The Recovery Process for inner child healing - The Process of Processing 2
This page contains quotes and excerpts from various writings of Robert Burney and is intended to add some extra levels of perspective to the series of articles about the Inner Child Healing Process that concludes with the Process of Processing article.
Excerpt from Energetic Clarity
"As I say in the quote above from the last column in this series, relating to nature is easy - relating to other people is messy. That is because we did not learn how to have a healthy relationship with ourselves in early childhood. We have to clear up our relationship with our self in order to see our self clearly before we can start to see our relationship to other humans clearly.
And I want to make a point right at the beginning of this article that this is a gradual process of finding a sense of balance - not an absolute destination. The language I have to use to describe this multi-leveled, multi-faceted growth process is very limiting.
"Unfortunately, in sharing this information I am forced to use language that is polarized - that is black and white.
When I say that you cannot Truly Love others unless you Love yourself - that does not mean that you have to completely Love yourself first before you can start to Love others. The way the process works is that every time we learn to Love and accept ourselves a little tiny bit more, we also gain the capacity to Love and accept others a little tiny bit more.
When I say that you cannot start to access intuitive Truth until you clear out your inner channel - I am not saying that you have to complete your healing process before you can start getting messages. You can start getting messages as soon as you are willing to start listening. The more you heal the clearer the messages become."
(All quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)
So, with that qualification about the limitations of language, I am now going to try to communicate as clearly as possible how clearing our relationship with ourselves can help us to be energetically clear in our relationship with other people and with life."
Excerpt from Grief, Love, & Fear of Intimacy
"That poor little boy. It wasn't until almost 30 years later, leaning up against the side of the meeting room, that I got the chance to cry for that little boy. With great heaving sobs, tears pouring down my cheeks, and snot running out my nose, I had my first experience with deep grief work. I did not know anything about the process at the time - I just knew that somehow that wounded little boy was still alive inside of me. I also did not know at the time that part of my life's work was going to be helping other people to reclaim the wounded little boys and girls inside of them.
Now I know that emotions are energy which if not released in a healthy grieving process gets stuck in the body. The only way for me to start healing my wounds is to go back to that little boy and cry the tears or own the rage that he had no permission to own back then.
I also know that there are layers of grief from the emotional trauma I experienced. There is not only trauma about what happened back then - there is also grief about the effect those experiences had on me later in life. I get to cry once again for that little boy as I write this. I have been sobbing for that little boy and the emotional trauma he experienced - but I am also sobbing for the man that I became.
I learned in childhood, and carried into adulthood, the belief that I am not lovable. It felt like I was not lovable to my mother and father. It felt like the God I was taught about didn't love me - because I was a sinful human. It felt like anyone who loved me would eventually be disappointed, would learn the truth of my shameful being. I spent most of my life alone because I felt less lonely alone. When I was around people I would feel my need to connect with them - and feel my incredible loneliness for human relationships - but I did not know how to connect in a healthy way. I have had a great terror of the pain of abandonment and betrayal - but even more than that, the feeling that I could not be trusted because I am not good enough to love and be loved. At the core of my being, at the foundation of my relationship with myself, I feel unworthy and unlovable."
Excerpt from The True Nature of Love - Romantic Relationships
"So the next question then is: am I feeling the tension and the turmoil because of what is happening now - or because of fears caused by my wounds from the past. By being in the Loving observer self we can figure out how much of our reaction is to old wounds and how much of it is to what is happening right now. If we figure out that we are reacting to the now out of our fear of the unknown then we know that we can walk through that fear. If we are feeling terror, panic, desperate neediness, deep insecurity - then we know we are reacting out of wounded child places within. The more that we can observe our inner process from a Loving, wise place, the more we can feel clear and peaceful about the fear of the unknown even as we feel it. It is possible to feel peaceful and scared at the same time - or grateful and sad, or calm and angry. The more we raise our level of consciousness the easier it is to discern between the types of feelings we are having so that we have a place of feeling centered and serene in the midst of an emotional interaction with another person. We can learn to honor and respect and release our feelings but we do not have to identify them as our only reality. We can feel the higher vibrational emotions at the same time we are feeling the lower - and can learn to discern between them.
