The Inner Children that need Boundaries
As long as we are judging and shaming
ourselves we are giving power to the disease. We are feeding the monster
that is devouring us.
We need to take responsibility without taking
the blame. We need to own and honor the feelings without being a victim
We need to rescue and nurture and Love our inner
children - and STOP them from controlling our lives. STOP them from
driving the bus! Children are not supposed to drive, they are not
supposed to be in control.
And they are not supposed to be abused and abandoned.
We have been doing it backwards. We abandoned and abused our inner children.
Locked them in a dark place within us. And at the same time let the children
drive the bus - let the children's wounds dictate our lives.
(All quotes in this color are from Codependence:
The Dance of Wounded Souls)
The above passage from my book is one that I really like.
It says a great deal in just a few words. It speaks to the balance
that is the goal of the healing process. Take responsibility for
my side of the street without blaming - me or anyone else.
Feel my feelings without letting them run my life. Learn to
have Love and compassion for the child that I was, at the same time I take
control of my inner process in a Loving way by not continuing to give power
over how I live today to my past emotional wounds.
Through integrating the Truth of a Loving Higher Power into our inner
process we can start to take the shame and judgment out of the process.
We can start to set boundaries with the Critical Parent voice and to Lovingly
parent the wounded child places (and archetypes - i.e. rebel, maiden, etc.)
within our psyche.
In order to become empowered and stop being the victim of our self it
is very important to recognize the different parts of ourselves so that
we can set boundaries out of the adult that has knowledge, skills, and
resources, the adult that is on a Spiritual/healing path. We can
access our Higher Self to be a Loving Parent to the wounded parts of our
self. We have a Healer Within us. An Inner Mentor/Teacher/Wise
Wizard that can guide us if we have the ears to hear. That Adult
within us can set a boundary with the Critical Parent to stop the shame
and judgment and can then Lovingly set boundaries with whatever part of
us is reacting so that we can find some balance in the now - not overreact
or under react out of out fear of overreacting.
We all have a whole family (seems like a community sometimes) of wounded
components that make up our being. Having a lot of conflicting feelings
within is not a sign that we are crazy - it is a sign that we have different
parts of us that want different things/are reacting to different impulses.
The more we get aware of those parts of us the more we can stop being an
unconscious victim of those conflicting feelings.
And what is very important - and the biggest difference between
the techniques that I have developed and teach from so many other - is
to build a Loving ongoing relationship with those wounded parts of us.
Inner child healing is not something that we do and then move on with our
lives. Our wounded inner children are going to be with us for the
rest of our lives. The wounds are not going to go away - they have
progressively less power as we heal - but they do not go away. So
it is important for us to recognize what part of us is reacting so that
we can respond to that wounded part of our self in a Loving, patient, and
mature way when one of our buttons is pushed/wounds is gouged.
This work is about becoming an integrated, whole, mature, adult person
in action, in the way we live our lives and respond to life events and
Here is a list, and short description, of some of the normal wounded
inner parts of self that it is very helpful to get aware of, cultivate
a Loving relationship with, and learn how to set boundaries for - we all
have some aspect of most all of these within us.
The part of us that wants instant gratification - "I WANT WHAT I WANT AND
I WANT IT NOW!" (often closely allied/associated with the addict,
the rebel, and/or the angry teenager)
As a young child we had no discernment or perspective (the part of the
brain that governs these things does not develop until around 7 - the "Age
of Reason"). A small child has no concept of time (go for a
long ride with a 5 or 6 year old and count how many times the little person
asks "Are we there yet?") or of consequences in any type of logical way,
and will eat lots of candy over and over again. A small child can
be beaten (physically and/or emotionally) enough to make them react out
of fear of taking action but that is not the same as logically thinking
if I eat a lot of candy I will get sick - they are not capable of having
this type of intellectual perspective on delayed gratification. (Just
like a puppy can be abused to the point it cowers in fear, so too do many
of us have a cowering little child inside of us whose spirit was broken
with the "rod" to make us behave.)
