There is this deeply held longing to feel loved in a way that neither my parents when they were alive, nor anyone since can satisfy. This desire flows like an underground current, driving my journey through life; remaining out of my awareness most times. From time to time, it seems to wake me, testing me to see if I am ready to address it.
Three years ago, my body was screaming for attention! Intense and frequent sinus-related migraines stopped me in my tracks for four out of seven days a week. Called into action, I began a committed and intense healing journey with the hope of relief.
Looking under the rock, so to speak, I find myself exploring the events around my conception and birth. It is the cold of winter. I born quickly and abruptly separated from my mother’s touch. Mother, whom I was experiencing in utero for 9 months, is suddenly missing. Placed in an isolette, I am screaming on a cellular level for the comfort of those nine months.
My mother, quite ill in the prior four weeks, is hospitalized and placed in isolation out of concern that she may have typhus. As I arrive, I too am isolated. Missing are the sensory feel of warmth, the rhythm of my mother’s breath, the sway of her movement, the muffled vibration of her vocal cords.
In the stillness of my meditation, I sense that this missed bond created a nearly silent and deep sense of turmoil carried into my adult life. I remember a paper I read about the scream of an infant that causes a loss of breath – a fearful and physical death-like experience encoded on cellular and psychic levels.
The time is now. I open my heart to experience and integrate the sense the cellular/neuronal communicated feeling of my failure to bond with my mother following my birth. I bring awareness to a deep tension that seems to reside within me. I reflect on the blessing to have been united with my mother after two weeks, even though there was always a felt sense of isolation, of non-attachment. I suddenly move beyond my narcissistic thinking about my loss. I chuckle at myself. I laugh a hardy laugh. This was not a solo experience. It is not just about me!
The time is winter, 1945. There is hope of World War II ending, yet the assaults continue. My young parents were living with tension and stress in that time. Perhaps my scream at separation from in-utero peace was also a scream for the suffering and loss of the era. My father was about to enter the front lines at Luzon, being wounded one week after my birth.
I relate to the fear of my father and mother. It was likely this fear that caused the physical symptoms in my mother that presented as typhus. It was not typhus in the end, but a massive sinus infection. “Hmmm, aaah-so.” I see and I feel the sinus connection to my mom, and then to my dad, to my toddler brother and later, my baby boomer brother. I reflect on the sense of fear and dis-ease for the many fighting in the war, on both sides, and those affected by the war, their families, and their victims.
I visualize myself being born with a new sensory experience. Knowing that my most basic human need is trust, I envision both my parents together, placed at my mother’s breast in the minutes after I emerge, I feel the warmth of her body cradling me. My father places his arms around my mother. My heart opens more fully as I allow my body to hold these amended feelings, creating a new path of memory, or perhaps retrieving a memory encoded in my DNA and ancestral history.
I find compassion for me, for my family, and for all the peoples of countries involved in war, I live with deeper compassion for all human plights – for our humanity and inhumanity. We are never moving, thinking, acting alone.
My voice gains clarity with my sinuses awash in the newly shed tears of understanding and gratitude. I am aware that the attachment and belonging I longed for all these years is within my trusting heart. Regardless of what may come, I choose to trust with compassion and an open heart.