About a year ago, I worked with a student who had messed up his relationship with his family, and felt deep shame and fear about his perceived failures in this arena.
The ANCIENT CHILD was part of my advice to him.
1) Focus on the Heartbeat Meditation, listening and “feeling” your heartbeat for 15-20 minutes at a time. This helps him work on loving and forgiving himself, necessary to begin the healing.
2) Bring the “Child Self” into focus, and with your non-dominant hand, write down whatever he or she has to say to you. Any damage or abandonment issue with his children will damage this delicate “internal architecture,” and this MUST be repaired to access your full creativity and “aliveness.” Which will be necessary to change his life and gain new resources. Which will be necessary to create the options and possibilities to reduce the stress. Which is necessary to have the courage to begin healing his relationship.
3) Bring the “Elder” personality into focus. With your non-dominant hand, write down what this part of you has to say to you about this issue.
4) Allow the “Child” and “Elder” personalities to speak to each other. Listen to what they say, and write it down (or speak into a microrecorder) as you do.
He performed the exercise for two weeks, after which he reported that he broke down in tears, sobbing helplessly…and then stopped, feeling “twenty pounds lighter” and reached out to his family for the first time in almost five years. He was able to begin the process of healing damage, and knows it will be a long road–trust takes time. But he has the self-love to accept he did the very best he could with the resources he had at the time, and committed to giving his children all the love they deserve, however long it takes. And…(unexpected blessing!) he had the first good conversation with his Ex in almost ten years.
Just a step along the road…but a damned fine one, resulting from the combination of forgiving himself, loving the child he was, remembering his passions and values, and remembering that he has finite time to live and grow and contribute. I barely had to do anything but show him the road to his own power. THAT is the power of inner alignment. That is YOUR power!
NOTE: if dealing with serious psychological issues, be certain to have a therapist or counselor in your resource circle. Share this process with her, and proceed with both power AND caution!