This part of us that desires instant gratification is often the component
of our being that we let take charge when we have been doing the Codependent
3 step of Shame, Suffering and Self-Abuse (Victim, Perpetrator, Rescuer
cycle - web page http://Joy2MeU.com/codependent.htm
). That is when we are judging and shaming our self (being our own
perpetrator by giving power to the Critical Parent/disease voice) until
we feel very victimized and are suffering so much that we rescue ourselves
by nurturing ourselves out of the old instant gratification ways we learned
to go unconscious (alcohol, food, sex, fantasy, etc.)
It is important to remember that young children are completely in the
moment and feel things very BIG - it feels like life and death to that
little kid to get the candy or the toy or whatever. But 10 minutes
later the child can be very happy doing something different - rather they
got the toy or not. The energy behind/power of/"big"ness of the feeling
does not equal the importance of it in the reality of our adult life this
moment, today. (This is about the contrast between the "emotional
truth" that we are reacting out of, and the emotional energy of Truth which
is our intuition speaking to us - web page http://Joy2MeU.com/MetaphysicalTruth.htm
Almost the opposite extreme from the indulgent King/Queen Baby is the young
child component in the person who never got to be a child - who had to
be an adult from early age (I have had clients who were cleaning the house
and cooking the family breakfast as early as 4 years old - mind boggling!)
Very serious, over responsible, controlling, with a very black and white/right
and wrong perspective of life - this child has no idea how to relax and
enjoy life - fun, playful, and frivolous are foreign concepts and shameful
This is a child who has to be taught how to play, and talked through
letting go of the seriousness. The cowering, very wounded (inside
emotionally - on the outside they usually look great, very good at keeping
up appearances) child who got the message that he/she is only worthy and
lovable by taking care of everyone else has a very hard time relaxing.
The type of message she/he needs to hear from the adult within would
go something like this: "It's Ok honey. You don't have to be
working or producing all of the time. It is important for you to
play also. You are Unconditionally Loved no matter what you are doing.
I Love you and am here to take care of the adult stuff. You are a
kid - it is your job is to play and have fun. I am very proud of
you for all you have done but now is the time to 'be' not 'do.' Just
feel the sunshine on your face and breath. Run and yell and swing
on the swings. You are beautiful and perfect just as you are, and
I Love you very much."
A good thing for this child to do is skip. I find it is very hard
to be serious and skip at the same time. Being silly is very good
for us. One of the closing prayers for my inner child healing/grief
groups is to do the "Hokey Pokey" - which is a silly dance that many American
children learned when little. (I don't know if they do the Hokey
Pokey in other parts of the world - maybe some of you can let me know.
The point is to do something silly and pointless that helps us to not take
ourselves so seriously.)
Many of us swing from indulging in instant gratification to mercilessly
beating ourselves up out of the right and wrong belief system. Most
all of us have some aspect of the serious child wound because of being
raised in societies that define success and worth by doing and achieving.
It may not be evident in our lives because many of us reacted to this programming
by going to the opposite extreme of seeming to be irresponsible and a "failure"
in society's/our parent's eyes. The reason we reacted in that way
was because we didn't think we were good enough to achieve/live up to the
expectations. At some point in my late teens I decided that I could
never be "perfect" in the way I was supposed to be - so I might as well
go to the other extreme.
"We may never be a success according to our parents
or societies dysfunctional definition of success - but that is because
our heart and soul do not resonate with those definitions, so that kind
of success would be a betrayal of ourselves. We need to consciously change
our definitions so that we can stop judging ourselves against someone else's
screwed up value system."
The core issue to be worked on with this part of us (all of
the parts of us for that matter) that was wounded by a society that is
based on dysfunctional belief system that says we have to earn love, respect,
and worth by producing/being human doings - is opening to receive.
