The soul cannot forgive until it
is restored to wholeness and health.
In the absence of love - how can one forgive?

With an abundance of love, starting with one's self,
forgiveness becomes a viable opportunity.
-Nancy Richards

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Filling the Void

As an abused child and later as an adult, I spent most of my life navigating a relationship with my mother, waiting for the day she would love and nurture me. Even after our estrangement, I lived with the hopeful longing that she would open her arms and be my mother.

There was a "void" in my heart where a mother should be. After time, I stopped longing for "my" mother and began to long for "a" mother.

As more time passed, I realized that the only person who could love me the way I wanted to be loved - was me.

The void I was feeling was more than just the absence of my mother, it was also the absence of my own internal mother.

No parent can do a perfect job; therefore, everyone needs to learn to parent certain parts of themselves. The difference for me was, whereas most people have much of their internal parent placed within them by the loving actions of their own parent, an abuse survivor, needs to internalize a parent largely on their own.

Looking inward rather than outward helped to fill the void. By the time I did reconcile with my mother, I no longer needed the nurturing she couldn't provide. For the first time in my life, I was able to stand before her - no longer a damaged child - but rather a strong, confident, quietly powerful woman!

5 comments:

Michele Rosenthal said...

What a terrifically positive post about the nature of healing the its possibilities!

A therapist colleague recently told me she never allows clients to use the term 'void'.

"Voids cannot be filled," she said. "This leaves people with the feeling of vast and endless emptiness. A vacancy, however, can be filled and so I encourage clients to look at things this way."

Whichever way we look at it, nice to see proof that we can, in fact, expand ourselves in an empty space and thereby achieving healing.

An interesting idea about how we use language...

healandforgive said...

Hi Michelle,

I always enjoy your comments.

I like your colleague's analogy of "vacancy."

Language is indeed interesting. I think in terms of language, it is easier to make the parallel between a vacant home being newly occupied by a family, and a vacancy in our heart being filled with love.

I was so curious about the two words I looked them up in the dictionary. Interestingly, one of the definitions of vacant - was void - and one of the definitions of void -was vacant.

For me, each word does have emotional "undertones." I think early on, I viewed the hole in my heart as an unfulfillable void. I would concur with your colleague that as my healing progressed, it seemed more like a vacancy that had room for an occupant.

Thanks,
Nancy

Just Be Real said...

Nancy, this post is very touching and healing. Thank you so much for sharing. Appreciate it. Blessings.

healandforgive said...

Just Be Real,

Thanks!

I stopped by your blog and I love the down-to-earth "real" quality of your voice.

Blessings,
Nancy

Just Be Real said...

Nancy, blessings and thank you for dropping by. Will visit you quite often.