We’re so happy to feature a new book giveaway!
Please enjoy this excerpt from “The Soul & The Sea” by Benig Mauger.
There are 2 ways to enter to win a FREE hard copy:
- Leave a comment below with your email address (so we can contact you)
- Email us at KOMWriting@gmail.com with the Subject: The Soul & The Sea giveaway entry
The winner will be randomly selected on 7/17/23 and announced on our website and social media. *
In The Soul & the Sea, Benig Mauger interweaves depth psychology with spirituality to present a new model of healing. Inspired by the sea and land around her home, Mauger draws from her own life experiences as a Jungian therapist and spiritual teacher to illustrate how connection to nature and the spiritual world can heal emotional wounds. In a time of spiritual awakening, emotional healing must move beyond psychology to be effective. As both a guide and a creator of a new portal for healing, this book reads like a story as it charts the journey to healing through nature and spirit while serving as a tool for emotional healing and soul growth, showing us how to connect to our inner healer.
Excerpt: Chapter Six – The Rose Room
My work with my first therapist had indeed uncovered my own deep sense of abandonment originating in my very early life and at my birth. The ‘empty ocean’ in me, identified by my therapist accounted for my deep sense of not being loved unconditionally, not being met, or not being accepted for who I truly was. It also explained the sense I had of being separated from everyone and utterly abandoned. I spent many weeks in an incubator growing and no doubt struggling for life. With my immature body and premature birth came many challenges, such as a difficulty breathing with ease and not being able to feed without the help of a nasogastric tube. I have a delicate and complex relationship to food and to nourishing myself to this day. My digestive system is highly sensitive and can tolerate only the purest of foods. And although I’m sure I received the best nursing and medical care possible at and after my birth, there was no emotional holding. Bonding, which is considered now the cornerstone of emotional development was not something I experienced. I was separated from my mother who herself suffered from post -natal depression. And for many years and throughout my therapeutic journey I have at times felt a Perspex glass separates me from others. Common to many premature babies, I started my life in an incubator, so this is not surprising. The sense of disconnection, separation and aloneness was deeply rooted in the cells of my body and when I would feel it, it would strike terror in my heart. This feeling could be triggered particularly in group therapeutic work such as workshops and was totally involuntary. I write about my early journey in Songs From the Womb and since our healing journey is always evolving, my early life may be less a source of suffering today, but it is still part of me. All that being said, by the time I entered the Rose room and met Sai Maa many years later, I had healed some of my abandonment wound. Nonetheless, since emotional wounds are like roses and have many layers, the journey to healing my sense of abandonment is ongoing. I feel however, that a very deep and perhaps fundamental core level was healed in me during the time with Sai Maa.
A sense of abandonment or separation is common to many. As is a deep seated feeling of not being loved unconditionally. My story is not unusual but it is unique to me, as your experience is to you. And you do not need to be born prematurely or to be separated from your mother in early life to feel abandoned. You may have had an absent, depressed or unavailable mother. Or you may have had a mother who was too busy, too preoccupied perhaps with other siblings or her own wounds, to pay attention to you or attune adequately to you. There are many variables. What is certain is that in order to heal your emotional wounds and restore your innate sense of wholeness, you may have to awaken to your sense of abandonment and learn to heal it.
How do we do this? In one of my recent webinars, I address how we can heal this fundamental sense of abandonment. I listened back to it recently and was reminded that when seeking to heal the wound of abandonment, in essence what we are healing is a mother loss. Our mothers give us life, it is through our (biological) mothers that we come into this world and incarnate as human beings. Our mothers (and later our fathers and others) are responsible for how we experience a sense of being nurtured and loved. All souls need to be nurtured in order to develop into strong, emotionally secure human beings. As the late paediatrition and psychiatrist Donald Winnicott said, what we need is ‘good enough’ mothering. There are no ideals in this area, our parents are themselves human, and being so, subject to the same biological and psychic laws. They will have experienced their own ‘brand’ of mothering or nurturing which in turn will inform how they behave as parents. What we hope for indeed is a ‘good enough’ mother who has been able to give us, through tuning in to our ‘unspoken’ needs as babies and small children, a sense of what Winnicott called ‘going on being’. A sense of being okay, a sense of trust and a feeling of being loved.
How do we heal a sense of abandonment? We have to learn to ‘mother’ ourselves and to love ourselves, a cliché I know, but this is nonetheless the only way. If, at our root and in our hearts we have a sense of abandonment then attachment becomes difficult. There is a whole modality in psychology called Attachment theory. Its creator John Bowlby noted that when the environment fails to meet the basic archetypal needs of the developing individual, psychological illness results. Bowlby ‘studied the psychological behaviour of very young children who were institutionalised, usually as a result of illness and noted that separation from their mothers had devastating consequences for their future development. The need to attach to a loving parent who is emotionally available on a consistent basis, is a fundamental human need, present in every infant. Those infants and children in hospitals and orphanages for any length of time, suffer gravely, not merely due to separation from their mothers, but also from the unavailability of a consistent carer. Because of the nature of institutions, where different people are involved in the day to day care of the children, a child cannot attach itself to a mother surrogate. And secure attachment in early life helps us form healthy relationships later in life. Lack of this experience tends to make us anxious and insecure’. And whilst we may not have been raised in an orphanage or institution, we may also suffer from a ‘failure to thrive’ due to lack of consistent mothering or loving. It is a fact that attachment patterns are formed in very early life and that these patterns are activated in later life and relationships. If we have not bonded well with our mothers or primary care givers, we may find it hard to form strong emotional attachments to others. Or we may find intimacy difficult, or be unable to be vulnerable and express our emotional needs and meet those of our lovers or partners. It is in love relationships that our childhood patterns are called up and our inner child is awakened. Our inner child can have many faces, the wounded child, the divine child or the orphan child to name a few. The orphan child is constellated in us through our sense of abandonment.
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