We all have a part of us that doesn't feel worthy to receive. Our
worth is not dependent upon anything that we do or how we look or how much
money we have, etc. - we have worth because we are Spiritual Beings having
a human experience - we are part of the ONENESS that is the God-Force/Goddess
Energy/Great Spirit - We are children of The Holy Mother Source Energy.
This is where Positive affirmations about our inherent worth and value
are very important. (web page http://Joy2MeU.com/PositiveAffirmations.html
Wonderful, strong part of us that has helped us to survive - and needs
to be honored and praised for that - but can get us in trouble because
he/she wants to rebel against any advice or direction including good/healthy
feedback, and can be very stubborn. Often is the source of "I'll
show you, I'll get me" behavior.
It is very important to learn to set boundaries with the rebel within
in order to learn how to surrender/let go/accept the Divine Plan for our
lives. The faster that I have been able to learn to let go of my
will/my picture of how things "should be" - and surrender to accepting
the Universe's plan the more I get to follow the carrots/the messages and
avoid the stick.
The way I think of it is that my Higher Power
works with the carrot and stick approach: like a mule driver trying
to get a mule moving, he can either dangle a carrot in front of the mule
and get the mule moving after the carrot, or he can take a stick and beat
him until he gets moving.
It is a lot easier on me to follow the carrots
that my Higher Power dangles in front of me than to force the Universe
to use a stick to get me moving. Either way I am going to get to
where the Universe wants me - but the carrot method is a lot easier on
The more that I do my healing, the clearer I get
on receiving the messages - the more I get to follow the carrots instead
of experiencing the stick. The dance of Recovery is a process of
starting to Love ourselves enough to start changing life into an easier,
more enjoyable experience.
On the other extreme are people with a fear of owning their
own anger who shut down to the rebel within and then have a very difficult
time setting boundaries so they end up being a doormat. These people
need to own and empower the rebel within to help them stand up for themselves.
This, of course, is tied in with believing that we are worthy of protection
- which means we need to have compassion for that child that we were and
stop blaming everything on ourselves/being the victim of our childhood
Idealistic, dreamer, lover, creative part of us that is a wonderful asset
when kept in balance - can lead to disastrous consequences when allowed
to be in control of choices. Not good on taking responsible action
would rather day dream about fairy tales and fantasies than deal with reality/grow
We often swing between:
Letting the romantic be in control - in which case the romantic
wants the fairy tale so badly that he/she inevitably ignores all the red
flags and warning signals that tell us very clearly that this is not the
"right" person to cast in the part of the prince or princess;
Shutting down completely to this part of us because of the broken hearts
we have experienced - throwing the romantic within into a dark dungeon
inside and locking the door for years at a time. This often causes
us to become cynical, lose our ability to dream, give so much power to
the fear of making of a "mistake" that we can lose the ability to risk
opening up to the Joy of being Alive in the moment.
It is very important to find some balance with this part of ourselves in
order to have any chance of success in a Romantic Relationship.
romantic is a wonderful part of us that can help our Spirits to dance and
sing and soar. If we do not
trust ourselves to be able to set boundaries for the romantic part of ourselves
we can often sabotage relationships by being controlling and/or running
away out of our fear of being hurt.
Deprived, wounded, lonely child
Desperately needy, clingy, wants to be rescued and
taken care of, doesn't want to set boundaries for fear of being abandoned
- very important to own, nurture, and Love this part of ourselves because
relating to this part of our self out of either extreme can be disastrous.
Allowing this desperate neediness to come out
in our adult relationships can drive someone away pretty fast - no one
outside of us can meet the desperate needs of this child -but we can love
this part out of the Loving compassionate adult in us and keep those needs
from surfacing at inappropriate times by owning how wounded this part of
Not owning that part of us can be just as damaging
- being terrified of letting ourselves feel the woundedness and neediness
of this part of our self can cause us to shut down our ability to be vulnerable
and open to emotional intimacy. If we cannot own how deprived we
were emotionally as children and instead try to keep this part of us shut
away, we cannot Truly open our heart and be vulnerable as an adult.
