Mind & Spirit : NST Life & Times 11/5/2010
By CHIM LI YEN
Are you ready to give yourself the gift of freedom?
FIRSTLY, you must be willing to drop your story and be 100 per cent true to yourself.
The story is something we use to adapt to life as we experience it. It is our personality, a mask we wear everyday at home or to work and social functions so as to appear confident and successful.
At some point, if we are brave enough to face our addictions, self-destructive patterns, guilt and shame, we will journey inward to find the crux of the matter.
Everyone has a certain self-destructive pattern. It can be that little voice whispering, “You are never thin enough,” or the urge to buy another Gucci bag, to have another orgasm, another bottle of beer or an extra slice of chocolate cake. An addiction is when we give our power away to fill the gaps we have inside us, even if just for a little while.
Although it may seem like you’re opening up a can of worms, it is worth looking within. You start by making friends with the little child within who may be carrying a lot of pain and negative emotions. The child may not be nice due to bad behaviour and temper tantrums. But as you learn to love and accept the inner child, the division within your psyche starts to heal. A wonderful synergy and psychic integration occurs.
The inner child begins to feel safe and starts to play again. Simultaneously, the adult becomes less cranky and more joyful. Author of bestseller Love Without Conditions Paul Ferrini says that this integration of child and adult is called re-parenting. You become your own loving parent. You stop intellectualising and come into your heart, finally able to feel the pain you have avoided.
You reassure the child inside that he is loveable and it’s not his fault that everything is scary and painful. The child learns to trust again and isn’t afraid that you will abandon him as his parents did.
You come back into your power. The divided aspects of your psyche — child and adult, heart and mind, conscious and unconscious — fuse back into one whole. You stop being a victim and start taking responsibility for your life. You release your past and focus on the present.
This process allows you to be real and empowers you to be truthful to yourself and others. Outer circumstances in your life changes — relationships heal, interesting job opportunities appear, new friendships are created and the world looks friendlier and more joyful.
As I write this article, I come face-to-face with my childhood shadows despite having undergone many years of innerwork and therapy. I embraced the child who was always striving for more, never contented with her achievements in life because she didn’t think she was good enough. I was constantly seeking success and new horizons to conquer to prove that I deserved to be loved. Crazy self-destructive pattern I took on as a child.
This journey towards wholeness is a step-by-step process. We unpeel the layers one at a time, edging closer to love and innocence slowly.
Let’s start the path to recovery by following the exercises below.
Get into a relaxed state and close your eyes. Picture yourself as a child between the ages of three and seven. Watch how you interact with your family and your friends.
Are you a happy, excited and frivolous child? Or are you unhappy, serious and scared? If you see only an unhappy child, try to recall the last happy experience as a child. The last memory as a happy child is the inner child who climbed inside you to cope with stress.
After identifying your inner child, answer the following questions honestly.
– Describe your inner child.
– When and why did your inner child go inside? Can you recall the exact incident?
– Who hurt you and how did they hurt you? l How do you know when your inner child is still active?
– What messages does your inner child need to hear?
– What irrational beliefs does your inner child have about life?
– How does this behaviour pattern show up in life and your relationships?
– How can you replace these irrational beliefs with the truth to transform your life?
– What are the negative consequences of suppressing your inner child?
– How can you nurture your inner child?
Answering these questions will assist you to heal the inner child and integrate the inner child into your life again. Once you have enquired and understood the root cause of your pain, you can take steps to become whole again.
Be gentle and patient with yourself as you undergo this process of self-enquiry. Always remember that healing takes time and allow all the emotions to surface as you acknowledge them. Crying is an emotional release and it opens the doorway to your heart.
I wish you a smooth transition back to your true self!
** The writer is co-founder of The Violet Flame Holistic Shop and Therapy Centre, Bangsar. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.thevioletflame.com.my for further information.