The Path of the Inner Child – By Jay Ray
(Adapted from a talk given by JAY RAY at the Blaxland Spiritualist Convention, Blue Mountains, and Australia.)
One if my clients once summarised my work with a slogan “When in search of the Higher Self, follow the path of the feelings”. By the time the majority of us have reached adulthood, we have lost contact with our feelings and have no connection with our Higher Self. We have no inner guidance, and as a result, our lives have usually become unmanageable. It can sometimes take us years to admit that to ourselves, and when we do, we are consumed with confusion and self-doubt. We often find ourselves miles off course and wonder how we got here. What happened to that bright eyed little boy that wanted to tinker with fire engines and ended up a Lawyer? How about the little girl that found the stars and sky so fascinating that all she wanted to do was study it all, but ended up a Mum with six kids, hardly having the time to watch the other type of Stars on the television, and never lifting her eyes to the Heavens.
What happened? I’m sure you’ve all asked yourself that at some stage in your life. Most of us call it being realistic and ‘growing up’. But deep down inside of us, if we’re honest (which of course unless we are prepared to do something about our lives, we can’t afford to be), we feel a deep sadness. A feeling that tells us something has been lost. We immediately push it aside and get on with the mowing. What else can we do?
There is so much that we can do, in fact, that a whole school of thought and psychology has built up around not only the concept, but the practical experience of “doing something about it”.
As I came to all of this through my own personal experience, I can say with certainty, that the loss of the vision of that little child inside can kill you, literally as well as metaphorically. I have seen it all too often. First it will deaden you inside, and then, given enough time it will drain all the healing life out of the body. Physical disease is sometimes the first time we experience that anything is wrong inside of us. So deadened in our feelings we become, that we fail to understand the signals our body and life have been giving us, until they are yelling at us, until it’s too late.
In my article today, I want to attempt to give you my version of what happens to us. As that innocent new being, fresh from another world, we know little or nothing about the rules of the particular age, culture, or family we have chosen to be born into. From the moment we breathe the air of this era, we’ve got to start learning all over again, (or for the first time, if you haven’t come to terms with reincarnation). We don’t know how to get fed, make our needs understood, use a fork, or anything about this world into which we have just arrived. From the minute we get here the learning starts. We are little bundles of unique feeling, and thinking is an alien process that belongs to Earth, and has to be learned all over again. New values, new vocabulary, new people, scary stuff!
So let me see if I can outline the process for you. There you are, laying on your back or stomach, feeling all kinds of lovely sensations, and then out of the blue, a not so lovely feeling happens inside of you. You’re hungry! You yell! Mums tired and quite fed up that Dad’s not home yet. “Oh shut up. I’ll get to you when I can. Can’t you see I’m tired?” she says. Of course you can’t. You don’t actually know what tired is right at this point, but you begin to get the message that when you express what you feel, it brings a negative, (not so pleasant), response from the person you feel most loving towards. Not a good message! Well this is the beginning, and as the years go by you realise that lots and lots of what you feel seems to make someone upset or angry, so you begin to try and keep it to a minimum.
You begin to get the idea that feelings of any sort get a “No” from somebody for some reason. If you’re happy, you’re “too loud!” If you are quiet, you are “sulking!” Worst of all, if you’re angry, you’re thoughtless, and selfish. You begin to see a way through all this. You discover that you can feel what you like as long as you don’t let anybody else know about it. This is the beginning of self-deception, and the “shut down” process. As you begin to close off your throat charka, so that you don’t express your feelings, the feelings themselves start to internalise. You begin to feel “bad” about everything, but particularly yourself for having such inconvenient, selfish things as emotions. So bit by bit you start to shut them all down, just as you had been told to do. After all, you don’t see any adults carrying on like that do you? They are very sedate and “rational”. You will become like them and then you can’t go wrong.
So successful at shutting down do you become, that you do, in fact become just like them. Years later you may begin to look at your parents and wonder if they knew what it was all about anyway. The sneaking suspicion is creeping in that they are not so happy or together after all. They keep telling you not to do what they did. But it’s too late. You even have physical weaknesses in the same places they do.
You have successfully learned the rules of your own environment and are playing that game with ease/disease. You now have all the beliefs and attitudes in place in your psyche that will enable you to communicate effectively with anyone that comes from the same culture and language that you do. You should be able to get all your needs met. But here’s the rub! You still can’t. But why? Because you don’t know what your needs are! You’ve spent so many years learning about what other people want, and how to make them happy, that you have lost touch with the only thing that can tell you what you came down here to be and what you want-YOUR SELF!.
Your probably about 30 at this stage and like most people, having set up the problems in your life, you are now beginning to search for the solution. You don’t know where to look. Not only that, you continually asks yourself “Who am I anyway?” You’re having what is called an “Existential Crisis”. Now let me explain how this happened. Let’s imagine that you have two channels coming down into your psyche. Let’s call them the RIGHT and LEFT channels. They come down into the left and right hemispheres of your brain and they have certain qualities and purposes. The left brain or channel is your logical mind. It is your intellect, and its purpose is to formulate belief structures that enable you to operate in the outside world. It contains within it the power to communicate, move around, procreate, feed yourself – All the physical functions. It also contains within it the ability to make things. It is represented by the need to contact others by reaching out, so it is ‘Other’. It is about the outside world, so it is ‘Outer’. The energy that most manifests itself in this way is the Yang, so it is also ‘Masculine’. Its purpose is to enable all of us to ‘Make the World’.
