Courageous Love

TALK DESCRIPTION:

Every message we get growing up has conditioned us to believe that finding “the One” will be the answer to our inner pain, our loneliness, sadness, fears or insecurities. The truth is that our partner can no more relieve our sense of unloveability and unworthiness than food, alcohol, drugs or other addictive activities we engage in to distract ourselves from our emotional pain, can.

The missing piece we have not been taught is how to parent ourselves in a way that allows us to take care of our own inner vulnerability and to show up as our best self with our partner.

When both partners do the inner work, couples replace their distant, controlling, or needy way of relating to each other with what Richard Schwartz, the founder of IFS, calls “courageous love”.

How do we love courageously? How do we become accepting of everything we are and all our partner is?

Click the link below to listen to my 15 minute long Costa Rica talk

“Courageous Love”.

This talk is available on the PDA or on YouTube

 

WHAT IS THE PDA?

The PDA is the largest personal development content app among i-phone and android apps. A growing number of experts and transformational leaders are currently joining this app platform. You can watch their videos, read their articles, receive free offers and engage with them in many different ways.
I am honoured to be one of the coaches offering you lots of interesting content in video, audio and written form beyond this website. And the best thing is this app is 100% FREE!

 

Contact me for individual coaching sessions,

couples’ sessions or workshops.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you reading my blog. If you are enjoying my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

 

A Missing Piece in Couples Therapy

I am—despite that odd question arising after my last blog—not in the business of uncoupling people. I am more than ever invested in how I can guide couples to have a deeper committed long-term relationship in which both can feel safe. I have more recently discovered what the missing piece is in regards to being able to show up as the loving and compassionate Self with the other person. The answer lies in a particular practice which I will elaborate on more later in this article. But let’s first of all look at what is commonly done in therapy or coaching sessions and what the value of those approaches is.

Couples therapists like Stan Tatkin and Sue Johnson, who are based in attachment theory, empathize how important it is to create a secure attachment in our partnership. Stan Tatkin focuses among others on knowing each other’s threat signals and creating a “couple bubble” in which both partners feel safe with each other. Sue Johnson, the founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy, says, “When EFT is successfully implemented, each partner becomes a source of security, protection, and contact comfort for the other. Each partner can assist the other in regulating negative affect and constructing a positive and potent sense of self.” (Susan M. Johnson: The Practice of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy).

For both of them, the answer to feeling safe, less anxious and less depressed lies in the connection between the partners. The goal is for each partner to learn how to show up as the unconditionally loving attachment figure for the other spouse. Your partner is your primary go to and the one who provides the safety for your childhood wounds to be healed. Their premise is that you need somebody outside of yourself to heal the past. If your partner is really struggling to be that person because their own defenses are triggered in the relationship this journey can be frustrating. Unless one partner already has a secure attachment style, the process of creating this attachment requires some time and commitment to working this out together.

Drs. John and Julie Gottman, whose research-based insights and techniques I use in my sessions with clients, also have a wonderful set of tools to truly empathize, perfect communication between the partners, compromise successfully, and to avoid the four horsemen of the apocalypse, which predict the end of a relationship.

Other couples therapists, like Willard Harley, focus on women’s and men’s needs being different and on making deposits into each others love bank, which is the emotional account we all have. I acknowledge the importance of our needs by teaching my clients the non-violent communication steps developed by Marshall Rosenberg to express our feelings and needs successfully.

All these are fabulous tools and techniques that can make a big difference in our closest relationships. When couples are willing to not just learn but also practice these techniques, their relationship improves. Besides making the commitment to put the time in to practice relating differently to each other, couples must learn how to handle situations when one or both partners get triggered into states of high emotional activation, into what is called fight or flight. When this happens, destructive patterns of interaction are activated and amends and repairs need to be made. Often the spouses feel discouraged by that setback. And that is were Richard C. Schwartz’s Internal Family Systems Therapy, known in short as IFS, comes in as a missing piece.

IFS helps couples replace their distant, controlling, or needy way of relating to each other by what Schwartz calls “courageous love”. This courageous love is accepting of everything we are and all our partner is. Within each of us is a group or “family” of sub-personalities, which Schwartz calls “parts”. Just like in a family, these parts have intricate relationships with each other. Some of the more known parts are the Inner Critic and the Inner Child, but we have many parts which, according to Hal and Sidra Stone and their system of voice dialogue, are either primary personality parts or disowned personality parts. IFS, in comparison, focuses mainly on two kinds of parts. One type is the “protectors”, which have the function to keep us safe; some of them are responsible for us going into fight or flight mode. There are also the “exiles”, which usually are younger wounded child parts.

