Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 1 Empowerment, Freedom, and Inner Peace through Inner Child Healing Chapter 16 More on Internal Boundaries
The last chapter is the article that I wrote for the series of articles on inner child healing. This chapter is a combination of a webpage that I posted when I first put up my website in 1998, and a rough draft I wrote for my journal when I was first attempting to write this book. It describes the same dynamics for setting internal boundaries that I have been talking about – but says it in some different ways, from some different angles. I am including it here because I think there is value in it.
Internal boundaries are the key to Spiritual Integration & Emotional Balance
Loving internal boundaries can allow us to achieve some integration and balance in our relationships and our life experience.
“I needed to learn how to set boundaries within, both emotionally and mentally by integrating Spiritual Truth into my process. Because “I feel feel like a failure” does not mean that is the Truth. The Spiritual Truth is that “failure” is an opportunity for growth. I can set a boundary with my emotions by not buying into the illusion that what I am feeling is who I am. I can set a boundary intellectually by telling that part of my mind that is judging and shaming me to shut up, because that is my disease lying to me. I can feel and release the emotional pain energy at the same time I am telling myself the Truth by not buying into the shame and judgment.” – Quotes in this color are from Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls
We need to own that we have the power to choose where to focus our mind.
We can consciously start viewing ourselves from the “witness” perspective.
We all do this anyway but we learned to watch our selves from a place of judgment and shame.
It is time to fire the judge – our critical parent – and choose to replace that judge with our Higher Self – who is a Loving parent.
We can then intervene in our own process to help us be more Loving to self
What follows is an brief description of the four main relationships internally that are in need of boundaries. These are levels of our being/dimensions of the self in which the concept of internal boundaries needs to be applied in order to change our relationship with ourselves into one that is more Loving.
Following that is a brief description of the benefits derived from focusing on having internal boundaries in our relationship with these levels of our being.
Within the Mental
Within the mental level of our being it is vital to start having a boundary between the part of our mind that is reacting to the childhood wounds and programming – the critical parent/disease voice – and the part of our mind that is telling us our intuitive Truth.
“One of the difficulties in this healing process is that even after we start to awaken to being butterflies, a part of our mind keeps telling us that we are low, crawling, disgusting creatures.
Taking the power away from that part of us is the key to the healing process. A key to stopping the war inside. We need to take the shame and judgment out of the process on a personal level. It is vitally important to stop listening and giving power to that critical place within us that tells us that we are bad and wrong and shameful.
That “critical parent” voice in our head is the disease lying to us. Any shaming, judgmental voice inside of us is the disease talking to us – and it is always lying. This disease of Codependence is very adaptable, and it attacks us from all sides. The voices of the disease that are totally resistant to becoming involved in healing and Recovery are the same voices that turn right around and tell us, using Spiritual language, that we are not doing Recovery good enough, that we are not doing it right.
We need to become clear internally on what messages are coming from the disease, from the old tapes, and which ones are coming from the True Self – what some people call “the small quiet voice.”
We need to turn down the volume on those loud, yammering voices that shame and judge us and turn up the volume on the quiet Loving voice. As long as we are judging and shaming ourselves we are feeding back into the disease, we are feeding the dragon within that is eating the life out of us. Codependence is a disease that feeds on itself – it is self-perpetuating.
This healing is a long gradual process – the goal is progress, not perfection. What we are learning about is unconditional Love. Unconditional Love means no judgment, no shame.”
It is also vital to start changing the dysfunctional, false, black & white beliefs, attitudes, and definitions that are dictating our emotional reactions to life. Our attitudes, beliefs, and definitions determine our perspective and expectations which in turn dictate our emotional relationship with everything – with ourselves, with life, with other people. It is very important to start taking the power away from those false beliefs in order to start changing our relationship with self and life.
“Perspective is a key to Recovery. I had to change and enlarge my perspectives of myself and my own emotions, of other people, of God and of this life business. Our perspective of life dictates our relationship with life. We have a dysfunctional relationship with life because we were taught to have a dysfunctional perspective of this life business, dysfunctional definitions of who we are and why we are here.
