By Robert Burney
"As long as we are judging and shaming ourselves
we are giving power to the disease. We are feeding the monster that is devouring
We need to take responsibility without taking
the blame. We need to own and honor the feelings without being a victim of
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.
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 - the consciousness to become
aware. 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 others - 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 other people. The only way we can be whole is to own all of the
parts of ourselves. By owning all the parts we can then have choices
about how we respond to life. By denying, hiding, and suppressing
parts of ourselves we doom ourselves to live life in reaction.
The technique that I have found so valuable in this healing process
is to relate to the different wounded parts of our self as different ages
of the inner child. These different ages of the child may be literally
tied to an event that happened at that age - i.e. when I was 7 I tried to
commit suicide. Or the age of the child might be a symbolic designator for
a pattern of abuse/deprivation that occurred throughout our childhood -
i.e. the 9 year old within me feels completely emotionally isolated and
desperately needy/lonely, a condition which was true for most of my childhood
and not tied to any specific incident (that I know of) that happened when
I was 9.
We can get in touch with the feelings of an age of our inner child
without having any specific memories to explain those feelings. We
can get in touch with feelings that are preverbal from early childhood -
or even feelings from the womb. For many of us our wounding began in
the womb, where we incubated in our mother's fear and shame or became addicted
to adrenaline because of what our mothers were experiencing.
As long as we are reacting unconsciously out of a mass of unresolved
grief and rage, it is nearly impossible to have any clarity about our inner
process. It is vitally important to start separating out the different
wounded parts of us, so that we can start healing the individual wounds/issues.
That is the way we start to take power away from those wounds.
The inner child healing paradigm is a structure that facilitates
healing. 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 different wounded parts
of us. Those different wounded parts of us - which involve both repressed
emotional energy and frozen splinters of ego - are what I refer to as our
In the next few articles in this series, I will be talking about
getting in touch with (an internal census,) and building a relationship
with, the different wounded parts of us. We need to shed light
into the darkness in order to stop giving power to the past. The inner
child healing paradigm is the most powerful technique that I have ever encountered
for facilitating the healing of our emotional wounds.