Every message we get growing up from our family, our friends and the media, has conditioned us to believe that finding our soul mate, the One, will be the answer to our inner pain, our loneliness, sadness, fears or insecurities. The myth is that a special someone will come and love us unconditionally and heal all our childhood wounds. “We’ve been told that the love we need is a buried treasure hidden in the heart of a special intimate partner. Once we find that partner, the love we crave should flow elixir-like, filling our empty spaces and healing our pain” (Schwartz: You Are The One You Have Been Waiting For”)

The truth is that our partner can no more relieve our sense of unloveability and unworthiness than the short term energy relieving behaviours (STERBS) we use to distract ourselves from our pain. The external focus on other people or on STERBS, like food, alcohol, drugs and so on as well as addictive activities, can only provide temporary relief. In fact, this very assumption that our partner is our rescuer is the reason why so many relationships struggle and fail.

“From watching movies or TV, listening to songs on the radio, you’ll be convinced that everyone, sooner or later, will find their one, true, happily-ever-after relationship. The person who will heal you, complete you, and keep you afloat is out there. If the person you’re with isn’t doing that, either he or she is the wrong person altogether or you need to change him or her into the right one” (Schwartz).

We subconsciously pick a partner who matches the template of our original care-taker who has wounded us by making us feel “less than” or unworthy. And we set out with the unconscious agenda to relive the past but this time around change this person’s mind about our worthiness to heal that original wound. The problem is that our partner acts so much like our caretaker that he or she triggers our protectors. When the euphoria of the honeymoon period is over, and the love naturally changes, we get scared and, as Schwartz puts it, set to work on one of three projects.

The first “project” is to get our partner to change into that loving rescuer that we are hoping he or she will be for us. “We plead, criticize, demand, negotiate, seduce, withhold, and shame” (Schwartz). Naturally, most partners resist these attempts to change them and become defensive. They feel unloved and not accepted.

The second project that we embark on is to figure out what our partner doesn’t like about us and then strive to become what we think he or she wants us to be. In this case, the criticism and shame is directed at ourselves. We are no closer to true love and acceptance than when we are trying to change the other person.

The final project kicks in when we give up on getting the love we crave from our partner. We begin to close our heart to him or her and we do one of three things. We either search for a different partner, we numb down enough to stay with our original partner, or we fool ourselves into thinking that we need to live alone because we believe our true needs for love can never be met in an intimate relationship.

Women engage more in the first two change projects mentioned above, while men tend to more quickly retreat into the third behaviour. Shutting down externally often seems like the safest choice for men, especially when they experience strong inner angry protectors. Men often fear what they might do if they let that rage take over.

Women tend to define themselves through relationships and are socialized to take care of their inner child parts through relationships. When those exiled child parts are upset, they usually want to change things in their relationship so that the distressed inner child can get the love and comfort from their partner in order to feel safe and secure. Hence, women are more often the initiators of change-oriented discussions.

We tend to assume that women are more connected to their emotions and we jump to the conclusion that they should be better at parenting their own inner children. However, women focus so much on taking care of others and on getting their inner child’s needs met by their relationship, that they are no better at nurturing their own parts than men.

Schwartz talks about a cruel joke that is being played on all of us. “We’ve all been setup—victims of a cruel joke. First we are loaded with emotional burdens by our family and peers, and then taught to exile the parts carrying them. Then we are told to go out in the world and find that special person who can make us finally like ourselves. Together we and our partner enter the striving, frenetic whirlpool American lifestyle that preludes time together, isolates us from community, depletes and stresses us out, and offers innumerable addictive distractions that further isolate us. When we can’t make this impossible situation work, we feel like total failures—as though something is wrong with us.” (Schwartz) Meanwhile, we never had a fair chance due to the baggage many of us have and the pressure of modern life, but most of all due to the complete ignorance on how to deal with our inner turmoil, other than expecting our partner to miraculously make it go away.

The missing piece you have not been taught is how to parent yourself in a way that allows you to take care of our own inner wounds and to show up as your best self with your partner. You can stop searching outside of yourself because you are the special person your vulnerable inner child parts have been waiting for. Once you realize and embrace that insight fully, your partner will be released from the pressure to have to be the perfect unconditionally loving parent for your younger selves. IFS is essentially attachment theory taken inside.

In your partner’s place, your Aware Self will become the primary caretaker of your inner child parts so that your partner can be a secondary caretaker. Instead of your power parts, for example your Inner Pusher or Inner Perfectionist or Inner Pleaser, to just name a few, parenting your vulnerable inner children in their limited way, your true Self can give those parts what they so desperately need. Those protective parts are parentified inner children. They have taken on the job to protect you and thus parent the vulnerable child parts but are often quite burdened by it.

IFS is a psycho-spiritual model of therapy in which all human beings are perceived as healthy and whole. The Self is the spiritual aspect of this therapy. It is a myth that we have to learn or build compassion. Our true self is naturally accepting, loving and compassionate. All humans have this inner wisdom and healing energy. The Self is the healing entity. It is meant to be the natural leader of the inner system of parts. The Self is eternal, knows all and is not affected by any trauma. It connects us to others and to all living things. It is presence, heart-openness and conscious awareness. The Self is characterized by the eight C’s of self-leadership that Schwartz names. The Self is compassionate, calm, curious, connected, confident, courageous, creative and possesses clarity.

