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Sanctuary Trauma ~ Memories and Emotional Honesty

"Codependence is a form of Delayed Stress Syndrome. Instead of blood and death (although some do experience blood and death literally), what happened to us as children was spiritual death and emotional maiming, mental torture and physical violation. We were forced to grow up denying the reality of what was happening in our homes. We were forced to deny our feelings about what we were experiencing and seeing and sensing. We were forced to deny our selves. . . .. The war we were born into, the battlefield each of us grew up in, was not in some foreign country against some identified "enemy" - it was in the "homes" which were supposed to be our safe haven with our parents whom we Loved and trusted to take care of us. It was not for a year or two or three - it was for sixteen or seventeen or eighteen years. We experienced what is called "sanctuary trauma" - our safest place to be was not safe - and we experienced it on a daily basis for years and years. Some of the greatest damage was done to us in subtle ways on a daily basis because our sanctuary was a battlefield." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

In a Co-Dependents Anonymous meeting last week, I heard someone share a very telling insight. A woman at the meeting had run into an old friend from her childhood. In reminiscing about growing up together, they discovered that each had memories of times together in the others home - but no memories of being together in their own homes. It was in our own homes that most of us suffered the most damaging trauma. Whether our families were overtly dysfunctional because of alcoholism, physical abuse, physical or mental illness, etc. - or covertly dysfunctional because of parental emotional dishonesty, unreasonable expectations, unresolved emotional currents, emotional incest, etc. - they were dysfunctional. Our parents did not know how to love themselves or to be emotionally healthy, and as a result they were at war within themselves - the codependent battle of self judgment and shame, of repressing and denying (and/or expressing abusively) one's own emotions - and were doing a dysfunctional dance with each other and with life. Our homes, our sanctuaries, were not safe places. Our parents - who were our Higher Powers - were not healthy, so it was impossible for them to parent us in a healthy way. It is actually quite normal for most of us to have very few memories inside of our homes with our family members. We may have memories of being alone in our homes, or memories outside of the home - but since home was where we suffered the most traumatic emotional wounds (the disapproval of our gods), it was where we most needed to use denial in order to cope.

It is normal, for most of us when we start doing the inner child work, to have few memories. We have spent many years purposely not looking back. There are also some people who have a lot of memories. Some of us have memories that we look at through rose colored glasses - the good memories of what a happy childhood we had - while suppressing and denying the painful ones. Some are stuck in looking at the past from a victim perspective that allows them to abrogate taking any responsibility for their lives. What is important for any of us, is to get emotionally honest with ourselves about our childhoods. We need to look back at the past as a way to free ourselves from the past. In order to do that, it is important to see our past more clearly - and to get in touch with our emotional wounds. I did not have very many memories of my childhood when I got into recovery. In doing the inner child healing, I regained some memories - but I still have relatively few of them. It is not important to remember a great deal. What is important is to get honest with ourselves on an emotional level in our relationship with our childhoods. Often we have memories that have no emotional charge. They are just events or snapshots that we remember - and we are not conscious of, have never stopped to ask our selves, what we were feeling at the time. Once such memory that I started to look at in early recovery, is a graphic example of the power of denial. In the memory, I was standing in the kitchen with my mother when I was about 8 or so. Her back was to me, and I was standing staring at a butcher knife on the counter. In the memory I was wondering what it would feel like to stab her with it. In looking at this memory in early recovery, I dismissed it as alcoholic thinking. It wasn't until some 2 and 1/2 years later that I started to look at what emotions may be attached to that memory. One day it occurred to me that I may have had some anger at my mother. My mother was perfectly what she had been trained to be: a self sacrificing martyr with no self worth and no ability to set boundaries. Her definition of love was that one cannot be angry at someone they love. My father was what he was trained to be: a raging perfectionist who had no permission to acknowledge any emotion except anger. So, my mother was the good guy and my father was the bad guy. It was all right for me to be angry at my father (not to his face of course) - but absolutely not ok to be angry at my mother. What I eventually discovered was that I had a great deal of rage towards my mother. More rage towards my mother - because I had to deny it since she was the one who seemed the most loving - than towards my father who it had always been ok for me to own anger towards.

I have found this to be a common dynamic: that most people have more anger suppressed against the good parent (the one that was less abusive), than toward the more overtly abusive parent. Until I got emotionally honest with myself in relationship to my feelings about my mother, it was impossible for me to have any kind of an honest relationship with any woman. There are many men who say they love women and trust them more than men - because their mother was the "good" parent - who are actually carrying a great deal of rage at women because of the rage they haven't owned against their mothers. Getting emotionally honest with ourselves in relationship to our childhoods is absolutely vital in order to be able to start having healthier relationships today.

Common Emotional Defenses

"Attempting to suppress emotions is dysfunctional; it does not work. Emotions are energy: E-motion = energy in motion. It is supposed to be in motion, it was meant to flow. Emotions have a purpose, a very good reason to be - even those emotions that feel uncomfortable. Fear is a warning, anger is for protection, tears are for cleansing and releasing. These are not negative emotional responses! We were taught to react negatively to them. It is our reaction that is dysfunctional and negative, not the emotion. Emotional honesty is absolutely vital to the health of the being. Denying, distorting, and blocking our emotions in reaction to false beliefs and dishonest attitudes causes emotional and mental disease. This emotional and mental disease causes physical, biological imbalance which produces physical disease." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Growing up in emotionally dishonest societies with wounded parents forced us to learn ways to distance ourselves from our feelings. In this article I am going to talk about three common defensive strategies we learn to protect ourselves and help us deny our emotions. 1. Speaking in the third person. One of the defenses many of us have against feeling our feelings is to speak of ourselves in the third person. "You just kind of feel hurt when that happens" is not a personal statement and does not carry the power of speaking in the first person. "I felt hurt when that happened" is personal, is owning the feeling. Listen to yourself so that you can become more aware of this defense and start changing it. Listen to others - both in person and on TV - refer to self in the third person and you will gain some insight into how they are wounded. You will probably be surprised at how often you hear this defense in the course of a day as you become more conscious. To say, "I feel angry" or "I feel sad" is owning the feelings. It is emotional honesty and helps us to get in touch with the emotional energy that exists in our bodies. Referring to our self as "you" is a form of emotional dishonesty.

2. Story telling. This is a very common method of avoiding our feelings. Some people tell entertaining stories to avoid feelings. They may respond to a feeling statement by saying something like 'I remember back in `85 when I. . .' Their stories might be very entertaining but they have no personal immediate emotional content. Some people tell stories about other people. They will respond to an emotional moment by telling an emotional story about some friend, acquaintance, or even a person they read about. They may exhibit some emotion in telling the story but it is emotion for the other person, not for self. They keep a distance from their emotions by attributing the emotional energy they are touching on to being about someone other than self. Then there is the stereotypical Codependent of the joke: when a Codependent dies someone else's life passes before their eyes. If this type of Codependent is in a relationship, everything they say will be about the other person. Direct questions about self will be answered with stories about the significant other. This is a completely unconscious result of the sad fact that they have no real concept of self as an individual entity. Perhaps the most common story telling diversion is to get very involved in the details of the story 'she said. . . . . then I said. . . . then she did. . . . .' The details are ultimately insignificant in relationship to the emotions involved but because we do not know how to handle the emotions we get caught up in the details. Often we are relating the details in order to show the listener how we were wronged in the interaction. Often we focus on how others are "wrong" in reaction to the situation as a way of avoiding our feelings. If someone is telling you a story and you find your mind wandering and boredom setting in - it is because they are not being emotionally honest. Often the person will be coming from a victim/self pity perspective and may even be crying while telling the story - but the crying they are doing is not emotionally honest, it is part of a role they are playing and probably have been playing for years. Expressing feelings in a martyr's role created by the false self is very different from expressing grief in relationship to self. The martyr who is blaming is being dishonest both emotionally and intellectually. 3. Avoiding using primary feeling words. There are only a handful of primary feelings that all humans feel. There is some dispute about just how many are primary but for our purpose here I am going to use seven. Those are: angry/mad, sad, hurt, afraid/scared, lonely, ashamed, and happy/glad. It is important to start using the primary names of these feelings in order to own them and to stop distancing ourselves from the feelings. To say "I am anxious" or "concerned" or "apprehensive" is not the same as saying "I feel afraid." Fear is at the root of all of those expressions but we don't have to be so in touch with our fear if we use a word that distances us from the fear. Expressions like "confused," "irritated," "upset," "tense," "disturbed," "melancholy," "blue," "good," or "bad" are not primary feeling words. We were trained to be emotionally dishonest in childhood. In order to start peeling the layers of denial it is vital to get aware of our own emotional defenses. In order to start getting emotionally honest with ourselves - let alone with anyone else - it is vital to start recognizing our own emotional defenses. The little tricks of language and focus that we learned to help us distance ourselves from feelings that we did not know how to deal with.

Becoming willing to get conscious of our own defenses is a vital step to getting in touch with our own feelings. Learning to be emotionally honest with our self is an important part of a recovery/healing path.

