DANNY: A FAIRY TALE FOR GROWNUPS

Time for another fairy tale… This one is about a little boy called Danny. It could so easily be about a little boy called Sam or Edward, or a little girl called Sarah or Katie. However, in our story, just now, it is a little boy called Danny.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then I will begin…

There was once a little boy called Danny. He was a very lucky and much loved little boy who, from the moment he was born, received nothing but praise. And we all know how very important it is to receive praise. Danny was praised for being such a good baby, who slept through the night very quickly. He was praised for never being too demanding, and his mummy would tell all her friends how, if he would have a temper tantrum – at least, that’s what she called it – when he woke in the night, having not long been fed, or was a little bit damp, she could just ignore him for a while and he would stop crying and let her go back to sleep.

Danny’s mummy badly wanted a good baby, because she had been quite worried about how she might cope if he needed her too much. Danny’s mummy had a great need for peace and quiet, and for things to be predictable and steady, so she had been quite worried in case having a baby might shake things up too much.

As Danny grew into a toddler, he could not help noticing that there were days when his mummy cried a lot, and others when she seemed very sad. Sometimes, his daddy, who wasn’t there a lot of the time, would come home and shout a lot, and make his mummy cry some more. There was a lot of sadness. Danny started to try to work out how he could protect his mummy and look after her. He needed her to be ok, because she was his safety, and so he began to realize, in a simple sort of way, that it was his job to make sure that she was happy.

So Danny taught himself how to be extremely patient, very considerate, and to never make a fuss. Even when he felt like making a fuss, because he felt cross or upset or something did not seem fair. It did not matter if he was not feeling fine, just as long as his mummy was not sad or crying. Danny became very good at this. He learned how to notice when his mummy needed a hug, or a tissue, or a biscuit, or to borrow his teddy. And he also learned to behave very carefully when his daddy was home, so that he would not make things any worse by causing an argument or by making his daddy shout. Danny knew by now, so clearly, that his job was to keep things safe, and to keep everybody happy. He didn’t know any more whether he himself was happy or sad, cross or frightened, worried or upset. He had stopped noticing that a long time ago. But he was extremely good at doing this most important – indeed, vital – job of keeping everyone else happy.

When Danny got to school, he also impressed the teachers with how patient and kind and protective he was. He always seemed to know what was the right thing to do at any given moment. He would notice when other children were sad, and would spend his break times keeping them company, walking around the playground with them, arm around their shoulders. When Danny’s mummy and daddy would go to parents’ evenings, they would come away glowing with pride at all they were being told about their little boy. They learned that he was a monitor for this, and a monitor for that. They learned that he had even organized a litter patrol in his break times, when he would go round picking up all the litter in the playground that other children had dropped. He got a special award for that. The teacher even said – and this made his mummy and daddy exceptionally proud – that he was so well behaved in class that often, if you didn’t actually look up and see him there, sitting right at the back quietly getting on with his work without a fuss, you could even forget that he was there at all.

Danny’s mummy and daddy thought this was just wonderful, and congratulated each other on what a successful job they had done of bringing him up.

There was a tiny rocky patch when Danny hit his teens. He went through a stage of liking certain things that his parents didn’t approve of, wanting to wear clothes his parents didn’t approve of, listening to music his parents didn’t approve of, and wanting to hang out with friends in a way that his parents didn’t approve of. He tried hard in his way to do these things, but one day his mum said something that frightened him to his core. She said, ‘ After all I’ve done for you, you treat me like this! I can’t stand the sight of you. You’ve broken my heart. Go away, I can’t bear to be around you.’ And finally, Danny realized the truth of things.

He realized that if you want people to love you, to approve of you and want to be around you, you must always do what they want you to do, and be what they want you to be. The fear of it being any other way, of losing his mother and father’s love and approval, was so great, and was so paralyzing, that in that moment the course of the rest of his life felt like it was set. He sat on the floor in his bedroom, in the dark, and pondered the most important truth of his young life.

Then, one day, Danny looked at himself in the mirror and could see, by the way his body had changed, that he had become a grown up. He did not feel any different inside, but it was clear from his body that he had, indeed, grown up. He realized that he was now expected to go out into the world, get a good job, find himself a girlfriend, buy a house, settle down, have a family, save for his old age, and live his life patiently and contentedly, and not want anything for himself or make a fuss.

