You have been doing quite a bit of inner exploration then fatigue set in. Did you do something nice for yourself or have you been binge watching TV or over working? No matter, it is time to go deeper and broader.
On a shelf in a room down the hall is a book that has not been used in a while. Inside is the story of you. The first few chapters are stories of sadness, fear, and uncertainty. Then the chapter that expressed the anger and rage at all that happened with no one to protect you.
Abused or neglected in our developmental years leaves us confused. Our God given compass does not function appropriately. We are loyal to the abuser and mistrust others that may come into our lives to show us a better way. We may believe everyone lives as we have and that this is as good as it gets. Curiosity for freedom does not exist or is held within. Sometimes we know something is wrong but believe we deserve the way we have been treated because we are somehow defective.
Redemption is sought by many, but most of us would not recognize it if it looked us in the face. We can agree that there is a desire to be restored or saved after a significant loss; something was taken or had enslaved us. But where can we satisfy this desire?
Coming into belief we bring with us bitterness, disappointment, and disillusionment. Things were not going our way and then someone presented another option. Faith. We consider that something different could transpiring if a connection with an unseen God can be achieved. Usually, what has happened to a new believer or those who have believed there is a God for years, is that something devastating happens and we have run out of resources and ideas to fix.
Questions emerge: If God wants what is best for me how come this happened? Where was God when my loved one died and I was praying for a miracle. Why did employment not come? Why did I have to lose my home? Why did my marriage fail? Why was I abused and no one rescued me? These are valid questions.
The answers come later after the connection to God has taken hold and been deepened. The process feels like a wrestling match. But when we go through it we find a surrender, the ability to let our small ideas go and to better see God’s bigger picture. We find that our Creator was in all of our moments. Our Creator was active in the unseen realm and is able to comfort and heal no matter the loss. We find our perspective changes and we find a piece that surpasses anything we have previously known.
The most common version of the Grail myth takes place in a medieval kingdom. The King is tragically wounded, and the kingdom is in disrepair. Father Richard describes the situation:
Most versions of the Grail legend begin with a wasteland kingdom, ruled over by one called the Fisher King. Crops are dying, monasteries are empty, and the people have no hope. All the king can do, because his wound refuses to heal, is fish all day—that is why he is called the Fisher King. This name has Christ connotations, since Jesus too was the “fisher of people.”
Fishing is the appropriate symbol of dipping down into one’s own unconscious. The sea is the natural image of the vast unconscious. I think this is the reason we can sit by the ocean for hours and watch it with fascination—waiting for the gift from the sea, waiting for something to show itself.
For author and depth psychologist Carol Pearson, the Fisher King is an archetype connected to inner places of suffering and longing:
When I became aware that there was a hold on my thinking, I was given the freedom to change. Without awareness, I was lost in an endless cycle of disillusionment, hurt, and discouragement. Awareness brought clarity and my innate desire to do better. I decided that like a chick I would break out of my shell and accepted there would be a a struggle. Whether a human, a chick, a flower, or a butterfly all struggle. Without the struggle, there would be no birth, survival or motivation to seek their full potential.
There is a need to stretch and grow, built into all living things. Whether it is physical strengthening, mental cleansing, learning something new, or achieving spiritual freedom and growth. Applying knowledge, based on a new truth or a behavioral change, brings it’s own struggle.
Counter to this, when lost in apathy, we feel the tug and brace ourselves, attempting to block out the fearful unknown and resist discomfort. By accepting that there will be a struggle in the natural course of life, the effort then becomes tolerable. When we accept the struggle, change unfolds in us and through us.
There is no autonomy or self-governing; control is exerted over the other’s movements, money, sexual activity, or friends; through emotional, psychological manipulation, or physical abuse. Adult children of alcoholics easily fall into the same patterns as their parents: picking a partner or raising their children, in the same manner, they were, remaining trapped in the cycle.
Life itself will offer moments of clarity.A crossroad, a breaking point, or outside intervention. A realization that something could be different. That one may enter a recovery program, peer support at a church, or counseling center. To break free and recover, emotional detachment is vital, while new information is taken in. There is always an emotional separation from the other co-dependant, if there is physical or psychological abuse a physical separation is needed until both can seek help.These are forms of detachment. Detachment simply allows space to breath, rest, and reevaluate. For most it is frightening and progress may be delayed out of a fear that something is being lost.
For survivors of trauma and addiction, roadblocks were put in place before we realized it. We remain unaware that a roadblock exists, believing we are just like everyone else, until we try to expand ourselves into an adult individual. If we have successes great! But such is life, and there are challenges all along our way. There is illness, loss, death, lost jobs, financial uncertainties, or isolation from families.