The Inner Children that need Boundaries

As long as we are judging and shaming ourselves we are giving power to the disease. We are feeding the monster that is devouring us. We need to take responsibility without taking the blame. We need to own and honor the feelings without being a victim of them. 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. Quote 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. Through integrating the Truth of a Loving Higher Power into our inner process we can start to take the shame and judgment out of the process. We can start to set boundaries with the Critical Parent voice and to Lovingly parent the wounded child places (and archetypes - i.e. rebel, maiden, etc.) within our psyche. 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. 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. Below is a list, and short description, of some of the normal wounded inner parts of self that it is very helpful to get aware of, cultivate a Loving relationship with, and learn how to set boundaries for - we all have some aspect of most all of these within us. King/Queen Baby / Serious Child The Rebel / Romantic Deprived, wounded, lonely child / Child with a broken spirit / Bad little kid Magical Thinking Child Angry child Teenage female "Maiden" / Teenage male "Horndog" Summary & Conclusion

King/Queen Baby

The part of us that wants instant gratification - "I WANT WHAT I WANT AND I WANT IT NOW!" (often closely allied/associated with the addict, the rebel, and/or the angry teenager.) As a young child we had no discernment or perspective (the part of the brain that governs these things does not develop until around 7 - the "Age of Reason"). A small child has no concept of time (go for a long ride with a 5 or 6 year old and count how many times the little person asks "Are we there yet?") or of consequences in any type of logical way, and will eat lots of candy over and over again. A small child can be beaten (physically and/or emotionally) enough to make them react out of fear of taking action but that is not the same as logically thinking if I eat a lot of candy I will get sick - they are not capable of having this type of intellectual perspective on delayed gratification. (Just like a puppy can be abused to the point it cowers in fear, so too do many of us have a cowering little child inside of us whose spirit was broken with the "rod" to make us behave.) This part of us that desires instant gratification is often the component of our being that we let take charge when we have been doing the Codependent 3 step of Shame, Suffering and Self-Abuse (Victim, Perpetrator, Rescuer cycle.) That is when we are judging and shaming our self (being our own perpetrator by giving power to the Critical Parent/disease voice) until we feel very victimized and are suffering so much that we rescue ourselves by nurturing ourselves out of the old instant gratification ways we learned to go unconscious (alcohol, food, sex, fantasy, etc.) It is important to remember that young children are completely in the moment and feel things very BIG - it feels like life and death to that little kid to get the candy or the toy or whatever. But 10 minutes later the child can be very happy doing something different - rather they got the toy or not. The energy behind/power of/"big"ness of the feeling does not equal the importance of it in the reality of our adult life this moment, today - but if we are not able to be objective about our feelings we cannot discern that this is a child's feeling, and react to it as if it were our reality. (This is about the contrast between the "emotional truth" that we are reacting out of, and the emotional energy of Truth which is our intuition speaking to us - web page Truth vs emotional truth.)

Serious Child
Almost the opposite extreme from the indulgent King/Queen Baby is the young child component in the person who never got to be a child - who had to be an adult from early age (I have had clients who were cleaning the house and cooking the family breakfast as early as 4 years old - mind boggling!) Very serious, over responsible, controlling, with a very black and white/right and wrong perspective of life - this child has no idea how to relax and enjoy life - fun, playful, and frivolous are foreign concepts and shameful notions. This is a child who has to be taught how to play, and talked through letting go of the seriousness. The cowering, very wounded (inside emotionally - on the outside they usually look great, very good at keeping up appearances) child who got the message that he/she is only worthy and lovable by taking care of everyone else has a very hard time relaxing.

The type of message she/he needs to hear from the adult within would go something like this: "It's Ok honey. You don't have to be working or producing all of the time. It is important for you to play also. You are Unconditionally Loved no matter what you are doing. I Love you and am here to take care of the adult stuff. You are a kid - it is your job is to play and have fun. I am very proud of you for all you have done but now is the time to 'be' not 'do.' Just feel the sunshine on your face and breathe. Run and yell and swing on the swings. You are beautiful and perfect just as you are, and I Love you very much." A good thing for this child to do is skip. I find it is very hard to be serious and skip at the same time. Being silly is very good for us. One of the closing prayers for my inner child healing/grief groups is to do the "Hokey Pokey" - which is a silly dance that many American children learned when little. (I don't know if they do the Hokey Pokey in other parts of the world - maybe some of you can let me know. The point is to do something silly and pointless that helps us to not take ourselves so seriously.) Many of us swing from indulging in instant gratification to mercilessly beating ourselves up out of the right and wrong belief system. Most all of us have some aspect of the serious child wound because of being raised in societies that define success and worth by doing and achieving. It may not be evident in our lives because many of us reacted to this programming by going to the opposite extreme of seeming to be irresponsible and a "failure" in society's/our parent's eyes. The reason we reacted in that way was because we didn't think we were good enough to achieve/live up to the expectations. At some point in my late teens I decided that I could never be "perfect" in the way I was supposed to be - so I might as well go to the other extreme.

"We may never be a success according to our parents or societies dysfunctional definition of success - but that is because our heart and soul do not resonate with those definitions, so that kind of success would be a betrayal of ourselves. We need to consciously change our definitions so that we can stop judging ourselves against someone else's screwed up value system." Learning to Love our self
The core issue to be worked on with this part of us (all of the parts of us for that matter) that was wounded by a society that is based on dysfunctional belief system that says we have to earn love, respect, and worth by producing/being human doings - is opening to receive. We all have a part of us that doesn't feel worthy to receive. Our worth is not dependent upon anything that we do or how we look or how much money we have, etc. - we have worth because we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience - we are part of the ONENESS that is the God-Force/Goddess Energy/Great Spirit - We are children of The Holy Mother Source Energy. This is where Positive affirmations about our inherent worth and value are very important.

The Rebel
Wonderful, strong part of us that has helped us to survive - and needs to be honored and praised for that - but can get us in trouble because he/she wants to rebel against any advice or direction including good/healthy feedback, and can be very stubborn. Often is the source of "I'll show you, I'll get me" behavior. It is very important to learn to set boundaries with the rebel within in order to learn how to surrender/let go/accept the Divine Plan for our lives. The faster that I have been able to learn to let go of my will/my picture of how things

"should be" - and surrender to accepting the Universe's plan the more I get to follow the carrots/the messages and avoid the stick.

"The way I think of it is that my Higher Power works with the carrot and stick approach: like a mule driver trying to get a mule moving, he can either dangle a carrot in front of the mule and get the mule moving after the carrot, or he can take a stick and beat him until he gets moving. It is a lot easier on me to follow the carrots that my Higher Power dangles in front of me than to force the Universe to use a stick to get me moving. Either way I am going to get to where the Universe wants me - but the carrot method is a lot easier on me. The more that I do my healing, the clearer I get on receiving the messages - the more I get to follow the carrots instead of experiencing the stick. The dance of Recovery is a process of starting to Love ourselves enough to start changing life into an easier, more enjoyable experience." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

On the other extreme are people with a fear of owning their own anger who shut down to the rebel within and then have a very difficult time setting boundaries so they end up being a doormat. These people need to own and empower the rebel within to help them stand up for themselves. This, of course, is tied in with believing that we are worthy of protection - which means we need to have compassion for that child that we were and stop blaming everything on ourselves/being the victim of our childhood wounds.

Romantic
Idealistic, dreamer, lover, creative part of us that is a wonderful asset when kept in balance - can lead to disastrous consequences when allowed to be in control of choices. Not good on taking responsible action would rather day dream about fairy tales and fantasies than deal with reality/grow up. We often swing between: Letting the romantic be in control - in which case the romantic wants the fairy tale so badly that he/she inevitably ignores all the red flags and warning signals that tell us very clearly that this is not the "right" person to cast in the part of the prince or princess; and

Shutting down completely to this part of us because of the broken hearts we have experienced - throwing the romantic within into a dark dungeon inside and locking the door for years at a time. This often causes to become cynical, lose are ability to dream, give so much power to the fear of making of a "mistake" that we can lose the ability to risk opening up to the Joy of being Alive in the moment. It is very important to find some balance with this part of ourselves in order to have any chance of success in a Romantic Relationship. The romantic is a wonderful part of us that can help our Spirits to dance and sing and soar. If we do not trust ourselves to be able to set boundaries for the romantic part of ourselves we can often sabotage relDeprived,

wounded, lonely child

Desperately needy, clingy, wants to be rescued and taken care of, doesn't want to set boundaries for fear of being abandoned - very important to own, nurture, and Love this part of ourselves because relating to this part of our self out of either extreme can be disastrous. Allowing this desperate neediness to come out in our adult relationships can drive someone away pretty fast - no one outside of us can meet the desperate needs of this child. We can love this part out of the Loving compassionate adult in us and keep those needs from surfacing at inappropriate times by owning how wounded this part of us is and taking steps to validate and nurture this inner child. Not owning that part of us can be just as damaging - being terrified of letting ourselves feel the woundedness and neediness of this part of our self can cause us to shut down our ability to be vulnerable and open to emotional intimacy. If we cannot own how deprived we were emotionally as children and instead try to keep this part of us shut away we cannot Truly open our heart and be vulnerable as an adult. People who tend to be counterdependent and can't stand being around needy people are terrified of the needy part of themselves - and because of that will keep picking emotionally unavailable people to be in relationship with, or will run away if someone is emotionally available because it will feel like neediness to them. When this emotional deprivation is associated with a teenager within us it can cause us to act out sexually to try to get this emotional neediness met. The fact that we have in the past acted out sexually in ways that we are ashamed of - or found ourselves very needy, vulnerable, and powerless to suppress the emotional neediness in sexually intimate relationships - can cause us to shut down to our sensuality and sexuality out of fear the loss of control we experienced in the past.

Child with a broken spirit


Emotional place within us that feels like an bottomless abyss of pain and suffering. The place within us where we just want to die. Has never felt lovable or worthy, full of shame and pain. Very often the driving force behind addictions, eating disorders, obsessive/compulsive behaviors in reaction to terror of relaxing - because stopping long enough to be present in own skin causes the abyss to open up. The "they shoot horses don't they" suffering victim within. This part of us really needs Love from the adult in us.

"Recovery from Codependence is a process of owning all of the fractured parts of our selves so that we can find some wholeness - so that we can bring about an integrated and balanced union, a marriage if you will, of all the parts of our internal self. . . . . The feeling of wanting to die, of not wanting to be here, is the most overwhelming, most familiar feeling in my emotional inner landscape. Until I started doing my inner child healing I believed that who I really was at the deepest, truest part of my being, was that person who wanted to die. I thought that was the true 'me'. Now I know that is just a small part of me. When that feeling comes over me now I can say to that seven year old, "I am really sorry you feel that way Robbie. You had very good reason to feel that way. But that was a long time ago and things are different now. I am here to protect you now and I Love you very much. We are happy to be alive now and we are going to feel Joy today, so you can relax and this adult will deal with life."" - Union Within

Bad little kid


The child who has ego-strength on the outside but very little real self-esteem so sets self up to be criticized. Quite often seen in men who may be successful in business world but don't feel deserving so set up their mates to be nagging, scolding mother trying to get them to straighten up. These men have a lot of anger at their mothers that they have never been able to own but think that they love women - they have very little capacity to receive love and have to sabotage it when they do. Can feel very justified in leaving long term marriage for "trophy wife" because wife is such a "nag." ationships by being controlling and/or running away out of our fear of being hurt.