He tried very hard to do this, because he wanted to make his parents really proud. Especially since he had caused them so much stress and in his teens. But then something terrible started to happen. Something really terrible. He had never experienced anything like it in his life before. He found that he started to feel really angry inside. Explosively angry. Utter rage. And worse still, he found that this explosive rage would leak out suddenly when he was not expecting it. With his girlfriend, with his work colleagues, with total strangers in the street, or people serving at counters, or in cafes. And it was not a straightforward, clean sort of anger. It was nasty, mocking, and sarcastic. He found that he sometimes just wanted to hurt. He knew it was cruel, that the words once out of his mouth could never be unsaid. But he was terrified to discover that he simply did not care! He was not safe anywhere. He was a really bad person. Such a bad person. How had it come to this?

Suddenly, he found himself running. Running from it all. From the nastiness, from the hurt, from the confusion. From the mess. Most of all, from the mess. And then, as he ran, he found the roadway turning into a path, and then the path into a grassy track, the ground suddenly soft under his feet instead of hard and jarring. The air smelt different. Cleaner, lighter, like suddenly he could breathe. He bent over, doubled up, catching his breath in huge, deep gasps. It felt like he had been running for miles and miles. He wanted to stop. Just to stop. For it all to stop!

From bending double, gasping for air, he sank down, knees bent, and knelt on the ground. He found himself looking round. He had no idea how he had arrived at this place, but he seemed to be in a forest. He could smell the richness of the slightly damp ground he was kneeling on, and realized he found it surprisingly soothing, refreshing, and comforting. Sunlight found its way here and there down to the forest floor from high up in the canopy, and in one spot, where the sun threw down a full beam onto an outcrop of rocks, he noticed an old woman. She did not appear to be aware of him at first. She was weaving something in her hands, and seemed totally absorbed. However, he realized that he also knew, somehow and somewhere deep down inside, that this woman knew he was there with every fiber of her being. She was just waiting.

He rather liked this feeling; it was new. No one had ever waited for him like this before. They had always been expecting, never waiting. He cleared his throat. It was the way he had learned to attract attention without making too much of a fuss. It was being polite. To his surprise, the old woman appeared not to notice. She just carried on weaving whatever she was weaving with those nimble fingers of hers.

Danny found himself with a dilemma. Should he clear his throat again? Should he just wait? Should he just tiptoe quietly away? He decided he would clear his throat again. A little louder this time. Not too loud, just a little. He felt a strange pull to this old woman, though he had no idea why. He just knew he was meant to be here, in this place, at this moment, and that she had known he was coming and had been waiting for him.

The old woman clearly registered the second throat clearing. She inclined her head slightly towards him, as if acknowledging the sound, but still made no attempt to speak. She was listening though. Most definitely really listening. She was aware of everything that was going on, outside of him, but also inside.

Then she startled him. She laid whatever she was weaving down on the ground. And then slowly, purposefully, she lifted her head and looked straight at him. She had the most amazing eyes. They were dark, deep pools of fluid wisdom and knowing. She knew, and even though she knew, it was okay. He could not get his head around that one. Even though she knew, it was still ok. Those dark, deep pools held his, and he found himself letting go. Oh of so much. The eyes saw and absorbed and waited.

Suddenly, it felt a bit uncomfortable, like the shared gaze had gone on for just a tiny bit too long, and he broke it to look at the ground and to stroke his hand across the grass and moss where he was still kneeling. The old woman spoke.

‘My child,’ she said. It was a voice both gentle and strong, quite compelling.

He did not know why she had called him that. As far as he was aware, they had never met before. ‘Who are you?’ he asked.

‘My child.’ Again, those strange words. They made no sense… and yet, they did. ‘What have you come back for?’

It was getting really weird now. What was this about coming back? He had not been away. Had he? ‘What do you mean?’ Danny asked. He was both intrigued and nervous. He wanted to understand. Why had he come back? Why? The old woman looked at him again. Her gaze was steady, unwavering, and kindly. She could see so much more than he could, and yet she was waiting for him to know it. What had he come back for? What?

