I happen to moderate a private Facebook group called Healing Attachment Wounds, which provides psychoeducational content to over 1,300 members, on attachment related issues.
Specifically, the group is for individuals who are ready to regain their ability to navigate life in a new way – by what FEELS TRUE. To stop being held back by comparing, doubting, waiting for something to improve.
The underlying premise is you CANNOT make radical transformations, or attract financial, romantic, familial, spiritual, or professional abundance into your life ALONE.
And you certainly can’t do it with the same behavioral patterns and mindset you’ve always had.
But mindset is often what trips us up on the path to finding love and spiritual alignment.
Upon entering the group, members report…
-“I still believe I can find the love I crave so badly.However my open mindedness has got to reach a limit at some point.I don’t want to become so jaded that I don’t end up finding it.”
-“I struggle with anxiety, fears around intimacy, trust issues, healthy boundaries.”
-“I hate being alone and i never feel good enough. I also don’t know what makes me happy anymore.”
-“I struggled with the ability to see what I deserve.”
-“I am hurting and trying to understand how it would never work for the both of us and let go gracefully.”
I have noticed stories of pain, feelings of rejection, confusion around what happened, and a desperation around figuring out how to fix or make things better, on the newsfeed as well.
But I just want to remind everyone, this group is more than just a place to share your pain, its also a place to be inspired and to learn more about how to expand your consciousness and create space around these experiences so that they don’t become your scars, but rather lines that demarcate the greatest transformations of your life.
Socrates said: “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.”
But wisdom is not the result of accumulated experience. Oh, no. Experience alone can leave you feeling as if you’ve been through a meat grinder, but it is wonder that puts that experience into context, and inspires you to get back up again.
After we have experienced a major loss of an attachment figure, we may lose touch with our sense of wonder, or, on the other hand,, become uncharacteristically– more open to it.
In today’s video, I wanted to further explore this concept of wonder, responding to three questions…
“What is wonder?”
“What is wonder’s relationship to pain?”
“How can wonder help me take charge of my life, again?”
and recommend 3 exercises for embracing it in your life, after loss.
First, let us ponder the question, “What is wonder?”
To my mind, wonder is a willingness to learn from despair. It is wonder that allows us to realize that ultimately nothing is lost and we are always connected. For a moment, we are snatched away from ourselves transfixed by the wonder of the universe.
Imagine hiking up a mountain, your feet are sore, you’re sweating, you were tired, you thirsty, and perhaps you are regretting your decision to climb the mountain all!
But then you get to the top and you look out at a tremendous Vista, and you get a wondrous sense of accomplishment. As big as this feeling is, alongside it there is equally this feeling of being small as you stare out at how large the expanse is before you.
Many things that you felt were important seem to melt away. They will come back, but for a moment you willingly release them. And in that empty space, there is room for a possibility. There is room for play. There is room for freedom from control or being controlled. And that is wonder.
It’s like after you’ve taken a big inhalation, there is a long exhalation, and you’ll notice, at the end of it, there is a pause. A a few beats of your heart that demand no oxygen, and in the moment of suspension we still just enough to hear the whisper of our soul.
It’s our desire to feel radically alive rather than bored and disinterested, or so caught up in the toils and troubles of daily life that we miss out on its multitudes of marvels.
It’s our desire to part the curtain and get a load of the grander scheme. A desire to make known The Nature of Things.
Wonder compels us to continually seek out these enlivening moments. What David Whyte calls “the conversational nature of reality.”
It is in that space that we we discover our essential artist. That aspect of ourselves that never forgot how to create things. But never quite excepted the expressions “I can’t draw,“ or “I can’t do this, I can’t do that.”
With creative acts we get in touch with our source energy, and that provides the apparatus through which funnels the fulfillment of all desire. And it is our connecting to Nature that sparks creativity.
In fact, journalist and researcher Marghanita Laski found that the most common triggers for transcendental ecstasies come from nature. In particular, her survey revealed that water, mountains, trees, and flowers; dusk, sunrise, sunlight; dramatically bad weather and spring were often a catalyst for feeling ecstatic. Laski hypothesized that feelings of ecstasy were a psychological and emotional response that was wired into human biology.
And so this leads to our first exercise to help you recover your sense of wonder, after loss.
Exercise #1: Name at least one aspect of nature that awes you; that overwhelms you with its beauty or power.
Now, you might ask, “What is wonder’s relationship to pain?”
It is through periods of strife, or what we might call contrast, that we best appreciate wonder. Because wonder and despair are two sides of the same coin. When you open yourself up to one you open yourself up to the other. If you are able to find Grace on the other side of despair wonder and creativity are The fruits of that restoration.
