Answers to questions posed to codependency therapist, inner child healing pioneer, Spiritual teacher Robert Burney via e-mail or Suite101 Discussion threads.

Periodically, in the e-mail I receive from people who have discovered my site, I am asked why I don't have - or it is suggested that a good addition to the web site would be - a forum or chat room or some similar type of discussion area.  This is something I tried in my early days on the internet in the form of an e-mailing list - and something I won't be doing again.  It just takes too much time and energy to monitor this type of thing.  I already spend a minimum of 10 hours a week just answering e-mail, and I just don't have time to monitor an area of the site that would be open to anyone posting their thoughts or questions.

One of the realities of the internet is there are a lot of people out there who are quick to share opinions that are based in ignorance.  The e-mailing list I had about 6 years ago was supposed to be only for people who resonated with the writing on my web site - but people who had never read a word of my site would think nothing of throwing their completely uninformed or unrelated opinions into the mix.  There are also some very sick and twisted people out there on the web, who will post mean and abusive;  or obscene;  or bigoted;  or otherwise inappropriate;  opinions.  Anyone who has a forum type of discussion list needs to be closely monitoring the postings to delete some of the outrageous things certain people will post - and I just do not have the time or the inclination.

However I do sometimes wish I had a way to share some of the answers to questions I get by e-mail.  I, in fact, had a series of question and answer pages on my original web site in 1998 - and those pages are still online Question and Answer pages of Joy to You & Me (some sections of which grew into web articles on Joy2MeU.)  There is also a discussion area on my topic page at Suite 101 (Inner Child/Codependency Recovery.)  It was in fact several resent answers I wrote for that discussion area that prompted me to add this page to the site.  That discussion area is one that I don't have time to visit very often, and one in which I encourage people to e-mail me directly for a prompter response than posting there will get them.  It is subject to some of the same problems I refer to above - i.e. ignorant opinions etc. - and I do not get involved in those discussions to any great extent.  I do write some fairly long answers occasionally however - and I thought several recent ones were valuable enough to share here on the site.  Thus this new page.

I will probably be adding answers I give either on that discussion list, or to e-mail questions in the form of new web pages periodically.  For now I am starting off with several answers I posted to questions on that discussion page. ~  Robert 1/12/05

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Inner Child/Codependency Recovery Discussion Q & A

Grief Work

Author:   _______
Discussion:    grief work
Date:    December 7, 2004 7:00 PM
Subject:    grief work
First of all I would like to thank you for your messages and insights, secondly I'm working on the affirmations and learning about spirituality but I keep hearing the term "grief work" and I'm not sure I understand what that means. Could you explain?

I want to mention again something I have mentioned previously in these discussion threads.  That is, that I don't get to suite101 very often because I am too busy.  Anyone who wants some feedback from me, or to ask a question, will get a much quicker response by e-mailing me directly.  And often it is possible to find the answers by visiting my web site.  The site index page is a good place to look for articles on specific subjects.

That said, I will explain a little about grief work - and point you at some pages of my site that will be helpful.

Emotions are energy that is manifested in our bodies.  Emotions and thoughts are two different - though intimately interrelated - types of energy.  Growing up in emotionally dysfunctional, emotionally dishonest cultures has taught us all to have a dysfunctional relationship with our own feelings.  It is important to work on changing our relationships with our own emotions.

Emotions are actually metaphysical in nature - as I explained in my March 2004 article on Suite101:

"Metaphysical means beyond the physical - that is beyond the concrete three-dimensional reality that we experience, that can be seen and measured. One of the reasons that emotions have been so discounted in Western Civilization has been because it is not possible to take an x-ray and see that we have unresolved grief from the past that is knocking our system out of balance and causing us to be depressed." - March 2004 Energetic Attraction - emotional familiarity or Karmic connection?
It is releasing that unresolved emotional energy from the past that grief work is about.  We also, of course, want to be able to own our grief in the present - but as long as we haven't grieved our emotional wounds from the past then it is impossible to have grief in the present that is just about the present.  Any emotional wounding in the now will trigger grief from the past - will "push our buttons."

I addressed this specifically in one of my articles in my Serenity Prayers series of articles that I originally published on Suite101.

"We all have reactive emotional "buttons" - an internal emotional mine field - that cause us to have intense emotional reactions when a button is pushed, when one of the unhealed wounds in our psyche gets activated. Other people, life events, an old song, etc., can trigger these emotional wounds.

Having these strong emotional reactions is not a sign that we are crazy, it is just a symptom of codependency. It is important to stop judging and shaming ourselves - or blaming others - for these reactions. It is vital to start learning how to disarm those buttons - how to heal our emotional wounds." - Emotional Discernment - taking power away from the fear

As I mention in this quote, we need to disarm those emotional buttons from the past.  This involves both the actual energy release work and changing our attitudes towards the feelings.  That is what the inner child healing work is about.  As long as we are reacting to unhealed wounds from the past / unresolved grief, and allowing our relationships with our own emotions - as well as with our self, our own mind, body, and spirit, with life and other people - to be dictated by childhood intellectual programming then we are incapable of being in the now in an emotionally honest, appropriately adult way.  Here is a quote from my book (which I think you would find very helpful in understanding this healing process):

"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.

If we are reacting out of what our emotional truth was when we were five or nine or fourteen, then we are not capable of responding appropriately to what is happening in the moment; we are not being in the now.

When we are reacting out of old tapes based on attitudes and beliefs that are false or distorted, then our feelings cannot be trusted.

When we are reacting out of our childhood emotional wounds, then what we are feeling may have very little to do with the situation we are in or with the people with whom we are dealing in the moment.

In order to start be-ing in the moment in a healthy, age-appropriate way it is necessary to heal our "inner child."  The inner child we need to heal is actually our "inner children" who have been running our lives because we have been unconsciously reacting to life out of the emotional wounds and attitudes, the old tapes, of our childhoods.

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 someone "pushes your buttons," he/she is activating that stored, pressurized grief energy. She/he is gouging the old wounds, and all of the newer wounds that are piled on top of those original wounds by our repeating behavior patterns.

We are terrified of this pressurized pain, terror, shame, and rage energy - of "having our buttons pushed" - because we have experienced it in the past as instances where we have explosively overreacted in ways that caused us to later feel ashamed and crazy, or as implosive reactions that have thrown us into that deep dark pit of emotional despair within.

We are walking around with this set of buttons available to be pushed by any person, place, thing, or combination thereof that recreates the dynamics of the situation wherein we were originally wounded. (For example: a certain smell, the texture of a fabric, a tone of voice, a gesture, etc., can be emotional triggers that throw us back to an age of our inner child.)

We carry this set of buttons, this baggage, with us until we release that stored, pressurized grief energy in a healthy grieving process. This society's answer to behavior caused by unresolved grief is to shame you, label you, lock you up, and/or give you drugs. We do not have to play that game anymore. We have new tools now, and we have rediscovered the healing power of the natural grieving process.

