Beth L. Haessig, Psy.D. is a licensed psychologist, a certified body- centered psychotherapist, and a certified yoga therapist. She is the former president of the United States Association for Body Psychotherapy. She works privately with childrenand adults in schools and in an urban hospital as an integrative health psychologist.
See www.BethHaessig.com for more information.
Ferocious Family Love
What happens when people who have ferocious love, gather? Ferocious love is ferocious vulnerability. Love is sometimes hard to hold without making me feel wide open to the possibility of hurt, pain, or loss. To protect from this level of openness, I have a habit of holding behavioral expectations toward family members. Expectations act as a shield at the ready, to make another wrong. This activity helps me NOT feel the vulnerability of my love.
Instead, it allows me to feel victimized by their behavior, viz., “can you believe SHE did this?” If I make myself a victim to their behavior, I feel self-righteous. That’s much better than the alternative, which is helpless. Or is it?
How can we hold onto expectations for our family members when they failed to give conscious agreement to how we want them to behave?
As holidays approach, see how it feels to hold NO expectations of how anyone behaves. LET THEM BE EXACTLY THE WAYTHEY ARE. Don’t forget we always have freedom of movement—an ability to remove oneself from the table, go outside, catch a few minutes alone to listen to the chatter from a distance, or hear the sounds of life outside.
Join me as I try to hold everyone around the holiday table in the vulnerable fiery feelings that are living in my heart at the next family gathering. Surely it’s ferocious love.