Facing Our Deepest Pain: The Route to Au ...

Facing Our Deepest Pain: The Route to Authentic Wholeness

Nov 01, 2022

In each of us there is a part that carries our deepest pain.

Often lagging behind us, dragging us backwards and sabotaging our greatest efforts to move forwards.

And for a while, sometimes well into mid-life, it sort of works, we can function and achieve and we feel like we’re getting on as we wish to. But then, things start to falter. We face one obstacle after another. We can’t achieve what we want to. Things stop flowing and we find ourselves in a place of great suffering and inner-conflict that impacts our daily life, work and relationships.

And if we don’t turn willing to our inner world at this point, eventually, something will have to give.

Sometimes it happens all of a sudden; sometimes it’s more of a gradual revelation over time. But however it arises this part WILL make their presence and their burden known eventually. Because their burden simply is too much and the effort it takes to keep this pain contained, held and buried inside becomes impossible.

They will find a way, and often this a non-verbal, somatic, emotional or behavioural way, to get our attention as they scupper each attempt we make to continue moving forwards without them and without feeling into this pain. Often it's our body that breaks down in some way and which compels us to finally stop and reassess, and begin this next and oh-so vital layer of deep, deep healing.

For we MUST find a way to take them along too.

But before we can begin to do that, we must take the enormous and terrifying step of facing the pain being held within; whatever shape or form or causation our own particular pain is.

This is a mighty undertaking indeed and requires support and HUGE amounts of self-compassion, both for your adult-self now and the part, often a child-part or parts, that has been bearing the burden of your unfelt and unexpressed anguish, sorrow, fear and suffering. Often going back to our earliest experiences including in the womb and during our birth, these feelings are naturally primal, raw, non-verbal, somatic, emotional and BIG.

There are many different approaches to undertaking this deep necessary healing and each person will find the route that works best for them. Often, it involves a combination of therapeutic and healing approaches; an utterly unique-to-you blended approach to work gently and loving on all these levels. Whatever works is right for you. But be under no illusion, this is probably not going to be like any healing process you’ve experienced previously, because now you are getting right down to the root of all things; the darkest, never before reached under-layer of your psyche and soma.

This is the place of the underworld within; the alchemical blackening; the dark, dank primal level of buried pain in its rawest form. It is the place of anguish; of unnamable grief; of sheer terror; raging anger and unfathomable loss. Wordless, formless heaps of pain that take time and care to approach and gently coax up into the light of conscious awareness.

But coax we must in order to REALLY be able to move forwards. Sometimes, this part will prevent us literally moving at all, immobilising us through accident, illness, depression or chronic pain. So that it becomes a necessity; there is NO other choice. It has to be undertaken now. There is no way forward otherwise, only more suffering, struggle and obstacles to living the life we desire.

As Marion Woodman says: "Most of us are dragged towards wholeness". Few of us go willingly. But this part via our body and emotions will find a way to take us there, willingly or otherwise.

This is the time for a Remembering and a more holistic Becoming. A return to wholeness by restoring and healing the broken parts of ourselves that we left behind so that we could get on with our lives.

But wholeness can only really be genuine when we realign ourselves with all our parts and especially the young burden-carrier who has served us in so many ways and to whom we now need to acknowledge, feel, embrace and heal with acceptance, love and attention.

©Angela Dunning

Quote by Marion Woodman from 'Coming Home to Myself'.

Artwork by Franz Marc, via Wikiart.org

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