Then, he knew. Suddenly, he knew. Oh, the realization was so very wonderful. He could hardly contain his laughter. And then, all in a rush, he could not contain it. It exploded out of him, just like so much anger and rage had exploded out of him for months and months. And once he had started, he found he could not stop. The laughter burst out of him. Loud, hysterical laughter, as if he had just heard the funniest joke of his entire life. At first, it was a man’s laughter, loud and deep, then it became a belly laugh, then a boy’s giggles and eventually it had become the most joyous peel of laughter he had ever heard. And astonishingly, it was coming out of him!

The old woman’s eyes were merry, twinkling, encouraging. She smiled the most wonderful smile, and grinned as he laughed and laughed. And my goodness, how he laughed. He could suddenly see it all, and could feel a lightness as it all lifted from his shoulders. The weight of a lifetime.

‘It never was my job, was it?’ He finally managed to speak, and his voice was steadier. ‘All that… stuff… it was never my job.’

‘No wonder you were angry, my child. You have taken so much on yourself that was never yours to have to take. And you have lost your joy.’ And then softly, almost in a whisper, ‘ And that, as you have now realized, is what you came back for.’ She smiled, and held his gaze again, raising her eyebrows as she saw his recognition, saw it all sinking in and fitting into place, and nodded gently.

‘And now,’ the old woman said, in a tone that said they were both ready, ‘there is fun to be had and adventures to go on! So you’d better go back so you don’t miss them!’ Then, such a magical chuckle, like a thousand tinkling bells, and the old woman threw her hands up in the air and laughed and laughed.

When she finally stopped, Danny was standing in front of her, holding out his arms. He had no idea whether or not this was ok, but he rather sensed that she would know that this was the most spontaneous thing he had ever done in his life. And that she would not shame him. The old woman’s face melted into the most radiant, beaming smile, and she stood up and held her arms wide open. And when he sank into those arms, into the most complete and satisfying embrace he had ever known, he felt a strange remembering, of a place he had known before, of being held like this before, of being known and loved so unconditionally, just like this, before. He remembered!

It was the old woman who broke the embrace and, with tears in her eyes, stroked his cheek, and planted a kiss there. ‘And now,’ she smiled, ‘it really is time.’ The air all around shimmered with a strange light and, before his eyes, Danny watched as the old woman whose embrace he had just felt so tangibly seemed to become a thousand sparkling fireflies, and merge into the brightness that now lit up the entire clearing.

‘Until next time!’ the tinkling voice laughed. ‘Be sure to have lots of adventures! I’ll be always sharing the fun!’

And that is exactly what Danny did.

@ Janny Juddly 2015
(from “Dancers Amongst The Stars”)

 

DO YOU TRUST LIFE?

If you were asked if you trust life, I wonder what your answer would be. The answer might be immediately obvious to you, because the feeling that rises in you in response to that question is very clear. Alternatively, it might take you a while to ponder and consider. It might be a new thought, something you have not ever really considered before. Take your time, and think about it.

Do you say yes, because you trust that life is always bringing you exactly what experience you need in any given moment? That you know all is well no matter what is happening right now, or no matter how it might appear? Or do you say no, and that you feel that everything is completely unknown and unpredictable, and you do not like the feeling of being out of control? Maybe you talk about Fate. You might say that Fate seems to deal some people a good hand and others a not so good one. That it is the luck of the draw? Do you perhaps say that most of the time you do trust life, but you do find it comforting to seek out psychic readings and other methods of seeing into the future because it’s nice to know what the future holds? Just to be sure? Or maybe something different entirely?

It is an important question, because the way we view life determines how we engage with our life, and the way we choose to live it. It leads us, for instance, to either feel that we can jump in wholeheartedly to the opportunities life presents us with, because everything will be okay. Or it leads us to feel we want to hold back and to see guarantees before we make a move. Or it leads us to live in ‘if only’, and look on through the window at life going on for others, wishing we could go inside and join them but never quite finding the courage to do that.

Our response to that question also determines how we deal with troubles or apparent setbacks. I suspect many of us live our lives in more fear than we would maybe easily acknowledge to ourselves. Even those of us who would say that we were on a spiritual journey of self-discovery, and who were coming to realize just how much we influence the particular reality in which we exist, have a wobble now and then.

We like the words, ‘things are always working out for me’ and ‘you are always exactly where you need to be,’ that we hear so often amongst ‘enlightened’ friends and spiritual writers and teachers. We like the words a lot, and we would love to believe that they are true wholeheartedly. Really, we would. And we say them religiously day after day, several times a day, as affirmations or mantras. We try incredibly hard! But our history and experience of life to date seems to so easily contradict that. And so, perfectly understandably, we get scared.

