"Recovery involves bringing to consciousness
those beliefs and attitudes in our subconscious that are causing our dysfunctional
reactions so that we can reprogram our ego defenses to allow us to live
a healthy, fulfilling life instead of just surviving. So that we
can own our power to make choices for ourselves about our beliefs and values
instead of unconsciously reacting to the old tapes. Recovery is consciousness
raising. It is en-light-en-ment - bringing the dysfunctional attitudes
and beliefs out of the darkness of our subconscious into the Light of consciousness.
On an emotional level the dance of Recovery is
owning and honoring the emotional wounds so that we can release the grief
energy - the pain, rage, terror, and shame that is driving us.
That shame is toxic and is not ours - it never
was! We did nothing to be ashamed of - we were just little kids.
Just as our parents were little kids when they were wounded and shamed,
and their parents before them, etc., etc. This is shame about being
human that has been passed down from generation to generation.
There is no blame here, there are no bad guys,
only wounded souls and broken hearts and scrambled minds."
Codependence: The Dance of Wounded
Souls by Robert Burney
Inner child work is in one way detective work.
We have a mystery to solve. Why have I have I been attracted to the
the type of people that I have been in relationship with in my life?
Why do I react in certain ways in certain situations? Where did my
behavior patterns come from? Why do I sometimes feel so: helpless;
lonely; desperate; scared; angry; suicidal; etc.
Just starting to ask these types of questions,
is the first step in the healing process. It is healthy to start
wondering about the cause and effect dynamics in our life.
In our codependence, we reacted to life out of
a black and white, right and wrong, belief paradigm that taught us that
is was shameful and bad to be wrong, to make mistakes, to be imperfect
- to be human. We formed our core relationship with our self and
with life in early childhood based on the messages we got, the emotional
trauma we suffered, and the role modeling of the adults around us.
As we grew up, we built our relationship with self, other people, and life
on the foundation we formed in early childhood.
When we were 5, we were already reacting to life
out of the emotional trauma of earlier ages. We adapted defenses
to try to protect ourselves and to get our survival needs met. The
defenses adapted at 5 due to the trauma suffered at earlier ages led to
further trauma when we were 7 that then caused us to adjust our defenses,
that led to wounding at 9, etc., etc., etc.
Toxic shame is the belief that there is something
inherently wrong with who we are, with our being. Guilt is "I made
a mistake, I did something wrong." Toxic shame is: "I am a
mistake. There is something wrong with me."
It is very important to start awakening to the
Truth that there is nothing inherently wrong with our being - it is our
relationship with our self and with life that is dysfunctional. And
that relationship was formed in early childhood.
The way that one begins inner child healing is
simply to become aware.
To become aware that the governing principle
in life is cause and effect.
To become aware that our relationship with our
self is dysfunctional.
To become aware that we have the power to change
our relationship with our self.
To become aware that we were programmed with false
beliefs about the purpose and nature of life in early childhood - and that
we can change that programming.
To become aware that we have emotional
wounds from childhood that it is possible to get in touch with and heal
enough to stop them from dictating how we are living our life today.
That is the purpose of inner child healing - to stop
letting our experiences of the past dictate how we respond to life today.
It cannot be done without revisiting our childhood.
We need to become aware, to raise our consciousness.
To create a new level of consciousness for ourselves that allows us to
It is vitally important to start observing ourselves
- our reactions, our feelings, our thoughts - from a detached witness place
that is not shaming.
We all have an inner critic, a critical parent
voice, that beats us up with shame, judgment, and fear. The critical
parent voice developed to try to control our emotions and our behaviors
because we got the message there was something wrong with us and that our
survival would be threatened if we did, said, or felt the "wrong" things.
It is vital to start learning how to not give
power to that critical shaming voice. We need to start observing
ourselves with compassion. This is almost impossible at the beginning
of the inner child healing process - having compassion for our self, being
Loving to our self, is the hardest thing for us to do.
So, we need to start observing ourselves from
at least a more neutral perspective. Become a scientific observer,
a detective - the Sherlock Holmes of your own inner process as it were.
We need to start being that detective, observing
ourselves and asking ourselves where that reaction / thought / feeling
is coming from. Why am I feeling this way? What does this remind
me of from my past? How old do I feel right now? How old did
I act when that happened?
One of the amazing things about this process,
is that as one starts to become more aware of our own reactions, we also
start to become more aware of others. We start seeing when the people
in our lives are reacting like a little kid, or adolescent, or teenager,
or whatever. The more we become aware of their reactions, the easier
it becomes to stop taking their behavior personally - which then makes
it easier to detach from our own reactions and observe ourselves.
It is an amazing, miraculous process, that can
help us to change our relationship with our self, with other people, and
with life. Becoming more aware, becoming conscious of a new way of
looking at ourselves and life is the beginning of a process of learning
to forgive and Love our self.
A detective always looks at cause and effect.
By becoming a detective, solving the mystery of why we have lived our lives
as we have, we can start to free ourselves from our past. By doing
the inner child healing, we can start to learn how to really be alive instead
of just surviving and enduring.