I want to tell you about *Alan and how his daughter is offering him profound healing.
The important thing to know about Hannah, is that she is just like Alan – and that freaks him out to no end.
You see, Alan lives with a terrible lack of permission to be himself – and when our main purpose in life is to become the fullest possible expression of ourselves, that is like living death.
He’s lived most of his life inside a grey, scared, exhausting, boring sort of feeling. Psychiatrists have called it chronic treatment-resistant depression with anxiety features. I call it reactive depression. I would even go so far as to call it a lifestyle disease.
His parents were both deeply unhappy people and his mother was also very controlling. Like all children do, young Alan set himself the Mission Impossible of making his parents ok. Thus he learned to shape himself to other people’s desires. He never learned that it was ok to just be himself; Quite the opposite actually.
Alan, of course, married an unhappy, controlling, scary woman just like his mother. He gave into her pressure to have children and he often feels totally overwhelmed by them, in particular by his eldest daughter, Hannah who is insecure, socially withdrawn, anxious and bored – just like him.
Hannah’s problems are multiplied because she also struggles with a learning difficulty. She should actually be in a different school but Alan’s wife refuses to acknowledge this and he has been keeping quiet. As usual:
But this time it’s harder than usual to not speak out.
Alan knows how it feels to be Hannah. He sits in my office in tears; face wracked with pain about what his daughter is going through.
What can he do?
Well, Alan’s life-long depression is a result of shutting himself up to please other people. He’s very afraid of showing his true self – although it’s his life task, as it is all of ours. He has his own view on things – he just hides it really well.
Now along comes Hannah, offering this healing.
Why healing? Well, from his dismal and overwhelming situation with her:
a) He finally gets to see exactly how he felt as a child.
Why would he want to see that?
Because many of his self-beliefs were formed at a time when he wasn’t aware, that his parents’ issues had nothing at all to do with him. He still thinks it was his fault; if only he had managed to make his dad happy, to please his mother… However he can see that none of this is Hannah’s fault.
b) He gets a chance for a do-over.
This is his moment to finally speak out about what a child like this needs. It’s an opportunity to honour himself – for his own sake and for his daughter.
Depression is your soul calling you home. Alan’s soul has been calling for most of his life but he hasn’t ever felt he was worth listening to.
Will he find the courage to start listening now?
This time his life is not the only one at stake, his daughter’s is too. She could be his trigger for healing his life-long pattern of repressing himself – if he’s willing.
In my opinion his depression will lift if he is. And if he isn’t, he has to watch her suffer through life – just like him.
He is taking small brave steps.
My heart and soul are cheering him on.
Children make it harder for us to bear the sufferings we have gotten used to. They bring us closer to hearing our soul.
*Names and details have been changed to protect identity