Magical Thinking Child


The magical thinking child believes in fairy tales and is often closely allied with the romantic within. This child can also give power to magical thinking in negative terms - such as, I am really happy but if I tell anyone I am happy it will be taken away. Or as I talk about in my article The story of Joy to You & Me - I thought on some level that if I washed my car it would break down. This is not the thinking of an adult - yet many adults, if they would look underneath some of their reactions and attitudes, would find the magical thinking child behind them. The following is an example of setting a boundary with the magical thinking child. This example came up last year when I was answering an e-mail from someone who wanted to know "how to" set boundaries with inner children that is, what it looks like, the ABC's of the process. "There are several facets to setting boundaries with our inner children. One is that we need to gently explain to the magical thinking child within that Fairy Tales do not come true - that is we are not going to get to happily ever-after in this lifetime on this plane. We may meet our prince or princess - but they are going to be wounded souls who

need to work on their issues also. . . . . . I just took a break from writing this to go to the post office to mail a book and tape set to England - and as I was walking to the post office a perfect example of what I am talking about occurred within me. (This is the kind of miracles that I get on a daily basis - "the ask and ye shall receive" kind - I am thinking of the best way to answer and by paying attention I was given an example.) As I was writing this response to your questions, I got a hit/idea/inspiration that I should post a web page with the questions that I get by e-mail and answers I send back. As you mention, it can really help sometimes to be concrete and explicit. So, as I am walking to the post office I am thinking about doing such a web page and the following interaction takes place within me (in my inner reality these are fleeting thoughts rather than a formal conversation.) ego/critical parent: 'Your giving away all of this information for free and meanwhile you can't even pay your rent. That is pretty stupid.' Romantic (believes in fairy tales) inner child: 'Oh, but we're going to be rewarded. All kinds of good things are going to happen - including getting a lot of money.' Adult on Spiritual Path: 'Now, settle down you two. In the first place, it is very important and wonderful to give away what I have been given - that is how to keep the energy flowing - and that is what works, it is what I need to do for me/us. And I am going to do it because it feels good, it feels right - like the next thing in front of me to do. We'll worry about the rent when it is time to pay the rent - for today, for this moment, we will do what feels right for today. And I need to tell you, that our reward may just be to feel good about what we're doing - and if that is all there is, that is still a wonderful gift. On top of that we are getting positive feedback from all over - and that is a great bonus. There may never be a lot of money but that is not important. There is enough money for today. And we are very blessed to have something to do today that is fulfilling and makes us happy.' So, I set a boundary with the critical parent by not buying into the criticism, I set a boundary with my inner child by not building up expectations of some kind of reward, and I remind myself to focus on the half of the glass that is full (my needs that have been met) and be grateful for the gifts I have been given - not the half that is empty (my wants that have not been met.) I have peace and serenity when I can accept reality as it is and focus on what action I can take to change what needs to be changed. That means I need to accept that I can be happy and fulfilled even if I never have any money, never get any more of my books published, never have another romantic relationship, etc. I need to let go of my picture of how I want things to be and focus on what action I can take today that: 1. feels good/right; 2. that feels like a kind thing to do for myself (could be doing the dishes or cleaning house - inner children rarely want to do house work - of course if house work is one of your coping mechanisms then for you doing something frivolous and silly might be in order);

3. that is about planting some seeds (going to the library to get a book, posting a new web page, checking for local 12 step meetings, etc.) that maybe will help to meet my wants. The Truth of the reward thing is that I have no way of knowing if I am creating "good" (feels like reward when it comes back) Karma or settling old "bad" (feels like punishment) Karma - so I cannot know what is coming, I just know that I believe it is all going to be all right in the end and I will get to go home when I am through with this often very painful boarding school. There is always going to be more work, more healing to do - but the magical thinking child wants to believe in magical fairy tales (we're going to win the lottery) - this does not in any way preclude believing in magical miracles. We need to know that there are miracles and magic so we can be open to them (we could win the lottery) but not just sit around expecting (planning on eating on your lottery winnings tomorrow is not a good strategy) them to rescue us and takes us to happily ever after. We need to take some action/do our part (buy a ticket - just one - and though this can be applied literally to the lottery I am really using it here figuratively speaking) - we are co-creators here. And even if we win the lottery it is just going to present us with some more lessons - not bring us happily ever after." Question & Answer page 1 from Joy to You & Me Web Site

Angry child
If you have read my other writings on inner child healing you will know that I have found it useful to try to figure out what age of the child is connected to the reaction we are feeling. Sometimes these ages are literal ages connected to a specific event in our childhood - sometimes they are symbolic designators of a certain type of wound. This child wound designator is about anger. We, of course, experienced anger throughout our childhood (even if we had no permission to own it and so were in denial of it.) In my observation there are usually two different ages of the child carrying the bulk of our anger - a teenager and a younger child, usually around 5 or 6. That doesn't mean those were the only times we were angry - it is a way of identifying different types of anger energy. A teenager's anger is different from a 5 year olds, so it is important to be able to discern between the different ages as we are building a relationship with those parts of us. The whole point of doing this work is so that we can identify and build a Loving relationship with those parts of our psyche that are carrying the energy that needs to be healed and released. We are doing that to take the power away from our wounds so that our past emotional wounds and old programming are not dictating our life today. There is no right and wrong way to do this work - what is important is to make an effort to take Loving control over our own inner process so that we can stop being the victim of the past. These are some ways that anger is carried and manifested. Sometimes this anger is very obvious from a persons demeanor - they exhibit their bitterness and resentment on the surface because they are letting this child run the show. They are full of rage and resentment and tend to strike out (verbally and/or physically), break things or hurt people (verbally and/or physically), exhibit road rage and/or indulge in self-righteous vendettas. With this type of display - as with all of the other types - there is a lot of shame and pain underneath the anger. The key to diffusing the anger of this child is to own the pain underneath the anger.

Many men find this very difficult because of lack of permission to feel any feelings except anger. Some women find this difficult because they do not feel safe being vulnerable. Sometimes it is very hidden because the person doesn't let anyone close enough to them to provoke the anger out of fear of overreacting and shame about past overreactions. They feel as if there is something wrong with them and that they are carrying a shameful secret. They may be very cordial and friendly on the outside but are really hermits because of their fear of their anger and the pain underneath. This is where I came from for much of my life out of my counterdependency patterns which were in reaction to my fear of my own pain and neediness. It is difficult for the counterdependent who is terrified and ashamed of being vulnerable and needy because they have a hard time feeling safe enough to own the pain with another person. In order to alleviate the shame it is very important in the healing process to be able to open up to, and be vulnerable with, at least one other being who will not react from judgment. This is vitally important element in the fifth step of the twelve step program. It is often very hard to let go of the anger because it has been the shield that has protected the younger, more vulnerable child places within us. We need to own our legitimate anger and to diffuse the anger we are carrying in reaction to our own pain and shame.

Teenage female "Maiden" / Teenage male "Horndog"


Besides all of the ways we are set up to have unhealthy relationships with our self by the dysfunctional cultures and role models we grew up with - we are also set up by our genetic species programming. The survival programming that may have been necessary in the days of the early Homo Sapiens cavemen can really get in the way of healthy relationships today. In order for the human race to survive in a hostile environment where living past the age of 30 was considered quite old, it was necessary to propagate the race as quickly as possible. One of Mother Natures ways of ensuring that this would happen was to give teenage males of the species a very strong sex drive that was aroused by the female body - most any female body - rather than to primarily seek strong emotional attachment to one female. This was because of the high mortality rate - both through death in childbirth of females and death through various means of the men that caused a need to take on new and/or additional mates very soon to insure survival. It was necessary that the men be willing to copulate with (and thus also agree to protect and provide for) whomever needed a mate. Women, on the other hand, in order to try to ensure protection and sustenance for themselves and their children during the vulnerable times of pregnancy and after childbirth were programmed to desire to bond with one man to produce children and then to protect and provide for her and her children. Women were capable of, and did, hunt and provide protection for the clan during the times that they were not physically vulnerable due to pregnancy, childbirth, and early child rearing - it was during those months of vulnerability in a harsh environment that women needed a protector and provider. This genetic programming, that is thousands of years out of date and unnecessary, is now a source of conflict and misunderstanding between the genders. This is exacerbated by a couple of other factors.

1. Teenagers as a subculture in society have not even existed until recently. Until only a generation or two ago teenagers of 13, 14, and 15 were married and on their own as young adults. The addition of the teenage years to the period of childhood rather than adulthood is a very recent phenomena in society. These years of raging hormones (and resultant emotional volatility) with no acceptable outlet has added new emotional trauma to the process of growing up. 2. An unfortunate consequence of life in an emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional society, that is based on beliefs that deny men the full range of their emotional being, is that the great majority of men are emotionally immature in their relationships, not only to women, but also to other men. Most men - in terms of how they view and relate to females - are stuck in a horny teenager place that I call: the "Horndog" [a previously uncharted archetype that Jung missed. ;-)]

Teenage male "Horndog"


It is very important for men to start being able to set boundaries with the "horndog", with the horny teenager inside them. In order to have a chance for healthy relationship and emotional intimacy it is vital to stop letting the horny teenager be in control of our choices in romantic relationships (this is just as true for same sex relationships as heterosexual ones) or influence how we relate with women in general. This horny teenager within is not bad or wrong or shameful - it is a normal, natural result of growing up in the dysfunctional societies we grew up in. What is dysfunctional, and can sometimes lead to behavior to be ashamed of, is to allow that male animal lust to run the show. In order to be a mature, adult - a Real Man - it is vital to be conscious and emotionally honest enough to not allow the attitudes we developed as horny teenagers to dictate how we treat women today.