People who tend to be counterdependent and can't stand being around needy
people are terrified of the needy part of themselves - and because of that
will keep picking emotionally unavailable people to be in relationship
with or will run away if someone is emotionally available because it will
feel like neediness to them.
When this emotional deprivation is associated
with a teenager within us it can cause us to act out sexually to try to
get this emotional neediness met. The fact that we have in the past
acted out sexually in ways that we are ashamed of - or found ourselves
very needy, vulnerable, and powerless to suppress the emotional neediness
in sexually intimate relationships - can cause us to shut down to our sensuality
and sexuality out of fear the loss of control we experienced in the past.
Child with a broken spirit
Emotional place within us that feels like an bottomless
abyss of pain and suffering. The place within us where we just want
to die. Has never felt lovable or worthy, full of shame and pain.
Very often the driving force behind addictions, eating disorders, obsessive/compulsive
behaviors in reaction to terror of relaxing - because stopping long enough
to be present in own skin causes the abyss to open up. The "they
shoot horses don't they" suffering victim within. This part of us
really needs Love from the adult in us.
"Recovery from Codependence is a process of owning
all of the fractured parts of our selves so that we can find some wholeness
- so that we can bring about an integrated and balanced union, a marriage
if you will, of all the parts of our internal self. . . . . "
"The feeling of wanting to die, of not wanting to
be here, is the most overwhelming, most familiar feeling in my emotional
inner landscape. Until I started doing my inner child healing I believed
that who I really was at the deepest, truest part of my being, was that
person who wanted to die. I thought that was the true 'me'.
Now I know that is just a small part of me. When that feeling comes
over me now I can say to that seven year old, "I am really sorry you feel
that way Robbie. You had very good reason to feel that way. But that
was a long time ago and things are different now. I am here to protect
you now and I Love you very much. We are happy to be alive now and
we are going to feel Joy today, so you can relax and this adult will deal
Bad little kid
The child who has ego-strength on the
outside but very little real self-esteem so sets self up to be criticized.
Quite often seen in men who may be successful in business world but don't
feel deserving so set up their mates to be nagging, scolding mother trying
to get them to straighten up. These men have a lot of anger
at their mothers that they have never been able to own but think that they
love women - they have very little capacity to receive love and have to
sabotage it when they do. Can feel very justified in leaving long
term marriage for "trophy wife" because wife is such a "nag."
The magical thinking child believes in fairy tales
and is often closely allied with the romantic within. This child
can also give power to magical thinking in negative terms - such as, I
am really happy but if I tell anyone I am happy it will be taken away.
Or as I talk about in my article on Joy to You & Me - I thought on
some level that if I washed my car it would break down. This is not
the thinking of an adult - yet many adults, if they would look underneath
some of their reactions and attitudes, would find the magical thinking
child behind them.
Magical Thinking Child
The following is an example of setting a boundary
with the magical thinking child. This example came up last year when
I was answering an e-mail from someone who wanted to know "how to" set
boundaries with inner children - that is, what it looks like, the ABC's
of the process. My whole response to this can be found on Question
& Answer page 1 @ http://www.silcom.com/~joy2meu/joy_41.htm
́There are several facets to setting boundaries
with our inner children. One is that we need to gently explain to
the magical thinking child within that Fairy Tales do not come true - that
is we are not going to get to happily ever-after in this lifetime on this
plane. We may meet our prince or princess - but they are going to
be wounded souls who need to work on their issues also.
I just took a break from writing this to go to the
post office to mail a book and tape set to England - and as I was walking
to the post office a perfect example of what I am talking about occurred
within me. (This is the kind of miracles that I get on a daily basis -
"the ask and ye shall receive" kind - I am thinking of the best way to
answer and by paying attention I was given an example.)
