more deeply ingrained they become and begin to produce toxins that harm us further. We were meant to let it go, by acknowledging it, feeling it, releasing it, and allowing ourselves to be lifted by peace through the process of time. Does time heal all wounds? I don’t know. It depends on what you do with it. What I do know for sure, is that God is able to heal the brokenness inside us, and there is a part we can take to participate in the work of healing as well. This blog is looking like another two part series, so stay tuned for next Wednesday’s completion on the things I’m learning about abandonment and the ways to bind up those wounds, pour healing balm on them, and be lifted to a place of resilience and healing!

If you’d like to look at a great resource, check out my one-on-one Trauma Recovery Program which will help bring control back into your life!

God bless!

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If you have any questions on today’s blog or would like help on taking steps forward, I’d love to hear from you!  Post a comment below or visit my website and register for your Complimentary Strategy Session to discuss your situation in more detail.

Katie Meilleur – Certified Life Coach

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