Teenage female "Maiden"


One of the archetypes for women is the maiden - a romantic teenager who believes in fairy tales and daydreams that "her Prince will come." This maiden is, of course, one level of the romantic within. The genetic human programming can set up a woman to keep a man around for the illusion of having a male protector and supporter. I have worked with many women who not only didn't need to be protected and supported by a man, but they in fact were providing the bulk of the support for the man. In the inner work the "maiden within" is the part of themselves that women can set a boundary with so that they do not unconsciously buy into the set up of believing that they have to have a man in their life to be OK. That certainly doesn't mean that there is anything wrong with having a relationship with a man or that the Prince isn't going to show up (he will definitely have issues to work through however.) The point is to be conscious about our choices. If we are reacting unconsciously to subconscious or genetic programming then we are giving power away and not owning our choices

Summary & Conclusion

This is a list of most of the general types of inner child "persona" that can be present within us. I will probably think of a few more next week. They are meant as a general guideline to help you identify some of the reacting parts of your emotional inner landscape. 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 inner children, hearing them as we were not heard. Two more points come to mind as I am wrapping this up. 1. I used the term persona just now to describe the inner child/archetype places within us - that feels like a good word to me. They are not actual personalities. People who suffer from multiple personality disorder are beings who were pushed farther than the rest of us. The wounding process involves the same basic dynamic - in fact, I learned a lot about my own inner process by studying cases of multiple personality - but multiples were broken in harsher ways (usually in an intentional and/or ritual abuse manner that amounted to torture.) 2. It is quite normal for a female to have one or more male inner children and natural (although much harder for the male to own due to cultural dysfunction) for men to have a little girl or two within. On top of the emotional dishonesty that men are programmed with, the homophobic nature of society makes it hard for men to even conceive of such a possibility. Women, who of course have more permission for emotional honesty and less strident homophobic programming, also were raised in a society (and with role models) that taught them that men were better than women. It was pretty natural (up until recently when more empowered female role models are available) for a girl to wish she were a boy at some point in her childhood. Love is the answer. We are learning to Love ourselves. In order to do that it is very important to own all of the wounded parts of our self so that we can then be a Loving parent to our self. Being a Loving parent does include being willing to set boundaries for the child. That is part of a parents job. So too, is Loving, nurturing, and protecting the child. Part of Loving a child and meeting a child's needs is to set boundaries. Since no one could do that in a healthy way for us, it is vital to learn to do it for ourselves.

It is necessary to own and honor the child who we were in order to Love the person we are. And the only way to do that is to own that child's experiences, honor that child's feelings, and release the emotional grief energy that we are still carrying around.

Positive Affirmations
"A "state of Grace" is the condition of being Loved unconditionally by our Creator without having to earn that Love. We are Loved unconditionally by the Great Spirit. What we need to do is to learn to accept that state of Grace. The way we do that is to change the attitudes and beliefs within us that tell us that we are not Lovable."

Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls Positive Affirmations are one of the single most powerful and vital tools in the Recovery process. Codependence is a condition caused by growing up in a shame-based, emotionally dishonest society which teaches us false beliefs about the nature and purpose of life. We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience, not shameful, sinful human creatures who have to earn Spiritual salvation. I am a Magnificent Spiritual Being full of Light and Love! Our attitudes create our perspectives which in turn dictate our relationships. In order to change our relationship with life, and with ourselves, we need to change our attitudes and belief systems about the nature and purpose of life. God wants me to be happy, healthy, Loved, and successful! The Light within me is creating miracles in my life here and now. Abundance is my natural state of being. I accept it now! All of my experiences are opportunities to gain more power, clarity, and vision. Positive affirmations are so vital in Recovery because we all have a critical parent voice inside that judges and shames us; that negatively affirms us hundreds of times a day. It takes a lot of reprogramming to start accepting that we are Lovable and unconditionally Loved. The entire Universe Loves me, serves me, nurtures me, and wants me to win. I am a radiant expression of the Goddess energy/Great Spirit/Christ within. I am always in the right place at the right time, successfully engaged in the right activity. I am radiantly beautiful and vibrationly healthy and Joyously alive. What we focus on is what we create. In order to change what we are creating we must choose to change the way we think and work on letting go of the subconscious beliefs we learned in childhood. I am the co-creator of my life, I am fully involved in co-creating my life in an exciting, Joyous, and harmonious way. I am now celebrating life, having fun and enjoying myself. I Love myself and naturally attract Loving relationships into my life. I send Love to my fears. My fears are the places within me that await my Love.

Large, rich, opulent, lavish, financial surprises are now manifesting in my life and I am grateful!

We need to own that we have the power to choose where to focus our mind. We can consciously start viewing ourselves from the "witness" perspective. It is time to fire the judge - our critical parent - and choose to replace that judge with our Higher Self - who is a loving parent. We can then intervene in our own process to protect ourselves from the perpetrator within - the critical parent/disease voice.
All my experiences are opportunities to gain more power, clarity and vision. I am glad I was born and I Love being alive. Comparison of myself with another is meaningless. I am the center of my universe; my world revolves around me. The Christ/Goddess/Spirit within me is creating miracles in my life here and now. Affirmations work! They work miraculously because they help us align with the Universal Truth of an Unconditionally Loving God-Force.

More on Positive Affirmations - Taking Loving Action for Our Self


"We need to own that we have the power to choose where to focus our mind. We can consciously start viewing ourselves from the "witness" perspective. It is time to fire the judge - our critical parent - and choose to replace that judge with our Higher Self - who is a loving parent. We can then intervene in our own process to protect ourselves from the perpetrator within - the critical parent/disease voice."

"The part of you that tells you that you are not lovable, that you are not worthy, that you are not deserving, is the disease. It is trying to maintain control because that is all that it knows how to do. We are not "better than." We are also not "less than." The messages that we are "better than" come from the same place that the messages of "less than" come from: the disease." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

"There is nothing wrong with me - or you. It is our relationship with ourselves and life that is dysfunctional. We are Spiritual beings who came into body in an emotionally dishonest, Spiritually hostile environment where everyone was trying to do human according to false belief systems. We were taught to expect life to be something that it isn't.

It isn't our fault that things are so screwed up - it is however our responsibility to change the things we can within ourself."

"We need to turn down the volume on those loud, yammering voices that shame and judge us and turn up the volume on the quiet Loving voice. As long as we are judging and shaming ourselves we are feeding back into the disease, we are feeding the dragon within that is eating the life out of us." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

"I am going to make a brief point about two dimensions of this phenomena in relationship to empowerment. These two dimensions are the horizontal and the vertical. In this context the horizontal is about being human and relating to other humans and our environment. The vertical is Spiritual - about our relationship to the God-Force. Codependence is at it's core a Spiritual disease and the only way out of it is through a Spiritual cure - so any recovery, any empowerment, depends upon Spiritual awakening." "Integrating the Spiritual Truth (the vertical) of an unconditionally Loving God-Force into our process is vital in order to take the crippling toxic shame about being imperfect humans out of the equation. That toxic shame is what makes it so hard for us to own our right to make choices instead of just reacting to someone else set of rules."

"We need to own that we have the power to choose where to focus our mind. We can consciously start viewing ourselves from the "witness" perspective. It is time to fire the judge - our critical parent - and choose to replace that judge with our Higher Self - who is a loving parent. We can then intervene in our own process to protect ourselves from the perpetrator within - the critical parent/disease voice."

The Spirit speaks from Love not shame!


The "small quiet Loving voice" of intuition is telling us the Truth. We learned to negatively affirm ourselves several hundred times a day - it is very important to start taping over the old tapes with positive affirmations!

The disease (the dark side of the Force) learned to try to control feelings and behavior with fear, guilt and shame.

The programming of the disease was negative - to react to life from fear, lack, and scarcity. It is trying to protect us by keeping us from trusting. It believes separation is what is safe.

"To the disease, this is a functional cycle. The shame begets the self-abuse which begets the shame which serves the purpose of the disease which is to keep us separate so the we don't set ourselves up to fail by believing that we are worthy and lovable."

More on Positive Affirmations - Taking Loving Action for Our Self


"We need to own that we have the power to choose where to focus our mind. We can consciously start viewing ourselves from the "witness" perspective. It is time to fire the judge - our critical parent - and choose to replace that judge with our Higher Self - who is a loving parent. We can then intervene in our own process to protect ourselves from the perpetrator within - the critical parent/disease voice."

"The part of you that tells you that you are not lovable, that you are not worthy, that you are not deserving, is the disease. It is trying to maintain control because that is all that it knows how to do. We are not "better than." We are also not "less than." The messages that we are "better than" come from the same place that the messages of "less than" come from: the disease." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

"There is nothing wrong with me - or you. It is our relationship with ourselves and life that is dysfunctional. We are Spiritual beings who came into body in an emotionally dishonest, Spiritually hostile environment where everyone was trying to do human according to false belief systems. We were taught to expect life to be something that it isn't. It isn't our fault that things are so screwed up - it is however our responsibility to change the things we can within ourself."

"We need to turn down the volume on those loud, yammering voices that shame and judge us and turn up the volume on the quiet Loving voice. As long as we are judging and shaming ourselves we are feeding back into the disease, we are feeding the dragon within that is eating the life out of us." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

"I am going to make a brief point about two dimensions of this phenomena in relationship to empowerment. These two dimensions are the horizontal and the vertical. In this context the horizontal is about being human and relating to other humans and our environment. The vertical is Spiritual - about our relationship to the God-Force. Codependence is at it's core a Spiritual disease and the only way out of it is through a Spiritual cure - so any

recovery, any empowerment, depends upon Spiritual awakening." "Integrating the Spiritual Truth (the vertical) of an unconditionally Loving God-Force into our process is vital in order to take the crippling toxic shame about being imperfect humans out of the equation. That toxic shame is what makes it so hard for us to own our right to make choices instead of just reacting to someone else set of rules."