I want to say ‘perfectly understandably’ because this is not about getting you to beat yourself up for your fears. Rather, it is about suggesting that, even in that place of fearfulness, you are doing what you came here to do. You are completely on track. This is not the way it seems. How about we go and visit the big picture for a few moments, and remind ourselves why we are here. Why we came.

We came here, as sparks of Source energy, to experience life in a human, physical form. We came for expansion. Source is always expanding. Forget anything you have heard about ‘it should be easy.’ That is just going to make you beat yourself up and believe you are getting it wrong when you hit those times when it is not feeling particularly easy. And sometimes it just is that way.

So what is this thing we refer to as expansion? How does Source expand? Why does Source need to expand at all? Source expands because that is the nature of love. And Source is Love. Source expands through the love and compassion which experiencing the whole range and extent of human joy and pain, fear and excitement, tension and release brings. It can be no other way. And you are Source energy, and so you came to do that.

Knowing that changes things a lot, if we allow it to! When we get fearful while looking through the eyes of our ego – the bit of us that holds us together while we’re getting used to how this ride goes – we can start to believe that life is dangerous and unpredictable, and we retreat from the greater truths we could get in touch with if we kept our hearts open, instead of shutting them down.

Those greater truths include the fact that we all chose the key elements of what experiences we would welcome in this lifetime, as Source energy, in the service both of our own expansion and the expansion of All That Is. We did not choose how we would react or respond – that is the bit that is about expansion. That is the journey and the challenge and the adventure of this lifetime. And it is easier once we embrace it rather than fighting it. Because then we can say, and understand the enormity of it, ‘everything is always working out for me’ or ‘I am exactly where I need to be.’

We can say that because we have grasped firmly that we are an integral and essential part of everything else, that we are not doing this separately or on our own, but as part of a web of energy and expanding love that never ceases to become more. We can then take fully on board that, as Source energy, we are on a mission. We are on the leading edge. And our journey, and what we choose to do with it, is being shared by more loving light energy and supportive presence than we can ever imagine, and that there is more profound wisdom and extraordinary power available to us in any given moment than we can begin to comprehend from this earthly perspective.

We can then begin to understand that those statements we say so readily are actually the statements of a powerful creator who has chosen to have a complex and expansive and fully human experience. A real experience, a full experience, an unconditional one. In Love and with compassion and loads and loads of help and support. And once we get that, everything changes. We have moved from powerless unwilling victim to powerful and willing creator.

And our relationship with Source shifts perspective too. We no longer expend endless effort trying to work out what prayers or rituals or affirmations we can use to persuade Source to make it different. We stand tall and know that we are a trailblazer, that we came because we were strong enough to play this role, see this out, make good sense of it and use it, grow in understanding and compassion, and joy and love through it, and mindfully, as co-creators, give that back to Source as glorious expansion. Because we are Source and the expansion is who we are becoming.

Do you see how different that is? Do you feel the excitement of the enormity of it! Can you feel the expansion of it already? So how about we go forward knowing that this is who we are, why we are, all we are? How about we remember where we came from and where we go back to, and who we remain all the time in between? How about we go forward in our full power, knowing all we have, all that surrounds us, all that is loving us and supporting us, sharing the wisdom and strength of all that is breathing every breath with us and looking through our eyes with us every single step we take, and expanding with every emotion we feel and every thought and perception we have?

How about we just do that!

@ Janny Juddly 2015
(from “Dancers Amongst The Stars”)

 

HOW OUR MEMORIES CREATE THE STORY OF OUR LIFE, AND WHY THAT MATTERS

Have you ever noticed how the memories we create are exactly the ones we need?

How the themes of our lives are driven by those same memories?

Maybe this seem like a strange way to put it.

But let’s just suppose that the memories we spend a lifetime trying to get past are actually somehow memories we have purposely chosen to create.

As a psychotherapist, who is also aware that our journey is a spiritual one, that’s exactly how I reckon life goes.

Let me show you what I mean:

The other day, a large envelope arrived for me in the post.

I knew what it was, because I could see the hand-written address and I could feel the contents through the envelope.

