This blog posting is personal – personal in the sense that it derives directly from a most personal experience. I sit on an airplane writing this most revelatory missive on my return to Los Angeles, California from an overdue visit to my hometown of Detroit, Michigan to visit family on the wonderful occasion of my parents 70th (?! Yes!) wedding anniversary. There is nothing like a visit to one’s family environs to get perspective on the state of one’s emotional alignment with the familial dynamics that have shaped a life and how, in this case, it has led to the freedom to love.
I share the realization from this now concluded excursion of the family kind because it demonstrates the core of why my dedication to supporting others in their emancipation of the conditions that bind is unyielding.
As the debilitating conditions from one’s experiences are neutralized and released the freedom that results from such emancipation allows a kind of loving that is unencumbered from the restraints of compromising issues, pain and their residual effects.
It became evident during the visit that the usual and common personal triggers and reactions experienced from family dynamics and issues had been so reconciled and neutralized within me that a level of unconditional loving occurred that was quite astounding to recognized and witness.
During the visit I had a chance from my out-of-town status to connect remotely with a client desiring to arrange a hypnotherapy appointment upon my return to work. During the exchange with this person I mentioned my present visit with family to which, understandably, the response from the client referenced the issues presumably such a visit would trigger. As I candidly replied to my client the reality that there were no such psychological, emotional or resident caustic issues, it was a verbal acknowledgment of the emancipation my visit afforded me to recognize.
Through my personal resolve to reconcile the debilitating issues of a childhood fraught with the interference of innocence that can and does often restrict one’s authenticity of self-expression, my hometown visit made clear to my awareness that the shackles that restricted my self-worth, security and self-acceptance had been eradicate.
The genuineness of this revelation was evident as there was no premeditated agenda to feel or superimpose a feeling of independence from such family conditioning and triggers for ego’s sake during this visit into the vortex of family dynamics. There simply was nothing present within me – emotionally, psychological or otherwise – to suppress, manage, reconcile or vent. And trust me, this has not been the clear state of being I, like most, have inhabited.
In hindsight, I suppose a foreshadowing of this authentic state of inner clearness was evident by my atypical accelerated enthusiasm for the visit as the months-long countdown to the visit dwindled. To be clear, I always look forward to what is usually an annual visit to my hometown to visit (primarily) my parents in addition to other family members, just not the myriad issues – suppressed and not – and the triggers and emotional hallmarks of a tumultuous childhood fraught with insecurity, isolation, strident relationships and eroded self-worth as a consequence of robbed innocence.
As the time for the visit approached, I attributed the accelerated enthusiasm to the fact that my typical annual visit had been prolonged this most recent occasion to two years rather than one since my last visit. I assumed the added enthusiasm was due to an additional year having passed since I saw family. As the visit transpired it became unmistakably clear that the expanded enthusiasm for the impending visit was due to the fact that I was authentically free of the inner entanglements that would restrict naturally unbridled enthusiasm!
Most individuals are not even aware of the level of psychological and emotional freedom possible to one’s sense of self when free to reach such possibility. When the conditioning from experiences during formative stages of development that compromises well-being (of which all suffer to varying degrees) is reconciled, neutralized and eliminated, a profound level of psychological and emotional freedom is accessible. This enables the freedom to love unconditionally. This attainable freedom is the driving impetus that forges my commitment to my therapy work as a highly sought hypnotherapist. You do not have to acquiesce to, “well, that’s family…” inner despair simply because our universal conditioning sets the bar that low out of ignorance of our capacity for freedom!
During my hometown visit the most telling reflection of my personal emancipation status was the remarkable awareness of how legitimately okay I was with allowing family members to have their own vantage point (opinion) on matters pertaining to me or my decisions. To be clear, this was not simply an “attitude” of not caring what others thought or ignoring or suppressing feelings about others’ opinions. The attitude of independence or not caring is often a reaction or suppression of the triggered entanglements of family history and dysfunctional dynamics. This freedom stance was no seizing of an attitude for emotional defense or protection in the least.
This emancipated emotional status was a consequence of deep, inner reconciliation and release of family conditioning that restorative therapy (rather than therapy for therapy’s sake) fundamentally yields. This reconciliation and release of inner attachment to the toxic consequences of family issues and dynamics did not require or depend on participation of family members; it was wholly an inside job. The reason I am such a staunch advocate for hypnotherapy is because it is a most direct means (but certainly not the only) of gaining access to the subconscious for reconciling the subconscious reservoir of conditioning that harbors pain, trauma and the misalignment of worth that is its consequences.
Equally as important as the freedom to allow others to be where they are in their expression of self was the whole-hearten allowance, acceptance and inner license to embrace fully the same unencumbered right to live from my own personal self-hood. I was just as authentically okay with my decisions and the reflection of self they mirrored as well! This is what is meant by the freedom to love, yes, indeed.
When love is not dependent on a bond forged only by familial connection, familiarity or association, but is also authentically free from the entanglements of those very same familial connections, familiarities and associations, then it truly is unconditioned love.
Far too often “unconditional love” references a mistaken assumption that this means that one loves despite the conditions that bind. This effort is indeed laudable, however, the true meaning of unconditional love is just that – love is allowed to express free of the conditions that filter and constrain it breadth of infinite, unadulterated capacity. Literally, it is unconditioned.
The energetic power of this freedom to love is intangible but its consequences are not. I witnessed, without overt intention, a softening of a historically strident relationship with a particular family member and an unspoken, yet noticeable, heighten degree of respect from another during this recent visit of the family kind. The freedom to love is just that; you are free to love.
Do not allow your earnest desire to live a life of unfettered bliss to be relegated to airy-fairy, pie-in-the-sky fantasy or delusion. Step into the courage to be your own salvation. Whether that step involves restorative therapy, quiet moments of contemplative reflection, communing with Nature or dancing your butt off, seize the day! There is only one individual with the key to your freedom to love – and that is you.
My visit to my hometown was more of a homecoming of a different order than I ever imagined.
And by the way, happy anniversary to Mr. & Mrs. Isaiah and Sebena McGee.