In the beginning of our healing it is easiest for most of us to access serenity and clarity by ourselves in relationship to nature or animals or people we do not really care about. It is hardest to have serenity and clarity in our most intimate relationships - because that is where we have the most at stake, where we are most vulnerable to getting hurt. That is why romantic relationships are such a wonderful arena for growth for us, because it is the relationship that is the most important to most of us.
As we do our emotional healing and change our intellectual paradigm, we increasingly have a calm place within that we can call on even in our most stressful moments - even in romantic relationship."
Excerpt from a message sent to my e-mail community June 1999.
"Here is a quote from my Trilogy which I am publishing in installments in my Journal. My Trilogy is a Mystical, Magical, Adult Fable in which my Higher Self appears to me as a Unicorn This is an excerpt from Chapter 6 of the Trilogy in which we are discussing the growth process.
"Okay, my beautiful unicorn, I will tell you what you want to hear," I said, rather grandly. "The meadow is circular in shape, just like the Medicine Wheel. And the Medicine Wheel religion contains as much Truth within it as any religion on Earth. Within the Medicine Wheel teachings, there is great significance in the four directions. The North, to which you galloped first, is the place of wisdom. It is the place you represent, the Higher Mind which contains all wisdom. From there you traveled to the East, which is the place of illumination. The direction of the rising sun which brings light to chase away the darkness, and is symbolic of the Light of Truth. It is the 'sees far and wide' place of the eagle. In other words, you lead me towards the Light by expanding my perspective so that I see things in progressively larger contexts. In this way, you teach me to see the Truth of how perfectly the pieces of the puzzle of life fit together when viewed from a large enough perspective.
"From the East, you traveled to the South," I continued. "The South is the place of innocence and trust. One of the colors of the South is green, and that is one of the colors of healing energy. It is also the place of the child within. It was through surrendering to your guidance and trusting that my inner self was innocent, and not some horrible shameful monster, that I was able to access the healing green energy. It was in the South that my emotional healing began, because I was able to start accepting that God really is Loving - despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Once I started remembering enough to trust that God is LOVE, and that everything is unfolding perfectly, then I could access enough courage to open the 'Pandora's Box' of repressed emotional energy that was caused by the trauma of my childhood..
"From the South, you traveled to the West - the place of introspection. It is in this 'looks within' place that everything starts to make sense. For it is within that Truth exists. Only by looking within can Truth be found, and that Truth leads to God. For everything that we see around us is only a reflection of that which exists within. And if we cannot find God, and Love, within - we can never find it without. The Medicine Wheel is a mirror, and only by visiting all four directions can we become whole. The goal of the healing process is balance, and by visiting all four directions we can find the balance that allows the integration of the Spiritual and the physical."
"I would say that you are awakening very nicely," she communicated with what seemed to be a rather self-satisfied look on her face.
"Thank you," I replied, feeling rather proud of myself. "It is your guidance in leading me to the four directions that has brought me some wisdom - which is where your little gallop ended."
"Au contraire, mon amie," telepathed my Higher Self,"I didn't stay in the North, did I?"
"Well no," I said, somewhat confused. "You came back here to the center of the meadow."
"And in returning to the center, which way did I travel?" she asked, with that sly grin.
"You came South," I answered, still not understanding.
"So, from wisdom, I headed back to the South?"
"Yes," I replied. And then I had a sinking feeling in my stomach. If her heading back to the South was so significant, then it could only mean on thing - it was time to trust again. And if it was time to trust again, that meant emotions. I have learned that my growth process is a continuous series of upwardly spiraling circles through ever expanding levels of awareness. In relation to the Medicine Wheel, this means that I need to visit all four directions within each level, or in regard to each issue, in order to achieve the balance that is wisdom about that particular level, in relationship to that particular issue. And once I have gained enough wisdom and balance about a level then it is time to head South again, to trust and feel. To peel another layer of the onion.
My understanding of this process is that each time I move upward from one level to the next, it requires a lot of trust/faith because that particular phase of the growth process feels terrible. This is because each time I move to a larger level of awareness, I have to surrender some of my ego definitions of who I am and how I relate to everything around me. It is the most confusing and terrifying part of the process because I have to let go of the old definitions before I know what it going to replace them. This is the process of 'the death of the ego'. This metamorphosis - death is a process of transformation not an event - occurs as I shed progressive layers of ignorance to bring my ego-self into alignment with Spiritual-Self. This journey to wholeness and Oneness within is how the process of healing brings me to consciousness of the ONENESS of ALL THAT IS.
