The Power of Completion Work
The Power of Radical Honesty Completion Work
Picture yourself being 3 years old.
Picture an older boy there with you – your brother.
Imagine spending the first years of your life as a family of four.
And then, overnight, picture your brother missing.
Picture the tension around the breakfast table, the anxiety on your parent’s face, the smell of cigarettes – although I don’t remember those details consciously, my right shoulder aches and my stomach feels tight as I write this. My heart hurts.
What you are reading here is no fiction – it’s the environment I grew up in.
Where is my brother? I kept asking my parents.
I do recall my mother's face – I’d describe it as sad. Pitiful. Hurt. My father was more angry. Agitated. Nervous. He smoked a lot. My mom did too. She tried to be present with me. I could tell something was troubling her. Something was in the air: an unspoken tension, thick enough to slice it with a knife.
So, what happened?
My brother left over night. He never returned. The next time I saw him was in a courthouse. He sued my parents. I was not allowed to greet him. My mom held me back. I feel pain in my shoulders as I write this. The knot in my stomach seems to tighten.
And then, I did not see him for 12 years.
I wondered what happened to him. My parents would not tell me. At least I did not feel like they were telling me the truth. And so, a person I loved and who was there for me was no longer there – for no apparent reason. And although I denied the fact for over 20 years, it had an impact on me and weighed heavy on my being.
When I was 15, the phone rang. My mom answered. I do remember this call, it was a very important one.
It was the first time my brother called in 12 years; I haven’t seen him since the day in court.
Days later, he stood in our hallway. He carried a baby in his arm.
The Weight of Unfinished Business from the Past
I felt weird: a strange sense of something being just… off.
From that day, he was part of our family again.
He came to visit us more often. He brought the baby: my nephew, as my parents said to me.
I had not much of a connection to him. I thought I should have one.
I thought my parents expected me to forgive and move on, but I could not think myself into a state of forgiveness.
Some years passed. I was in university. My brother had two more kids. I skipped most family meetings. I said I needed to study. Or meet friends.
I wanted to be close to him and the kids – not super-close, but closer than I felt in the moment. I made myself forget their birthdays.
I felt guilty for that, and I kept doing it. I had no way out.
The past got in the way and held back my presence.
Completion Work - How to finish the past and move on!
I found Radical Honesty in my late twenties. I went to a workshop in Greece with Dr. Brad Blanton. I practiced at home with important people in my life.
I started to realise the impact my unfinished business had on my life.
I did what we call Radical Honesty Completion Work: going back into situations from the past; going back to complete the experience.
One day, it dawned on me: “I have to go and talk to my brother.”
I hesitated for a few days. Then, I called him up. I told him I want to talk to him, alone. He agreed.
I drove 70 minutes to his place. On the way, I was not sure how this would go. Nevertheless, I felt a sense of clarity and power in my body.
We met in a quiet cafe outside.
He said that he expected me to come talk to him one day.
I looked at him and said: “I resent you for leaving home when I was three. I resent you for your absence.” I looked at him. He looked at me. He did not speak. I said the same thing again. This time, with more anger in the expression. My vision went blurry. My body trembled. I think I said it a few more times with different words and also things like “I am sad that you left”.
I kept feeling my body, trying to find the words that would help me experience the sensation as much as possible.
After 5 minutes, I relaxed and sank back in my chair. My vision of him changed. For the first time, I saw him as a present-tense human being and not as the story I made of him. I appreciated him for a bunch of things. We talked for some more time, but the core body of the work happened for me within 5 minutes.
Just 5 minutes!
20 years of stories partly collapsed!
On my way home, I smelled new smells. I felt happy. And free.
That story I had held on to for years gobbled up large parts of my creative potential. Once I went back in to experience the underlying feelings fully, I had more room for new creative acts. I started writing and publishing. I started my first business. I knew the value of Radical Honesty Completion Work.
Your unfinished business holds you back more than you can consciously be aware of. It clouds your judgment, distorts your vision.
When people tell me: “I have not talked to my parents in years… and I don’t have to”, I see a Code fucking Red.
Reach out to me, if there are any people you feel estranged or alienated from!