When you take care of all your parts from that Self, you can also show up from that calm, connected and compassionate stance with your partner. The way you relate to your own parts is mirrored in the way you are able to relate to your partner’s part. If you for example have a relationship with your own fearful part, you can be compassionate with your partner’s scared part.

When our power parts, for example anger, control, defensiveness, judgement, righteousness or even our distant rational self are triggered, we are usually blended with them or have a feeling of being taken over by them. Interactions with our partner from a place of anger, judgement, righteousness, defensiveness or control are clearly not productive but are greatly damaging for the relationship. Instead of our power parts taking us over in a given moment, we ideally want to be able to speak for the parts rather than being immersed by them and speaking from those powerful parts.

We also want to be able to speak for our vulnerable inner child and their needs rather than having the child take us over. When that child takes over and jumps into the driver’s seat, we might show up as overly scared, helpless, or moody. Our partner is left wondering what to do with this child-like behaviour and finds himself or herself in an involuntary parenting role.

The myth of us having a monolithic personality, which translates into being only one mind, is according to Schwartz one of the greatest causes of distance and conflict in our intimate relationships. That awareness of our parts, our natural multiplicity, on the other hand, is the greatest antidote. Instead of believing our partner is this angry or controlling person, or they are this distant judgmental person that shows up at times, we can relax into the awareness that this is just a part of them and that it serves the function of protection. When both partners are totally flooded by their protector parts, the knowledge that this isn’t a permanent condition but that the protectors on both sides will relax and the two Selves will emerge is extremely eye opening and comforting. We can then both work with our own parts to get back into Self and then repair and reconnect with our partner from a loving and compassionate place.

Not only does the knowledge of the multiplicity help us navigate through storms, but it can also deepen the intimacy and love. We all have fears that once we have exposed our parts that cause difficulties, we will forever be seen by the other person as having character flaws. If both partners understand that those are just parts of each of them, parts that simply need empathy and acceptance, it is easier to respond to each other lovingly. As we learn to love and accept all our own inner parts, we also learn to love and accept all parts in our partner.

“There is something magical about trusting that all of you is welcomed in a relationship. It’s as if you are a single parent who feels ashamed of how ugly, stupid, or frail some of your children are” (Schwartz). When this process of welcoming all parts of oneself and of ones partner is mutual, it provides such a secure couples connection that the protectors can relax more and more and both partner’s younger parts know it is safe to come out.

Join me on Sunday, June 24 for an “Intro to Your Parts and to Your Self” workshop from 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. This workshop is based in Jay Earley’s parts work. For more information please call or email.

Contact me for a free phone consultation on either individual sessions or couple’s coaching. I also offer packages for couples.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

I know your time is valuable and I appreciate you reading my blog. If you are enjoying my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field in the left sidebar. Thank you for your support!

Do you truly love, honour and respect yourself?

When I work with clients, as well as in my own work, the inner child comes up a lot. Being in touch with our inner child is a key piece in learning to truly love ourselves, to be comfortable with our feelings and lovingly taking care of our needs. A caring relationship with our inner child is necessary to be vulnerable, to trust others and to have truly intimate relationships.

Inner Child 3

We all have an inner child; a little girl or boy inside. This is our vulnerable and loving self that we are born with. In our society, it is part of the process of growing up that our power selves, like the successful self, the intellectual self, the controlling self, the angry self, the perfectionist self, the pleaser self and so on, protect the inner child from becoming hurt. During this necessary process, the inner child gets buried and we can lose our ability to experience true closeness. If we over-identify with one or more of those power selves, we might find it difficult to be authentic and vulnerable with others, or to let somebody else come close.

Many of us have an inner child, who feels lost, lonely, rejected or abandoned. Sometimes our inner child feels unworthy or full of shame because we only criticize it. If we are in the habit of ignoring our inner child, her or his fears and feelings, or beating up on her with negative self talk and making her feel “not enough”, the inner child might jump into the driver’s seat and drive us into words, actions or behaviours which stem from feeling unlovable. When the inner child feels attacked, threatened or unloved, our angry part, or our manipulate part, or our lying part and so on, step forward to protect the inner child.

When we are aware of that dynamic, we can take care of the inner child, express our feelings and needs calmly and set clear boundaries for the inner child.

Inner Child 12 upset

Sometimes the inner child feels scared or upset and needs us to act in a certain way so that she feels safe.

Inner Child 12 angry

Sometimes she might even show up as angry and feel like we have not protected her well. We have to teach her that from now on we will take better care of her.

We need to bring up a strong parental voice to assure that child like part in us that her/his feelings and needs matter. That we will parent ourselves and love ourselves in the way we parent our own children or take care of others. Inner Child work helps to shift the relationship we have with ourselves to true self-love and living in line with your authentic voice.

I am excited to be able to introduce a completely new CD: Inner Child Meditations. On this CD you will find two different inner child meditations which have been combined with beautiful music.

