My newest book, Completely Connected: Uniting Our Empathy and Insight for Extraordinary Results, has been sent to the printer at last! It will be launched on March 29; if you can, come to a launch party that day – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
Although I’ve never had a baby, writing this book must surely be similar to that experience – the mother is full of love for the baby coming forth, yet is stressed by the labor pains. Having birthed this book, I’m pleased that it gathers into one place everything we have learned over the last decade about how the Connection Practice changes lives – including how to heal pain from the past when we perceived that a core need wasn’t met.
When we perceived a need wasn’t met, we often formed a belief that it would never be met. Driven by this belief, we continue perceiving this core need is not met in many situations in our lives. Or we may believe that we can only meet that need with a particular strategy that may actually be painful to ourselves and others. But we no longer have to be held hostage to the past.
Trauma from being parented is a factor in the formation of core needs for many of us. One of our graduates, Cat, shares how she is able to transform those needs now:
I’m using the Connection Practice when I run up against pesky, painful memories, the ones that continually pop up. Now I go "back in time" and change how I felt when it happened.
When I was in second grade, I was struggling to learn to read. My dad decided he'd help me. He invited me to sit on his lap and read to him. I was so thrilled. My dad never let me sit on his lap or held me in anyway and this felt wonderful. I began reading and soon he slapped me on the leg, shook the book at me and screamed, "There’s no ‘have’ in that sentence. Why are you saying ‘have’ - do you see it" and on it went. I cried; he put me down and he never held me on his lap or tried to help me again.
As a little kid, I couldn't conceive of the demons that haunted my dad and, even today, I'm only guessing. He was deeply wounded and his anger was often out of control. By using the Connection Practice, I’ve changed the focus of that incident from my hurt to empathy for his hurt and pain. My insight was that, in the end, it wasn't about me. It was about his inability to help me, or himself, in a constructive way.
My point is that the Connection Practice can change what might be called a "negative defining moment" to an "enlightened moment.”
Inner healings like these are precious turning points. We can stop being held hostage to the past and live fully once again, once we know how.