I know GPC healing work as an interpersonal context for intrapersonal healing and repair of destructive internal wiring accrued over a lifetime. When terror or loneliness or despair or any intense emotional experience overwhelms the emotional/mental wiring of a person, destructive beliefs about oneself, one’s intrinsic value and one’s emotions, take root. Beliefs like, “I’m too much of a burden”, I’m ugly”, “If I cry, I’ll dissolve into nothing”, “If anyone sees my anger, they’ll despise me”, or “If I laugh I’ll look stupid”, strangle everyday encounters. The coping skills that emerge in the service of survival rarely make one whole. They help us get by, and that is no small thing. But the unencumbered, vibrant heart energy of a fully alive self is usually missing.
Because what hurts us most happens between people, what heals us most also happens between people. I believe the deepest healing of the core self happens only in the experience of sharing deep affect with an emotionally resonant, present other. I’d even go so far as to say an ‘attached in this moment’ other. When this kind of presence and support for unfoldment is offered to another, and is felt by him or her deeply enough to take a risk, then feeling states activate, and transformation picks up where it left off!
The focus shifts from phrases like ‘ improving myself’ or ‘being better’ or ‘more acceptable’ to: unfolding, opening, and ‘allowing myself in relation to…’. In felt attachment, the value of the person on each side of the line is affirmed and preserved. No one is exploited or diminished. Rather, both participate in the connection, even as the roles and experience are different for the person working and the person serving as guide.
The image of God as our ground of being resonates for me as I think of this deep emotional work. When I sit with someone and drop into my seat, I like to re-member that connection, whether I am working as client or guide. It is easier to open to falling apart, when imagining the ‘ground of being’ under us both.
Rev. Sara Goold, GPC faculty.