The first meditation is based on the inner child meditation my good friend Darryl Gurney developed for his Shadow Energetics workshop. This workshop combines shadow work, a belief change process to shift subconscious beliefs, relationship healing, emotional release work, dream interpretations, and – last but not least – inner child work. This first meditation guides you to meet your inner child, talk to her or him, to switch places with your inner child and to hear what you need to hear. It helps you to connect to your true feelings and needs and to address them.

The second meditation allows you to go back in time to different ages and collect and reclaim different parts of yourself at different times. It also guides you to communicate with your future self, and to connect to your future self as your mentor.

TESTIMONIAL:

“I spent last night and this morning listening to the Track 2 of the CD. I was guided to spend a little time under the tree with my little girl. I love the CD your voice is amazing so soothing, comforting and you really make me feel safe and my little girl feels safe too 🙂 I will explore the last track I think in a few days, after a long visit under the tree. I just want to say how much I appreciate you. You always make me feel so safe and that I can share whatever needs to be shared and that a solution is always uncovered. Thank you Thank you Thank you!”

A FEW DAYS LATER:

“I just finished listening to the 3rd track and spent time with my future self: she says hello and thanks you for sending me for a visit. It was very emotional and I shall have to wait awhile for the red eyes to diminish before I go shopping. What a powerful meditation and how much I needed that. I really needed to feel how through my life I have survived and thrived and in this present time nothing will be any different. I am so very grateful that you are in my life, that you have such wonderful gifts and your meditation was like having a great Angelika hug”.

– B., Mississauga

Please contact me for further information about inner child work or the CD.

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

The Essential is Invisible to the Eyes – Understanding the Concept of the Inner Child

We all have an inner child; a little girl or boy inside. This is our vulnerable and loving self that we are born with. In our society, it is part of the process of growing up that our power selves, like the successful self, the intellectual self, the controlling self, the angry self, the perfectionist self, the pleaser self and so on, protect the inner child from becoming a victim. During this necessary process, the inner child gets buried and we can lose our ability to experience intimacy. If we over identify with one or more of those power selves, we might find it difficult to be authentic and vulnerable with others, or to let somebody be close.

When we speak of the Inner Child, what we really mean is a “group of children”. There is the playful child, the scared child, the shy child and other aspects of our child. The core child is often very young. Sometimes my clients are surprised that their inner child does not literally talk to them. That core child might be pre-verbal. However, being with it still allows us to find out what our inner child feels and needs.

Petit Prince2

One way of connecting with our inner child is to allow ourselves to be in a being state as opposed to a doing state. When we over-identify with the doer, who constantly has to be productive and do something, we drown out the voice of the inner child. Another way of connecting with it is to engage in childlike activities. Play without aim or purpose, just for the fun of it. What can help us to bring that playful side of the inner child out is to play with little children or pets in our life. It is never too late to connect with and to free that inner child, no matter how old we are.

Dreams often bring up our disowned selves. When you dream of a baby or young child, whether it is a child in your life that you know or an unknown one, it might very well represent your own inner child. The dream can give you a message about how he or she feels.

Inner child work is not about allowing that inner child part inside to run the show; on the contrary. When we ignore the feelings of that child part in us, it is likely to “jump into the driver’s seat” and take over because it is scared or angry and does not trust that his or her needs are being taken care of.

Don’t become a slave to your inner child, just like you would not allow a real child to run your life. Honour it’s fears and find compromises. The child inside knows what and who is safe. Listen to that voice. Also learn to express hurt. Communicating how your inner child feels is a big part of parenting it. Stay out of toxic situations. Often the need of the inner child is to have enough good food and rest. Inner children also feel safer with some financial stability and independence from others, and more predictable life circumstances.

It is the job of the Aware Ego to parent the Inner Child. If we do not do that for that part in us, a power self will take over and parent the inner child, for example the pusher or pleaser. What also happens in that case is that the child which is not parented lovingly by the Aware Ego, bonds into other people. That bond is unconscious and often desperate or clingy. When you parent yourself with loving care, you are able to have healthier relationships.

Another benefit of connecting with the inner child is that we regain the ability to be intimate and on a soul level closely connected with others. Our inner child is our vulnerability and sensitivity. Hal and Sidra Stone also call it the “doorway to our soul”. Its sensitivity is so great that the Stones say it is “without skin”. It can and does tune into other people, has great empathy and knows what is going on beyond the words somebody speaks. Our inner child sees with the heart.

Sometimes when clients do the inner child work, they expect the inner child to grow up and lose its sensitivity. This part inside never grows up and always maintains the great ability for sensitivity. Inner Child work is not about getting rid of our vulnerability and sensitivity. It is the greatest gift we have. From that part, we nurture and we are able to receive intimate nourishment.

Petit Prince1

In the book “Le Petit Prince” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, the fox explains to the Little Prince, who himself is a beautiful representation of a childlike personality, what it means to be connected to one’s sensitivity.