However, just as my Higher Self had stated only moments before, it does not matter how much intellectual knowledge I have of the path - I still experience the primal fear of the unknown when it comes time to proceed down that path. And my ego fights the process because every time it has to give up some of it's definitions, that is, it's illusions of control, it feels like it is dying. My ego reacts with fear to the out-of-control feeling, not only of the process of redefining which is growth and to it's terror of the uncontrollable unknown in general, but also to the grief energy which it is necessary to release with each successive layer of the 'onion'.
This process translates in my experience in this way: just when I have reached a comfortable understanding of the level I am at, and start to think that I have it all together (that I have finally reached happily-ever-after) - then it is time to move up to a new level. And as I come out of the top of one level into the bottom of the next level, it feels like I am at the bottom of the whole thing once more. It feels like I am in a deep dark hole huddled in a fetal position in despair and pain, and that I have made no progress. I feel very confused, because of surrendering some of my ego-definitions, and it feels like my emotional reality has never been anything but pain-full.
So naturally, my human impulse is to resist the process of surrendering to the grief and the growth. And even though my experience of the process had taught me that when I get to the other side of the grief and the confusion it will feel wonderful, in my humanness I still resist, progressively less then I used to, but resistance nevertheless. And each time it becomes time to surrender once more, I get angry at the process."
The Dance of Wounded Souls Trilogy, Book 1"In The Beginning . . ."
I wanted to share this with you as part of explaining where I have been at in my process. I am at a place of emerging at a higher level - of coming out of the tunnel, breaking out of the cocoon. And this week I have been dealing with my anger that this process never ends. I feel like I have worked long enough and hard enough and I deserve a break. It is natural and human to feel like that - it is also the ego resisting letting go again. And, as I said above, even though I know that I am about to break out into a higher level where the world is Lighter and brighter and more Joy-filled than ever before - I still get angry that the process takes so long (from my perspective) and is sometimes so painful and lonely.
What is important is to not judge and shame myself, to be nurturing and Loving to my inner children, and to keep intervening in my own internal process to tell myself the Truth - that this too shall pass into something different, that every time I go through the tunnel it is very much worth it (once I get out the other side), that I am Loved even though it hasn't felt like it very much of the time lately, etc.
It is also very important to give myself permission to have my feelings - the anger and the pain. They are a perfect part of my growth process. I tell myself the Truth, use positive affirmations and such, as a way of balancing my relationship with the feelings - not as a way of denying them.
The reality that I have been experiencing while going through the tunnel is not punishment or because I have done something wrong - it just feels that way. What I am going through is not just about me - there are changes occurring on a Planetary level that are affecting everyone. We have just been through a compressed, dense period that is going to explode into a very accelerated period. It is a heck of a ride, a glorious time to be alive for this adventure of healing the planet - even thought it feels pretty crappy sometimes. (so much fertilizer!)
I wanted to share what I have been going through in hopes that it might help you be more patient and Loving with your self in your process. Everything is unfolding perfectly. That it is very painful and terrifying and lonely sometimes is not because we are doing something wrong or that there is something wrong with us - it is just the way this human adventure works. Feels like a pretty stupid game sometimes - and at others it feels like a Magnificent, Amazing Adventure. Be kind to your self and your inner children by not buying into the judgment and shame as much as you possibly can.
So, that is what I wanted to share with you. Love starts at home by being Loving to our selves internally. That is what leads us home to the Loving Source."
Excerpt from Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light
"The key, in terms of the concept of internal boundaries as I use it and apply it, is to set those boundaries from a loving place instead of from a shaming and judgmental place. We all learned to try to control our behavior and feelings with shame, guilt, and fear because those were the tools our parents and society used on us. That is where the critical parent voice is born. It is an attempt to have internal boundaries through shame, criticism, and fear of consequences.
To set internal boundaries from shame and fear is dysfunctional in the long term. When we try to control our behavior out of shame and fear it doesn't work because we end up rebelling against that attempted control. We rebel by acting out in the self abusive ways that we are shaming ourselves for in the first place. Thus the codependent cycle of shame, blame, and self abuse, the squirrel cage that most of us have spent our lives running around and around in, is fed by the very shame and fear messages that we are using to try to stop it.