It was the photograph my uncle had promised to send me when we’d spoken at my Dad’s celebration of life service just after Christmas.

Now, here I was, holding the envelope in my hand and I could feel the dread gripping me.

Memories.

I didn’t want to touch that envelope or even to go near it. Because I knew what it would bring.

I sat for many minutes holding the envelope in my hands. I told myself there was no rush.

Then suddenly I was tearing it open.

I put aside my uncle’s letter and the other one or two additional photos he’d included, and then—there it was.

There it was.

A photo. A photo of the farm. The farmhouse. The hut.

Memories.

Suddenly, I’m no longer a 60-year-old woman. I’m about five or six-years-old and my world is about to be turned upside down.

I’ve had another tantrum, screaming and kicking out and refusing to have anything to do with this harsh woman with the sarcastic tongue and rough hands who has lived in our house since my mother was made to go and live in that house, there, just up the road.

I’m rarely allowed to go and visit her. But if I fetch a chair, I can peer out my bedroom window and can watch her hanging washing out on the line or working in the garden.

My whole being feels her absence. There is a pain that never goes away or even eases and my rage at her having gone away is limitless.

My father’s torn, that much I know. I watch him struggling to pacify this woman who seems to hate me.

He tries to not pay me too much affection when she’s around, because it makes her sneer and say cruel things.

It is just like she sneers at me when I ask if I can be taken up the road to visit my mother.

She makes me feel that my love for my mother is wrong and somehow hurts her. That it isn’t allowed.

That’s why I have these tantrums and why my rage is so great.

Today, after I’ve had yet another tantrum, he takes me by the hand and walks me around to the hut on the farm.

The cross woman is shouting after us as we walk, taunting him with words I don’t yet understand.

Sometimes I worry it’s all too much for him. I seem to have a sense that his heart is breaking, I have that often, but I never know why.

We go in and he closes the door.

Suddenly, the world and its angry shouting is gone, and he’s pulling out a chair, lifting me onto his knee, and telling me that he has something important to tell me.

He says he should have told me before and that he is sorry that he hasn’t. He says it might have prevented a lot.

The tone of his voice is so serious and filled with much sadness. I’m gripped with the fear that he’s going to tell me that he’s going to die.

I’m used to loss, convinced by now that nothing good ever remains, that what he says next will come as no surprise to me.

I’m cold and shivering. My entire being feels like it is made up of only loss and longing.

And it is all somehow connected to the tantrums and the rage inside me.

But then he tells me, with infinite tenderness, a story that I couldn’t have imagined in a million years.

Holding me tightly against his chest, and with tears in his eyes, he tells me who I really am. And who the woman just up the road really is.

He tells me that she’s not my mother, but his. He tells me that she brought me up but isn’t my mother.

He says that my mother died six days after I was born and that it broke his heart.

He says that he’d always been afraid that something bad would happen.

My mind is going numb.

I feel as the cold reaches deeper and deeper into me. It is hard to hear his words as he describes how proud she was of me, that my second name was also her name and that she had loved me and named me.

He describes getting a phone call from the hospital saying he needed to come and how a cold fear had gripped him upon hearing those words. That he’d known it wasn’t normal.

I find myself hearing about that cold fear and wondering if it is the same as mine. My teeth are chattering now and even the warmth of his body is bringing no relief.

He’s telling one story, his story. But, I realize mine is different now from his.

My head is reeling from the catastrophic news that the woman who had loved me through babyhood and toddlerhood isn’t my mother.

She’s not my mother.

All I’ve thought and believed and held on to, that one bit of comfort and certainty, is now gone.

She’s not my mother.

She looked after me for him.

I no longer have a mother.

Everything I believed about my world has just disintegrated!

Suddenly I need to run. Just to run. I scramble off his knee and run for the fresh air.

It’s icy out there, but that doesn’t matter. It’s icy inside me too.

I run and run, across the yard, past the cattle pens, past the hay barn, through the gate and out into the fields.

I’m both numb and exploding with feeling, but I can’t reach it to find what that feeling is.

I want to explode into thousands of pieces. I want for this fear and grief and pain and hate and rage to break.

I can’t hold it or carry it any more. And suddenly, I’m sobbing so hard and deep I’m coughing and choking as I sob, almost unable to get my breath.

