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Emotional Intimacy = in to me see

"One of the hardest things for any of us to do is to learn to have compassion for our self.  In childhood we felt like it was our fault that our wounded parents treated us in the way they did.  We felt that any abuse, deprivation, neglect, and/or abandonment (actual or emotional) was because there was something wrong with who we were - that we were defective or bad or evil or unlovable in some way."

"As long as we have not done the work to heal our relationship with the child who we were - with the inner child wounded places that still exist within us - we are not available to Love our self.  When we are not able to Love our self, then we are more comfortable in relationships with people who are emotionally unavailable.  Being emotionally unavailable to our self makes us emotionally unavailable to others - and will cause us to sabotage any relationship where the other person is Loving us more than we feel we deserve to be Loved."

"Intimacy is "in to me see."  We need to be able to see into our self - and be willing to take the action necessary - to stop allowing the emotional wounds and old tapes to run our lives and sabotage our relationships."

On this page is an article by inner child healing pioneer / Spiritual Teacher / codependency therapist on emotional intimacy.
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This ia an article that is part of a series of articles which were focused upon issues involving gender, sexuality, romantic relationships, and directly related topics.  This article Emotional Intimacy = in to me see was originally published online April 29, 2004 on Robert's Inner Child / Codependency Recovery page on the Suite101.com Directory.  There is a list of - and links to - the other articles in this series on Suite 101 on the Suite101 Articles page.  The original article was used to create this page on Joy2MeU in June of 2005.

Emotional Intimacy = in to me see

By Robert Burney
"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."

"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.  And we cannot do that without going through the black hole.  The black hole that we need to surrender to traveling through is the black hole of our grief.  The journey within - through our feelings - is the journey to knowing that we are Loved, that we are Lovable."

"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."

(All quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls)

One of the hardest things for any of us to do is to learn to have compassion for our self.  In childhood we felt like it was our fault that our wounded parents treated us in the way they did.  We felt that any abuse, deprivation, neglect, and/or abandonment (actual or emotional) was because there was something wrong with who we were - that we were defective or bad or evil or unlovable in some way.

As long as we have not done the work to heal our relationship with the child who we were - with the inner child wounded places that still exist within us - we are not available to Love our self.  When we are not able to Love our self, then we are more comfortable in relationships with people who are emotionally unavailable.  Being emotionally unavailable to our self makes us emotionally unavailable to others - and will cause us to sabotage any relationship where the other person is Loving us more than we feel we deserve to be Loved.

And I am not talking about consciously telling our selves we are Lovable.  I am not talking about an intellectual - or even an intuitive - level of awareness where we know and believe we are Lovable.  It does not matter how much we believe intellectually we are Lovable - although working on believing that by introducing Loving programming such as positive affirmations is a vital step in the process of healing - if we have not worked on changing the emotional programming.

When I use the term emotional programming, I am referring to both the emotional wounding / unresolved grief and to subconscious and conscious intellectual ego programming that resulted from the ways we were traumatized and how we interpreted the messages we got from the behavior, communication, and role modeling of our parents and any other significant older people in our lives in childhood.  We have within us emotional wounds - inner child places - that are a result of arrested states of ego programming from different ages in our childhood.

It is impossible to become aware of all the subconscious programming without doing our grief work.  It is necessary to go through what I refer to in my book as the black hole of our grief in order to bring the subconscious programming to Light.  Anything that is in the dark within us has power.  The emotional wounds and old tapes from our childhood have power as long as we have not done the grieving and the ego reprogramming work that is necessary to start opening our hearts to our self.

As long as we are disconnected / disassociated from ourselves emotionally, we cannot be emotionally honest or intimate with ourselves.  As long as we have not been willing to go through the black hole of our grief so that we can own and reconnect emotionally with the child who we were - we can not be fully or clearly in touch with our own heart and soul.

Intimacy is "in to me see."  We need to be able to see into our self - and be willing to take the action necessary - to stop allowing the emotional wounds and old tapes to run our lives and sabotage our relationships. We need to learn to open our hearts to our self, in order to be capable of Truly opening our hearts to another person.  If we can't open our hearts to our self, then we will continue to choose emotionally unavailable people to get involved with in our romantic relationships.  We are doomed to be in relationships that do not meet our needs - or to avoid relationships - until we start learning to have compassion for the child that we were.

I am going to end this months column with a quote from an article in my series on The True Nature of Love to give an example of how important it is to do this grief work so that we can change the old tapes that have been dictating how we relate to Love and romance.  I will be continuing the discussion of emotional intimacy in my columns here in the coming months - including sharing how my fear of intimacy caused me to sabotage my latest romantic relationship which in turn led to me opening my heart in a Truly magnificent way.

"We cannot get clearly in touch with the subconscious programming without doing the grief work.  The subconscious intellectual programming is tied to the emotional wounds we suffered and many years of suppressing those feelings has also buried the attitudes, definitions, and beliefs that are connected to those emotional wounds.  It is possible to get intellectually aware of some of them through such tools as hypnosis, or having a therapist or psychic or energy healer tell us they are there - but we cannot really understand how much power they carry without feeling the emotional context - and cannot change them without reducing the emotional charge / releasing the emotional energy tied to them.  Knowing they are there will not make them go away.

A good example of how this works is a man that I worked with some years ago.  He came to me in emotional agony because his wife was leaving him.  He was adamant that he did not want a divorce and kept saying how much he loved his wife and how he could not stand to lose his family (he had a daughter about 4.)  I told him the first day he came in that the pain he was suffering did not really have that much to do with his wife and present situation - but was rooted in some attitude from his childhood.  But that did not mean anything to him on a practical level, on a level of being able to let go of the attitude that was causing him so much pain.  It was only while doing his childhood grief work that he got in touch with the pain of his parents divorce when he was 10 years old.  In the midst of doing that grief work the memory of promising himself that he would never get a divorce, and cause his child the kind of pain he was experiencing, surfaced.  Once he had gotten in touch with, and released, the emotional charge connected to the idea of divorce, he was able to look at his present situation more clearly.  Then he could see that the marriage had never been a good one - that he had sacrificed himself and his own needs from the beginning to comply with his dream / concept of what a marriage should be.  He could then see that staying in the marriage was not serving him or his daughter.  Once he got past the promise he made to himself in childhood, he was able to let go of his wife and start building a solid relationship with his daughter based on the reality of today instead of the grief of the past." -The True Nature of Love-part 4, Energetic Clarity

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Next article in this series: Fear of Intimacy - Relationship Phobia
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Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney is copyright 1995.  Material on Joy2MeU web site (except where otherwise noted) is copyright 1996 thru 2013 by Robert Burney  PO Box 235401 Encinitas CA 92023

Emotional Intimacy = in to me see was originally published online on April 29, 2004 on my Inner Child / Codependency Recovery topic page on the Suite101.com Directory.