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." - Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Here are some links to articles on my web site that specifically talk about grieving. All of these articles are part of the section of my site that is focused on inner child work: Inner Child Healing = a path to freedom, serenity, and empowerment

In my article Feeling the Feelings - grief / emotional energy release I discuss the importance of feeling the feelings. In my article Grief, Love, & Fear of Intimacy I discuss my first experience of doing deep grief work.  In my article Grief Process Techniques I discuss some of the tools to aid us in our grieving. And in the article Grieving - examples of how the process works I talk about the importance of the grief process - and give some examples of both the shallower levels of grieving and the deep grief work.

I hope these are helpful.

Link to this discussion thread on Suite101
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My welcome page on Suite101 is here: Inner Child/Codependency Recovery on Suite101  I have a list of, and links to, the original articles which I have published on Suite101 since January 2002 on my Suite articles page.  (All but the last 11 of those articles are now pages on this site.)

A 21 part Inner Child healing series I published on Suite101 (most of which have been added to this site) was published as an E-Book in June 2004 by Suite 101  Inner Child Healing ~ The Path to Empowerment, Inner Peace, and Freedom from the Past  That followed the publication in October 2003 of an e-book of my series of articles Dysfunctional Relationship Dynamics - Healthy Relationship Behavior (Those articles are part of this site and can be found in the Romantic Relationships section.)

inept at parenting

Author:     ______
Discussion:    [No Title]
Date:    January 4, 2005 9:20 PM
Subject:    Her pain-my pain
I am so very codependent and I want to get better. I am miserable. I lost my alcoholic husband to suicide 4 years ago. I have 2 daughters, 12 and 16. My 16 year old is experiencing depression and was coping with her feelings in negative ways like chemical use, self-injury and suicidal gestures. This is all very recent for her but she was hospitalized and is now making progress in other programs. We have been in counseling for 2 years and I have learned a lot but I am still in so much pain. I don't believe my pain is so much from our loss as it is from things I don't yet understand. However, I can't seem to separate myself from my daughter and her pain. I can recognize and identify behaviors in myself that are unhealthy and codependent but when I try to do things differently I just get frustrated and cry. I don't know how I became so inept at parenting. How can I continue to heal? I feel stuck.

You didn't become inept at parenting, you just never really learned how to parent in a healthy way.  It is impossible to parent in a healthy way if we don't have a healthy relationship with our self.  Our role models for parenting were our parents - who didn't know how to be healthy either.  And rather we parent like our parents did, or go to the other extreme by trying to do it completely different than they did, we are being codependent - we are reacting to the extremes of codependency.

Codependency is a conditioned reflex - and also a form of Delayed Stress Syndrome - which causes us to live life in reaction to old tapes and old wounds. (see the Codependency pages of my web site.)  As long as we are reacting to life and other people out of childhood wounding and intellectual programming, we are powerless to do anything but react to extremes.  This reacting to extremes dynamic is the result of growing up in cultures that taught us to see our self and life from a black and white, right and wrong, perspective.  We were taught that right is what we "should" do, and that "wrong" was bad and shameful.  We also got the message that life was a test that we could fail - by being imperfect and doing things "wrong."  That sets us up to judge and shame our self for being imperfect, wounded, humans.

This causes us to react to situations in ways that are dysfunctional, that do not work, and then judge and shame our self for our reactions.  It causes us to believe that we are responsible for other peoples feelings, and to judge and shame ourselves for our own feelings and behavior.  It is very nasty, extremely powerful and insidious.  The bottom line of what we need to do in codependency recovery is to stop shaming and judging ourselves for being wounded, imperfect human beings, and start seeing our self, life, and other people with more clearly and objectively so that we can change our relationships with self, life, and other people into a healthier, more functional relationships.

In other words, the key to changing your relationship with your daughter is to change your relationship with your self and life.  In focusing on your relationship with you daughter (or any other person) you are only seeing symptoms - not dealing with the cause.  The cause goes back to your childhood wounding and programming.

The vitally important step in this process, the one that makes the rest of recovery possible, is to start learning how to detach from what is going on - both externally and internally - enough to stop shaming and judging your self and start seeing what is happening with more clarity.  Here is a quote from an online book I am writing in which I talk about the importance of detachment when it comes to codependence recovery.

"The healing process is full of paradox and irony on multiple levels. One of those paradoxes is that in order to get in touch with our ONENESS with everything, we must first be able to define our self as separate from others. And in order to become an integrated whole being, we must first separate and own all of the different parts of our self within. As long as we don't have clear boundaries between our self and others, we cannot know where we end and someone else starts - we cannot get clear on what is our stuff and what is theirs. As long as we don't have clear boundaries within ourselves, we are set up to be the victim of our own thoughts, feelings, and behavior.

Detachment is a vital technique in starting to see our self and others more clearly.

Most people who have any experience with twelve step programs will associate the term 'detachment' with Al-Anon. In Al-Anon terms detachment means to let go of believing that one has the power to make an alcoholic drink - or not drink. To stop taking an alcoholics behavior personally. It means to let go of feeling responsible for another persons feelings and behavior.

Detaching from feeling responsible for the feelings and behavior of other people is one of the initial stages of any codependency recovery. We learned in childhood that we had the power to make our parents happy or sad, angry or scared. We experienced painful consequences when our behavior was not what the adults around us considered acceptable. Some of us came from families where being a human child was not acceptable behavior. Some of us came from families afflicted with alcoholism or mental illness, in which case the definition of acceptable behavior varied wildly from one day to the next. Some of us came from families where as children we were allowed to have the power and be in control - which is terrifying and abusive to a child. Some of us came from families where no one in the family had permission to be human. None of these environments taught us how to relate to self and life in a healthy way.

We grew up getting the message that we were responsible for other people feelings and behavior. And we were taught to give other people or outside agencies power over how we felt about ourselves. We learned to do life backwards.

"I spent most of my life doing the Serenity prayer backwards, that is, trying to change the external things over which I had no control - other people and life events mostly - and taking no responsibility (except shaming and blaming myself) for my own internal process - over which I can have some degree of control. Having some control is not a bad thing; trying to control something or somebody over which I have no control is what is dysfunctional." - Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

We tried to control other people so we could protect ourselves emotionally. Some of us (classic codependent behavior) tried to control through people pleasing, being a chameleon, wearing a mask, dancing to other people's tunes. Some of us (classic counterdependent behavior - the opposite extreme) protected ourselves by pretending that we didn't need other people. Either way we were living life in reaction to our childhood wounds - we were not making clear, conscious choices. (If we think our choice is to be in an abusive relationship or not to be in a relationship at all, that is not a choice - that is reacting between two extremes that are symptoms of our childhood wounds.)" - Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in the Light Book 2: A Dysfunctional Relationship with Life Author's Foreword

One of the reasons that you have not been able to change your behavior and do things differently is that you are trying to change from the outside in, rather than inside out. That means you are focusing on symptoms rather than cause. When we try to change from outside in, we end up trying to do things "right" - and then shaming and judging ourselves for not being able to do it perfect / "right." It is vitally important to start focusing on cause - our childhood emotional wounding and programming - so that we can change our behavior patterns and mental process. That is what inner child healing is all about - changing our core relationship with self, life, and other people - by focusing on the cause instead of the symptomatic effects.