As I was writing this response to your questions,
I got a hit/idea/inspiration that I should post a web page with the questions
that I get by e-mail and answers I send back. As you mention, it
can really help sometimes to be concrete and explicit. So, as I am walking
to the post office I am thinking about doing such a web page and the following
interaction takes place within me (in my inner reality these are fleeting
thoughts rather than a formal conversation.)
ego/critical parent: 'Your giving away all
of this information for free and meanwhile you can't even pay your rent.
That is pretty stupid.'
Romantic (believes in fairy tales) inner child:
'Oh, but we're going to be rewarded. All kinds of good things are
going to happen - including getting a lot of money.'
Adult on Spiritual Path: 'Now, settle down you
two. In the first place, it is very important and wonderful to give
away what I have been given - that is how to keep the energy flowing -
and that is what works, it is what I need to do for me/us. And I
am going to do it because it feels good, it feels right - like the next
thing in front of me to do. We'll worry about the rent when it is
time to pay the rent - for today, for this moment, we will do what feels
right for today. And I need to tell you, that our reward may just
be to feel good about what we're doing - and if that is all there is, that
is still a wonderful gift. On top of that we are getting positive
feedback from all over - and that is a great bonus. There may never
be a lot of money but that is not important. There is enough money
for today. And we are very blessed to have something to do today
that is fulfilling and makes us happy.'
So I set a boundary with the critical parent by
not buying into the criticism, I set a boundary with my inner child by
not building up expectations of some kind of reward, and I remind myself
to focus on the half of the glass that is full (my needs that have been
met) and be grateful for the gifts I have been given - not the half that
is empty (my wants that have not been met.)
I have peace and serenity when I can accept reality
as it is and focus on what action I can take to change what needs to be
changed. That means I need to accept that I can be happy and fulfilled
even if I never have any money, never get any more of my books published,
never have another romantic relationship, etc. I need to let go of
my picture of how I want things to be and focus on what action I can take
1. feels good/right;
The Truth of the reward thing is that I have no way
of knowing if I am creating "good" (feels like reward when it comes back)
Karma or settling old "bad" (feels like punishment) Karma - so I cannot
know what is coming, I just know that I believe it is all going to be all
right in the end and I will get to go home when I am through with this
often very painful boarding school.
2. that feels like a kind thing to do for myself
(could be doing the dishes or cleaning house - inner children rarely want
to do house work - of course if house work is one of your coping
mechanisms then for you doing something frivolous and silly might be in
3. that is about planting some seeds (going to
the library to get a book, posting a new web page, checking for local 12
step meetings, etc.) that maybe will help to meet my wants.
There is always going to be more work, more healing
to do - but the magical thinking child wants to believe in magical fairy
tales (we're going to win the lottery) - this does not in any way preclude
believing in magical miracles. We need to know that there are miracles
and magic so we can be open to them (we could win the lottery) but not
just sit around expecting (planning on eating on your lottery winnings
tomorrow is not a good strategy) them to rescue us and takes us to happily
ever after. We need to take some action/do our part (buy a ticket
- just one - and though this can be applied literally to the lottery I
am really using it here figuratively speaking) - we are co-creators here.
And even if we win the lottery it is just going to present us with some
more lessons - not bring us happily ever after."
Question & Answer page 1 from
Joy to You & Me Web Site
If you have read my other writings on inner child
healing you will know that I have found it useful to try to figure out
what age of the child is connected to the reaction we are feeling.
Sometimes these ages are literal ages connected to a specific event in
our childhood - sometimes they are symbolic designators of a certain type
of wound. This next child wound designator is about anger.
We, of course, experienced anger throughout our childhood (even if we had
no permission to own it and so were in denial of it.) In my observation
there are usually two different ages of the child carrying the bulk of
our anger - a teenager and a younger child, usually around 5 or 6.
That doesn't mean those were the only times we were angry - it is a way
of identifying different types of anger energy. A teenager's anger
is different from a 5 year olds, so it is important to be able to discern
between the different ages as we are building a relationship with those
parts of us.
The whole point of doing this work is so that
we can identify and build a Loving relationship with those parts of our
psyche that are carrying the energy that needs to be healed and released.