"We need to own that we have the power to choose where to focus our mind. We can consciously start viewing ourselves from the "witness" perspective. It is time to fire the judge - our critical parent - and choose to replace that judge with our Higher Self - who is a loving parent. We can then intervene in our own process to protect ourselves from the perpetrator within - the critical parent/disease voice."

The Spirit speaks from Love not shame!


The "small quiet Loving voice" of intuition is telling us the Truth. We learned to negatively affirm ourselves several hundred times a day - it is very important to start taping over the old tapes with positive affirmations!

The disease (the dark side of the Force) learned to try to control feelings and behavior with fear, guilt and shame.

The programming of the disease was negative - to react to life from fear, lack, and scarcity. It is trying to protect us by keeping us from trusting. It believes separation is what is safe.
"To the disease, this is a functional cycle. The shame begets the self-abuse which begets the shame which serves the purpose of the disease which is to keep us separate so the we don't set ourselves up to fail by believing that we are worthy and lovable."

We need to stop giving power to the monster within.

"We need to turn down the volume on those loud, yammering voices that shame and judge us and turn up the volume on the quiet Loving voice. As long as we are judging and shaming ourselves we are feeding back into the disease, we are feeding the dragon within that is eating the life out of us." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

"The "critical parent" voice in my head has always berated me for not being perfect, for being human. My expectations, the "shoulds," my disease piled on me were a way in which I victimized myself. I was always judging, shaming and beating myself up because as a little child I got the message that something was wrong with me. There is nothing wrong with me - or you. It is our relationship with ourselves and life that is dysfunctional. We are Spiritual beings who came into body in an emotionally dishonest, Spiritually hostile environment where everyone

was trying to do human according to false belief systems. We were taught to expect life to be something that it isn't. It isn't our fault that things are so screwed up - it is however our responsibility to change the things we can within ourself."

"I needed to learn how to set boundaries within, both emotionally and mentally by integrating Spiritual Truth into my process. Because "I feel feel like a failure" does not mean that is the Truth. The Spiritual Truth is that "failure" is an opportunity for growth." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

We can tell ourselves good things! We can be a Loving friend to our self.
The entire Universe Loves me, serves me, nurtures me and wants me to win. I am a success to the degree that I feel warm and loving to myself. My debts represent my & others beliefs in my future earning ability. The most important thing to my loved ones' happiness is that I be happy first. My value and worth are increased by every thing I do. All my experiences are opportunities to gain more power, clarity and vision. I can fill all my needs if I am willing to pay the price. I have a right to ask for and expect something in life. Comparison of myself with another is meaningless. I am the center of my universe; my world revolves around me. The Christ/Goddess/Spirit within me is creating miracles in my life here and now.

I AM a magnificent Spiritual being having a Joyous and exciting human adventure! If we Truly believed the positive affirmations we would not have to say them. When we most need to say them is when we least believe them - when we are feeling the worst. When we are feeling lousy and we do some Positive Affirmations, we are being a Loving parent to the wounded children inside of us. Doing the affirmations helps us to align with Spiritual Truth so that we are not giving power to the disease/monster within by buying into the shame and judgment. "The next time something does not go the way you wanted it to, or just when you are feeling low, ask yourself how old you are feeling. What you might find is that you are feeling like a bad little girl, a bad little boy, and that you must have done something wrong because it feels like you are being punished. Just because it feels like you are being punished does not mean that is the Truth. Feelings are real - they are emotional energy that is manifested in our body - but they are not necessarily fact. What we feel is our "emotional truth" and it does not necessarily have anything to do with either facts or the emotional energy that is Truth with a capital "T" - especially when we our reacting out of an age of our inner child." *** "The part of you that tells you that you are not lovable, that you are not worthy, that you are not deserving, is the disease. It is trying to maintain control because that is all that it knows how to do. We are not "better than." We are also not "less than." The messages that we are "better than" come from the same place that the messages of "less than" come from: the disease. We are all children of God who deserve to be happy. And if you are right now judging yourself for not being happy enough or healed enough - that is your disease talking. Tell it to fuck off!! It is not who you are - it is only a part of you. We can stop giving power to that part of us. We can stop being the victims of ourselves." *** "We need to let go of the illusion that we can control this life business. We cannot. We never could! It was an illusion. And we need to let go of the false beliefs that tell us that we are bad and shameful. We cannot become whole as long as we believe that any part of us is bad or shameful. That includes the ego - that bloated out-of-balance dragon within. Thank God for our egos, they are what allowed us to survive. Thank God for Codependence,without it we would not be alive. But now is the time to get things into

balance - the time to bring ego-self into alignment and balance with Spiritual Self. That is the transformation which is known as "the death of the ego." To quote the St. Francis Prayer, "It is through dying that we awaken to eternal life." It is not referring just to physical death, it is referring to the death of the ego which allows us to awaken to the Truth of eternal life. The death of the ego is not an event - it is a process. It is not an act of violence - it is an act of Love. A process of learning to Love. We are bringing ego-self into alignment with Spiritual Truth. We are reconnecting with our Spiritual nature and Spiritual purpose so that we can find some fulfillment and happiness in life." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

The Goal is Progress ~ not perfection. We are works in progress, in process.

My dreams come true. I live in an abundant Universe.

I radiate self-esteem, inner peace, Love, well-being, health, and happiness. I create money and abundance through Joy, aliveness and self-Love. I am vibrantly healthy, radiantly beautiful, and Joyously alive. The Light within me is creating miracles in my body mind and relationships here and now. I am now celebrating my life, having fun and enjoying myself. I am always deeply relaxed and centered, balanced in every way. I am whole and balanced within myself. I always have everything I need.

I am enough

Recovery from Codependency / Inner Child Healing

"It is through healing our inner child, our inner children, by grieving the wounds that we suffered, that we can change our behavior patterns and clear our emotional process. We can release the grief with its pent-up rage, shame, terror, and pain from those feeling places which exist within us. That does not mean that the wound will ever be completely healed. There will always be a tender spot, a painful place within us due to the experiences that we have had. What it does mean is that we can take the power away from those wounds. By bringing them out of the darkness into the Light, by releasing the energy, we can heal them enough so that they do not have the power to dictate how we live our lives today. We can heal them enough to change the quality of our lives dramatically. We can heal them enough to Truly be happy, Joyous and free in the moment most of the time." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Codependency recovery / inner child healing is a way of life. It is a way to live life that works. It works to help an individual gain some freedom from the past. It is a path for living that facilitates developing a centered grounded space within where inner peace exists. That creates the space for a person to be present in the moment and be happy to be alive - to connect with Joy - some of the time. It is not something we do and then get on with our lives. It is something we do in order to Truly be alive. Life is a process - a journey. By being willing to do the inner child healing we can learn to be present for the journey - and to have the capacity to actually relax and enjoy it at times. One of the very valuable things that I have learned in my recovery is echoed in something that I often say to people when I first start to work with them. Most of my counseling work is done by phone these days, and often I will end the first session by saying, "Everything that happens in your life from now on, is part of this process." We are here to do this healing. We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience - and we are in body at this very special time in history to do this healing work. The inner child healing work is part of our Spiritual evolutionary journey. Doing this work requires consciousness raising - en-light-en-ment. We need to become conscious of our own inner process - by developing the detached observer / witness / detective / defense attorney / compassionate parent level of consciousness. The more conscious we become, the easier it is to see how powerful our reactive programming has been. By becoming conscious of it,

we can change it. By being willing to get more conscious we can start to reprogram our ego programming by using positive affirmations and self talk, by developing a Spiritual belief system that allows us to start being compassionate and Loving to ourselves. By becoming willing to face the terror of healing the emotional wounds we can learned to release the dammed, repressed grief energy within us so that it is no longer defining us and dictating our experience of life. Doing the healing work, making recovery a way of life, allows us to make choices to define our reality from a place of faith and acceptance instead of victimization, fear, and shame. It allows us to start having healthier relationships with our self and with others. Becoming conscious and paying attention to the guidance from our intuition / Spirit, will help us learn to stop reacting to life and start having choices about how we respond to life. Responsibility - the ability to respond. We can take responsibility for our lives - and own our power as a co-creator of our life. As long as we are reacting to life unconsciously out of our childhood emotional wounds and programming it is impossible for us to grow up. Recovery is about growing up - as I said in part 10 of this series on inner child healing (Inner Child Healing Paradigm): "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." Becoming an integrated, whole, mature adult does not come easily. It takes commitment. It takes action and effort on our part. We need to be willing to do our part in the process. We need to be willing to learn to be honest with ourselves intellectually and emotionally. We need to be willing to do the grief work. We need to be willing to be conscious - and to live consciously. We can't do it perfectly. We will make gradual progress. We will resist and procrastinate and make excuses because we are human. One of the trickiest things about his process is to stop judging ourselves for being human at the same time we doing whatever it takes to align with healing and transformation. It is hard work. It is ongoing - it will keep changing and shifting and getting different, but it will continue for the rest of your life. The rewards are awesome however! I am going to end this article and this series with a couple of short quotes from near the end of my book Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

"We are Spiritual Beings having a human experience. We are here to experience feelings and touch and Love. The goal of the healing process is not to reach someplace where we are above all the human experiences and feelings. We are here to feel these feelings. When we become willing to feel the pain, then we become capable of feeling the Joy. The Joy of doing this healing is incredible! Our job is to heal and enJoy. Our job is to be. We are here to be human beings, not human doings. Our job is to follow the Joy to the Truth. Our job is to feel in the moment. As long as we are reacting to old wounds and old tapes we cannot respond to the now. The more we heal, the more responsibility we have - that is, ability to respond. The ability to respond in the moment." "This is a process, a process we are going to be involved in for the rest of this lifetime. We will never do it perfectly from a human perspective. But the more we are willing to choose to view life as a growth process, and to feel and remember the Truth within us, the more we will become conscious of the Truth that we are perfectly where we are supposed to be on our Spiritual Path - and that we are being guided Home. There is Truth all around us. And the Truth is setting us free. Through healing the inner child, we access Truth and Love. And the little child shall lead them." Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

That little child is within you. T

Grief Process Techniques

"We, each and every one of us, has an inner channel to Truth, an inner channel to the Great Spirit. But that inner channel is blocked up with repressed emotional energy, and with twisted, distorted attitudes and false beliefs. We can intellectually throw out false beliefs. We can intellectually remember and embrace the Truth of ONENESS and Light and Love. But we cannot integrate Spiritual Truths into our day-to-day human existence, in a way which allows us to substantially change the dysfunctional behavior patterns that we had to adopt to survive, until we deal with our emotional wounds. Until we deal with the subconscious emotional programming from our childhoods. We cannot learn to Love without honoring our Rage!