I would encourage you to keep reading my work - and especially to focus on the inner child healing approach I share on my website.  There is hope - there is a way out. The problems you are experiencing are not because there is something wrong with you, with who you are - it is your relationship with self and life that got so screwed up in childhood. You do have the power to change your relationship with self, life, and others by focusing on the cause and learning how to live the Serenity Prayer in your life, instead of trying to do life backwards - trying to play the game of life by rules that do not work.

Author:   ___
  Discussion:    [No Title]
  Date:    January 8, 2005 7:23 PM
  Subject:    Re: Re: Her pain-my pain
  In response to Re: Her pain-my pain posted by joy2meu:

  Thank you so much for responding to my post. I understand what I have to do but I am sad that I have now passed this model of parenting to my children. Is there really any way to stop this disease from passing to the next generation? I feel like it's already too late, not for me to change, but for my girls. Are they now destined to carry this on because of the traumas they have suffered?

 Author: joy2meu
Date: January 27, 2005 02:03 PM
Yes, it is sad. And it is important to grieve for the past - but it is also vital to not judge and shame yourself for it. Here is a quote from my book:

We must start recognizing our powerlessness over this disease of Codependence.

As long as we did not know we had a choice we did not have one.

If we never knew how to say "no," then we never really said "yes."

We were powerless to do anything any different than we did it. We were doing the best we knew how with the tools that we had. None of us had the power to write a different script for our lives.

We need to grieve for the past. For the ways in which we abandoned and abused ourselves. For the ways we deprived ourselves. We need to own that sadness. But we also need to stop blaming ourselves for it. It was not our fault!

We did not have the power to do it any differently.

We cannot change the past, so it is vital to stop judging ourselves for it. You could not have done it differently. It is by becoming conscious of your codependency and getting into recovery that you are doing your part to break the cycle of this disease. It is important to remember that the tools, knowledge, and guidance needed to break these cycles and recover from the condition of codependency are relatively very new in civilization. (I am going to share quotes from a few of my articles here in the hopes they might help you with your process of forgiving your self.)

"For all of the so called progress of our modern societies, we still are far behind most aboriginal cultures in terms of respect for individual rights and dignity in some kind of balance with the good of the whole. (I am speaking here of tribal aboriginal societies - not urbanized ones.) Nowhere is this more evident in terms of our relationship to our children.

Modern civilizations - both Eastern and Western - are no more than a generation or two removed from the belief that children were property. This, of course, goes hand in hand with the belief that women were property. The idea that children have rights, individuality, and dignity is relatively new in modern society. The predominant and underlying belief, as it has been manifested in the treatment of children, has been that children are extensions of, and tools to be used by, their parents.

A very telling insight into the basic beliefs underlying Western attitudes towards children is shared by inner child pioneer Alice Miller in her book The Drama of The Gifted Child. She shares how the 19th Century German Philosophers who laid the groundwork for modern psychology, emphasized the importance of stamping out a child's "exuberance." In other words, a child's spirit must be crushed in order to control them.

Children are to be seen and not heard. Spare the rod and spoil the child.

It is only in very recent history, that our society has even recognized child abuse as a crime instead of an inherent right of the parent. The concept of healthy parenting as a skill to be learned is very new in society." - Inner Child Healing - Why do it?

"As I have shared elsewhere, we are only a generation or two removed from cultural treatment of both women and children as property. It is only within the last 15 years or so, that such things as healthy parenting classes existed to acknowledge the reality that though we may have to get a license to have a dog or drive a car, there are no such requirements for becoming a parent." - Men and Women are from the same planet
"So often when I am working with someone, helping them to understand their codependency, they will say, "Why didn't I learn this sooner. I feel so stupid that I have have wasted so many years in denial about how much my childhood experiences were running my life."

What I need to remind them of, is that the information we have now wasn't available when they were growing up. It was in only the late 70s and early 80s that researchers were able to identify the Adult Child Syndrome, that family dynamics researchers were starting to speak of the concept of dysfunctional families. Before Betty Ford had the courage to go public with her recovery from alcoholism in the late 70s, there was very little information widely available about alcoholism. Phil Donahue started bringing controversial topics out of the closet in the 70s, and was followed in the 80s by Oprah Winfrey. These were the first times that such subjects as child abuse and incest were openly discussed in American society. Denial, keeping secrets, had been the traditional norm in both families and society." - The Condition of Codependency

The disease of codependency causes reaction to extremes. Because of this, many people in the last generation to be raised in a time when children didn't really have any rights, in a time prior to the great changes in society brought about by the Civil Rights Movement and the Feminist Movement, among other things - went to the other extreme when they became parents. It is quite normal that many of us in the baby boom generation - that were raised in a time when keeping secrets and keeping up appearances was still paramount in society - reacted to growing up with parents who controlled us by breaking our spirits, by going to the other extreme and giving our children too much power. That is abusive to a child also. What is healthy is finding the middle ground. The key is, learning how to Love our selves and be emotionally healthy so that we can not only be healthier parents but healthier role models. Giving children healthy messages while acting acting out in an emotionally unhealthy way ourselves will not work to make us healthy parents. As I say in my book:

What we traditionally have called normal parenting in this society is abusive because it is emotionally dishonest. Children learn who they are as emotional beings from the role modeling of their parents. "Do as I say not as I do," does not work with children. Emotionally dishonest parents cannot be emotionally healthy role models, and cannot provide healthy parenting.

So, in order to be a healthy parent, it is vital to become a healthier person.

Your daughters were wounded, and do carry subconscious and emotional programming that will cause them to act out codependent patterns in how they relate to themselves, life, and other people. But they will be able to see the effects of the codependency much sooner, and probably get into recovery much younger than you ever had a chance of doing - because the information is available now. And the role modeling you do for them by starting to get healthier will be as if you were planting seeds within their consciousness that will bloom at some time in the future. They will probably be disturbed and resentful of the changes in your behavior at first - because children are normally scared of changes in the status quo, in what they have experienced as normal. Eventually however, as you get healthier, you will be available to them as a healthier resource and support than you could ever be while still in denial of your codependency.

So, yes they will probably carry this on for a while, but there is more hope for them - and all future generations - as more and more of us get involved in codependency recovery.

I hope this has been helpful. I am going to close my response here with another quote from my book - a quote that speaks to how important it is to focus on our own individual healing as a way of changing the human condition.

