Inside every one of us there is a child. That part of us that is filled with curiosity, wonder, and magic. When you're a child you're wholly innocent, and at this point in our lives we rely on our caregivers to provide us all our basic needs, including safety and love. But life is imperfect and our caregivers unintentionally fall short of providing us the most ideal situations.
When we are children our parents are our image of God, after all they are our whole life. So, when they struggle with life's ups and downs it suddenly changes our perception of their being and of ourselves.
The mind of a child is solely dependent on that of our parents. Everything we learn, we believe. When there is family trauma a child learns that life is traumatic. When there is distance or withholding of comfort, the child learns the world is cold. Suddenly, we're not safe. Our knee jerk reaction then becomes to hide. Somehow it's not safe to be ourselves. Our inner child then cowers inside of us, desperate for attention and love.
We put ourselves out into the world only in as much as to be useful. This, we learn, is the only way to be safe. That inner child then throws tantrums and becomes deeply wounded. With each pull inward we become isolated within ourselves. Despondent and hopeless.
I have had the luxury of learning how to journey inward. A gift that my husband gave me. In several of my journeys I encountered my inner child who wanted only to be seen and comforted. This is what we all want. There isn't a person alive that doesn't want to be recognized and honored.
This is where relationships fall apart. We get caught up in the day to day and forget that the people that chose to spend their lives with us are also desperate for this type of attention and love. We are also so desperate to be seen, that we forget. This is where mirroring and projection happen.
In one of my meditative journeys, I encountered a beautiful field. It is a place of solitude and peace. It is a safe place for me. In this particular journey I encountered an old-fashioned photo booth. I walked up to it, pulled the curtain back and saw an older slight man sitting on the seat waiting for me. He was wearing sunglasses and smiling. He welcomed me into the booth and we proceeded to play taking pictures and laughing. At one point I asked him why he was wearing sunglasses. After a bit of joking, I noticed something deeper. I felt absolutely accepted as I am. I asked him who he was and he told me he was the father. He said to me "I accept you" and I immediately broke into tears. It wasn't until this morning that I realized why it had this profound affect on me. We all seek to be accepted exactly as we are. The divine father accepts us and loves us unconditionally. He heals us through our recognition.
As I was sitting in the photo booth in this journey and feeling so good about being accepted unconditionally, I heard someone outside. I pulled the curtain back and saw a woman standing there. She was the same size as the man and the same age. Her beautiful silver hair falling down around her shoulders. She was looking down at the ground and shifting her weight between her feet. When she looked up at me I could see the universe in her eyes. She held her arms out to me welcoming me home. She said "I see you" and I broke into tears yet again. We all seek to be seen. We search for this in people every day. This is why social media is so polarized. We all want to feel we're being seen. When we don't get the attention we need, we respond the way any child would. This is our soul yearning to be acknowledged. It is the divine mother that provides us this recognition. She heals us through our creativity.
Our human parents will always fall short of this type of love and acceptance. They too are struggling with the need to be seen and accepted. During the course of our lives we then create circumstances around ourselves to try to heal the parents we've created inside of us. Our ability to nurture and love the child within us is based on the type of parents we've created. Most of us operate from polarized interpretations of our inner mother and father. The extremes of our interpretation of parental roles. I call them the angry sun (father) and the sad moon (mother). You can see this very obviously in most of our interactions with one another. The angry sun criticizes and blames, and the sad moon cowers and hides away. Our inner child will never grow if we cannot learn to parent them from the divine parental states.
This is why self-care is so important. We must teach our inner child that we love and accept them exactly as we are. We must encourage ourselves to be curious and innocent. In order to do this we must change the dialog of our inner parents showing them also that they are doing a good job in making us whole. It's safe to be ourselves and not only safe, but truly the miracle of our lives. When our inner child is allowed to grow, we heal.
Have you ever been told to just get over something? There are a lot of inspirational quotes out there to tell you to keep a positive attitude, but that message can sometimes be very damaging. Generally, this advice is a defense mechanism for people who don't know how to help.There's nothing more invalidating than someone telling you the pain you may be feeling is selfish and/or self-created.
Pain is a way of helping us establishing boundaries and is absolutely necessary for us to understand how and why we feel a certain way. When we're told to be positive when we're moving into the darkness, we are bypassing the alchemical process of transformation. Instead of healing ourselves, we become detached. This is called dissociation.
In Toxic Positivity: Don't Always Look on the Brightside, Dr. Konstantin Lukin Ph.D. says "Accepting difficult emotions helps with coping and with decreasing the intensity of those emotions. Think about how good it feels when you can finally talk about how hard your day was with your partner, parent, or friend. Getting things off your chest, including negative things, is like lifting a weight from your shoulders, even if it’s more difficult than pretending everything is fine."
The nigredo, or blackness, literally means putrefaction or decomposition and is the first step in the transformational process. It is represented by the Tower in the tarot. This is a signal to us that something needs to change and in order to transform our pain into something meaningful we have to allow it to be broken down. Only then is the healing process possible. If we bypass our emotions, the pain becomes stagnant and festers creating a polluted emotional body.
We're not meant to always be positive, but we are meant to find peace and understanding through our pain. We can be hopeful, but only if that doesn't mean not being authentic. All of our feelings and experiences are valid and learning experiences for our journey here.