I long to go to this woman who was my mother and tell her. But I no longer know what to say.

And then, just as suddenly, I’m back in my bedroom, a woman of 60 feeling still like a little girl of five.

And so I wrote my life’s work in this story which was my beginning:

Through my early loss of key figures.

The breaking of trust.

The confusion of who it was okay to love and who it wasn’t.

The longing for what I couldn’t have even though it felt vital to my existence.

The experiences of being hated, yet never understanding why.

The desire to run whenever pain threatened.

As a powerful creator I had written it prior to incarnating, so that it could create the themes I’d work out in this lifetime:

To find my way back to remembering how to trust, be close without the fear of losing getting in the way, to overcome the rage at abandonment and betrayal, and to love and give without fear.

My beginnings, just as all of our beginnings do, set the scene and the plot which I was going to live out as my story this lifetime.

But that story is just that—a story.

And that is true for every single one of us in our own unique and sacred way.

We create the perfect conditions for our story, one that will provide us with powerful memories.

These then direct the themes that will play out as the dramas of this lifetime.

And when we really understand this truth, we can let go of the person we’ve believed ourselves to be.

And the people we’ve believed others to be, too.

And finally, we can stand in our own power as a magnificent being of light and love who  has created a powerful human experience in the service of the expansion of All That Is.

Oh, the applause, if you could only hear it!

What a journey! What an adventure!

How amazing are we!

@ Janny Juddly 2016

The Therapist in my Pocket

MOLLY AND THE WISE WOMAN: A SPIRITUAL FABLE FOR GROWNUPS

I want to tell you a fairy tale—for grown-ups.

If the idea of a fairy tale makes you want to stop reading and walk away, then you need this more than you know!

It’s about a grown up who’s forgotten how to be a child:

Molly grew up learning how to be good. She learned to be kind and patient and to think about everyone else, and everyone loved her for it.

But once she was grown up, Molly realized that although she knew how to be good, she didn’t know how to be happy.

A friend suggested to Molly that she read some self-help books, and so she went out and bought some. The books told her to write loving letters to herself, and to look at herself in the mirror and tell herself that she was beautiful.

Molly tried hard to do this.

However, every time she sat down to write herself a loving letter, she could not think of what there was to love. Every time she looked into her eyes in the mirror, and tried to say aloud the words the books suggested, the words felt hollow, ridiculous, like they were meant for someone else.

Someone more worthy. More lovable.

One day, Molly found herself walking through a forest. It was a path she had never come across before. In fact, she’d no idea how she got there. She had just closed her eyes, found herself listening to herself breathing and becoming very still. And that had brought her here.

As she walked along the mossy path through the trees, she noticed a Wise Woman. The woman was just sitting there, looking at her—almost expectantly. She decided there was nothing to lose. And so she went towards the Wise Woman.

As she came closer, she could feel a strange energy, tingling through her body. In an inexplicable way, she knew it was an energy that she and the Wise Woman shared. She knew they were meant to meet here.

The Wise Woman looked at her and waited for her to speak.

“I want to find happiness,’”Molly said, “I don’t know what to do to be happy.”

The Wise Woman said a strange thing, “My child, what do you need?”

Molly was puzzled, and felt a bit cross.

Firstly, the Wise Woman had called her a child. And she was not a child. She was a grown up. Could the Wise Woman not see that?

Also, the Wise Woman had asked her what she needed! How useless was that! Didn’t she realize that she’d come here to understand what to do, not to be asked what she needed?

The Wise Woman saw her reaction, and just smiled. And waited. Molly realized that she was being invited to say something. So she thought hard, and then she said, “I need to stop needing so much.”

The Wise Woman considered, head on one side for several moments.

Then she asked, “What is it that you need, my child, that you feel is too much?”

Molly felt stupid, like she was being criticized, got at.

Why did the Wise Woman keep asking the same question? 

Then something clicked. She gasped. She looked at the Wise Woman, and into her kindly, knowing eyes. The Wise Woman smiled and nodded. And waited.

Molly saw a depth of knowing in those eyes. Somehow, they gave her courage. She took a deep breath, and began:

“I need to be loved,” she said, almost in a whisper.

She looked at the Wise Woman for approval, but the Wise Woman just smiled, met her gaze, and waited.

‘” need to be listened to…and heard.”

Again—the waiting, and the encouraging smile.