We are doing that to take the power away from our wounds so that our past
emotional wounds and old programming are not dictating our life today.
There is no right and wrong way to do this work - what is important is
to make an effort to take Loving control over our own inner process so
that we can stop being the victim of the past.
There are various ways that anger is carried and
Sometimes this anger is very obvious from a persons
demeanor - they exhibit their bitterness and resentment on the surface
because they are letting this child run the show. They are full of
rage and resentment and tend to strike out (verbally and/or physically),
break things or hurt people (verbally and/or physically), exhibit road
rage and/or indulge in self-righteous vendettas. With this type of
display - as with all of the other types - there is a lot of shame and
pain underneath the anger. The key to diffusing the anger of this
child is to own the pain underneath the anger. Many men find this
very difficult because of lack of permission to feel any feelings except
anger. Some women find this difficult because they do not feel safe
Sometimes it is very hidden because the person
doesn't let anyone close enough to them to provoke the anger out of fear
of overreacting and shame about past overreactions. They feel as
if there is something wrong with them and that they are carrying a shameful
secret. They may be very cordial and friendly on the outside but
are really hermits because of their fear of their anger and the pain underneath.
This is where I came from for much of my life out of my counterdependency
patterns which were in reaction to my fear of my own pain and neediness.
It is difficult for the counterdependent who is
terrified and ashamed of being vulnerable and needy because they have a
hard time feeling safe enough to own the pain with another person.
In order to alleviate the shame it is very important in the healing process
to be able to open up to, and be vulnerable with, at least one other being
who will not react from judgment. This is vitally important element
in the fifth step of the twelve step program.
It is often very hard to let go of the anger because
it has been the shield that has protected the younger, more vulnerable
child places within us. We need to own our legitimate anger and to
diffuse the anger we are carrying in reaction to our own pain and shame.
Teenage female "Maiden" - Teenage male 'Horndog"
Besides all of the ways we are set up to have unhealthy
relationships with our self by the dysfunctional cultures and role models
we grew up with - we are also set up by our genetic species programming.
The survival programming that may have been necessary in the days of the
early Homo Sapiens cavemen can really get in the way of healthy relationships
(A note here that our Spirits, during and after
a Paradise Period here on Earth, did occupy the physical bodies of Homo
Sapiens that had evolved on this planet. Both evolution and Paradise
were realities in the unfolding of the Divine Plan. This is something
that I will be talking about in my Trilogy.)
In order for the human race to survive in a hostile
environment where living past the age of 30 was considered quite old it
was necessary to propagate the race as quickly as possible. One of Mother
Natures ways of ensuring that this would happen was to give teenage males
of the species a very strong sex drive that was aroused by the female body
- most any female body - rather than to primarily seek strong emotional
attachment to one female. This was because of the high mortality
rate - both through death in childbirth of females and death through various
means of the men - that caused a need to take on new and/or additional
mates very soon to insure survival. It was necessary that the men
be willing to copulate with (and thus also agree to protect and provide
for) whomever needed a mate.
Women, on the other hand, in order to try to ensure
protection and sustenance for themselves and their children during the
vulnerable times of pregnancy and after childbirth were programmed to desire
to bond with one man to produce children and then to protect and provide
for her and her children. Women were capable of, and did, hunt and
provide protection for the clan during the times that they were not physically
vulnerable due to pregnancy, childbirth, and early child rearing - it was
during those months of vulnerability in a harsh environment that women
needed a protector and provider.
This genetic programming, that is thousands of
years out of date and unnecessary, is now a source of conflict and misunderstanding
between the genders. This is exacerbated by a couple of other factors.
1. Teenagers as a subculture in society have not
even existed until recently. Until only a generation or two ago teenagers
of 13, 14, and 15 were married and on their own as young adults.
The addition of the teenage years to the period of childhood rather than
adulthood is a very recent phenomena in society. These years of raging
hormones (and resultant emotional volatility) with no acceptable outlet
has added new emotional trauma to the process of growing up.
