Principle: When we are curious about our experience of old patterns instead of judging, we free ourselves from feeling stuck.
Practice: When you feel stuck, try exploring your experience instead of trying to change it.
written 2/19/21 Friday - (If this is your first post in the "inner dialog" format, "LO" is my inner child, and "SE" is Super Ego, the internalized, critical voice of our parents}.
Good morning, Beloveds All: Isis, Sekhmet, Great Mother, saints, sages, guides on both sides of the veil. I’m longing to lean into You today, after yesterday’s therapy session – I’m so aware of my need for You. Help me to stay in right relationship with You. I choose living in co-creative partnership with You, knowing that You are the Giver of Life, the One Source, One Love, One Life, and I am a perfect, whole and complete expression of You. Thank You for another day to walk this sacred Earth path with You and as You.
Here I am, loves! What do you want/need? You seem withdrawn…?
LO: It goes with the resentment that others aren’t meeting my needs, and that’s where I am right now. It’s so hard to accept myself in this place, mama Nance. And I need your support - you’re judging me instead of being curious.
N: It’s true sweetie, I am. Thanks for speaking your truth. I just want you to be different, to grow up, to stop trying to control us all. Guess I’m identified with SE, and that’s choosing an old way. It’s a blame game, huh – each of us is pointing the finger at the other and saying, “You’re not giving me what I need!” And it’s my job to change perspective, to make a different choice. I can start that by saying, “Of course we’re stuck here in this old dysfunctional place. We go to this old place when we’re terrified because the familiarity is comforting.”
…I feel you taking offense, LO, and I’m not saying it’s your fault or that you should do something different, love. I’m saying when you’re doing what you know because you’re scared shitless, I need to support you and love you, not judge you. I learned how to be from Mom and Dad – and I’m new at choosing another way too. We’re learning to choose another way together, and we’re both beginners. I’m sorry I reacted out of old patterns I learned from Mom and Dad, sweetie – that’s not how I want to be with you. I want to respond to your need, not react from mine. I love you, LO, and I love me, and I want to respond from love, not react from fear.
LO: Oh, I think I want that too, mama Nance. Being little doesn’t mean I’m stuck in the old little girl ways, right? I can still change and learn and grow too, right? I’m not condemned to be this demanding, controlling, willful, resentful, withholding little girl forever, right? I don’t have to be depressed and desperate always, right? I can learn to be joyful, vibrant, self-expressive, spontaneous, free to be me, right?
N: Yes, with the right support. And I want to give you and get you the support you need. Get us the support we need, because it’s really both of us. I need support too.
LO: I’m petrified that I said – declared, really – that I’m done being responsible for Mom’s wellbeing in therapy yesterday. It makes me such a bad girl! A despicable, unworthy-to-exist, hateful little girl!
N: Oh, sweetheart, you never should have been responsible for her. I’m not surprised you feel guilty today – and it’s ok to put that burden down. It was never yours to carry, love.
LO: And if I put it down, I give up all my power over her, Nance. If her life, her wellbeing are dependent on me, I have a huge amount of power over her… and I have to give up my hope that she’ll meet my needs because I have that power. I have to admit I’m powerless over whether she meets my needs.
N: Yes, that’s accurate. Do you still want all that power? Is there another way to get your needs met, maybe? Did that strategy work to get her to meet your needs?
LO: No, it never did – but I always hoped it would. She wasn’t capable of meeting my needs.
N: That’s right, sweetie. No matter how hard you tried to be a good girl, a big girl, it didn’t work to get her to meet your needs.
LO: In fact, it made it impossible for her to meet my needs to be seen and loved as I was because I was always showing a façade! She didn’t have the capacity anyway, but I contributed to my needs not being met by not showing them, by hiding them all the time so I wouldn’t overwhelm her.
…This morning earlier, I got to feel how shattered my world is – just decimated when I open to the truth that my needs will never be met, not my 5-year old self’s needs. But I feel so stuck and numb. I want to feel alive, joyful!
N: What’s it like to be numb and stuck? Are you willing to sit with those feelings while I go to my meeting soon? How does it feel in your body? Or I can make time later to sit with you while you explore. I’m not sure it would be today, but soon.
LO: I think I’ll wait for your support, mama. Doing it alone is an old pattern, huh?
N: Good catch! I love you, little beloved! Blessed be, love.
LO: Blessed be!