by Wendy Strgar December 30, 2016
There is a concept I learned while my kids were in Montessori education called scaffolding—a technique that is reflected in the goals of learn it, do it and then teach it. In this way, the student comes back to the same material in a natural spiral, each time the student is able to add to their understanding and expertise as they come to achieve some level of mastery when they become proficient enough to teach what they know. Our emotional and for that matter relational development shares that same circular spiraling motion, which explains the very common phenomenon of feeling like we are always somehow arriving back where we started.
This can be a discouraging experience when it comes to childhood emotional wounding. There is a definitive way in which we are always circling around the most profoundly painful aspects of our childhood in order to both better understand what happened to us, but also to transmute that learning into something functional and useful as we mature. Thinking about our spiraling as a form of higher education is helpful because it allows us to witness the depth of insight and compassion we have hopefully evolved for ourselves and our history. The key to beginning again is to deliberately come back to ourselves with a beginner’s mind—a way of seeing that lets you look at even the most familiar of situations as though for the first time.
Bringing new eyes to an old painful situation becomes ever more possible with time, which I think is why it has long been said that time heals all wounds. Each time we try to begin again we circle back and reflect on the old wounds that continue to bind us, there is an aspect of what we believed to be true that literally falls way. And the more that we intentionally move towards this process of letting go, the more that the situation becomes new, one that we could not perceive before.
I have been having these experiences in multiple forms and with the generations of people I love on all sides. After five decades of anger with my mother, this process finally freed me to see, as if for the first time, that she could have never done anything differently. Mostly, I was left saddened by the time that I lost in my vindication that I should have had a different mother. So not surprisingly during this holiday time with my children, I was also for the first time able to witness how my overcompensating mothering ended up passing on much of the same distancing that I was so trying to avoid from my own childhood.
Maybe this is why we are blessed with so many decades in this life. Because it takes so much time to lift the veils of our own misunderstanding and get back to the beginner’s mind. The more we can come back with a beginner’s mind and the openness and curiosity that comes with it, the more readily we can release our old pain masquerading in new form.
So here I am again, humbled but grateful, that at the very least, I raised a family that is not afraid to look at and talk about these wounds that may have otherwise separated us for decades as they did, in my own family. Years ago I memorized the 50 principles of miracles from the book A Course in Miracles and the one that most often comes back to me is, “A miracle heals the past in the present and thus releases the future.” It all starts with a beginner’s mind- a good way to start a new year.
Stay tuned for more articles on how to begin again by Wendy, here at Good Clean Love.
by Wendy Strgar May 22, 2018
There is no time like long summer nights to cultivate our uniquely, profoundly human capacity for pleasure, especially sexual pleasure. Our pleasure response transforms our relationship to each other and even to life itself. Focusing on pleasure not only changes how we see our opportunities for intimate connection, but also invites us into a deeper relationship with our erotic soul.
by Wendy Strgar May 17, 2018
It becomes hard to trust your own thinking when nothing seems to be working. The space between how I thought it would go and how it is going seems to widen in front of my eyes. Maybe most difficult of all is how often the undesirable outcomes around us spill over into our relationships, both at home and at work. An errant comment too easily turns into an argument. I become blind to my impact on people around me, caught up in the unresolved problems surrounding me. During times like these, we often underestimate the power of the choices we make and how it can create a path back towards what’s working or down the slippery slope of self-destruction, which my husband affectionately calls “flirting with the gutter.”
Here is my short list to making it better when it isn’t working at all. Each one helps you do the next one, so start at the beginning and work your way down.
by Wendy Strgar May 03, 2018