It is kind of like the old joke about three blind men describing an elephant by touch. Each one of them is telling his own Truth, they just have a lousy perspective. Codependence is all about having a lousy relationship with life, with being human, because we have a lousy perspective on life as a human.”
This is what enlightenment and consciousness raising are all about!
Owning our power to be a co-creator of our lives by changing our relationship with ourselves.
We can change the way we think.
We need to detach from our wounded self in order to allow our Spiritual Self to guide us.
Between Mental and Emotional
Thoughts are not feelings and feelings are not thoughts – it is vital to start relating to our thoughts and our feelings separately. There are feelings attached to thoughts and thoughts attached to feelings but they are two separate parts of our being. They are intimately interconnected of course, but it is very important that we be able to start seeing clearly the difference between them. Part of the dysfunction is due to enmeshment between the mental and emotional levels of our being. Having a clear understanding of the difference between thoughts and emotions is vital in order to practice discernment and own our power to make choices about how we want to respond to life instead of unconsciously reacting our of the old wounds and old tapes.
The disease has power when we believe the critical parent voice.
When we are feeling something “negative” and buying into the negative messages is when we go into the downward spiral – when we crash and burn, go into despair and depression.
(Emotions have a purpose, they are not negative or positive in and of themselves. It is our reaction to them, our relationship to them, that gives them value – ie, sadness is very positive when we are honoring our emotions by grieving – even if it doesn’t feel that way.)
“If I am feeling like a “failure” and giving power to the “critical parent” voice within that is telling me that I am a failure – then I can get stuck in a very painful place where I am shaming myself for being me. In this dynamic I am being the victim of myself and also being my own perpetrator – and the next step is to rescue myself by using one of the old tools to go unconscious (food, alcohol, sex, etc.) Thus the disease has me running around in a squirrel cage of suffering and shame, a dance of pain, blame, and self-abuse.
By learning to set a boundary with and between our emotional truth, what we feel, and our mental perspective, what we believe – in alignment with the Spiritual Truth we have integrated into the process – we can honor and release the feelings without buying into the false beliefs.”
The child in us has a reason to feel like a “failure.”
Because our parents weren’t capable of Loving themselves or of emotional honesty – we felt like there was something wrong with us.
We felt responsible for the deprivation or abuse or abandonment that we experienced.
“The hardest thing for any of us to do is to have compassion for ourselves. As children we felt responsible for the things that happened to us. We blamed ourselves for the things that were done to us and for the deprivations we suffered. There is nothing more powerful in this transformational process than being able to go back to that child who still exists within us and say, “It wasn’t your fault. You didn’t do anything wrong, you were just a little kid.””
Within the Emotional
In order to start responding to life honestly in the moment from an mature adult perspective it is very important to start separating out the emotional reactions of the child from the emotional messages from our intuition. The reason that we have internal conflict is because we have different parts of our beings reacting in very different ways. The romantic within does not want to set boundaries in an intimate relationship for fear of making the other person angry enough to abandon us – at the same time that other parts of us (the rebel perhaps or the angry child) wants to push the person away so that we don’t get hurt. It is very important to start understanding where these conflicting messages are coming from so that we can make choices about which parts of us we want to be in charge of our life.
“The next time something does not go the way you wanted it to, or just when you are feeling low, ask yourself how old you are feeling. What you might find is that you are feeling like a bad little girl, a bad little boy, and that you must have done something wrong because it feels like you are being punished.
Just because it feels like you are being punished does not mean that is the Truth. 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.”
Between Being and Behavior
Toxic shame is what cripples us emotionally and causes us to be our own worst enemy. It is vital to stop giving the shame we feel the power to dominate our relationship with ourselves. The more we can start integrating the belief that we are Spiritual Beings having a human experience into our relationship with ourselves the easier it becomes to start accepting our human limitations.
