Healing Wounds by Saying Goodbye to the Elephant in the Room

Here is my blog on healing wounds by saying goodbye to the elephant in the room.

I grew up in a household that had all the trimmings of success and even luxury…even here there lurked a deep, dark, looming secret. We had this huge ‘elephant in the room’ lurking about 24/7/365. My brother and I knew it was there, but we had no clue why it was there and why no one else acknowledged it. It lived in our living room where we all gathered after school and work to eat dinner and watch TV together. I swear the density of the air in that room was thicker than anywhere in my world. And of course, I had no clue what density was at that point, but I could feel its presence. My parents distracted themselves from the elephant with alcohol, TV, and halting, awkward conversation with each other and us.

I have concluded that they just had had so much stress in their life and never learned any tools to cope with it in a healthy way — so they just accumulated more and more stress, even to the point of having such a mass of it that it expressed itself as a huge elephant in our living room – and still they looked away. There was honesty, yet it took the form of anger and rage – probably at all the energy it took to look away from the elephant in the room and that it was even there in the first place. They just didn’t have the capacity to be fiercely honest. My brother and I grew up with this example – “no matter what, do not be brutally honest”. We watched our parents and their friends pay the price and we paid a price, too.

The good news is that today we are blessed with the tools of recovery. We can learn how to handle the stresses and strains of life in a healthy way. We can discover how truly courageous we are when we are brave enough to sit with the uncomfortable and stare down the elephant in the room. Sadly, my parents never got this extraordinary shot at healing wounds at this level.

When we are honest, we can accept all parts of ourselves. Nikki Myers, in her stellar work in codependency, speaks of finding the lost soul. Such powerful work. We notice which younger version of ourselves is standing in the shadows in fear of being seen or heard, sadness from grief or abandonment, anxiety about speaking our truth, or tremulous about standing in our power. We are finally able to stay still and get quiet enough to hear the voices of these parts of ourselves. These are the ones who are carrying unresolved trauma. These are the ones who conjure up the elephant in the room. We bring all these disparate parts of us together and invite them into the room for a seat at the Peace Table. We enter into negotiations with all parties.

When we finally get honest with ourselves about what’s really up with us, then those old wounds can begin to heal. We add a healthy measure of compassion into this hearty mix. Once we bring peace within ourselves through self-honesty and compassion, we can then be in a healthier place to bring peace to the world. We bring peace to the world through us living the example of what it looks like to live in peace and contentment.

When we bring honesty and compassion to bear in a room where that elephant lives, we find that elephant fades and finally disappears altogether. We might even forget it was ever even there.

Healing wounds by saying goodbye to the elephant in the room

Like this article?

Share on Facebook
Share on Linkdin
Share on Pinterest
Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *