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November 11, 2004 [ More archived home pages here ]

When Abandonment Looms

The days of your life run as a continuous stream. Most of the time you will feel good about how your life is going and where you're headed. It would seem that is the way that life should be all the time. Then one day, your world changes and although you continue onward, you are never the same as before. One of the most common life-altering events is abandonment.

One of the most powerful emotions a person can feel is abandonment. Watch a baby cry when the parent suddenly moves out of view. That's abandonment, the fear that what you have come to depend upon is suddenly withdrawn. Each of us feels that emotion when we are infants. It is a trigger-point in all of us as we continue to age.

Abandonment can happen at any time in your life. There may even be valid reasons why someone important to you is no longer present. But that will not assuage the emotion of abandonment.

In my case, I lost my father on November 18, 1955. He had a stroke and started dying before my eyes as my family tried frantically and futilely to save him. There is the terror associated with that memory and combined with the later feelings of abandonment by his absence set the stage for the rest of my life.

It took a long time to reconcile the emotions of that day. My daughter was already an adult before my acceptance came. The answers came during the midst of other struggles about myself. That is why I can discuss this in a public forum.

I do not pretend to be an expert and I am not a qualified councilor about such matters. I write and talk about things knowing that there are experts available for people in need of assistance through rough emotional periods. Seek such experts out if you need.

In my many outside activities I meet people who show the scars of abandonment. They are usually near the end of their emergence, but still are not completely healed. They might think that whoever abandoned them, took something from them and they can't get it back. The truth is that nobody can take anything from us. Whatever we don't feel is probably because it is still too painful to expose to ourselves.

The answer I found for me is that whatever I feel empty about is still retained within my own mind and emotions. The right solution for its surfacing can only be forthcoming from within when the time is right.

Emergence is in the realm of self-control and will be experienced if you keep working towards goodness in your life. Accept that your life is changed by unforeseen circumstances, but know that your destiny is 100% in your hands, not in anyone else's hands. You may have been abandoned, but you are not abandoning yourself. Heal that within you that needs healing and achieve a clear and competent self. Do it at your own pace, but do it.

I miss my father every day. I lost his physical presence in his person. But at least half of me came from him. Much of my personality is similar to the way he was in life. In that way he is with me every day. He gave me life and his absence has helped shape me into the person I am today. Where I once felt only abandonment, now I find comfort and understanding for the most part.

Don


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