We are Spiritual Beings and we are here in these bodies, at this time, to do this healing.

So the bad news is that the world is a real mess because we have been doing it all backwards. The good news is that it was all part of the Divine Script and that the healing has begun.

The good news individually is that the dance is changing, the healing and Joy are available to us now. The bad news individually (from an emotional perspective) is that in order to do this healing, it is necessary to do our grief processing, to feel our feelings. It is necessary to go through the black hole.

That is the reason we came into body in this lifetime - to go through that black hole, to do this healing!

The time has come for you to remember that. This is your wake-up call. It is not the first and it probably will not be the last. But it is not an accident or a coincidence that you are reading this today.

It is time to stop the nonsense of believing that our purpose and meaning comes from the money, or the job, or the relationship. We are here to be a part of the Transformational Healing Process that has begun on this planet - we are here to heal our relationship with ourselves, with our wounded souls.

The time has come to stop doing it backwards. It is time to stop shaming and abusing an innocent child, to stop judging and blaming an innocent Adult Child. The time has come to start Loving yourself. . . . . . .

Love is the secret weapon in this war! Learning to Love ourselves, and remembering that the God-Force Loves us, is what will bring peace within.

In closing this section I am going to share a story that I heard at a Twelve Step meeting. It is a story about a parent and a child.

This was one of those times when the parent was busy with something that needed to be done and the child was bored and wanted some attention. The parent needed to concentrate and was desperate to find something to distract the child for a little while so that the parent could get done with what needed to be done and could then give the child some attention. In glancing around, the parent noticed a large fold out map of the world from a magazine. The parent took the map of the world and cut it up into pieces and gave it to the child along with some scotch tape and said, "Here honey, why donít you see how quickly you can put this map of the world together."

The child liked this idea and quickly went to work. The parent was sure that this little ploy had bought some valuable time to get finished with the project at hand. But in only a very few minutes the child called out that the map was all put together. The parent could not believe it and went over to where the child was sitting on the floor and was astounded to see the map all put together.

"How did you do that so fast?!" The parent asked.

The child, looking a little sheepish, said, "Well, I kinda cheated a little. On the other side of the map of the world was the picture of a person. I just put the person together and the world came together all by itself."

Thatís what this Recovery process is all about. If we just focus on putting ourselves together the world will take care of itself. - Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

Link to this discussion thread on Suite101

Another note about partenting
Author:     _____
Discussion:    spirituality
Date:    November 25, 2004 10:44 PM
Subject:    spirituality
I find your writing on spirituality very inspiring, I like what you said about not needing validation from any external source. I would like to know how you feel about my experience; this summer I had a dream, in it I was having a conversation with my son's deceased father, he passed in march 2003 we hadn't spoken in about 5 years and I had some unresolved issues with him that involved a lot of anger, any way I can't recall all the details of what we spoke about but I do recall two questions that I asked him; 1: did he betray me? answer was, that I already knew the answer and that it didn't matter and 2: was I doing good raising my son? he assured me that whatever happened it was going to be OK, I remember feeling like things were very different for him, he no longer seemed tormented by sadness and anger, he seemed so peaceful and calm and he gave me a sense of peace and calm, he never validated me but left me with a feeling of faith in life that no matter what our human experience is we are all going to be OK in the end, that we are spiritual beings and there is something bigger than this. I still worry about raising a healthy child(physically,emotionally,and spiritually) but I know that whatever life gives him for his human experience he will be OK too, and as long as I don't consciously cause him any emotional wounding I have done my job to the best of my ability. I just need to heal myself so I don't keep reacting to my wounds and therefore wound him unknowingly.

Author:    joy2meu 
Discussion:    spirituality
Date:    November 30, 2004 10:55 AM
Subject:    Re: spirituality
In response to spirituality posted by ______:

Yes you are right, the best thing you can do to be the healthiest parent you can be, is to heal yourself and become the healthiest person you can be. As I say in my book, we are Spiritual Beings here in human body going to boarding school for awhile and then we get to go home. You are on a Spiritual Path that is unfolding perfectly for you to learn the lessons you came here to learn, and settle the Karma you came here to settle. So is your son.

Your dream was your intuition / Higher Self helping you to relax and have some faith in the process so that you can be the best parent you can be. Cool dream and great interpretation.

Link to this discussion thread on Suite101

Psychic inner child?

Author: ________
Discussion:    Psychic inner child?
Date:    November 16, 2004 2:09 AM
Subject:    Psychic inner child?
I have been doing a huge amount of work getting to know my inner child. She now feels safe and loved and is happy for the first time in her life. She is truely wonderful, funny and I love her. A few weeks ago she revealed to me that the reason that I am here is to help heal people with cancer using the power of their minds.... certainly news to me! I am so proud of her and very excited about the journey that we are taking. However, she also told me that my brother-in-law will die in a motorbike accident. She told me the date, where it happens etc. She said that I cannot change this as it is his path. I am a bit 'freaked out' to say the least. Can my inner child be psychic or is she testing me (she said that she isn't). In the last few days she has also told me the names of about 10 people (which I know) who will get cancer but we help heal. Is this possible? Can she know the future? She said that God talks to her through my own mother who died almost 20 years ago when I was 12. Has this happened to anyone else. My counsellor is also a bit shocked about the whole thing. Please answer

Dear ______,
There are several aspects to what you describe here that I want to address.  One is that there is not in my experience a single inner child, or inner child voice.  As I say in my book, I believe there are multiple ages of the inner child resulting from our wounding and the dysfunctional environments we grew up in.

"At each stage of the developmental process we were traumatized because of the emotionally repressive, Spiritually hostile environment into which we were born. We went into the next stage incomplete and then were retraumatized, were wounded again.

We have a feeling place (stored emotional energy), and an arrested ego-state within us for an age that relates to each of those developmental stages. Sometimes we react out of our three-year-old, sometimes out of our fifteen-year-old, sometimes out of the seven-year-old that we were." - Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls

And as I say in the inner child healing series I originally published here on Suite101, we also have archetypal energies within us that go into making up our inner landscape.

"I believe that we have at least one age of the inner child that relates to each developmental stage. We also have archetypal aspect of our personality. The archetypal facets - such as the rebel or the maiden, etc. - can be very tied into a specific age or relate strongly to several ages. For instance, we all have a romantic within. . . . . . . It is important to get in touch with our inner romantic so that we can have Loving boundaries that do not allow the romantic to lead us into dysfunctional relationships with unavailable people, at the same time we do not have to disown or deny this part of us.