Now the other hemisphere of the brain, the right, and is exactly the opposite. It is about being “Inner”. It is introspective, exploring and understanding of ‘Self’. It is the ‘Feelings’ which are in themselves unique to only you. Many people can think what you think, but NOBODY else can FEEL the way you feel at any given time in your life. It is ‘Yin’ as it represents ‘Inner’ and therefore it is ‘Female’ in nature. Even the genitals of the two sexual groups reflect the affinity with these hemispheres.
So we come into the world (no matter what our sex, (because we all have both hemispheres) little Yin feeling beings that are very in touch with ourselves, but know no way of contacting others or telling them about ourselves, until we have a new Left Brain Function taught to us. Everything we had previously learned in past incarnations is of no use to us in this new world. We may have been Eskimo in our other lives, or all manner of beings, but that won’t help you get around in Down Town Dunedin unless you have had your data updated by somebody else, in this life.
The problem arises when, in the course of teaching us how to act, our tutors have also taught us how not to feel. Hence they have helped us set up the challenge of our lives: finding out who we are and what we came here for. By the time you are 7 years old, most of the programming is in place and you have been taught to use it to lose yourself. Now don’t get me wrong. I am not suggesting that intellect and logic is the enemy. There is a very valid place for our logical, analytical mind. It is there to help us express ourselves. But the trick is, we have to know who we are in order to express it!
So back to our child. There he or she is, dutifully stuffing their feelings down into their unconscious, trying as hard as they can to make sure nobody finds out they have even got any of these “weak, ineffective” things. However, what is happening in our right channel is that our unexpressed feelings, largely traumatised by now, are forming a plug that is jamming up the works and making sure NONE of the Self gets through into their everyday life. So, if we are not expressing our feelings, and we are not expressing our self, whom are we expressing? Well, other people of course!
The good old Left Brain Channel. How long we can go round and round expressing nothing new, nothing unique, nothing of ourselves, without going into crisis, depends entirely on how much is trying to get through the other side of the jammed up ‘feeling plug’. Sooner or later, in our Existential Crisis, we will have had enough. Of course, it doesn’t really matter whether that takes us years, decades or lifetimes, but sooner or later WE ARE GOING TO HAVE HAD ENOUGH! That Self of ours is going to start pushing through the “gunk” to get our attention. You see, some of the other things that are inherent within our right side channel are our intuition, our inspiration, our creativity, and all the potential that we are: In fact, our Higher or God Self, our Essence, our own Entity.
As some of the gunk begins to move we will find ourselves needing to go back to childhood and take another look at all the precious feeling that we have stuffed down inside of us. We will need to feel and express them, just as we needed to feel and express them right back in the beginning but were unable to. We will need to let them “flow”, like a massive flushing out of all the unexpressed so that, bit by bit, the “plug” begins to shift. Until it does shift, we will be incapable of feeling what’s going on in our lives in the moment. All our feelings will go through the filter of the past trauma and come out distorted. They will come out inappropriately, on the wrong person, at the wrong time, for the wrong reason, causing even more trauma and pain.
Bit by bit though, as we are able to put all these unexpressed feelings of the past inner child, back to the appropriate people and places in which the feelings originally occurred, we will find that we stop loading them on to innocent passers-by, on to our current partner, friends or work associates. We will know when what we are feeling belongs to our childhood, to Mum, Dad, our brother or sister, or someone else other than our childhood that left us with unexpressed, disempowered feelings. When the situation is one from our present circumstances, we can deal with it honestly in the NOW.
I say disempowered because it has been one of my major breakthroughs in life to discover that expression of feelings IS powerfulness. One of the reasons other people unconsciously wanted us not to express our feelings is that they felt our power and didn’t want to, (didn’t know how to) deal with it. Quickly they taught us how to keep our power out of their way. The less we express, the least powerful we are, and the less anyone has to bother about us. You see, people have to do things like negotiate with powerful people. They have to take them into consideration, listen to them, and maybe not get what they want from them. They are powerful people, who know what they want and what is best for them. They cannot be easily manipulated. So another side effect of expressing our feelings, past and present, is the return of our esteem for Self, care for our Self and the understanding that “you are the MOST important person in your life”. In fact you are the ONLY person in your life. Everybody else is in their own life, (fortunately).
As the “plug” starts to move, so does our creativity and inspiration. We start getting feelings of what we want to do, and as we follow them we find that our whole life begins to change. Now we are having strong feelings on a day-to-day basis, feelings that cannot be denied and that can bring us to some important and sometimes difficult decisions.
Up until this point in our lives, we have made our choices out of programming. This programming was largely about what other people wanted from us. It takes courage to now turn around to those people and let them know that we not going to be doing that any more, that they are responsible for their own lives and that we are going to be responsible for ours. Sometimes that means that our paths need to separate, because their road is not our road. Maybe it never was, but neither of us could see that at the time. These are difficult times but as Shakespeare once said, “First unto thy own Self be true, and it follows…..that thou cans’t not be false to any man”. By being true to the Self-inside, we set everyone free to be true to their own self. If that is to go their road with us, so be it. If not, there is a perfectly good road of their own that they should be following. Fitz Perls, a very wise man said, “in order to be responsible to yourself, you have to be irresponsible to everyone else.”
The funny thing I found is that the more honest about my feelings I am able to be with those around me, the more they respect me. It’s as if watching our example gives them permission to be that way too. It shows them another way, especially if they happen to be our own children watching, and learning from us, as we did from our parents. Don’t do it for them! Show them how it’s done, by doing it for yourself! Of course there will always be people in our lives that are not ready for this, and they will go off and find someone else to continue to play the old mind-games with. That’s as it should be. Everyone knows where they are at, deep inside of them. They also know when they are ready. They all have their own reason for being here, and their own Higher Self to guide them.
So, in closing, let me say that the path of the Self is not an easy one to follow, but it sure beats going round and round in circles, perhaps for eternity.