 

“Voici mon secret. Il est très simple:

On ne voit bien qu’avec le coeur.

L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux.”

“Here is my secret, a very simple secret:

It is only with the heart that one can see clearly;

what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

 

If you are enjoying my articles, you can subscribe to receive an e-mail notification whenever I post a new blog. All you need to do is to enter your email address in the field on the left side of the bar. Thank you for your support!

For individual session or workshops to do some inner child work contact

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

No Mothers Out There

No Mothers

The search for Mother has ended.

The story of Abandonment is over.

The too-good-mother has vaporized into the idea that she was.

No mothers are forthwith.

No mothers on order.

No mothers in back pockets, to pull out at eleventh hours, when all seems lost.

No surrogate mothers.

No hand me down mothers.

No wannabe mothers acting out their mother on me.

No mothers except for She who whispers as the wind.

No mothers except for She who walks beneath me.

No mothers except for She who speaks my name without words.

No mothers except for the One that embraces the space that I am.

No mothers out there.

No mothers out there.

~ Maria Mars, copyright 2014

 

Maria, a very talented friend of mine, wrote this poem. It reminded me that I too used to look for a surrogate mother—until I didn’t anymore. I used to look for that ideal mother in other women my mother’s age. I used to look for her mothering qualities in all my love relationships. Until I realized that the key to wholeness is self-parenting.

The mother is not to be found outside of us in another person. The mother-love is what we open up to. It is always there. We need not earn it or learn it. We need not search for it or find it. We just need to be it and receive it.

Many of us have an inner child which feels scared, lonely, lost or abandoned. Often the only times that we connect with that vulnerable part in us is to criticize or be unloving with that little boy or girl inside. Instead of being supportive, encouraging and unconditionally loving with ourselves we make ourselves feel “not enough” in one way or another.

We can continue in the endless cycle of looking for that love and acceptance outside ourselves in other people, or we can take charge and begin to parent ourselves. We all have wounds to heal; some experiences left smaller wounds, other experiences left bigger ones. There is no wound that cannot be healed through self-love.

When my clients begin their inner child work they are often surprised by how real that little child feels. They might realize that the little one inside is scared or insecure, or feels neglected and is angry for not having been heard. Sometimes the inner child is the part in us which makes us run away from opportunities, or push people away, or act impulsively in some other way. Once we have a clear perception of that voice and realize this is an important part of us, we can embrace it and bring it into the wholeness of our being.

Inner child work is emotional and sometimes surprising; it is always rewarding. Being in touch with your inner child is a huge gift to yourself. What we call the “inner child” is the side of us which allows us to be close and intimate with others.

Being able to check in with the little child part inside to ensure her or his needs are met is the basis for an authentic and fulfilling love relationship. Before we can have a successful relationship with others, we need to establish that relationship with ourselves. When we truly know who we are and what is going on inside we can address what comes up and continuously do our own inner work.

Being aware of your vulnerability in a relationship can mean expressing your feelings and needs calmly, non-confrontationally, lovingly and with the clear expectation that your partner will understand and acknowledge them.

Taking care of our inner child includes taking responsibility for our feelings. Nobody makes us feel a certain way. It also means taking responsibility for our own needs and desires. We need to make sure ourselves that our needs are met, or we need to make clear requests for them to be met by other people.

Embracing all parts of us leads to wholeness. The rewards for doing your inner child work are relationships which arise from an authentic heart space of love, caring and compassion.

Are you ready to connect with your inner child?

Contact Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Protecting Our Inner Child

Have you ever allowed yourself to be open and vulnerable with somebody only to find that your feelings were met with judgment, ridicule, or another response that made you feel unloved? I have.

It has been a week during which several clients and friends needed to hear from me. “How does your little girl / little boy feel right now? Check in with that child part in you. Bring up that parent part inside and protect her/him.”

Having had the experience myself in the past of not taking good care of my vulnerable inner child and her needs, I can see it clearly in others.

There is the young woman who continues to socialize with friends who are judgmental, self-centred and even cruel because she does not believe she can have friends who are truly loving and caring. There is the man who still reaches out to his ex-partner hoping she will be loving and supportive, just to find over and over again that she has no respect for him and has put him down again.

Why do we act like this? Why do we have such low self-respect at times?

We seem to do so with family members, friends, romantic partners, or people who belong to a group we are part of. We assume that just because of the “role” they play in our lives, they are unconditionally loving and accepting of us.

What has happened when we make that decision?

Instead of love, we are met with other people’s opinions or fears. This experience is all about us loving ourselves and listening to our intuition, to that voice inside that knows exactly who to trust with our vulnerability, and who to hold back with. It is all about believing and knowing deep-down that we deserve unconditional love, appreciation and respect.

Whenever I created the experience for myself of “not feeling safe,” I ignored that inner voice. When I think back, part of me knew exactly that a particular person would respond from his/her own fears and world views rather than being able to be unconditionally loving and accepting.