We cannot allow ourselves to be Truly Intimate with ourselves or anyone else without owning our Grief. We cannot clearly reconnect with the Light unless we are willing to own and honor our experience of the Darkness. We cannot fully feel the Joy unless we are willing to feel the Sadness. We need to do our emotional healing, to heal our wounded souls, in order to reconnect with our Souls on the highest vibrational levels. In order to reconnect with the God-Force that is Love and Light, Joy and Truth."

"The way to stop reacting out of our inner children is to release the stored emotional energy from our childhoods by doing the grief work that will heal our wounds. The only effective, long term way to clear our emotional process - to clear the inner channel to Truth which exists in all of us - is to grieve the wounds which we suffered as children. The most important single tool, the tool which is vital to changing behavior patterns and attitudes in this healing transformation, is the grief process. The process of grieving." "We are all carrying around repressed pain, terror, shame, and rage energy from our childhoods, whether it was twenty years ago or fifty years ago. We have this grief energy within us even if we came from a relatively healthy family, because this society is emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

In order to do the inner child work we need to be willing to do the grief work. Emotions are energy and that energy needs to be released through crying and raging. We need to own our feelings about what happened to us. We need to own our right to be angry that our needs were not met. Grief is energy that needs to be released. We need to give our self permission to feel our pain, sadness, & rage. We need to own and honor the feelings. Part of grief work is simply owning the sadness and the anger. We need to own the grief about what happened to us as children - and then we also need to own the grief over what effect it has had on us as an adult.

"It is when we start understanding the cause and effect relationship between what happened to the child that we were, and the effect it had on the adult we became, that we can Truly start to forgive ourselves. It is only when we start understanding on an emotional level, on a gut level, that we were powerless to do anything any differently than we did that we can Truly start to Love ourselves." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Grieving is a very different experience from being depressed. While we are grieving we can still appreciate a beautiful sunset or be happy to see a friend or be grateful to be sad. Depression is being in a dark tunnel where there are no beautiful sunsets. The deep grieving work is energy work. Once we can get out of our heads and start paying attention to what is happening in our body - then we can start releasing the emotional energy. When we get to a place where the emotions are coming up - when the voice starts breaking - the first thing I have to tell people is to keep breathing. We automatically stop breathing and close our throats when the feelings get close to the surface. At that point the technique is to locate where the energy is concentrated in the body - it can be any place from head to feet - much of the time it is in our back because that is where we carry stuff we don't want to look at, or in the area of the solar plexus (anger or fear) or heart chakra (pain, broken heart) or chest (sadness) - then the individual breathes directly into that place. Visualizes breathing white light into that part of the body. That starts breaking up the energy and little pieces of energy start getting released. These balls of energy are the sobs. This is a terrifying place to be for the ego because it feels out of control - it is a wonderful place to be from a healing perspective. Empowering the healing is going with the flow - inhale the white Light, exhale the sobs. Sobs, tears, snot from the nose, are all forms of energy being released. You can be in the witness watching yourself and controlling the process at the same time you are in the pain and releasing it. By controlling the process I am referring to choosing to align self with the energy flow, surrendering to the flow, instead of shutting it down as the terrified ego wants to do. It is very hard to learn this process without a safe place to do it, and someone who knows what they are doing to facilitate it. Once you have learned how to do it then it is possible to facilitate your own grief processing. The anger work is also an energy flow process. The bat (tennis racket, bataka, pillow, whatever) is lifted over the head as you inhale and then as you hit the pillow you expel the energy - in shout, a grunt, a "fuck you", a scream, whatever words come to you. Inhale, exhale - open your throat to say whatever needs to be said. Own your voice. Own the child's voice. It is vitally important for us to own our right to be angry about what happened to us or about the ways we were deprived. If we do not own our right to be angry about what happened in childhood it greatly impairs our ability to set boundaries as an adult.

"We need to own and release the anger and rage at our parents, our teachers or ministers or other authority figures, including the concept of God that was forced on us while we were growing up. We do not necessarily need to vent that anger directly to them but we need to release the energy. We need to let that child inside of us scream, "I hate you, I hate you," while we beat on pillows or some such thing, because that is how a child expresses anger. That does not mean that we have to buy into the attitude that they are to blame for everything. We are talking about balance between the emotional and mental here again. Blame has to do with attitudes, with buying into the false beliefs - it does not really have anything to do with the process of releasing the emotional energy." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

It is terrifying to face healing the emotional wounds. It takes great courage and faith to do the grief work. The only real way to do it is with a Spiritual Program. Recovery is not "self-help" - we are not doing this work alone. Our Spirit is guiding us. The Force is with us.

"There is no quick fix! Understanding the process does not replace going through it! There is no magic pill, there is no magic book, there is no guru or channeled entity that can make it possible to avoid the journey within, the journey through the feelings. No one outside of Self (True, Spiritual Self) is going to magically heal us. There is not going to be some alien E.T. landing in a spaceship singing, "Turn on your heart light," who is going to magically heal us all. The only one who can turn on your heart light is you. The only one who can give your inner children healthy parenting is you. The only healer who can heal you is within you. Now we all need help along the way. We all need guidance and support. And it is a vitally important part of the healing process to learn to ask for help. It is also a vital part of the process to learn discernment. To learn to ask for help and guidance from people who are

trustworthy, people who will not betray, abandon, shame, and abuse you. That means friends who will not abuse and betray you. That means counselors and therapists who will not judge and shame you and project their issues onto you." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Therapy that fosters dependence and does not include emotional release is not very healing.

"Psychoanalysis addressed these issues only on the intellectual level - not on the emotional healing level. As a result, a person could go to psychoanalysis weekly for twenty years and still be repeating the same behavior patterns." "Our mental health system not only does not promote healing - it actually blocks the process. The mental health system in this country is designed to get your behavior and emotions under control so that you can fit back into the dysfunctional system. Drugs that are designed to disconnect you from your feelings block the healing process. Mental health professionals who need to have you see them regularly in order to be financially supported, need to have you be dependent upon them, need to keep you a patient in order to survive." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Learning is remembering.
Teaching is reminding others that they can remember too.

"No one outside of you can define for you what your Truth is. Nothing outside of you can bring you True fulfillment. You can only be fully filled by accessing the transcendent Truth that already exists within.

This Age of Healing and Joy is a time for each individual to access the Truth within. It is not a time for gurus or cults or channeled entities, or anyone else, to tell you who you are. Outside agencies - other people, channeled entities, this book - can only remind you of what you already know on some level." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

The more we integrate the Spiritual Truth of a Loving Higher Power into our internal relationship with ourselves, the easier it becomes to surrender to the process - to surrender to the flow of emotional energy. Integrating that Spiritual Truth into our inner process makes it easier for us to trust that we can be a Loving parent to our wounded inner children. That makes it easier to have compassion for our self, and for the wounded parts within us, so that we can change our emotional relationship with our own emotions.The more we own our own feelings - get emotionally honest with ourselves - the easier it becomes to know who we are and what we want. Then, it becomes easier to see our path more clearly and follow the intuitive messages from our Soul instead of giving power to the dysfunctional reactions of our wounded soul/inner child. hat little child deserves Love. That little child is you.

Grieving - Examples of How The Process Works


"This grieving is not an intellectual process. Changing our false and dysfunctional attitudes is vital to the process; enlarging our intellectual perspective is absolutely necessary to the process, but doing these things does not release the energy - it does not heal the wounds. Learning what healthy behavior is will allow us to be healthier in the relationships that do not mean much to us; intellectually knowing Spiritual Truth will allow us to be more Loving some of the time; but in the relationships that mean the most to us, with the people we care the most about, when our "buttons are pushed" we will watch ourselves saying things we don't want to say and reacting in ways that we don't want to react - because we are powerless to change the behavior patterns without dealing with the emotional wounds. We cannot integrate Spiritual Truth or intellectual knowledge of healthy behavior into our experience of life in a substantial way without honoring and respecting the emotions. We cannot consistently incorporate healthy behavior into day to day life without being emotionally honest with ourselves. We cannot get rid of our shame and overcome our fear of emotional intimacy without going through the feelings."

Quote from codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Grieving is a natural part of the human healing process. In Chapter 1 of the online book which I am publishing, Attack on America: A Spiritual Healing Perspective (link at bottom of page), I urged people to wail and scream and sob, to release the energy that was being generated by this traumatic event. Trauma is a shock to the system. Any type of trauma suffered by a human being - trauma to our physical bodies, witnessing a traumatic event, experiencing a loss (death of a loved one, house burning down, end of a relationship, etc.), etc. - causes emotional energy to be generated in reaction to that trauma. Denying and suppressing that energy does not make it go away.

