The Do’s and Don’ts to Help Us Heal

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A lot of the time when people  are sharing about what they are going through in terms of dealing with wounds from childhood others  will share behind them making statements that do not help and can actually do harm. These statements  about how we need to stop blaming our parents, our parents did the best the could and they couldn’t give us what they didn’t get themselves are all part of the recovery from being abused process. But  forgiveness, understanding and healing are what happens at the end of the process not the beginning.

 

We wouldn’t tell a rape victim to stop blaming their rapist would we. Why would we tell someone who has been abused to stop blaming those who perpetrated the abuse on them. Maybe if I explain the process that I and many people I  have gone through to heal it will help others understand.

 

One thing that I think will help a lot is that no matter what age someone is when they begin the healing work their understanding of what happened to them is still that of a child. Even if it seems like they are blaming their abusers that is the farthest thing from the truth. A child doesn’t have the reasoning abilities to formulate the understanding of the situation to blame their abusers. For example, when I was abused by my mother at age 5 I did not have the ability to see that what she was doing was wrong and understand that she was responsible for what happened. The only person I had the ability to make responsible was myself, I must be bad or I did something wrong, that is why this is happening. The only way that we can stop from being the victim and move on with the healing process is to place the shame, guilt and responsibility where it belongs on the abuser. I think when some says we need to stop blaming our parents they are helping us to move out of being a victim when i reality not placing the blame on them is what keeps us a victim.

 

In order to heal we can’t afford to afford to give them a break by trying to understand their motivation. If we jump to try to understand why they did what they did we will miss all the work that allows us to heal. We need to make them responsible in order to find our anger which masks our pain. The peeling of the onion in this process is anger, pain, anger, pain. We need to get all these toxic emotions out of us in order to be filled with the love we need to heal. Only then can we reach a place of understanding and forgiveness.

 

Please let us have our process. It is hard enough to work through all our questioning and minimizing about what happened without others doing the same. We need to be able stand in our truth which is the first step on our path to healing.

 

Just like in all areas of recovery you can not fully understand it if you haven’t been through. But everyone is capable of giving us the the compassion, patience and love that we need in order to heal. It really is as easy as do you wish to help or hurt them in their process. It is simply a choice.

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The Healing Power of Love

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I remember when my first spiritual teacher told me that love was the most important thing there was, that it could transcend and heal all things. I thought he was crazy, not the love I was familiar with. The love that I knew was learned from those perfect families on TV and any of that I received from my family came at too high a cost. So if that was what I needed to heal I’d rather stay broken. Little did I know how wrong that I was!

My difficulty with love growing up was that I really didn’t know much about it. It was so rarely mirrored for me in my family so that my perception of what it was became skewed. I remember as a little boy waking up early in the morning and running into my parent’s room and jumping under the covers to snuggle with my father. I felt safe, special and wanted.  Even today, fifty years later I can still remember the how he smelled. But as my family life changed drastically behind my mother’s alcoholism and its effects on my parent’s relationship and our family, those type of interactions with my father stopped. As a child with limited understanding, I thought that the fact that the nurturing ended was because I had done something wrong. This sparked behaviors of seeking for love and acceptance that were very detrimental to my well being.

Addictive Behavior pioneer and lecturer Earnie Larson describes these behaviors changes so simply “What we live with we learn, what we learn we practice, what we practice we become and what we become has consequences.”

Love became something that I thought had to earn. My life became a game of cause and effect. The game was that I had to determine who I needed to be for you to love me and become that person. That who I really was did not deserve love. How painful and tiring it was to realize that I spent most of my time tap dancing as fast as I could and jumping through hoops to get the love was mine because I was a child of god.

