It is rarely a good sign when an expletive springs to mind when reading an e-mail from a dear friend. Fortunately I have been working on what James Hollis calls complexes long enough to know that this energetic reaction is not about the current situation but rather a past experience creating a trigger point. Hollis refers to complexes as charged clusters of history and my friend had activated one of my energy clusters; fortunately I recognized it immediately and began the work to calm and understand my own reaction.
I had been planning a treat for her birthday that involved dinner and a ride on the Stanley Park Christmas train. We were as excited as two kids going to see Santa as neither of us had done it before. She had one request that we were flexible about dates as she did not want to go in the perpetual rain, a feature of Vancouver winters. We compared calendars and chose a few dates that would work and I promised to keep an eye on the weather forecast. Fortunately I could buy tickets on the day if I went down to Stanley Park at noon. The first date was December 2nd so yesterday I checked the long term forecast and eureka! they were forecasting a clear cool few days. Eagerly I dashed off an e-mail to give her the good news.
The response was not quite what I expected. “I goofed up! I’m so sorry. Another friend was looking for a time to celebrate my birthday and I tried a few times that didn’t work for her and forgot that Dec. 2 was one of the times I suggested for the train and I booked dinner with her.” The first response was energetic, my body seemed to flush with heat, always a sure sign a complex has been triggered. Then I noticed my reaction was a desire to cancel the whole thing. Fortunately I knew immediately that an old wound had been triggered so rather than respond I began my own inquiry into my hurt feelings. I recognized one part of this experience was related to the child who felt he was the second choice, the one who got excluded, then I tapped into a reason why this felt so significant. I had put myself out trying to make something nice happen for someone else and felt let down. I spent some time staying with the feelings of hurt, acknowledging the child’s woundedness and consoling that part of myself. I like to give the child an imagined hug because from the child’s point of view the desire to strike back is often all we can think of when we feel disempowered. As the adult I can finds a different way. I asked the child was there something unresolved. the question came back, “why did she tell you she had goofed rather than the other person when she had made the arrangement with you first?” The adult witness was unable to answer the question so I wondered whether I needed to have this discussion with my friend.
I drew a rune for guidance and got Protection. I use Ralph Blum’s insightful interpretations and this one was right on the mark. “Control of the emotions is at issue here….Algiz serves as the mirror for the Spiritual Warrior, the one whose battle is always with the self…. Remain mindful that timely right action and correct conduct are your only true protection. if you find yourself feeling pain, observe the pain and stay with it. Do not try and pull down the veil and escape from life by denying what is happening. You will progress; knowing that fact is your protection.”
It seemed so perfect. I know my friend will appreciate a dialogue around my inner child’s reaction. I suspect that much of my life I did “pull down the veil” and as a result developed this cluster of history. I think I also became extremely selfish in part as a protection from getting hurt. Bringing our old wounds into the light and acknowledging them, helps heal them and free up our life energy. As my teacher Atum O’Kane once said, it is not that we lose the wounds but the ability for them to hurt diminishes. The energy of the cluster begins to discharge.