Ignoring my own wisdom usually had to do with longing for a close relationship with somebody due to this idea of a family or relationship tie, or wanting to belong to a group. The “longing” or “need” overrode the gut feeling. The left brain found reasons why it would be silly not to open up, while the heart had the right answer all along.

Being aware of what to entrust to others and what not to, has nothing to do with not being authentic. I can still be authentic when I choose carefully what to share. In fact, it will help to be more authentic. When we entrust something to someone against our better judgment, we are trying to be somebody we are not. We are trying to please the other person or force a relationship that is just not unfolding naturally.

You can listen to your intuition, and as you do so, your intuition grows stronger and stronger each day. I usually approach the world with an open heart, with love and trust, knowing that I am safe due to inner guidance, the parent part inside me. We need to protect the vulnerable child inside when it is necessary. But at the same time, I allow myself to be vulnerable when it is safe and appropriate, always striving to distinguish one from the other, no matter what “role” a person has in my life. I encourage you to do the same. You can experience that you are always safe because you listen and you trust.

 

For Inner Child Work, PSYCH-K® or Relationship Coaching contact

Angelika

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

 

“I Will Take Care of You” – Self Parenting

I visited a friend of mine today who has a 20 month old son. My friend, being a spiritual coach, is a very conscious parent. All morning long, I watched her and little Jack interact. I am left in awe not just by what a beautiful and wise little soul Jack is, but also by what beliefs he is learning from his mother.

She puts her own fears and personal agenda aside and is present with him. She is always aware of making sure he feels loved. She responds to his worries or needs before they turn into huge fears. She makes sure he always feels acknowledged and important. She gives him a lot of freedom to try things out. Because of that freedom, he accepts calmly when she has to say no.

Incidentally, on my drive to her house I was listening to one of my favourite songs by Amy Sky, “I will take care of you.”

“… A baby girl’s first cry rang out, a new life had begun.

Her mother rocked her in her arms and she kissed the tiny brow.

She said, ‘Darling, I am just as scared as you but I’ll promise you somehow,

I will take care of you, very best that I can.

Follow the love here in my heart, all of the strength in my hand.

You are every joy I share, for every tear I’ll be there, my whole life through.’”

I have listened to this song many times. But today, I was struck by how symbolic it is for taking care of our inner child.

 

Did you feel truly taken care of and safe when you were a child? Did you feel important, special and worthy, believing that your needs would be met, when you were little? Most people didn’t. My parent’s motto was, “Children should be seen but not heard.” We learn we are not important and that we do not have the right to have needs. We experience feeling abandoned and develop trust issues. Who can we trust in if we cannot trust those bigger humans that are taking care of us?

Those early childhood experiences leave wounds that come back in all of our relationships when we grow up. We might by now have lost our own parents or become their caretakers. However, in our love relationships, the little girl or boy inside still pops up and fearfully demands their needs while believing he or she does not deserve to be heard, does not deserve to be truly happy.

Our partner cannot be our parent to reassure and love us unconditionally. The only person who can heal those wounds is us. The one person who can be there for us every step of the way, as in Amy Sky’s song, is us. We are the ones to take care of ourselves, love ourselves, respect ourselves and remind ourselves that we are important, just like Jack’s wonderful mother does for him.

By getting in touch with your inner child and by parenting yourself, you are giving yourself the freedom to let go of those old feelings of unworthiness. Unconditional self-love is the foundation for loving others without conditions.

 

To do Inner Child Work or to clear out your fears and change your beliefs contact me.

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

905-286-9466

Taking Care of Your Inner Child

A typical and potentially destructive bonding pattern in a relationship is mother-son, father-daughter bonding. In a love relationship, the mother side of the woman often bonds into the son side of her partner and the father side of the man bonds into the daughter side of the woman. This is a natural and normal process that cannot be eliminated. On the positive side, this caring connection provides warmth and nurturing in a relationship. However, if we are not consciously aware of this pattern, it is likely to turn negative.

During the early stages of love, the little girl or little boy inside us is happy. The substitute father or substitute mother that our partner displays tries hard to be a good parent. They are attentive, loving, giving, and generous. However, we are not our partner’s parent. Sooner or later, this interaction is bound to flip, when our partner cannot continue being a good parent all the time. They might become critical, impatient, or even hold back their love or attention in a given situation.

The little child in us is the part that allows us to be truly vulnerable and intimate in a relationship. “It is this child that carries the deepest feelings in our heart and that can recognize the feelings deep in the hearts of others. … This child cannot be fooled by words or by reason because it responds directly to energies or feelings.” (Hal & Sidra Stone, Embracing Each Other, 35) Without being vulnerable we are also not able to experience real closeness with our partner. A balanced inner child brings magic to our relationship.

The little child inside will never grow up or go away completely. However, it is not our partner’s job to parent that younger self of us that we all carry inside. It is solely our job and responsibility to parent ourselves. By taking care of our inner child we ensure a healthier relationship and learn to heal our own wounds.