I will sometimes refer to those inner child place (as well as the archetypal aspects of our psyche) as personas. They are not actual personalities. People who suffer from multiple personality disorder/defense 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.)" - Inner Awareness - Internal Census

So, my point is that there are a lot of different parts to our inner landscape - not a single inner child voice.  The inner child healing is, in my belief, the gateway to opening up our inner channel to Truth, to our Spirit / Higher Self / Higher Mind / Intuition.  And part of the payoff for owning the wounded parts of us, the wounded inner children, is that we get more in touch with the playful, spontaneous, spiritual child within - that is representative of our Soul / Spirit. But we do need to practice discernment in our own inner process.

The Universe, in my belief, supplies us with knowledge on a "need to Know" basis.  This is not however, what I think I need to know - it is what the Universe thinks I need to Know. Our ego's always want to know about the future because of it's fear of the unknown and desire to try to control.  But, as an old saying says, "God made the world round so that we can't see too far over the horizon."  In other words, we have no True need to know the future.

I do not believe that any psychic or clairvoyant or whatever, actually has to power to see details about the future.  Some people may have more ability to see general type of things in the future, but not exact details.  And I believe that anyone who does claim to know details about the future is being irresponsible.

I am a mystic and know some things that are beyond normal human understanding - I have even had some strong hints about future events - but I would never presume to state that I could tell anyone what their future holds in exact detail - and I certainly don't get to Know what my future holds.  Here is a quote from an article of mine where I am talking about mystical and metaphysical (beyond physical) elements of our human experience.

"So, this brings us to the more Metaphysical and Mystical aspects of this article. I get uncomfortable in writing about my understanding of levels that are beyond human understanding for numerous reasons. The biggest one is that it is not really possible to explain the unexplainable. It is also not necessary to understand the metaphysical levels in order to do the healing. And as I have mentioned previously, some of us tend to focus on such areas as metaphysics, past lives, astrology, extrasensory or extraterrestrial phenomena as a way of avoiding doing the emotional healing - as a way of avoiding healing our internal relationship with self. Focusing on some of these areas can sometimes be almost as addictive as focusing on other people, or success, or any of the myriad of people, places and things that our disease would rather have us focus on than to deal with our own pain.

And my interpretation of these levels/phenomena/issues is just that - my interpretation. Anyone who is serving as a channel for information is limited by their own intellectual/experiential paradigm. Whether the person is psychic, or an astrologer, or channeling information from "beyond," whatever, it is always important to not give too much power to the details of what they say. Listen for any emotional messages that resonate - but be discerning about giving too much power to their interpretations in regard to details. What one person attributes to an angel another might attribute to an alien presence. Whether something is written in the stars or a theme from a past life doesn't really matter. What matters are questions like: How does this information apply to my healing process today?; How can this message help me see myself more clearly?; Can the information help me to forgive myself and be more Loving to myself?; Is the information and the way it is being presented about Love - does it support Love or is it empowering separation?

I didn't really start to investigate any of these areas until after I had been through treatment for codependence in the Spring of 1988. The day before I left the treatment center one of my counselors told me that I was a mystic. I had to look the word up in the dictionary.

mystic - n. One who professes a knowledge of spiritual truth or a feeling of union with the divine, reached through contemplation or intuition. (New Illustrated Webster's Dictionary, 1993 printing.)

That person was an angel in my path because she stimulated me to create the space in my consciousness to be open to a different kind of inner communication. It was as if she had given me permission to own a gift that had become available to me because of the clearing of my inner channel that I had done/was doing - and shortly thereafter I started writing the first book of my Trilogy. I very seriously pursued learning about past lives and different planes of existence and all of the esoteric, metaphysical knowledge I could access. And that pursuit was important in helping me to enlarge my intellectual paradigm - but a few years later I realized that the whole purpose of the pursuit had been to bring about a shift in my relationship with myself, my concept of God/Goddess, and with life. The details that I had accessed about past lives and other dimensions of existence were not really important in terms of how I live my life today - but the shift in my paradigm, and therefore my relationships, was vital. At that point in time, I threw away all the notes I had taken about different past lives and such.

The whole purpose of my quest was to discover a belief system that could allow me to start believing that I am in fact Lovable and worthy. Figuring out how it all works isn't what is important - what is important is discovering the faith to believe that there is a Loving Force in control. That is what helped me start Loving myself more - to start relaxing and enjoying life a little bit more instead of always giving fear and shame all of the power.

So, anything in terms of details, that I share here are my interpretations. The interpretations that helped me to discover a belief system that served Love - that was functional in helping me to overcome the dysfunctional beliefs I was programmed with in childhood. That they may be different from someone else's interpretations does not mean that one is right and one is wrong. There are a plethora of ways to look at and interpret information which is beyond human understanding. Any explaining or defining of God is limiting - and the Goddess is unlimited.

The purpose of sharing this at all, is the hope it may help you to enlarge your intellectual paradigm - help you to build yourself a larger Spiritual container so that you can open up to accessing more Love in your life." - The True Nature of Love Part 6 - Twin Souls, Souls Mates, and Kindred Spirits

It is important to not get caught up in thinking that it is possible to Know the details of what is going to happen in the future. And that goes for the past also at times.  If we pressure ourselves enough to try to figure out details about the future or the past, then sometimes our ego will make up things.  That is what I believe happened some years ago in relationship to the phenomena of "False Memory Syndrome" - something I mentioned in passing in my book.

"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.

[I believe that the cases of "false memories" that are getting a lot of publicity these days are in reality cases of emotional incest - which is rampant in our society and can be devastating to a person's relationship with his/her own sexuality - that are being misunderstood and misdiagnosed as sexual abuse by therapists who have not done their own emotional healing and project their own issues of emotional incest and/or sexual abuse onto their patients.]

Someone who has not done her/his own emotionally healing grief work cannot guide you through yours."

What I believe happened to cause False Memories is people attempting to fill in details to describe a feeling place / inner child wound that they had gotten in touch with.  And sometimes people did that because they were pressured by therapists for the details - and often they were led by the therapist into believing certain interpretations of an emotional wound.

It is not necessary to know the details of how a wound occurred.  We need to be willing to remember anything we need to remember, but sometimes we don't get to know what caused a specific wound.

