Renee called and said, “Frank can be so controlling. And then I get angry, and I’m right back where I was a year ago.”
“Do you feel more loved by wise people now than you did six months ago?” I asked.
“Oh yes, by a lot.”
“Overall, do you get angry less often, and for shorter periods of time, than you did six months ago?”
“Yes, by a lot,” she said.
“Then you’re not right back where you were a year ago.”
“But yesterday I got angry like I used to.”
“When I first met you, you were badly wounded and protected yourself with anger almost all day, every day. You’re not like that now. You’re healing. You feel safer than ever, but as you feel safer, you’re allowing old wounds to surface that previously you had buried so deep that you weren’t even aware of them.”
It’s not at all uncommon for people to feel a sense of great euphoria when they first encounter unconditional love. Wounds begin to heal, and they feel freer than they ever have. They feel safe, but often their safety has an unintended consequence. As they feel safer, they protect themselves less thoroughly, and this allows them to feel wounds that they had never allowed themselves to face before. When they feel the pain of these deep wounds, they often protect themselves, and usually in the old ways.
Solution? They simply need to discuss all this with someone capable of helping them to see what is happening, and to love them as the deeper wounds heal. As long as we persist in learning the truth and in feeling loved, our wounds will heal, our pain will decrease, and we will lose the need to protect ourselves as we have done in the past.