2. An unfortunate consequence of life in an emotionally
dishonest and dysfunctional society that is based on beliefs that deny
men the full range of their emotional being is that the great majority
of men are emotionally immature in their relationships, not only to women,
but also to other men. Most men are stuck in a horny teenager place
- the "Horndog" [a previously uncharted archetype that Jung missed ;-)]
- in terms of how they view and relate to females.
It is very important for men to start being able
to set boundaries with the "horndog", with the horny teenager inside them.
In order to have a chance for healthy relationship and emotional intimacy
it is vital to stop letting the horny teenager be in control of our choices
in romantic relationships (this is just as true for same sex relationships
as heterosexual ones) or influence how we relate with women in general.
This horny teenager within is not bad or wrong or shameful - it is a normal,
natural result of growing up in the dysfunctional societies we grew up
in. What is dysfunctional, and can sometimes lead to behavior to
be ashamed of, is to allow that male animal lust to run the show.
In order to be a mature, adult - a Real Man - it is vital to be conscious
and emotionally honest enough to not allow the attitudes we developed as
horny teenagers to dictate how we treat women today.
Teenage male "Horndog"
One of the archetypes for women is the maiden - a
romantic teenager who believes in fairy tales and daydreams that "Someday
her Prince will come." This maiden is, of course, one level of the
Teenage female ́Maidenî
The genetic human programming can set up a woman
to keep a man around for the illusion of having a male protector and supporter.
I have worked with many women who not only didn't need to be protected
and supported by a man, but they in fact were providing the bulk of the
support for the man. In the inner work the "maiden within" is the
part of themselves that women can set a boundary with so that they do not
unconsciously buy into the set up of believing that they have to have a
man in their life to be OK. That certainly doesn't mean that there
is anything wrong with having a relationship with a man or that the Prince
isn't going to show up (he will definitely have issues to work through
however.) The point is to be conscious about our choices. If
we are reacting unconsciously to subconscious or genetic programming then
we are giving power away and not owning our choices.
This is a list of most of the general types of inner
child "persona" that can be present within us. I will probably think
of a few more next week. They are meant as a general guideline to
help you identify some of the reacting parts of your emotional inner landscape.
We all had our relationships with ourselves fractured into pieces as we
were growing up. It is very important to start bringing some peace
to our inner process by owning those inner children, hearing them as we
were not heard.
Two more points come to mind as I am wrapping
1. I used the term persona just now to describe
the inner child/archetype places within us - that feels like a good word
to me. They are not actual personalities. People who suffer from
multiple personality disorder are beings who were pushed farther than the
rest of us. The wounding process involves the same basic dynamic
- in fact, I learned a lot about my own inner process by studying cases
of multiple personality - but multiples were broken in harsher ways (usually
in an intentional and/or ritual abuse manner that amounted to torture.)
2. It is quite normal for a female to have
one or more male inner children and natural (although much harder for the
male to own due to cultural dysfunction) for men to have a little girl
or two within. On top of the emotional dishonesty that men are programmed
with, the homophobic nature of society makes it hard for men to even conceive
of such a possibility. Women, who of course have more permission
for emotional honesty and less strident homophobic programming, also were
raised in a society (and with role models) that taught them that men were
better than women. It was pretty natural (up until recently when
more empowered female role models are available) for a girl to wish she
were a boy at some point in her childhood.
Love is the answer. We are learning to Love
ourselves. In order to do that it is very important to own all of
the wounded parts of our self so that we can then be a Loving parent to
our self. Being a Loving parent does include being willing
to set boundaries for the child. That is part of a parents job.
So too, is Loving, nurturing, and protecting the child. Part of Loving
a child and meeting a child's needs is to set boundaries. Since no
one could do that in a healthy way for us, it is vital to learn to do it
"It is necessary to own and honor
the child who we were in order to Love the person we are. And the only
way to do that is to own that child's experiences, honor that child's feelings,
and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around."