The vulnerable child within wants to be listened to, acknowledged and honoured. This means taking the feelings of the inner child seriously “but not allowing them to tyrannize us or those around us.” (Hal & Sidra Stone, Embracing Each Other, 49). The more we are aware of the little girl or little boy part inside and of her or his needs and feelings, the more we can integrate that part of us into a harmonic whole.

A regular dialogue with that vulnerable part in us is very helpful. When fears surface that stem from that child inside, it is important to be compassionate, loving and caring with ourselves. Give your inner child what she or he needs—love and the reassuring words of an encouraging parent will gently shift the perspective for the fearful or anxious child.

At first you can make it a daily routine to check in with the little one inside to see how he or she feels, and if they might need something from you as the protective and loving parent. Once you are friends with your inner child, you will notice clearly when an emotion or story comes up, because your inner child is worried or fearful about something. Make sure you have time to acknowledge them, consciously shift their story, and clear out that fear.

Dreams can help you to connect with the needs of your inner child. When we have a dream about a baby or young child, this child is often symbolic for our own inner vulnerable part. The dream can be about a child that we know, or an unknown little boy or girl. Notice and analyze your dreams for what they say about your inner child. Does it feel forgotten, neglected, or in danger? Does it need more love, attention, security or perhaps more laughter and play?

Another very important way of taking care of our vulnerable child inside is to make sure that we have a network of people whom we love and with whom we feel safe. Through that network, our inner child will receive nurturing not just from ourselves, but from a variety of sources. By reaching out to our network of family or friends, we make sure that we do not strain our marriage or relationship with the expectation that our partner has to take care of our inner child by him or herself.

Parenting your inner child is the gift you give yourself and your partner. If both partners take responsibility for their inner child, they can live an open and honest relationship from their aware ego which embraces all our parts inside but does not over-identify with any of them. We can be vulnerable and truly connected to each other from the heart.

 

If you are interested to learn more about Inner Child Work and how to parent yourself, contact me for a free consultation

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca

Turn Your Face to the Sun

(Dedicated to my mom on the 1st anniversary of her death)

 

“Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you”

– Maori Proverb

 

When I opened “365 Science of Mind: A Year of Daily Wisdom from Ernest Holmes” to the month of July the quote above jumped out at me. Synchronicity has it that this was exactly the quote used at my mom’s memorial service a year ago. With the anniversary of her passing today, I remember her with love and am contemplating the inner shifts which have occurred since her passing.

One of the first thoughts I had after my mom passed was, “I will never again be loved in the same way in my life.” It seems that is a common emotion and fear when losing one or both of your parents. “…with the death of your parent you may feel the loss of the perfect and unconditional love that only a parent is supposed to be capable of supplying.” (Therese A. Rando, How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies, 143)

One of my own daughters echoed that belief when she said to me a few months afterwards in her childlike innocence “Do you know why I love you? – I love you because you love me so much. You are my mommy and you always love me.” As amazing as it was to hear her love declaration, it hurt because it reminded me that the time of receiving that unconditional mother’s love is gone for me. But is it really gone?

“Do you have any kind of relationship with people after they die? Of course. You have a relationship of memory. Precious memories, dreams reflecting the significance of the relationship and objects that link you to the person who died (such as photos, souvenirs, clothing, etc.) are examples of some of the things that give testimony to a different form of a continued relationship. This need of mourning involves allowing and encouraging yourself to pursue this relationship.” (Alan D. Wolfelt, Understanding Your Grief, 92)

My mom and her mother love live on in me. I know she still loves me. It is just up to me to continue that unconditional love by taking care of that little child that we all have inside. I need to look after the little girl who needs to be taken care of, reassured, encouraged and treated with love and compassion. It is my job to integrate her into the wholeness of my being. That enables me to act consciously instead of re-act from that wounded part inside. More than ever, my mother’s physical death is a call to do my inner child work and to parent myself in the way I parent my own children.

Another interesting shift occurred in the family dynamics and the relationship with my father.

“The death of the first parent usually means some reorganization in your relationship with your surviving parent. Regardless of the quality of the relationship, it will need to be readjusted to reflect the fact that your parent is not one of two parents anymore, but your sole surviving parent. You will need to perceive and relate to this parent as an individual, who is no longer one-half of the parental unit.” (Therese A. Rando, How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies, 150)

In fact, the relationship with my father went through a lot of adjustments over the past year. Last summer we found ourselves in deep hurt and misunderstanding. He insisted on making arrangements for my mom’s memorial service and funeral that I felt were not in line with her wishes. That disagreement surfaced a truth that could no longer be ignored. We did not know how to interact with or relate to each other. My mother had always been the go-between and her passing was exposing the gap between us.

Neither of us felt supported by the other; he did not feel respected and I had to forgive him completely before we could move on to hearing, understanding and appreciating each other. At the heart of this experience was a need to know and accept each other as pure Love. Over the next few months, we slowly found to greater understanding and healing as I let go of old stories I had grown up with.

