Beyond morality, religious views and issues of women’s rights, the abortion falls like a heavy stone on the soft tissue of our soul.


It rips apart relationships, damaging not only the love and passion which started a new life, but also our ability to connect in this way ever fully again. The deep hole appears instead, where the promise of new life once was. This hole, filled only with black emptiness, has the potential to swallow us whole, to seep joy out of our lives, to darken the light and erase the taste of all the good things of life. Yes, it threatens our very existence. And the worst is that we don’t even care.


With aborted pregnancy, a part of us dies too. The leftover part can’t wait to follow suit.


The interrupted life leaves a permanent scar on our soul. The wound that doesn’t heal. There are no ameliorating circumstances. No absolution. No atonement which appeases the Gods. And there is no going back. This is one decision which we cannot change or turn back from. It’s final. Deadly final in its consequences. There are no explanations or justifications which would make it easier. The only thing we are left with is this black hole in our life. Of our own choosing and without an exit sign.


If and when we really allow ourselves to look at it, to acknowledge that it is there, which often comes after decades of trying to avert our gaze from it, we are faced with overwhelming grief. Which feels like swallowing us whole. And if we agree to it, if we say yes to this unimaginable grief and surrender ourselves to pain without defense, if we open the flood gates of guilt and the heavy load of personal responsibility, if we consciously and willingly are prepared to give up our life for the one taken – then sometimes by the miracle of grace, we get a new lease on it. But only if we truly surrender to heaviness of guilt, pain, and responsibility, to full consequences of our decision for us, our relationship, and most importantly – for the child.


Through constellation work we witness the real effect of abortion on us. One which we are often not consciously aware of, but one which nevertheless plays havoc in our lives. And the lives of those closest and dearest to us, like our other living children for example.


Both, women and men, often unconsciously continue to punish themselves for their decision by “deadening” themselves and limiting their lives in one way or another. They can sacrifice their relationship, possibility of other partner connections in the future, their work success. These and many other good things of life are put to the imaginary “altar to abortion” which we create in our souls. The sad fact, many find out the hard way, is that there is no lessening of the burden even after decades of such sacrifice. What people in these situations find out through constellation work is that the sacrifice they (unconsciously) devote their lives to does not help, does not allow them to move on and does not change anything for the child either.


Feelings of guilt are poor substitute for opening oneself up to the real guilt we can and must do something about. Feeling pity for oneself or the child does not help either. Neither do self blame or directing blame and anger towards the partner. Hoping for forgiveness and compassion is just another dead road, another expectation put on those who we have already taken everything from. We certainly can not and must not expect anything from the child who already has paid the ultimate price.


If there are no ameliorating circumstances which can soften the deadliness of our decision, if there is no running away from responsibility and guilt, if there is no absolution, no atonement possible which would even things out, what then is left for us, these childless parents who pretend they can take the matters of life and death into their own hands, thinking they can decide what the right and wrong circumstances for life are as if this was in their power? Is there anything left but suffering in this black hole of our own making?


Only that which we could not do at the time of making the decision: surrendering to forces bigger than us, understanding that we are in their hands. That we do not have the power to decide. Not even the right to find solace in eternal suffering. We surrender to these powers of Life and Death which have worked and continue to work through us in this particular way. Without the wish, the desire or the fantasy that anything could have been different to what it was. To these powers we have to surrender also our grief, even our guilt and personal responsibility eventually.


Then, miraculously, we are all saved. So are our children. Who then rest happily in our heart space made for them through acceptance of everything exactly the way it happened. And they are at peace there. Nestled safely in their destiny, wholly in tune with it, in full agreement.


Alemka Dauskardt


Featured image: Slovakian monument to the unborn child


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