Suddenly, she knew she could say it all. All of it. All the needing and the wanting, the longings she had kept in for so long:

‘”I need to say what I’m feeling. I need to be allowed to feel what I feel. I need to not feel guilty, or ashamed, or bad. I need to know I’m okay. Just as I am. I need to love me!’”

The words were starting to tumble out now. ‘

“I need to laugh out loud, to be noisy,to enjoy myself, to say yes, to say no—to choose.”

The Wise Woman still met her eyes.

Molly stopped and felt the connection. It was so profound it took her breath away.

Then she spoke, very quietly, almost lovingly. The compassion in her voice was so soothing, such a relief, like balm on a sore wound.

“My child, you have always needed to do those things. They were always yours. To experience them was the reason you came. But you had forgotten, and now you have remembered.”

‘When we fall into a place of forgetting, we forget our joy, our power, our magnificence, our freedom. And in its place, we learn shame. You have learned to feel ashamed for being you, my child.

You must forgive yourself.’” 

Molly thought and thought, but could not understand.

“I don’t understand,” she said.

The Wise Woman nodded. It was clear that she did not need any further explanation that she knew what Molly meant.

“When we forget who we are, and why we came here, we start to believe we have got things badly wrong, have done things that make us bad. We feel terrible shame. We stop being able to be ourselves, still less to love ourselves. Instead, there is only shame.

You have to forgive yourself for forgetting, my child. For allowing shame to take over. For hating and despising yourself.”

Molly thought about the Wise Woman’s words. At first, they sounded extreme but, the more she pondered, the more she noticed a growing sense inside her that said the words were true.

“What must I do?” she asked

“What would you like to do?” the Wise Woman asked her.

Softly. Like she, too, was holding her breath.

Slowly, meaningfully, Molly stood up. “I would like to laugh, and shout, and dance, and run and splash in puddles! I want to say it like it is—no more pretending, I want to choose, to change, to be free—to be me!”

She was shouting now. And grinning. And laughing. Arms wide, head thrown back.

Suddenly, she became aware that the Wise Woman was no longer there. She felt bereft, as if a part of her was missing.

“Where are you?” she cried out, “Don’t leave me now. Not now. I’ve only just begun to know you.”

From somewhere, she couldn’t tell if it was inside or outside of her, she felt a voice. As it spoke, it seemed to vibrate all through her. The air around her sparkled and shimmered.

“You haven’t lost me, my child. You can never lose me, nor I you. We are forever one, always were, always will be. You need only listen, and you will remember.”

Then she heard a peal of laughter—bright, effervescent, full and joyous. It was like a thousand bells tinkling. The air was full. Full of what, Molly could not tell, but somehow she felt a remembering stir in her.

“But for now, beloved child of mine, you need to go and jump in some puddles!”

So she did!

Happy adventures!

 

@ Janny Juddly 2015

The Therapist in my Pocket

“WHY OUR POINT OF PAIN IS ALSO OUR POINT OF FREEDOM: HOW TO DEAL WITH PAINFUL MEMORIES”

 

Dear Therapist in my Pocket, how do I stop feeling this way?

Emma’s email pings into my inbox, and I can feel all the desperation and confusion that comes with it. I also know that Emma’s on her path, and that this means she’s ready.

Emma’s in awful pain. She can’t get over her partner leaving her, even though she wanted him to go. She can’t understand why she feels this way. He’s cheated on her lots of times, he lies to her, he makes promises and then breaks them. He says he loves her and wants to be with her. She takes him back. He does it again.

Last time she decided she’d finally had enough. She knows it’s the right thing. She doesn’t want him back. But the pain and fear and anger are so overwhelming she can find no peace. And all the while she feels humiliated and ridiculous and weak.

Emma’s on her way. A divine being become fully human in order to expand all that is. She’s written the story she came to write; now she’s ready to edit it. Just as she always came here to do.

To start with, let’s remind her of some important things about feelings. She knows this stuff from her higher perspective, but good old amnesia’s done its job well:

1. Every feeling we can’t get past is an old feeling. A memory feeling. We rarely feel something brand new, but certainly every feeling that causes us pain or anxiety is an old feeling. Its source lies in something we’ve experienced before. We’re reliving our story.

