by Dan Drake, LMFT, LCPP, CCPS-S, CSAT-S
Here is a guided meditation adapted from The Betrayal Bond (Carnes, 1997, pp. 213-215):
Close your eyes and make yourself comfortable. Make sure nothing physical distracts you. If you are upset about anything, picture a box around it and set it aside. Tune in now to your own bodily rhythms – your breathing and your heart beating. Know that each beat of your heart and each breath you take is sacred.
Imagine a safe place. A place that has no demands. A place that always gives peace. Look around the safe place. Notice colors, sounds and textures. what is it that makes this place so good for you?
You become aware of another presence in the safe place. You look to see who it is. It is a healer, a wise person who has come to support you in the safe place. Greet your healer. Your healer invites you to do an inventory of your life. Your healer then asks you to face the north and joins you at your side.
North is the direction of the winter winds. It is the direction of challenge, endurance and courage. Your healer asks for what challenge do you need to be strong? What do you need courage to face? Tell your healer what that is. Your healer then asks you to face the east.
East is the direction of the rising sun. It is the direction of beginnings. Your healer asks what do you need to start in your life? When is it time to begin? Tell your healer what you must begin. Your healer then asks you to face the south.
South is the direction of the summer sun. It is the direction of nurturing, vitality and growth. Your healer asks what do you have going on in your life that needs your attention, your nurturing, your cultivation? What do you need to grow or heal? Tell your healer what you must have now in order to grow. Your healer then asks you to face the west.
West is the direction of the setting sun. It is the direction of endings. Your healer asks what do you need to bring to a close? To whom do you need to say goodbye? Tell your healer what you have not been willing to end and that you know it is time now to end it. Your healer then asks you to gaze upward at the sky.
The sky is the direction of openness and possibility. It is the direction of creativity. Your healer asks you to picture yourself against the sky doing something that uses talents you currently do not use. Tell your healer about your unused talents. Your healer then asks you to gaze downward toward the earth.
The earth is the direction of gravity. It is the direction of stability. Your healer asks what is it that you need to remain stable? Tell your healer what you need to remain grounded. Sit down with your healer. Your healer has a special message for you about your direction in life. What does your healer tell you?
As you talk, you become aware of another presence in the safe place. As you look to see who it is, you see that it is a child about five years old. As the child approaches, you realize the child is you at the age of five. Welcome the child. Ask the child how things are going. What concerns and fears does the child have? Allow the child to climb into your lap. Reassure the child. Even though the child has maybe suffered neglect, or harm, or abandonment, or even abuse, you are now here to protect the child. Hold the child close and comfort the child. As you hold the child in your arms, the healer now has something to tell you about the child. What does the healer say?
As you and the healer talk, the child becomes restless. The child gets up and asks if you and the healer would like to play. You and the healer agree. You take one hand and the healer takes the other and you leave the safe place. You walk out into a spectacular green meadow. At one end of the meadow is a playground with all kinds of play equipment: water slides, merry-go-rounds, jungle gyms, and swings. Picture yourself playing. Notice that you can have intense feelings and still play.
You realize it is time to leave. Tell the child and the healer you have to go. The child responds, “We know. But first we have a gift for you.” The child runs and gets the gift and hands it to you. If it is wrapped, unwrap it. What is the gift? What does it look like? What does it mean? Thank the child and the healer. And when you are ready, open your eyes.