As deeply as you dive, is as high as you will rise. Christina Baldwin says, “As far as you are willing to venture into the shadow so far you may venture into the light.”
I used to worry about releasing my pain. There was a part of me that felt if I were happy then I would have nothing left to write about. That my creative expression would become watered down or trite. That the seeds of my most intriguing art products were found in suffering. And worst of all I would betray the parts of myself that we’re still loyal to when I had lost.
But are there not as many love songs as there are sad songs? And are not both as equally as beautiful, moving and valid?
Still most of us develop a pretty extensive vocabulary for describing our pain. But the true robust quality of our experience cannot be expressed without developing an equally expensive vocabulary for joy, ecstasy, love, and transformation.
Exercise #2: Identify at least one creative work -a song, a painting, a dance, a story, a movie, a poem, etc.- that moves you, that you find beautiful, and that sprung from pain. Then identify something beautiful that moves you just as equally, that sprung from joy.
Lastly, you might ask, “How can wonder help me take charge of my life again?”
If we remain in the dark place yes, we are human in our rawest form, but we attract and become sensitized only to that which convinces us that our victimhood. Or our aloneness, of our isolation. Of our essential unworthiness.
If we are able to cultivate a vocabulary for that which wonder makes accessible to us, then, yes, we are raw but instead of one option there are now two, close down further, or split wide open.
I had a professor who wants told me, “a broken heart is an open heart.“
If we decide to close down further we ultimately die a very slow death. There is an atrophy that occurs in our hearts. If we open up further we not only survive but we live.
Maybe we don’t notice right away that we have turned some kind of spiritual corner and that a new life has begun. But, nonetheless, Regeneration and hope has creeped in, like the the sunlight slowly warming a room.
And so it is wonder that allows you to live to endure, and to assign meaning to your experiences. To assume authority of your life and again take charge of it.
End it is that pursuit, and cultivation of meaning that ultimately returns to us our sense of efficacy. It’s what gives us control of our lives again.
Of course, we all are getting along through life as best we can, but have you decided on that?
Exercise #3: So right now I’d like you to write down one decision that you will make tomorrow morning when you wake up. One small decision about your day. About how you will move through that day no matter what happens.
You might even think of it as a social experiment.
For example,“I decide to be kind to anyone that is rude to me today.“
Or, It May be a decision to reduce your stress responses:“Whenever I feel anxious or upset, I will attend to my breath and count to five breaths before I respond to any given situation.”
Or maybe it’ll be a decision to improve yourself care practices: “I decide to make one healthy food choice, for every unhealthy food choice I make.”
I recommend making it a small thing that you could implement pretty easily, and ultimately witness the authority that you do have to make a decision and see it through.
As you get good at stacking your decisions like this, you can make them bigger and bigger intentions.
How will you start taking charge of your life, with one little decision, tomorrow? I’d love to hear what your decisions are in the comments below.
If you’ve ever wondered…
*”How do I know if my feelings are real?”
*”How do I stop wanting for someone that I KNOW is terrible for me?”
*”How do I stop self-sabotaging, when it comes to my love life?”
*”How do I learn to trust my gut, when it got me into this mess?”
“How do I approach my relationships from a place of consciousness and personal responsibility?”
*”How do I quiet the inner judge and learn to embrace myself with love?”
*”How do I stop trying to save my partners from themselves?”
*”How do I make myself more comfortable with emotional intimacy?”
The 5- Days to Ignite Your Love Light challenge is perfect for you!
REGISTER HERE: https://goo.gl/bbDT4E
Over the course of this challenge, you will learn…
*How to take the fear out of your desire
*How to identify and release two important types of limiting beliefs
*How to use mindfulness and creativity to practice being in a loving vibration
*How to show up for an ascended love partner
This challenge includes…
*5 Daily live streams and lessons
*5 Daily emails, including a synopsis and daily assignment
*Access to a recap page for any days you might miss
*Exclusive access to a live Q & A on Day 5
*A Guided Soul Journey on Day 5
*Access to the private Facebook group for Healing Attachment Wounds
*A special bonus offer on Day 5, for continuing your journey!
If you are ready to call in a soul-shaking, passionate partnership, from a place of energetic alignment and self-love, in only 5 days…
REGISTER HERE: https://goo.gl/bbDT4E
We hope to see you there!
Briana MacWilliam ATR-BC, LCAT
Licensed and Board Certified Creative Arts Therapist
Author, Educator and Reiki Practitioner