One of the stories I had to let go of was one of my mother’s favourites: the story that she was a victim, making the man in her life the victimizer. I had a lot of judgements around their relationship. With my mother’s death, I was given an opportunity—a beautiful gift—to actually get to know the man who is my father, separate from those old stories.

This transition also meant not accepting new stories based on old patterns either. There was no victim. Both of them attracted into their life exactly the right person they needed for their growth. This knowledge allows me to see my mother with compassion instead of pity and my father with love instead of judgement.

My mom’s legacy, beyond the obvious that she was a beautiful and smart woman living her life with passion, lies in what she did not do. She did not move out of her stories of dependency and victimhood. She chose to feel separate, helpless and unloved. That is her story, but mine still continues to be written, written quite differently.

“The essence of finding meaning in the future is not to forget my past, as I have been told, but instead to embrace my past. For it is in listening to the music of the past that I can sing in the present and dance into the future.” (Alan D. Wolfelt, Understanding Your Grief, 92)

I continue the relationship with my mom and carry her in my heart as I turn towards the sun. When I face the light the shadows fall behind me. Turning towards the sun for me means turning towards Love. Ultimately all that is real is the Love we come from and the Love we all go back to at the end of our lives.

How to Examine Our Stories for the Truth

“One of the most prominent characteristics of our left brain is its ability to weave stories. … It functions by taking whatever details it has to work with, and then weaves them together in the form of a story. Most impressively, our left brain is brilliant in its ability to make stuff up, and fill in the blanks when there are gaps in its factual data.” (Jill Bolte Taylor, My Stroke of Insight, 143)

Our logical analytical left brain takes facts A, B and C and connects them into a story by filling in the blanks in a way that seems logical based on what we believe. The more emotional charge there is around a subject because of our belief systems and past experiences, the more convincing the story appears.

For example, someone who has rejection issues will have a tendency to interpret other people’s actions as rejection. That is in perfect line with their learned belief system of “The people I love always reject and abandon me”. A belief like that can originate from childhood when the little girl was left by her father. Each time a situation even looks remotely like a rejection, the little girl part inside pops up in fear, and the left brain weaves exactly that old story of rejection.

 

“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
(Socrates)

From a metaphysical standpoint, it indeed is not. If we don’t examine our stories for the truth and learn to choose consciously which stories to run and which to let go of, there is not much personal or spiritual growth for us in this life.

 

But how do we examine our life – or in other words our stories – for the truth?

Byron Katie gives us four simple questions to ask ourselves:

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
  3. How do I react when I believe the thought?
  4. Who would I be without the thought?

She also suggests trying turnarounds to see if a turnaround is as true as the original story.

The woman in our example notices that her boyfriend is flirting with someone. She deducts that he is rejecting her with this action and projects into the future that he is going to leave and abandon her like her dad.

  1. Is it true?
  2. Can she absolutely know this is true?
    Neither is it necessarily true that he is even flirting at all, nor is it true that his behaviour is a rejection of her. Maybe he is just being friendly, or enjoying the attention of somebody else. And it certainly is not true to assume he is rejecting her, or even remotely thinking about leaving her.
  3. How does she react?
    She feels like rejecting him in turn. Maybe it occurs to her to punish him by withholding sex or being unloving in another way. She might provoke a fight. As she projects her fear of abandonment into the future, she might even be thinking about breaking up with him before he can leave her like her dad did.
  4. Who would she be without the poisonous thought?
    She would be relaxed, could join in the light banter, or have a good time herself. She would signal to her partner through this that she is confident and trusts him. Feeling that trust he would be reminded how lucky he is to have such an amazing girlfriend. In that moment in time, nothing would be further from his mind than leaving this beautiful and self-assured girlfriend.

If the woman in our example continues to examine her story, she would have to try a turnaround as well, by asking herself if she has ever done the same. If someone triggers us with their behaviour, it is because the person is mirroring something for us.

Is it as true to say…

… I flirt and exclude, or reject my partner?

Being really honest with herself, she would probably find an occasion where she has acted in a way that could be interpreted as a rejection. Has she for example really committed 100% to her partner? When he suggested moving in together, did she not reject that for now?

… I reject or abandon myself in any way? Or I am not always true to myself and my needs?

If she is absolutely honest with herself, she might remember an incident when she let herself down, abandoning herself or her inner child in some way.

 

Examining her stories for the truth, allows her to take facts A (he is making eye contact with a beautiful woman), B (he is talking and laughing with her), C (the woman is single and looking for a partner) and weave a completely different story out of exactly the same facts.

She might now look at him and think. “I am so fortunate to have such a handsome boyfriend who other women are attracted to as well. I am proud of how relaxed he is in this social situation. I trust in our love and connection. I should let him know how much I love him later, maybe even suggest to move in together soon.”

 

What are your stories that your left brain is running?

For coaching and to clear our old fears and limiting beliefs give me a call for a free consultation:

905-286-9466

greendoorrelaxation@yahoo.ca