By Natalie Sophia
I want to not sugar-coat abandonment, or try to act like it’s not a problem, or that it’s not for adults to feel.
If anything, I feel like that mentality has only served to propel the shame this theme seems to be steeped in. I want to talk about it because it’s a real thing. There are adults all over the globe who feel this to some degree. It’s time that it gets addressed in an open manner.
I feel like most often when the word “abandonment” is used people picture a small child left out on a stoop somewhere in the pouring rain or a puppy left on a doorstep of some unsuspecting human. I do agree with the “small child” description to an extent, but it runs deeper than that.
If you are anything like me and you have faced abandonment by both of your parents at any given point in your life, you know that wound is severely painful. There seems to be an underlying message that constantly gets transmitted to us:
Somehow we’re not good enough or loveable and that we should be ashamed to talk about our parents leaving because obviously we did something wrong to make them leave, right?
Top that feeling off with an inability to properly heal because no one stops by with a casserole for us when our moms leave for some guy she met at the bar. There is no site to go visit our missing fathers when he and his new wife have decided that we are not worthy of love. Often it can seem like not many people understand that abandonment can feel like a death. And taking that one step further, it’s not a death decided on by nature; it was another person’s deliberate choice to leave, which means a deeper cut in our already fragile egos.
So how do we heal this? How do we start ridding the shame around this?
I do not have the answer for everyone—I wish that I did—the truth is, we will heal as we want to heal. Truly healing abandonment cannot come from the made up stories of the mind. Meaning we cannot simply tell ourselves that we aren’t angry or hurt. We cannot pretend that we have moved on from it or that we are somehow not affected by it anymore. And though I believe forgiveness extended to the people who chose to leave is certainly possible, I also believe true, deep healing needs to reach beyond that. At least for me it has anyway. From that standpoint, I think some forgiveness extended to the people who chose to leave is certainly possible.
I feel like one of the first steps is to acknowledge your feelings.
Are you denying that you have ever felt or been abandoned before?
Does abandonment cause you to feel embarrassed?
Does it make you cling to your partner extra tight in hopes that he or she won’t walk out?
Or are you single out of fear that you will be left?
My own story is still undergoing massive transformation, but I am slowly finding it easier to stay in touch with me. I found the two things that have worked best are self-parenting and the story of divine perfection; all is working out according to a higher knowing and plan.
Neither one of these are new concepts, though they could be to some, and I certainly don’t pride myself on forward-thinking for healing the wounds of abandonment, but I did find that when I was able to touch base with a little part of me, things began to shift in tremendous ways.
I believe that the little part of us, our core emotional self, is always seeking our attention. We don’t always tap into it because we have been conditioned to be external-seeking people. From the time we are born we seek the love and affection from others, and I feel like we don’t necessarily always learn how to go within to give ourselves the nurturance we desire.
Next time you’re feeling triggered, try envisioning yourself as a child around the age of 4 or 5 and see what he or she has to say. It may help you discover the underlying reason as to why you’re feeling upset. The more we practice with that, we might start digging into deeper places within ourselves, which can only serve to offer more healing.
In those moments when you’re still feeling resentment at the card you were dealt in life, consider this:
You are a soul here on Earth set to experience growth. What that means exactly may not translate with you while you’re running around in your Earth Costume, but I believe that we come here with specific things to learn in our lifetime. Again, not a new concept by any stretch, but if Earth is like a University, some of us may be graduating with a doctorate of sorts. Imagine everyone you have met in your lifetime fulfilling their role exactly as they should—just as you are, just as you have been, all divinely orchestrated to help you heal.
And so, to those who are also learning the lessons of healing abandonment—you are not alone and I applaud you for such an undertaking. The lessons aren’t always easy, but to me, they’ve been worth it.
Natalie Sophia is a 200-hour certified yoga teacher, a Reiki Practitioner and holds a Masters degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine with a Holistic Nutrition concentration. She is a student at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, a writer/contributor at Rebelle Society and a Holistic Health Coach. She firmly believes that true healing and lasting change is a mind, body and spirit alliance and that we cannot approach one piece without looking at the whole system.
Editor: Alicia Wozniak
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