In the last 24 hours, I’ve dealt with four different students or clients where the core issue is one of self-love. Deservement. The following things were triggers:
1) Childhood abuse, both sexual and psychological. Being touched inappropriately, told they are worthless, used as “things” rather than people before the full development of ego walls.
2) Perceived betrayal of childhood ambitions. Either giving them up, or doing things to achieve them that were in violation of core values.
3) Abusive adult relationships. “Crazymakers” who bond to you powerfully economically, emotionally, or sexually. And then…gaslight you. If you don’t know the term, see the movie. Basically these are people who are either emotionally imbalanced or have some drive to unbalance you, keep you from leveraging your intelligence and emotions, with an end to domination. To do this, they either criticize or terrorize you, until you have twisted yourself into a knot to please them, and no longer know where “north” is on your personal compass. At that point, you are infantalized, willing to do whatever it takes to keep them happy so that you can escape the pain. Brutal.
4) Physical injury or dysfunction. A serious injury or disease, or your body “not working as it is supposed to”–inability to perform in some expected fashion. Inability to sustain a pregnancy, sensory or motor issues, chronic pain, sexual non-performance, etc.
5) Making terrible relationship choices. Our relationships are mirrors–they were the best we believed we could do, at that time. When our partners turn out to be crazies, monsters, abusers, habitual liars, druggies or alcoholics, rage-beasts and gaslighters we fear our own judgement. How could we have..? What does it mean about us..? Will we ever find happiness..? Are we too broken for anyone to really love us..?
There are more, of course. But this will get you started.
The Morning Ritual
For two years now, I’ve worked on a “Morning Ritual” with Jason. A year ago I decided the results were so impressive that I decided to create one for myself. It was a matter of creating a complete daily practice that touches on every aspect of raising, directing, clarifying and refining our emotional, mental, and physical selves. And it had to be healing and generative–had to deal with issues you don’t even know that you have. But in addition, it had to be capable of focusing in on a specific problem once you have detected it.
The above problems can be addressed with the “Ancient Child” technique, your “set up” behavior done the moment you wake up in the morning. It is a way of “wiring around” whatever damage has happened to you in life. The theory is simple: there is a part of you that is still untouched by the pain of existence, whatever it has been. Make contact with it, and you are connecting to the best and healthiest part, and can receive its “aliveness”. But also, by making contact with the symbol of this “inner child” you can affect a healing process just by imagining holding, hugging, playing, and soothing, as you would with a “real” child. Simply saying “I love you. You are beautiful, and wonderful, and as perfect as any star in the heavens” again and again, will have a cumulative positive effect in the same way that saying the opposite (or hearing it said to you, especially in an emotionalized context) has a negative effect. The feedback loop goes both ways.
If you see a parent screaming curses at a child, you KNOW this is damaging. Why, then, do we resist the notion that positive words and deliberate positive thoughts and images can have a POSITIVE effect? Why?
This morning, I started by connecting with my heartbeat, and then gathered the light within me to create my usual 8-year old boy. We sat on the edge of a pier, fishing together (oddly, one of the few memories I have of good times with my Dad was fishing. Hmmm) and while we did, I asked his opinion of my current activities and progress.
He was happy. Felt I needed to put more time into the book I’m finishing, and that I needed to be sure to tell Jason how proud of him I am. “I’m happy to be home”, he said, and leaned his head on my shoulder. We watched the sunrise together. “Another day, daddy. I love you.”
The sun melded into my heartbeat. The light contracted and then diffused. I was ready for my day.