So why was she ringing me every week distraught and wracked with doubts?
We went through everything from the trauma of her past marriage, whether Cliff was her soul mate or not, even whether she was on the right career path. These conversations usually led to me reassuring her that everything was OK. Eventually though, the original fears would resurface. I began to get concerned that Rosalie would leave behind the life she had built up for herself.
Recognizing the Core Feelings
Then there was a breakthrough during one of our sessions. I had a vision of Rosalie running away screaming and behind her was this black shadowy figure that seemed to grow like a cloud covering the sky above her, so that no matter where she went it followed her. The feeling was that there was no where she could go, that she would never be safe.
Rosalie began to cry as this was the exact image she had been having in a recurring dream over the past few months. She confessed that she was plagued with negative fantasies of bad things that may happen to her and she spent a great deal of time thinking through these various scenarios.
The obvious conclusion that Rosalie had unconsciously made was that there was something wrong in her life and she couldn't see what it was - thus the readings, picking through her relationship and her job.
However the answer was much more simple! She didn't feel safe! That basic need of human beings to feel safe wasn't being met in her life. When we uncovered this, Rosalie discovered that as a woman and a coloured woman in a mostly white environment, she had never felt safe - even after healing from her abusive marriage. She never felt culturally safe. That is, she did not feel she could express her own spiritual & cultural beliefs without being ridiculed by others around her, even Cliff. When she reaslied how bottled up she was, she also realized there were so many things she wanted to do again - dancing, singing, using her intuition and healing abilities. In fact, the list was substantial!
Discussing this with her partner went incredibly well - he'd had no idea Rosalie had been holding back such an important part of herself. Her openness added a level of intimacy to their relationship they hadn't previously experienced.
Most of us tend to think about physical safety when we consider our basic human need to feel safe. But there are other, often more hidden threats to our safety...
EMOTIONAL SAFETY: Do you feel safe enough to express your feelings to those closest to you?
INTELLECTUAL SAFETY: Do you feel safe enough to express your personal beliefs to others?
CULTURAL SAFETY: Do you feel safe enough to practise your religious / cultural / personal rituals or ceremonies without ridicule or suspicion?
SAFETY OF SELF - BOUNDARIES: Do you feel safe enough to say NO when you want to?
Take a little time to journal on these questions. You may be surprised to find that there are areas you hadn't realised you felt your safety was being compromised!