REALLY great coaching call on Thursday. The work you did with the lady who was abused was awesome. I have done this same work on my Dad and it’s so powerful. I found that while I wanted to “feel better” in the moment – I didn’t want to let go of my thoughts about my abuse in childhood – because that would give my Dad “a pass”. I felt at the time that “He was bad” and “What he did was wrong” (like that was a fact of reality) – and that if I didn’t continue thinking that, he’d get a pass. He’d be “let off the hook”. And so I kept thinking the same thoughts (The abuse was bad. My childhood was bad. My Dad was bad) and kept feeling bad about my Dad. It was kind of my own way of keeping his daily punishment alive. (I know the truth. You are bad. We will never forget!)
When I realized that I was simply torturing myself with my own thoughts… and I was the one making myself miserable (NOT the abuse anymore – which happened and stopped DECADES ago), I started the work to release the “The abuse was bad, my Dad is bad” thoughts in my head. What happened was EXACTLY what I FEARED would happen when I started the work. I feared that the thought work would somehow RELEASE him from being “bad”.
But in releasing those thoughts, I found myself accepting my father and accepting the circumstances of my past. And accepting that it should NOT have happened in any other way. (How do I know? Because if it should have happened in another way, it would have. But it happened the way it should.) And so in accepting my father, I found love for my father. And in finding love for my father, I found love and acceptance for myself – and a release from my own internal torture. Now I think kindly on my childhood, my father, and my past. Because I did the work to THINK kindly on it all. Kindly about it then and now. The RESULT that I feared… accepting and loving my father instead of hating him… was actually the key to giving me back my own happiness around my past.
I appreciate you going deep on that particular part of the coaching – because that’s so powerful when it comes to changing our thoughts about the past. I went from having something close to PTSD with my Dad – to loving him and thinking about him fondly. It’s not delusion or denial. It’s just doing the thought work and being OPEN to whatever comes up – even if that was accepting and loving someone who I hated for so long. 🙂
Thanks, Brooke! 🙂