"Feel your feelings and release them. Give yourself permission to let it all out. Wail and scream and sob. Try not to let the messages of an emotionally dysfunctional society, or the discomfort of emotionally repressed people around you, keep you from owning the grief to the fullest. They want you to pull it together and get yourself under control so they will be comfortable. Let it out! Release it! Do not shame yourself for it, or apologize - it is marvelously healing to grieve. Owning our grief is part of being True to self. In an emotionally honest society Dan Rather would have been crying and sobbing on his own program - serving as a role model for others instead of keeping up appearances and stuffing his grief until some of it leaked out on the David Letterman Show." - Attack on America: A Spiritual Healing Perspective Chapter 1
In that article I also did a little yelling about the importance of owing our grief.

"If I see one more person on television starting to get emotional and then choke it down and apologize, I AM GOING TO SCREAM! Please feel your feelings. Let those sobs out. We are supposed to feel. It is healthy to grieve. Breathe right into those feelings. Sobs are little balls of emotional energy being released. If you breath into the feelings it breaks up the grief and the little energy balls of emotions can rise up and be released from your being. That is good. Keep taking deep breaths. Get into a rhythm. Inhale, sob sob sob cry cry cry as you exhale, inhale, sob sob sob cry cry cry - that is good. That is healthy. Do not shame yourself for feeling. Do not apologize for your feelings. It means your human. It means you care. Sobs, tears, snot from the nose are all ways of releasing energy and cleansing chemicals out of our body. Grief is not a pretty sight - but it is a beautifully healing and a Loving thing to do for yourself. That emotional energy does not go away just because we stop breathing and choke it back down. It does not disappear. The more you can release, the faster you can move through it. Watch the History Channel some time when they interview vets from World War II or something like that. People who have never really grieved will get emotional and choke it back down 40 - 50 years later, because they never released it. It didn't go

away, they have been repressing it and denying it all those years. Release it now. It is healthy. It is the Loving thing to do for yourself. Amen." - Attack on America: A Spiritual Healing Perspective Chapter 1
In this quote, I refer to the breath techniques for releasing grief that I talk about on the web page Grief Process Techniques - path to love & forgiveness and in the online column Emotional Release Techniques - Deep Grieving. In this web article, I am going to share some example of how the grief process works. Life events such as the September 11th terrorist attack on New York City and Washington D. C. are very traumatic. It is important to own our feelings about life events, rather it is a horrific event such as the terrorist attack or if it is some other kind of traumatic loss - such as a relationship break up, or loss of a job, or whatever. What makes owning our feelings about traumatic events in the present so difficult is that we have unresolved grief from the past. Because society is emotionally dishonest and we were trained to be emotionally dishonest, we are all carrying grief from our past. That grief energy is trapped within us in a pressurized explosive state that causes us to feel terrified of tapping into it.

The way to stop reacting out of our inner children is to release the stored emotional energy from our childhoods by doing the grief work that will heal our wounds. The only effective, long term way to clear our emotional process - to clear the inner channel to Truth which exists in all of us - is to grieve the wounds which we suffered as children. The most important single tool, the tool which is vital to changing behavior patterns and attitudes in this healing transformation, is the grief process. The process of grieving. We are all carrying around repressed pain, terror, shame, and rage energy from our childhoods, whether it was twenty years ago or fifty years ago. We have this grief energy within us even if we came from a relatively healthy family, because this society is emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional. When an event in the now triggers our old grief issues it makes it very difficult to understand our own emotions unless we are relating to ourselves from a healing framework. If we are in recovery from childhood wounds, then we can sort out our internal turmoil - then we can have discernment about which part of what we are feeling is about what is happening now, and which part of it is grief from the past that has been triggered. It is important to understand our emotional process - and what grief entails - to see ourselves more clearly so that we can choose to respond in a healthy way instead of letting our emotional wounds be in control of our life by just reacting. Then we do not have to stuff our feelings or apologize for them because we are able to see ourselves more clearly and respond in healthier, more appropriate ways.

Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Grieving is a great relief


Grieving is a great relief. Releasing repressed, pressurized emotional energy that we have been denying and avoiding for years is the path to freedom from the past so that we can see the present with more clarity. Getting emotionally honest with ourselves is the key to clearing our inner channel to Truth. It is necessary for us to be willing to heal our emotional wounds in order open up to Love - to tune into the higher vibrational energy of Love and Joy. As with everything else in life, there are different levels of grieving - and different stages of grief. The deep grieving of sobbing and crying and snot clogging up our nose, is an incredibly powerful part of the healing process - that can bring wondrous relief, and physical exhaustion in it's aftermath. Normally after a session of deep grieving a person will feel lighter - sometimes immediately, sometimes the next day - because some energy they have been carrying has been released. The explosive release of this deep grief when done in a healing framework - that is when we accept and own it as opposed to shaming ourselves and apologizing for it - is a very powerful part of the healing process. It is terrifying to our ego because it feels like a complete loss of control. Our ego programming is to stop it, to stuff it. When our deep grief issues are triggered and we are at the point where our voice starts breaking, we automatically shut down - we close our throat and stop breathing, or go to very shallow breathing. This is the point where it is so important to learn to breathe directly into the energy so that we can start releasing it. When we take deep breaths into the grief energy, it starts breaking up and little balls of energy are released. That is what sobs are - little balls of energy. The more we have integrated a Loving Spiritual belief system into our relationship with life and with our own emotions, the easier it becomes to align with healing through grieving instead of aligning with the false beliefs that it is weak to cry, that it is shameful to lose control.

Grief Process Techniques

"We, each and every one of us, has an inner channel to Truth, an inner channel to the Great Spirit. But that inner channel is blocked up with repressed emotional energy, and with twisted, distorted attitudes and false beliefs.

We can intellectually throw out false beliefs. We can intellectually remember and embrace the Truth of ONENESS and Light and Love. But we cannot integrate Spiritual Truths into our day-to-day human existence, in a way which allows us to substantially change the dysfunctional behavior patterns that we had to adopt to survive, until we deal with our emotional wounds. Until we deal with the subconscious emotional programming from our childhoods. We cannot learn to Love without honoring our Rage! We cannot allow ourselves to be Truly Intimate with ourselves or anyone else without owning our Grief. We cannot clearly reconnect with the Light unless we are willing to own and honor our experience of the Darkness. We cannot fully feel the Joy unless we are willing to feel the Sadness. We need to do our emotional healing, to heal our wounded souls, in order to reconnect with our Souls on the highest vibrational levels. In order to reconnect with the God-Force that is Love and Light, Joy and Truth."

"The way to stop reacting out of our inner children is to release the stored emotional energy from our childhoods by doing the grief work that will heal our wounds. The only effective, long term way to clear our emotional process - to clear the inner channel to Truth which exists in all of us - is to grieve the wounds which we suffered as children. The most important single tool, the tool which is vital to changing behavior patterns and attitudes in this healing transformation, is the grief process. The process of grieving." "We are all carrying around repressed pain, terror, shame, and rage energy from our childhoods, whether it was twenty years ago or fifty years ago. We have this grief energy within us even if we came from a relatively healthy family, because this society is emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

In order to do the inner child work we need to be willing to do the grief work. Emotions are energy and that energy needs to be released through crying and raging. We need to own our feelings about what happened to us. We need to own our right to be angry that our needs were not met. Grief is energy that needs to be released. We need to give our self permission to feel our pain, sadness, & rage. We need to own and honor the feelings.

Part of grief work is simply owning the sadness and the anger. We need to own the grief about what happened to us as children - and then we also need to own the grief over what effect it has had on us as an adult.

"It is when we start understanding the cause and effect relationship between what happened to the child that we were, and the effect it had on the adult we became, that we can Truly start to forgive ourselves. It is only when we start understanding on an emotional level, on a gut level, that we were powerless to do anything any differently than we did that we can Truly start to Love ourselves." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Grieving is a very different experience from being depressed. While we are grieving we can still appreciate a beautiful sunset or be happy to see a friend or be grateful to be sad. Depression is being in a dark tunnel where there are no beautiful sunsets. The deep grieving work is energy work. Once we can get out of our heads and start paying attention to what is happening in our body - then we can start releasing the emotional energy. When we get to a place where the emotions are coming up - when the voice starts breaking - the first thing I have to tell people is to keep breathing. We automatically stop breathing and close our throats when the feelings get close to the surface. At that point the technique is to locate where the energy is concentrated in the body - it can be any place from head to feet - much of the time it is in our back because that is where we carry stuff we don't want to look at, or in the area of the solar plexus (anger or fear) or heart chakra (pain, broken heart) or chest (sadness) - then the individual breathes directly into that place. Visualizes breathing white light into that part of the body. That starts breaking up the energy and little pieces of energy start getting released. These balls of energy are the sobs. This is a terrifying place to be for the ego because it feels out of control - it is a wonderful place to be from a healing perspective. Empowering the healing is going with the flow - inhale the white Light, exhale the sobs. Sobs, tears, snot from the nose, are all forms of energy being released. You can be in the witness watching yourself and controlling the process at the same time you are in the pain and releasing it. By controlling the process I am referring to choosing to align self with the energy flow, surrendering to the flow, instead of shutting it down as the terrified ego wants to do. It is very hard to learn this process without a safe place to do it, and someone who knows what they are doing to facilitate it. Once you have learned how to do it then it is possible to facilitate your own grief processing.

The anger work is also an energy flow process. The bat (tennis racket, bataka, pillow, whatever) is lifted over the head as you inhale and then as you hit the pillow you expel the energy - in shout, a grunt, a "fuck you", a scream, whatever words come to you. Inhale, exhale - open your throat to say whatever needs to be said. Own your voice. Own the child's voice. It is vitally important for us to own our right to be angry about what happened to us or about the ways we were deprived. If we do not own our right to be angry about what happened in childhood it greatly impairs our ability to set boundaries as an adult.

"We need to own and release the anger and rage at our parents, our teachers or ministers or other authority figures, including the concept of God that was forced on us while we were growing up. We do not necessarily need to vent that anger directly to them but we need to release the energy. We need to let that child inside of us scream, "I hate you, I hate you," while we beat on pillows or some such thing, because that is how a child expresses anger. That does not mean that we have to buy into the attitude that they are to blame for everything. We are talking about balance between the emotional and mental here again. Blame has to do with attitudes, with buying into the false beliefs - it does not really have anything to do with the process of releasing the emotional energy." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

It is terrifying to face healing the emotional wounds. It takes great courage and faith to do the grief work. The only real way to do it is with a Spiritual Program. Recovery is not "self-help" - we are not doing this work alone. Our Spirit is guiding us. The Force is with us.