It has been a difficult, long and sometimes painful journey back to love and it has been worth every minute of it. I have learned that the feelings of love can sooth us, bring you to tears and warm your heart. But more importantly that the actions of love can and will heal the world. It is the courage that comes from self love that allows us to act.  It is true that in order to heal we will need healing acts from others but, it must start with us. This will allow us learn to act in a loving way towards others. My father is one of the gentlest souls that I know. But growing up he rarely acted from that place with me. He was overly critical; nothing was good enough for him. I understand today that he could only give me what he had received growing up. Having love in our heart is not the end, it is the beginning. A feeling of love unexpressed in action is wasted.

Love can be expressed in so many ways: compassion, giving of your time, showing up, understanding, empathy, listening not just hearing (there is a difference), patience, gentleness, teaching, encouragement and speaking the truth, tolerance, acceptance, forgiveness, a hug,  support and speaking the truth.

I have spent a great deal of time over the years seeking spiritual enlightenment through prayer, meditation, contemplation, reading, personal growth and workshops to relearn an old lesson. Simplicity is the highest form of intelligence. Walking and living in love is the highest spiritual plane. Living in love allows us to make decisions based in love. Love based decisions take into account all those that are concerned with and effected by the decision. Not making decisions from a place of love is one of reasons that even though the US is considered the riches nation in the world, we have children going to bed hungry and citizens that are homeless

Living love is available to us all and it is as simple as making a choice.

 

No Inner Child Left Behind

 

 

 

The concept of us having an inner child or doing inner child work is usually viewed with great skepticism by most people I engage about it. I understand this as I felt the same way when I began my  healing journey from the devastation of my dysfunctional childhood. It is not easy for us to suspend disbelief. The problem lies in trying to look at it from the the mind set and thought process of an adult. this allows us to minimize and trivialize what happened to us as children.

 

The statement that I hear the most is ” My parents did the best they could at the time”. Though this maybe true, it stops the healing process before it can even start. In essence it ends up being a rationalization that keeps us from the truth that we desperately need to heal.

 

Is that how we learn in recovery to make amends. We just walk up to someone we have mistreated and say ” I’m sorry, I  was doing the best I could do at the time.” No, we take responsibility for our actions, make restitution if needed and change our behavior.

 

The example that I like to use is the fact that my mother sexually abused me at age five. Does anyone really think that was the best she could do at that time ? How could thinking that way help my healing in anyway.

 

A five year old does not have the cognitive ability to understand that his mother is wrong and bad for what she is doing to him. He only has the ability to think that it is his fault for what is happening to him. He must be bad or done something wrong. Therefore making himself responsible for what has happened.

 

Inner child work is what allows us to revisit these actions that have wounded us and see them for what they really are. Thus allowing us to work through our feelings and give the responsibility, shame and guilt back to whom it belongs.

 

Without the work there can be no forgiveness, understanding or letting go. We will stay wounded, victimized and vulnerable. Our spirit will remain weakened like a balloon with a leak in it. Our wounds causing us to act in ways that are self defeating and unproductive. Wondering why we never feel right, whole or complete. Never being able to standing firmly in who we really are and are meant to be. Always feeling that we are falling short because we are.

 

The only one that knows the truth about how we perceived and felt about what happened to us as children is the child within. They hold the secret to where we stuffed our feelings. How we compartmentalized our self and our lives so that we could survive. They alone know where they secured the glowing light of their innocence and purity for protection They are the only ones who can guide us to where the pieces of our fracture personalities  lie. Those pieces that we  needed in order for us to integrate. We need their help if we want to be whole again.

 

There is no bigger act of self love than to chose to do the work to heal and become whole again. It takes faith, courage and trust in a power greater than yourself. But, I can tell you from experience that it is worth every tear, sob, wail, heartache, bout of anger and feeling of sadness.

 

There is no out running  the past, because it can run much longer and farther than you. The only way out is through. But you don’t have to do it alone, there are people and help available.

 

Have you ever felt like something is missing. That you have this ache but are not sure for what. Are there parts of you you can’t access ? These awareness can be gifts if you chose to see and use them that way. They can guide you to the life you have been looking for.

 

Hears to the hope you chose love and the path to healing !!!