As long as we are expecting ourselves to be superhuman, to be perfect, we are set up to fail. As long as we unconsciously or consciously give power to the toxic shame we feel deep within we will never succeed in learning to Love our self. It is very important to start seeing our being as having Divine worth and our behavior as being the result of our humanness and our wounds in order to forgive and Love ourselves.
[When I use the term “judge,” I am talking about making judgments about our own or other people’s beings based on behavior. In other words, I did something bad therefore I am a bad person; I made a mistake therefore I am a mistake. That is what toxic shame is all about: feeling that something is wrong with our being, that we are somehow defective because we have human drives, human weaknesses, human imperfections.
There may be behavior in which we have engaged that we feel ashamed of but that does not make us shameful beings We may need to make judgments about whether our behavior is healthy and appropriate but that does not mean that we have to judge our essential self, our being, because of the behavior. Our behavior has been dictated by our disease, by our childhood wounds; it does not mean that we are bad or defective as beings. It means that we are human, it means that we are wounded.
It is important to start setting a boundary between being and behavior. All humans have equal Divine value as beings – no matter what our behavior. Our behavior is learned (and/or reactive to physical or physiological conditions). Behavior, and the attitudes that dictate behavior, are adopted defenses designed to allow us to survive in the Spiritually hostile, emotionally repressive, dysfunctional environments into which we were born.]
We need to have internal Boundaries with and between the emotional and mental components of our being so that we can:
– feel our feelings without being the victim of them or victimizing others with them;
– achieve some balance between feeling and thinking, intuitive and rational;
– know which feelings are telling us the Truth and which are reactions to old wounds so that we can discern between emotional honesty and indulgence.
– with the disease/critical parent voice so that we can stop giving power to the judgment and shame on a personal level & stop letting our own mind be our worst enemy;
– between being and behavior so that we can take responsibility without blaming ourselves;
– with our inner children to allow us to Lovingly parent and set boundaries for the wounded children within which allows us to own the magical, spontaneous, creative, Spiritual child inside.
– allow us call on the Power Within any time, any place, that we need it;
– allow us Integrate the Truth of an Unconditionally Loving God-Force/Goddess Energy/Great Spirit into our experience of the process so that instead of just knowing Spiritual Truth intellectually we can start feeling it emotionally;
– allow us to relax and enjoy life more.
“It was vitally important for me to learn how to have internal boundaries so that I could lovingly parent (which, of course, includes setting boundaries for) my inner children, tell the critical parent/disease voice to shut up, and start accessing the emotional energy of Truth, Beauty, Joy, Light, and Love. It was by learning internal boundaries that I could begin to achieve some integration and balance in my life, and transform my experience of life into an adventure that is enjoyable and exciting most of the time.” – Chapter 16 More on Internal Boundaries Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 1 Empowerment, Freedom, and Inner Peace through Inner Child Healing
When you purchase Codependency Recovery: Wounded Souls Dancing in The Light Book 1 Empowerment, Freedom, and Inner Peace through Inner Child Healing through Joy2MeU you get a personally autographed copy;-) but you can also purchase through Amazon.com or Amazon UK or Barnes & Noble.
An unabridged audiobook version is available on audible.com, Amazon, iTunes.
The key to codependency recovery is the inner child healing work I describe on my site as well as in the book. A key element of that work includes learning to set internal boundaries. The formula that I pioneered for inner healing – which includes learning to set the internal boundaries – is something that I teach people through telephone counseling. It is now possible to get phone cards for very cheap rates from many places in the world – and also to use Skype for free from anywhere in the world. I talk about how the phone counseling can work to really change a persons life for the better in a short period of time on this page which includes some special combination offers.
I also offer periodic day long workshops in Encinitas & Gilroy CA to teach people how to apply my inner child healing formula. (There is now a downloadable MP3 recording available of my Life Changing workshop and I have a page with special offers for both the workshop recording and an MP3 download of Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls.)