"There is no quick fix! Understanding the process does not replace going through it! There is no magic pill, there is no magic book, there is no guru or channeled entity that can make it possible to avoid the journey within, the journey through the feelings. No one outside of Self (True, Spiritual Self) is going to magically heal us. There is not going to be some alien E.T. landing in a spaceship singing, "Turn on your heart light," who is going to magically heal us all.

The only one who can turn on your heart light is you. The only one who can give your inner children healthy parenting is you. The only healer who can heal you is within you. Now we all need help along the way. We all need guidance and support. And it is a vitally important part of the healing process to learn to ask for help. It is also a vital part of the process to learn discernment. To learn to ask for help and guidance from people who are trustworthy, people who will not betray, abandon, shame, and abuse you. That means friends who will not abuse and betray you. That means counselors and therapists who will not judge and shame you and project their issues onto you." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Therapy that fosters dependence and does not include emotional release is not very healing.

"Psychoanalysis addressed these issues only on the intellectual level - not on the emotional healing level. As a result, a person could go to psychoanalysis weekly for twenty years and still be repeating the same behavior patterns." "Our mental health system not only does not promote healing - it actually blocks the process. The mental health system in this country is designed to get your behavior and emotions under control so that you can fit back into the dysfunctional system. Drugs that are designed to disconnect you from your feelings block the healing process. Mental health professionals who need to have you see them regularly in order to be financially supported, need to have you be dependent upon them, need to keep you a patient in order to survive." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Learning is remembering.
Teaching is reminding others that they can remember too.

"No one outside of you can define for you what your Truth is. Nothing outside of you can bring you True fulfillment. You can only be fully filled by accessing the transcendent Truth that already exists within. This Age of Healing and Joy is a time for each individual to access the Truth within. It is not a time for gurus or cults or channeled entities, or anyone else, to tell you who you are. Outside agencies - other people, channeled entities, this book - can only remind you of what you already know on some level." Quotes from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

The more we integrate the Spiritual Truth of a Loving Higher Power into our internal relationship with ourselves, the easier it becomes to surrender to the process - to surrender to the flow of emotional energy. Integrating that Spiritual Truth into our inner process makes it easier for us to trust that we can be a Loving parent to our wounded inner children. That makes it easier to have compassion for our self, and for the wounded parts within us, so that we can change our emotional relationship with our own emotions.The more we own our own feelings - get emotionally honest with ourselves - the easier it becomes to know who we are and what we want. Then, it becomes easier to see our path more clearly and follow the intuitive messages from our Soul instead of giving power to the dysfunctional reactions of our wounded soul/inner child.

Grieving - Examples of How The Process Works


"This grieving is not an intellectual process. Changing our false and dysfunctional attitudes is vital to the process; enlarging our intellectual perspective is absolutely necessary to the process, but doing these things does not release the energy - it does not heal the wounds. Learning what healthy behavior is will allow us to be healthier in the relationships that do not mean much to us; intellectually knowing Spiritual Truth will allow us to be more Loving some of the time; but in the relationships that mean the most to us, with the people we care the most about, when our "buttons are pushed" we will watch ourselves saying things we don't want to say and reacting in ways that we don't want to react - because we are powerless to change the behavior patterns without dealing with the emotional wounds.

We cannot integrate Spiritual Truth or intellectual knowledge of healthy behavior into our experience of life in a substantial way without honoring and respecting the emotions. We cannot consistently incorporate healthy behavior into day to day life without being emotionally honest with ourselves. We cannot get rid of our shame and overcome our fear of emotional intimacy without going through the feelings." Quote from codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Grieving is a natural part of the human healing process. In Chapter 1 of the online book which I am publishing, Attack on America: A Spiritual Healing Perspective (link at bottom of page), I urged people to wail and scream and sob, to release the energy that was being generated by this traumatic event. Trauma is a shock to the system. Any type of trauma suffered by a human being - trauma to our physical bodies, witnessing a traumatic event, experiencing a loss (death of a loved one, house burning down, end of a relationship, etc.), etc. - causes emotional energy to be generated in reaction to that trauma. Denying and suppressing that energy does not make it go away.

"Feel your feelings and release them. Give yourself permission to let it all out. Wail and scream and sob. Try not to let the messages of an emotionally dysfunctional society, or the discomfort of emotionally repressed people around you, keep you from owning the grief to the fullest. They want you to pull it together and get yourself under control so they will be comfortable. Let it out! Release it! Do not shame yourself for it, or apologize - it is marvelously healing to grieve. Owning our grief is part of being True to self. In an emotionally honest society Dan Rather would have been crying and sobbing on his own program - serving as a role model for others instead of keeping up appearances and stuffing his grief until some of it leaked out on the David Letterman Show." - Attack on America: A Spiritual Healing Perspective Chapter 1
In that article I also did a little yelling about the importance of owing our grief.

"If I see one more person on television starting to get emotional and then choke it down and apologize, I AM GOING TO SCREAM! Please feel your feelings. Let those sobs out. We are supposed to feel. It is healthy to grieve. Breathe right into those feelings. Sobs are little balls of emotional energy being released. If you breath into the feelings it breaks up the grief and the little energy balls of emotions can rise up and be released from your being. That is good. Keep taking deep breaths. Get into a rhythm. Inhale, sob sob sob cry cry cry as you exhale, inhale, sob sob sob cry cry cry - that is good. That is healthy. Do not shame yourself for feeling. Do not apologize for your feelings. It means your

human. It means you care. Sobs, tears, snot from the nose are all ways of releasing energy and cleansing chemicals out of our body. Grief is not a pretty sight - but it is a beautifully healing and a Loving thing to do for yourself. That emotional energy does not go away just because we stop breathing and choke it back down. It does not disappear. The more you can release, the faster you can move through it. Watch the History Channel some time when they interview vets from World War II or something like that. People who have never really grieved will get emotional and choke it back down 40 - 50 years later, because they never released it. It didn't go away, they have been repressing it and denying it all those years. Release it now. It is healthy. It is the Loving thing to do for yourself. Amen." - Attack on America: A Spiritual Healing Perspective Chapter 1
In this quote, I refer to the breath techniques for releasing grief that I talk about on the web page Grief Process Techniques - path to love & forgiveness and in the online column Emotional Release Techniques - Deep Grieving. In this web article, I am going to share some example of how the grief process works. Life events such as the September 11th terrorist attack on New York City and Washington D. C. are very traumatic. It is important to own our feelings about life events, rather it is a horrific event such as the terrorist attack or if it is some other kind of traumatic loss - such as a relationship break up, or loss of a job, or whatever. What makes owning our feelings about traumatic events in the present so difficult is that we have unresolved grief from the past. Because society is emotionally dishonest and we were trained to be emotionally dishonest, we are all carrying grief from our past. That grief energy is trapped within us in a pressurized explosive state that causes us to feel terrified of tapping into it.

The way to stop reacting out of our inner children is to release the stored emotional energy from our childhoods by doing the grief work that will heal our wounds. The only effective, long term way to clear our emotional process - to clear the inner channel to Truth which exists in all of us - is to grieve the wounds which we suffered as children. The most important single tool, the tool which is vital to changing behavior patterns and attitudes in this healing transformation, is the grief process. The process of grieving. We are all carrying around repressed pain, terror, shame, and rage energy from our childhoods, whether it was twenty years ago or fifty years ago. We have this grief energy within us even if we came from a relatively healthy family, because this society is emotionally dishonest and dysfunctional. When an event in the now triggers our old grief issues it makes it very difficult to understand our own emotions unless we are relating to ourselves from a healing framework. If we are in recovery from childhood wounds, then we can sort out our internal turmoil - then we can have discernment about which

part of what we are feeling is about what is happening now, and which part of it is grief from the past that has been triggered. It is important to understand our emotional process - and what grief entails - to see ourselves more clearly so that we can choose to respond in a healthy way instead of letting our emotional wounds be in control of our life by just reacting. Then we do not have to stuff our feelings or apologize for them because we are able to see ourselves more clearly and respond in healthier, more appropriate ways. Quote from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Grieving is a great relief


Grieving is a great relief. Releasing repressed, pressurized emotional energy that we have been denying and avoiding for years is the path to freedom from the past so that we can see the present with more clarity. Getting emotionally honest with ourselves is the key to clearing our inner channel to Truth. It is necessary for us to be willing to heal our emotional wounds in order open up to Love - to tune into the higher vibrational energy of Love and Joy. As with everything else in life, there are different levels of grieving - and different stages of grief. The deep grieving of sobbing and crying and snot clogging up our nose, is an incredibly powerful part of the healing process - that can bring wondrous relief, and physical exhaustion in it's aftermath. Normally after a session of deep grieving a person will feel lighter - sometimes immediately, sometimes the next day - because some energy they have been carrying has been released. The explosive release of this deep grief when done in a healing framework - that is when we accept and own it as opposed to shaming ourselves and apologizing for it - is a very powerful part of the healing process. It is terrifying to our ego because it feels like a complete loss of control. Our ego programming is to stop it, to stuff it. When our deep grief issues are triggered and we are at the point where our voice starts breaking, we automatically shut down - we close our throat and stop breathing, or go to very shallow breathing. This is the point where it is so important to learn to breathe directly into the energy so that we can start releasing it. When we take deep breaths into the grief energy, it starts breaking up and little balls of energy are released. That is what sobs are - little balls of energy. The more we have integrated a Loving Spiritual belief system into our relationship with life and with our own emotions, the easier it becomes to align with healing through grieving instead of aligning with the false beliefs that it is weak to cry, that it is shameful to lose control.