Abandonment isn't just about the physical act of someone leaving you, it also includes someone not being emotionally available for you.
(Disclaimer-this post is based on a podcast that I recently listened to with some of the information and quotes being directly from the podcast. The opinions expressed within are those of my own.)
I always equated abandonment with the physical act of leaving until recently. When my dad passed away, I realized that the first influential male figure in my life had actually abandoned me at an early age by not being emotionally available. I now recognize this pattern in the men that I am attracted to or some of the people that I attract in my life. I have learned that the people you attract in your life are often a mirror of the issues that you need to deal with the most. For me, that would be the feeling of not being worthy of love and of never feeling good enough. I mean, there are mommy issues surrounding that as well, but I feel it mostly stems from my dad. I realize now that my dad loved me, but we were not a demonstrative family. There were no "I love you's" or praise for a job well done, no grade school art work hung on the fridge, no reward for a good report card or other accomplishment. All I wanted was parental approval-for someone to see me. So I built up walls. They are slowly starting to crumble, but man, what a work in progress. I learned to be independent from an early age and not ask for help. I was, and still am, sarcastic. I didn't allow myself to show any vulnerability-crying was a sign of weakness. I consistently break commitments to myself and others. These are all things that I am working on and some I still really struggle with. I recently listened to an excellent podcast by Jake Woodard https://www.jakewoodard.com/ (Awake With Jake https://awakewithjake.com) on healing abandonment wounds. Whoa. This podcast really hit me. I only discovered Jake recently and have been listening to his podcasts every day now and I feel this has been a huge step in the right direction in healing and that I am ready to start going down this path. How I came to listen to him was not on purpose, but I'll talk about how the Universe worked that day that led me to him in another post. Check out his podcast here:
In the podcast, Jake lays out six steps to help in the process of healing abandonment wounds and I've broken it down into a brief synopsis.
Allow Yourself To Be Vulnerable
This is a big one, folks! And likely the scariest for most people. We are led to believe at an early age that being vulnerable is a sign of weakness, especially for men. How many times have we heard, "be a big boy (or girl)" or "man up" or whatever other archaic sayings that translates to the negativity of one showing their fear or uncertainty or their sadness. Just bury it, let's not deal with it. But now is the time to deal with it. Allow yourself to be vulnerable, feel your pain and release it. Ask yourself what purpose that pain has in your life. How does it serve you? It doesn't. Let it go. And as per Jake's words-
"I give myself permission to become vulnerable to feel my pain"
Stop Abandoning Yourself
Love yourself!! This is also something that I really struggle with. Not feeling worthy of receiving love, which includes the intimate kind. Dig deep. What makes you truly happy? Practice self love. Take yourself on a date, make yourself a beautiful dinner, compliment yourself. Treat yourself as you would your partner or best friend. Stop the negative self talk! Would you call your friend or partner fat? Ugly? Stupid? So why is it okay to say those things to yourself. Discover who you are and what really makes you tick.
"Who am I?"
Make A Commitment To Your Healing
Carve out some time for yourself. Treat your body like a temple. Feed it good things. Nourish it. Get physical and move your body. Go for a walk in nature and ground yourself. Be present. Breathe. Set time aside to meditate or journal. Commit to seeking professional help and stick with it. Remember-healing is a marathon, not a sprint. No one deserves it more than you do!
Focus On Healing Your Wounded Inner Child
On a recent energy healing session, I met my inner child. I held her and filled her with love. And then I took her hand and she has been with me ever since. It's hard to explain that feeling. I think she feels safe now and wants to open up and play. Connect with your inner child. Have fun! Do something silly or something that brought you joy as a child. Look about the world in a childlike manner with innocence and wonder. We are taught to "grow up" and "stop being so childish". That's sad really. I attended my first Burning Man last year and let me tell you how much my world was opened. That sense of wonder and amazement and playfulness was refreshing and something we lose too soon in our lives. If you're not enjoying a relationship or a job or anything else "adult" like ask yourself, why you are doing it?
"What would you say to your ___ year old self?"
Pay Attention To Your Patterns
What is consistently showing up in your life? The emotionally unavailable partner or clients that you bend over backwards for? Are you attracting people that abandon you when the going gets tough? Be strong, break the pattern and let those people go. Stop seeking validation from others and find it within yourself. Like attracts like and oftentimes we attract people that mirror things that we need to work on within ourselves.
"I give myself permission to be validated from within."
Forgive Everyone That Has Abandoned You (Including Yourself)
This is a big one, people! I'm still working through this and it will take me some time. I have some trauma related issues from my childhood that have impacted my life negatively and affected so many things in my life. I did tell my dad that I forgave him while he was unconscious in the hospital. As per Jake's wise words-forgiveness is the foundation of all healing. And just because you forgive someone it doesn't mean that you are allowing them back into your life. You are letting them go and setting them free energetically. One suggestion is to write a letter to the person you want to forgive and then to burn it. This is so powerful on so many levels. It's not just the physical act of letting go, but also the emotional release once you put the words on paper. If you can feel it, you can heal it.
"I love myself enough to let go of this pain. I am cutting this energetic cord between us and setting you free."
I hope you enjoyed this post. It was rather long and full of info thanks to Jake Woodard. Please do check him out. He seems very down to earth with a beautiful soul that has been through a lot in his life. I'm still working my way through his podcasts, but so far he has been extremely helpful in my journey.
Yours in gratitude.