LIFE STORY by Enrique Ledesma
A few years ago a person from another country was sent to a church centre where I was the director. I was advised that she had some deep emotional difficulties trusting anyone and attacked those who tried to get near her. It was not long before I experienced that first hand, with her outbursts and accusations hurled at me almost daily. I was a bit shocked at first and felt deeply challenged but I was determined to see if I could help her somehow. I had a goal that no matter what, I would not give up on her. Personally, I wanted to see if unconditional love was as powerful as I held it to be and whether I could actually practice it and lose my ego for the sake of someone else.
I prayed for her daily, thanking God for her existence and asked to be a vehicle of love and compassion. I prepared tea and cookies daily and offered them to her though she refused to accept anything from me or even to talk with me. She would speak to me through others in the third person only and usually with insults that no one wanted to translate after a while. After a few months, one day, her angry demeanour, without any explanation, suddenly changed and she smiled and accepted the tea and we sat down for hours talking. As I listened to her struggles growing up, I felt tremendous empathy and respect for her. In counselling it is called transference when someone unconsciously transfers or projects certain feelings on to you that stem from their early attachment care givers. Positive change can occur when we understand what is happening and can express warmth and care in a loving way, healing and reversing past problems.