"A technique I have found very valuable in this healing process is to relate to the different wounded parts of our self as different ages of the inner child. These different ages of the child may be literally tied to an event that happened at that age - i.e. when I was 7 I tried to commit suicide. Or the age of the child might be a symbolic designator for a pattern of abuse/deprivation that occurred throughout our childhood - i.e. the 9 year old within me feels completely emotionally isolated and desperately needy/lonely, a condition which was true for most of my childhood and not tied to any specific incident (that I know of) that happened when I was 9." - Loving the Wounded Child Within
What we need to do is honor that there is a place within us that feels a certain thing (i.e. betrayal, rejection, abandonment, etc.) in reaction to certain circumstances or dynamics, so that we can build a relationship with that part of us that helps us to take the power away from that wound. The details of how that wound was inflicted are not important to the healing process.
"It is not that important to know the details of why the child is feeling that way - it is important to honor that the child's feelings are valid. Sometimes we recover some memory and sometimes we don't - the details are not that important, honoring the feelings is important. Trying to fill in the details isn't necessary and can lead to false memories." - Inner Child Healing Techniques
What I believe may have happened is that you were feelings some pressure to figure out your "purpose" in life, thinking that it needed to be something that showed up in some way externally - in helping other people in some dramatic or significant way.  You may have been consciously trying to figure that out - or not been that conscious of it, but just felt a compulsion to figure it out.  Many people think they need to figure out some purpose in life that will involve external activities - and that is not necessarily True.  The main focus for all of us needs to be healing our relationship with self - and in doing that we are affecting the collective consciousness.  Here is a quote from one of my pages that includes a quote from my book.
"Any single soul's evolution, its awakening, affects all souls because we are all connected. We can, like Imo the genius monkey, create a space, create a new level - a new aspect - of consciousness that other humans then have access to. It is not any accident that most great inventions, most great breakthroughs, were formulated in more than one location in the same time period. Once one breaks through and creates the space, others may follow.

This particular quote from my book refers to the Hundredth Monkey Principle, which I explain in the excerpt from my book that I share on that page. Imo is the name of the monkey who created the new aspect of consciousness for the rest of the monkeys of her species. My mission in this lifetime has been to be one of the "Imo"s in the Transformational Healing Process that has begun on planet Earth. The reason that I was chosen for, and chose, this particular mission was because of the Karma I needed to settle. . . . . It is not because I am better than, or farther along than, anyone else. Each of us is perfectly where we are supposed to be, doing perfectly what we are supposed to be doing. Even if your path only involves healing your relationship with your self in private without ever sharing it with others (not really possible since we all share with the people whose lives we touch rather we know it or not) - you are still contributing to the healing of the planet. Anyone's healing affects us all, everyone's healing impacts the whole - because we are all connected." - Future Publications

So, it is not necessary to figure out some dramatic thing we can do to prove we have purpose to our life.  In doing our healing we are changing the world.  As the bumper sticker I talk about in my book says: Work for World Peace: Heal Your Inner Child.  By healing your inner child wounds you are contributing towards saving the planet.

With all that said, it is possible sometimes to get glimpses of the future.  For instance, it is possible you could be involved in helping cancer patients heal.  That is something you can start gathering information on if it is a strong message.  Like I say in the quote above: pay attention to any part of a message that resonates, but don't give too much power to thinking you know, or have to know, the details.

You asked, ""Is this possible? Can she know the future? She said that God talks to her through my own mother who died almost 20 years ago when I was 12."

No, I don't believe it is possible that your inner child is psychic.  You yourself may have some psychic ability that you haven't had the space to own in your own consciousness, but your inner child wounds are wounded parts of your own psyche - not individual entities with powers or knowledge that is separate from the being that you are.

Likewise God as I understand the God Force / Goddess Energy / Great Spirit is not an entity or personality that is separate from anything - and does not speak to anyone.  Or rather all of us have access to the Higher Mind / Goddess Energy, because we are all extensions of God.  But God doesn't speak to people as one entity to another entity that is separate somehow.  And our Higher Self / Higher Power / Spirit / Souls sends us emotional messages of Truth through our intuition.  We do not need any other entity to be a conduit for us.  In other words, your intuition will tell you what you need to know - it is not necessary for some personality called "God" to speak to you through some separate entity that was your mother in order to communicate with you.

I have a page on my web site called New Age Misinterpretations of Metaphysical Truth.  Here are a few quotes from that page.

"The main reason that I have seen the so called New Age movement discredited is that people are not doing their healing. They want to get Spiritual without owning their humanity. They do not want to do the messy emotional healing that involves grieving and releasing the rage energy we are all carrying around. They are out of balance and lack discernment so that they keep looking for the whole truth in one place. There is Truth in all religions, spiritual belief systems, esoteric practices, etc. - but there is also twisted, distorted misinformation in them all. Until we clear our inner channel to allow emotional flow it is impossible to Truly be discerning about Truth. The emotional energy/intuition that is Truth is very different from what we experience as our emotional truth - which is most often largely a reaction to our emotional wounds and subconscious intellectual programming. Until someone has become willing to heal their emotional wounds they cannot clearly start discerning between Truth and misinformation. They keep looking outside for the answers, for someone or something to tell them what Truth to believe - instead of owning their own inner channel to Truth. There are nuggets of Truth everywhere if we have the eyes to see and the ears to hear. If our intellectual paradigm is limited, then we cannot see and hear clearly. If our emotional wounds are being allowed to unconsciously run our lives then we are incapable of Truly understanding our intuition.

And, the bottom line I believe, is that we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience. We are not here to get Spiritual - we are Spiritual. We are here to integrate that Spiritual essence into our human experience. . . . . . Many people who are drawn to the New Age movement are still looking for the right way to do things, for the source outside of themselves that will give them the answers, for the aliens in space ships who will save them from the pain of this human experience. The goal in this Age of Healing and Joy, in my understanding, is to learn to look within to find The Source. To own our Spiritual Essence and our humanity - and to integrate Spirituality into the human experience so that we can achieve some balance in this human dance we are doing.

This is a New Age, but unfortunately many so called new agers are still looking for the magic answer that will allow them to vibrate at a higher vibrational level that allows them to escape the human experience. I do not believe it is possible to do that without first honoring our human emotions, clearing our emotional bodies of repressed emotional energy, and embracing the experience of being human."

This next quote from that page, is actually a quote from another body of work of mine that is not available on the web site.
"For any human to focus on anything but healing their own self is counterproductive in this New Age. To put their time and energy into belief systems that do such things as: attribute all of the significant events, and the important people, in human history to the intervention of aliens from other planets or other dimensions; buy into the belief that they are being manipulated and/or led to Truth by some hierarchy of beings from higher vibrations; or need the intervention of discarnate entities from the Astral plane to teach you Truth; or any of numerous other ways in which people focus their attention on some of the myriad of false gods that are outside of their being; is to deny that they in and of them self are Lovable and worthy simply as beings who are extensions of The Holy Mother Source Energy. To attribute messages that are coming through your inner channel from your own Higher Self to someone or something outside of - or separate from - you, is to give power to the shame and separation that is the evil in this Creation Dream. And the reason humans are doing these things is because they are scared to do their own emotional healing. Honoring, respecting, Loving self enough to heal the emotional wounds from this lifetime is what will clear the inner channel and open self up to Love - not connecting with some being from the Pleiades." - Chapter 5 of Book 1 of The Dance of the Wounded Souls Trilogy
And this last quote from that article includes a quote from my book.

"The point that I am trying to make is that any message that empowers judgment and shame, that supports the illusion of separation, is not coming from our Spirit - those messages are coming from the disease. The Highest Truth, the only Truth, is LOVE. By accessing the Transcendent emotional energy of Love, Joy, Light, and Truth through paying attention to, clearing our channel to, that which we resonate with - we can reconnect with the Source and remember our True identity.