"If I am feeling like a"failure" and giving power to the"critical parent" voice within that is telling me that I am a failure - then I can get stuck in a very painful place where I am shaming myself for being me. In this dynamic I am being the victim of myself and also being my own perpetrator - and the next step is to rescue myself by using one of the old tools to go unconscious (food, alcohol, sex, etc.) Thus the disease has me running around in a squirrel cage of suffering and shame, a dance of pain, blame, and self-abuse."
The reason we rebel is because when we are shaming and abusing ourselves we are betraying ourselves - and on some deep level we know that is not right. The rebel in us fights against this self abuse - but at the same time because we are reacting out of a false, dysfunctional, black and white belief system, the rebel also becomes allied with the very addictions and dysfunctional behavior we are trying to stop with the shame. On the highest level the rebel within is trying to get us to be True to our True self - but because of the black & white, dysfunctional and false attitudes, beliefs, and definitions we are reacting out of, it identifies our True self as being the part of us that feels the need for the addictive substance or relationship or whatever.
Thus, does the dysfunction feeds more dysfunction.
"Any time we judge and shame ourselves, we are feeding back into the disease, we are jumping back into the squirrel cage.
This is a brilliantly insidious disease!
The war within cannot be won by fighting the disease, by fighting ourselves. The only way to break out is to start giving ourselves a break, to start being kind to, and having compassion for, ourselves and our inner children."
The only way to effectively stop the self destructive, reactive codependent cycle is by loving ourselves - by treating ourselves in ways that are more loving. The only Truly effective way I have found to effectively do this is to integrate into all levels of our internal process a Spiritual belief system which supports the idea that we are Unconditionally Loved. And the key to integrating Spiritual Truth into the internal emotional process and to finding balance emotionally and mentally is to have Loving internal boundaries.
Excerpt from The True Nature of Love - Romantic Relationships
"Tune into your feelings. Recognize that if you have an intense emotional reaction, there is a lot of energy attached, that your old wounds have been triggered. Then you can process the old stuff and separate it from the now. Learn to have a healthy, emotionally honest relationship with your self - and you will start to trust yourself more. Choose to have a Spiritual belief system that includes a Higher Power who is so powerful that everything is unfolding perfectly.
Do the work. Become willing to do whatever it takes to learn how to Love yourself so that you have the capacity to Love someone else in a healthy way.
Let go of judgment and shame. Let go of trying to control life and other people. Let go of thinking you have to do it perfectly. Let go of thinking in terms of right and wrong.
Learn to have compassion and patience with yourself. Know that you are being guided and that you do not have the power to screw up the Great Spirit's plan.
Then just do it. Live. Suit up and show up for life today. Be in the moment as much as you can. You will not always be able to be clear. Trust your Spirit to guide you.
When people ask me how to discern the really gray areas - like: Is this setting boundaries or being controlling? Is this caring or codependent? Is this a geographic or am I following Divine guidance? - what I tell them is to use the short version of the Serenity Prayer.
First I will give you my adapted version of the Serenity Prayer:
God, Goddess, Great Spirit,
Thank you for helping me to access:
The Serenity and Faith to accept the things I cannot change (other people and life),
The Courage and Willingness to change the things I can (me and my attitudes towards other people and life),
And the Wisdom and Clarity to know the difference.
Now for the short version (slightly cleaned up from how I usually express it.)
Screw it. Do what it feels like you need to do. Plunge ahead - or pull back, whatever your heart and gut tells you is the most important thing to do. It will be an opportunity for growth no matter what you decide. It will not be a mistake - it will be a lesson.
The more you heal, the less power the painful lessons will have (because you are taking the shame out of the process), and the more Joy you can tune into. The more you can let go and just live in the moment in a responsible adult way - the more your spontaneous, Loving, playful inner self can come out and play (because the more you trust your Higher Power and the process, the more your inner children can trust you to protect them.)
The more you align your intellectual paradigm with Spiritual Truth and heal your emotional wounds, the more freedom you have to be in the moment no matter what you are feeling. The more that you can have the faith and courage to walk through the fear, the more you will take the power away from the fear and start being Truly free to Live. The more you open up to receive Love and Joy, the more opportunities you will have to tune into Joy in the moment - and the more moments you will be able to stay in the Love.
Then you can, in the moment some of the time, learn to Love as if you have never been hurt."