2. There are two types of feelings: alpha and beta. Beta feelings are unprocessed feelings, stored in our memory in their original, raw state. They’re the ones we set up so we can work them out. Alpha feelings are processed feelings. Digested feelings. They’re feelings we’ve gone back to and done some work on. Alpha feelings are beta feelings we’ve tamed and made friends with.

3. Beta feelings create a lot of unpleasant emotion in the body. It feels like they’re gripping us so tightly we can’t think, and they hit us with waves of fear and grief and anger. These are the ones that are always about our story. Aren’t we amazing!

4. Alpha feelings are much calmer, readily recognised and understood, don’t feel threatening, and bring sensations of being grounded, knowing, in control and wise. Yes, wise. Wisdom is knowing why we feel what we feel. It’s why we came, remember?

So Emma’s got some mega beta feelings going on. Memory feelings of major proportions. Unprocessed feelings. From way back. It feels like it’s about now to Emma, but these waves are 20 metres high as they crash over her, and so they’re from the past. Let’s help her contain them.

How about we go straight to the story? We don’t need to mess around here. She’s on her path, she’s struggled long enough. She wants her power back. Let’s shake the amnesia up a little.

Let’s ask her when she’s felt like this before. When she’s felt panic at someone walking away. When she wanted to be angry with someone but then felt terrified that her anger had made them leave. Let’s ask her when someone felt like they made promises to her and then kept breaking them. Who was it that chose someone else? Who didn’t love her properly? Who couldn’t see her clearly enough to want to be with her? Let’s get to the point of pain.

The point of pain. The place every therapist knows we need to get to; and the place every single one of us dreads getting to. But it’s also the place every single one of us comes here, as a powerful being of light and love here to expand the whole universe, to go to!

Emma tries several times to speak, coming at it from different directions each time. Then her voice wavers, breaks, and the tears come. The pain breaks open. The beta feelings pour out from that point of pain, wave upon wave.

And now we can begin to unpick the story. We can talk about when her daddy left, how he never explained why, how he kept in touch for a while and then she never saw him again. We can start to make some sense of what this current situation is repeating for her and, crucially, we can begin to turn these beta feelings into alpha feelings. To do the job she came here to do.

Emma can begin to understand how she’s reliving feelings from the past that no-one’s ever helped her feel or speak out loud before. She can share how helpless she felt, how confused and lost and terrified and desperate. The same desperate she’s feeling now.

And then the freedom comes. Not only can Emma see how much there is that’s similar here (and it’s the parallels that have triggered these old feelings), but now that she’s really looking at it all she can see how much there is that’s different too. She’s starting to process it all. She’s doing the work like there’s no stopping her.

This guy that keeps letting her down feels just like her dad, but he isn’t. This desperate need she seems to have for him feels like it’s about him, but it isn’t; it’s what she felt about her dad. All those confused feelings about not wanting him but not being able to let him go are starting to make so much more sense now. It’s painful, but it’s also a huge relief. And the pain itself is beginning to ease.

Suddenly, Emma can see, through these new, more knowing eyes, how her story has been unravelling. She can see that the little girl she was, who’d been left abandoned without explanation or help, had every right to feel angry and bereft and desperate. That the feelings she has about being humiliated and ridiculous and weak are exactly what the little girl she was felt after her daddy left and everyone else just got on with their lives. And that they weren’t ridiculous at all. Not at all. And as she realises this, her compassion expands. As does the compassion of the whole universe. Maybe you can feel it?

Emma starts to feel warmth flood into her body. She feels steadier, more grounded. Calmer. She’s upset, but she’s no longer distraught.

Emma’s just done something amazing. She’s gone back, done what she needed to do, separated out who she was then from who she is now, processed and contained what she’s been overwhelmed by, steadied and grounded herself in now rather than being swept along by the past, and freed herself up to make real choices from her adult perspective, instead of being driven by the memory feelings of the little girl she used to be.

Oh but she’s done way more than that! She’s just done what she came here to do! She’s written a story, lived and relived it, and then unravelled it with compassion and she’s feeling the love pouring in. For the little girl she was, for the woman she is now, for all that is.

We’ve all been where Emma’s been; some of us may be there right now. And we can begin the work any time we’re ready. It’s what we came for. The whole universe is cheering us on.

Don’t you just love how awesome we are?

@ Janny Juddly 2017
The Therapist in my Pocket