As was stated earlier, Codependence could more accurately be called outer or external dependence. Outside influences (people, places, and things; money, property, and prestige) or external manifestations (looks, talent, intelligence) can not fill the hole within. They can distract us and make us feel better temporarily but they cannot address the core issue - they cannot fulfill us Spiritually. They can give us ego-strength but they cannot give us self-worth.

True self-worth does not come from temporary conditions. True self-worth comes from accessing the eternal Truth within, from remembering the state of Grace that is our True condition.

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.

Accessing your own Truth is remembering."

You have access to intuitive Truth because you are doing the work to clear your inner channel by doing the inner child healing.  Part of what is important is to start really owning that you have that access - and at the same time not give too much power to any details that may be the result of limitation in your belief systems that cause you to interpret things in a certain way.  Like I alluded in the quote above, some people say that God is speaking to them, some say angels are appearing to them, some say there are "wanderers" or "walk ins" or beings from some other planet or dimension that are sending them messages.  I say as long as we are focusing on some outside source to validate us, we are being codependent.

But it still couldn't hurt to ask your brother-in-law to not ride his motorbike on that day.  What is to lose with mentioning it to him.  And no, your inner child is not testing you.  The inner child places may not trust us at first, because we have abandoned and betrayed them and our self due to our codependency - but the inner child doesn't test us.

Our Spirit can speak to us through our inner children sometimes - but our Spirit never, ever speaks to us from shame and judgment, and it doesn't test us.  The ego defenses and programming / critical parent voice, is part of the disease of codependency, and it uses shame and judgment and fear to try to control us.  The Spirit may say something like, "Are you really sure you want to do that" - but it doesn't test us or shame us.  The shame is a lie that goes hand in hand with the lie of separation.  And at the core of the disease of codependency is the false belief that life is a test we can fail.  We cannot fail life.  We are Spiritual Beings here temporarily going to boarding school.  When we are done with this lifetime, we get to go Home.  In Truth we have never left home, what we are experiencing here is an Illusion / a dream of separation.

I am going to end this with another quote from my book.  I obviously have taken some time and energy to answer this query of yours - and I hope it hasn't just confused things more for you.  This quote is I believe the Truth that it is so important for us to understand and remember.

"Who we are, are transcendent Spiritual Beings who are part of the ONENESS that is the God-Force. We always have been and always will be. We are perfect in our Spiritual Essence. We are perfectly where we are supposed to be on our Spiritual Path. And from a human perspective we will never be able to do "human" perfectly - which is perfect.

We have been trying to do "human" perfectly according to a false belief system in order to "get Spiritual." It does not work. It's dysfunctional and backwards. It is not bad or wrong or shameful - it is the best we have known how to do life until now."
PS If you _____, want some more feedback about this, please e-mail me directly rather than going through this discussion. It will be easier and clearer that way.

Link to this discussion thread on Suite101

I don't know how to heal

Author:  _____
Discussion:    I don't know how to heal.......
Date:    August 3, 2004 9:46 PM
Subject:    and maybe I don't want to.......
I have just realized that I am seriously codependent and counter dependent. But the worst part about it is that the thought of trying to change that goes against every feeling in my body. Why in the hell would I want to expose everything about myself?? What could I possibly gain out of being open and honest?? Being consumed with fear feels very comfortable to me. Yes, its also painful, but it keeps me on guard for dangerous situations. Isn't that a good thing??
This has all started for me because after a 15 yr marriage to someone COMPLETELY unavailable, in every possible way, I have (accidentally, I'm sure) found a man who is actually very emotionally healthy and available to me. And its freaking me out! We have lived together for 1.5 yrs and I am worse today (with my games and insecurities and lack of trust) than I was when we first got together (and I was terrified then). He has never abandoned me or rejected me emotionally with all the dramas that I have put him through. He stays with me, trying to talk me thru (off the ledge) and comfort me. He offers me unconditional love. He is starting to get sick of all this tho. He doesn't understand what I am so afraid of and why getting what I need and want is so traumatic for me. Our relationship is growing, but I am incapable of growing with it. Why does him wanting to love me and meet my needs make me feel so panicked??? And how do I stop? How does one just let go of the fears that have been protecting one for all of one's life???

Someone else responded to this post before I did.
Author:  #2 
Discussion:    I don't know how to heal.......
Date:    August 4, 2004 5:33 PM
Subject:    Re: and maybe I don't want to.......
In response to message posted by _____:

I'm sure Robert will be in to answer your question, but I just had to respond to your post smile I remember feeling EXACTLY this way! You're exactly right that your fears are what feels comfortable to you, and we all have trouble breaking out of our comfort zones, whatever that may be for us. The problem is that you aren't able to fully recognize rational and irrational fears. What you are probably responding to is the fear that his providing what you need is a ploy to get something in return or to bring out your weaknesses to use against you and control and hurt you... that's only natural.

Now... why should you want to heal? So you don't keep living in fear and so that you can accept the love that you are being offered now and finally be happy.

First you have to heal from your past abuse, though. Once you've confronted and healed from that abuse, you'll be able to move forward. Once you've found inner healing, those fears will no longer be your comfort zone - happiness will be, and you'll accept nothing less.

First steps? Counseling, journaling, support groups, letting go of all the funk that is holding you back from having the life you deserve. I had a counselor tell me once that it was my secrets that would kill me - so I started telling everything, getting it all out. My husband now knows every single ugly thing from my past (as does the world, I wrote a book about it LOL) - and now all that pain doesn't have a hold on me any more.

Of course you can't expect it to be easy - it will hurt and be so difficult at times that you'll think you can't bear it - but you can! Then you'll be able to rely on your intuition to protect you because you'll be in touch with your higher self.

Oh, and be easy on your new partner - people who haven't been through what we've been through can't understand what it's like if we don't tell them and explain it to them... once you do that, you'll receive the love and compassion and understanding that will also help you through it all!

I wish you all the best and hope that you begin seeking the help that you need - I do promise that you'll never regret it!

Love & Hugs,

#2 gave you a very good answer. The fear you are living life out of, is not normal human fear of the unknown or of being hurt - it is codependent fear. Here are some quotes from some of my articles about it.
"The number one tool of the ego is fear. Anytime we feel fear, there are multiple levels involved - multiple perspectives from which that fear is originating. And, like all the other emotions we experience, fear has a purpose and needs to be honored as a gift. Emotions do not have value in and of themselves - they just are. What give emotions a positive or negative value is how we react to them. Most of us learned to have negative reactions to emotions because our perspective of our own emotions was all messed up in childhood. (Due to the messages and role modeling of the adults around us.)

