Recently, one of my coaching clients came to me with a set of interwoven complaints:
Fear manifesting in (occassional) suicidal thoughts
Lack of love
Family stress–a son in law bit his head off in a recent phone conversation, vomiting up so much anger that my client was shaking for DAYS.
A feeling of total rejection by his parents–nothing was ever good enough.
A few years ago I wouldn’t have known how to help him, but since that time my Sufi friend Mushtaq helped me identify elements of my internal world I hadn’t consciously realized were in play (that’s what happens: good teachers will draw your conscious attention to certain things while they are slipping in other stuff behind your back! Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain…)
And what I saw was that all of these things, ALL of them could be connected in the “Ancient Child” pattern.
Overweight. A matter of balancing nutrition and movement. Unless there are serious health issues, The “Child” self naturally plays and moves: a motionless baby will be identified as pathological by any pediatrician. By the time we’re teenaged or adult, sitting passively for work or entertainment is “normal”. Connecting with our basic animal drives demands a body that can hunt or gather and avoid or fight off predators. The modern world is unnatural. But how to discipline yourself to deliberately deny yourself tasty treats, or deliberately seek out exercise? This is like getting Jason to do his homework: I have to love him so much I don’t give a @#$$ if he likes me or not. I don’t need his approval. I’m the god damned daddy.
Stress isn’t the real problem. STRAIN is the problem–the degree to which stress “warps you out of true.” Another name for stress is fear. Love is the antidote for fear. Feeling connected to the source of love in your life makes it possible to face unbelievable challenge…and laugh at it. Because your sense of divine identity isn’t connected to the result, or what people think about the result. That “look Ma! No hands!” sense that results from KNOWING you are adored.
Fear. See #2
Lack of romantic love. See #3. When we love ourselves, deeply, and accept where we are in life knowing that we’ve done the very best we can, we will love and accept someone at our own level–we see their essence, don’t covet those at higher levels of integration, and won’t accept those at lower. This is the essence of the “Soulmate Process”–we are attracted to people at our level and above. We attract those at our level and below. It isn’t really complicated, but it is painful if we lie to ourselves.
Family stress. Learning that “stress versus strain” thing, and the “love versus fear” thing will open the door to understanding outbursts far better. “Anger is a mask over fear” makes it specific. When people vomit up anger at us, you just ask yourself “what are they afraid of?” In order to do this, you have to be honest with yourself about the fact that this is why YOU react this way. The ability to do THAT depends upon loving yourself enough to admit to negative behaviors without falling into guilt, blame, and shame.
Now…anger feeds anger. When you don’t react to anger with anger, you can see truth more clearly (why a warrior wants to remain emotionally neutral) and the “opponents” anger has nothing to feed on. The spiral of emotional or physical violence is disrupted in the same way that fire dies down if you deny it oxygen or fuel.
And if you are not merely neutral, but actually LOVING? The anger can stop dead, as your centered heart-felt adult responses calms their frightened child responses.
It’s like a raging child. If the adult gets angry (frightened) the child is in danger, leading to more fear and anger. Watching children and parents get locked into this pattern is tragic. I’m not pointing the finger: I notice myself getting into it with Jason when I’m tired or off-balance.
But the point is that if you BEGIN by loving yourself, without question, you don’t need the approval of others. When they withhold it, it’s just information, not some condemnation of your essence. You can just observe. It will drive them crazy at first (they expect to be able to control you, as they are controlled by others)…but then it is calming. Calm is infectious, just like violence)
In this case, after a single Ancient Child session, my Client spoke to his in-law with calm and love…and recieved it in return. Now, that wasn’t the certain outcome, but even if more emotional bile had splashed, it could have been taken as impassively as watching a sick, hallucinating person vomit on your shoes. You don’t take that as a measure of your self-worth. It is a symptom of their illness, not your worth. Disgust perhaps (fear for your shoes!) but not anger, if you are balanced.
If you get the information, you can release the emotion.
Rejection by parents? See #3! Once you are an adult, you become your own mother, your own father. You either learn how to give yourself the love you need, or remain in a web of co-dependency forever. The easiest way to escape the sense of inferiority is to give up the need to feel superior. You are no less than the stars, and no more than an ant. You just…are. And in being so are as divine as anything or anyone who has ever walked the earth or existed in the universe. But no more so than anything else. If you can handle that, you are free.
The “Ancient Child” is sophisticated simplicity. Hugely powerful if you will apply it regularly. The external world you see is an expression of your inner world. Once you stop trying to beat the world, and just work to align inner and outer existence, you step into a different realm. And that world is a world of magic.