Fear is an important tool in living. It is there to protect us, to help us avoid situations and people who will do us harm. It is our relationship to fear that is dysfunctional because of our childhood experiences.

There is a level of fear that is unavoidable in being human - that is fear of the unknown.

"This human experience is a process that involves inherent conflict between the continuously changing nature of life and the human ego's need to survive. In order to insure survival (which is the ego's appointed task) the human ego needs to define things. What is food? What is friend or enemy? Who am I and how do I relate to them? What can hurt me and what brings me pleasure? It also learned that it is healthy to have a fear of the unknown (it was important to check an unknown cave for saber toothed tigers before strolling into it.) As a result, the ego fears change and craves security and stability. But because life is constantly changing, security and stability can only be temporary." - Loving and Nurturing self
Fear of the unknown is a natural, normal part of being human. It has a purpose - and deserves to be honored as something which serves us. But, like our relationship with all the aspects of our being, our relationship with that fear is dysfunctional.

The damaged ego responds to it's programming by generating fear of the things we learned to fear as a child: making mistakes; doing it wrong; being emotional; speaking our Truth; taking risks; being alone; not being alone; whatever. We then empower the fear by focusing on it, magnifying it, and generally giving it the power to define us and our life - or by denying it, which also gives it power because in denying our fear we are denying our self and reality. Going to either extreme results in the inability to see the situation clearly.

Because our ego was programmed to react to life from fear, negativity, scarcity, and lack (again due to emotional trauma we experienced, and the messages and role modeling of the adults around us) the disease focuses on and magnifies fear - and then it scrambles around trying to find something to cover up and repress the very fear it is generating. The disease blows the fear way out of proportion and then leads us to addictive and/or compulsive behavior as a way of stuffing the fear.

This is the essence of the dysfunction. We live our life reacting to fear, and the shame, that the disease empowers and then "helps" us avoid by causing us to focus on something outside of ourselves as the cause and/or the cure for the core place within us where we feel empty - where we feel unlovable and unworthy.

We are afraid of our own emotions - of all the repressed feelings and unresolved grief that we are carrying. We learned to be afraid of our own anger and pain and fear. We feel afraid of our fear of our own emotions. It is this fear once (or twice) removed that is paralyzing. That is, the fear of our own fear is our greatest block to healing. We are afraid of our own pain and anger - and then we are afraid of our fear of our own pain and anger.

In order to start finding some balance in recovery, it is important to learn how to take power away from the fear." - Emotional Balance - through the fear

Spiral with tail going to right - indicating going towards
"Being in our heads - thinking, fantasizing, ruminating - is a defense we adapted in childhood to help us disassociate from the emotional pain we were experiencing. It is dysfunctional because it keeps us focused on the future or the past - we miss out on being alive today. It is dysfunctional because our attempts to escape unpleasant feelings causes us to generate more unpleasant feelings.
Worry - which is negative fantasizing - is a reaction to fear of the unknown which creates more fear, which creates more worry, which creates more fear, etc. This fear is not a normal human fear of the unknown. It is codependent fear: a distorted, magnified, virulent, mutated species of fear caused by the poisonous combination of a false belief that being human is shameful with a polarized (black and white, right and wrong) perspective of life. This self perpetuating, self destructive type of obsessive thinking feeds not only on fear, but on shaming ourselves for feeling the fear.

The disease of codependency is a dysfunctional emotional defense system adapted by our egos to help us survive. The polarized perspective of life we were programmed with in early childhood, causes us to be afraid of making a mistake, of doing life "wrong." At the core of our being, we feel unlovable and unworthy - because our parents felt unlovable and unworthy - and we spend great amounts of energy trying to keep our shameful defectiveness a secret. We feel that, if we were perfect like we "should" be, we would not feel fear and confusion, and would have reached "happily ever after" by now. So, we shame ourselves for feeling fear, which adds gasoline to the inferno of fear that is driving us. The shame and fear that drive obsession becomes so painful and 'crazy making' that at some point we have to find some way to shut down our minds for a little while - drugs or alcohol or food or sleep or television, etc.

It is a very dysfunctional, and sad, way to relate to life. The fear we are empowering is about the future - the shame is about the past. We are not capable of being in the now and enjoying life because we are caught up in trauma melodramas about things which have not yet happened - or wallowing in orgies of self recrimination about the past, which can not be changed. Codependents do not really live life - we endure, we survive, we persevere." - Obsession / Obsessive Thinking Part 1

Spiral with tail going to right - indicating going towards
"In recovery it is important to start realizing that any time that we have an intense emotional reaction with a lot of energy behind it, a lot of power - whether it is terror and panic, despair and helplessness, rage, or whatever - that is a sign that an old wound has been triggered. It is an indication that unresolved grief is involved in our reaction.

One of the first clues to start paying attention to in recovery, clear evidence that inner child wounds are involved, is when our reaction to a situation, person, job interview, whatever, feels life threatening. That is, the situation is not actually, factually, life threatening but it feels like a life or death situation - it feels like our survival depends upon the outcome, the other persons reaction, etc.

In childhood our survival was dependent upon our parents. They were wounded - had their own internal emotional mine fields - so they wounded us. It felt like there was something wrong with our being that was threatening their love for us - and therefore our survival. We learned to focus externally to try to manipulate and control life and other people to try to ensure our survival.

This survival fear is the codependent fear that I spoke of in my article Obsession / Obsessive Thinking Part 1: "a distorted, magnified, virulent, mutated species of fear caused by the poisonous combination of a false belief that being human is shameful with a polarized (black and white, right and wrong) perspective of life."

This gut wrenching survival fear has been running our lives - whether we were charging through life in denial of it, or allowing it to totally dominate our reality. It is vital to learn how to start taking power away from this survival fear." - Emotional Discernment - taking power away from the fear

We need to shine the Light into the darkness to heal. Our secrets will destroy us because we feel ashamed of them - and they are just a result of being wounded humans.  Codependency recovery is about learning to stop judging and shaming ourselves - and starting to be more Loving to ourselves.  As long as we don't believe we are Lovable deep down inside, we cannot accept someone else Loving us - and then we sabotage relationships and punish people for Loving us.  The inner child healing work it the key.  I recently published an article on my site designed to help people jump start their codependency recovery - you might find it helpful: Assignments for Jump Starting Codependency Recovery

Discussion:    I don't know how to heal.......
Date:    August 7, 2004 9:19 PM
Subject:    Re: Re: Re: and maybe I don't want to.......
In response to message posted by joy2meu:

Thank you both so much for your replies. _____(#2), your kind and open message has given me the inspiration to look beyond my fear and try to heal. Robert, you have given me the tools. I tried some of the affirmations from the "jump start recovery" link, and they made me VERY uncomfortable! I guess that's how I know that I need to do them!
I treasure the responses that you both sent - thank you so much for taking the time to make a connection with me! smile

Link to this discussion thread on Suite101

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