I’ve always been the kind of person who gets to the bottom of things. It is what I am known for. Hugh calls me a terrier with a rat.
It is not uncommon when I am working with a couple and the interaction is getting crunchy, to just come right out and ask, “What’s really going on here?” Usually by the fifth time I ask it, one of them spills the beans and reveals the bottom line that they’d been afraid to say out loud. This is usually a watershed moment – with both couples and individuals – that what we are afraid of saying, is exactly what needs to be said. It creates the space for truth to enter the room. From there, insights, releasing and a sense of freedom can follow. Conversely, what we are afraid of knowing can never liberate us.
I’m interested in the bottom line, and the bottom line that has always intrigued me is the duality that exists between my saying what I want, and my inability to actually create what I want in my life.
While interviewing a new client I often hear them say, “But I’ve done so much work on myself,” and they then proceed to list everything on their spiritual/therapy resume that they have done to heal themselves. However the unspoken message I pick up is their frustration, indignation and even anger that they haven’t received their pay off by now. And then there’s the kicker, “But there is this one thing that I’ve never been able to resolve.”
I hear things like:
“I’ve never been able to support myself financially the way I wish I could, no matter how hard I work.”
“I’d love to meet my life partner, but I don’t understand why I keep getting my heart broken.”
“I really want to be open to my partner, but as soon as we get close, I find myself focussing on their flaws and I don’t know why I do that.”
“I have this beautiful book/painting/business that I’ve wanted to create, but I never find the time/location/support to finally do it.”
Some more examples may come to mind just reading this, thoughts you’ve had yourself or statements you have heard from friends.
This is what I call being dual-intentioned; that in spite of a passionate intention to manifest something different in their life, they instead keep creating a new version of the same old damn thing.
How utterly exhausting this is! It can leave you feeling that Existence is rigged against you.
So how is it that, like the couple I mentioned above, we remain afraid of knowing what it is that stands in our way? How is it with all the work on oneself, it remains an unsolvable mystery. How is it that we continue to create something other than what we say we want?
I developed my expertise in solving this mystery for others when I solved it for myself. There is a phrase that was popular when I was in my twenties;
Love brings up everything unlike itself to be healed.
Through my years of studying, understanding and healing my own trauma, I have come to realize a heart’s desire has the same effect. A heart’s desire can often invite up whatever is in the way to be healed. And what needs to be brought to the surface to be healed is trauma from your childhood. It is challenging work to face this and then take it on, hard even, but all emancipation requires facing the challenge to be free.
Childhood trauma has a lasting ripple effect that unfortunately, is not resolved by growing into adulthood. It undermines our self-esteem, and limits our ability to accept changes in our lives.
However that trauma also creates an aspect of our self that helps us survive those wounds we endured. This is our Adaptive Child. The Adaptive Child is the most dual intentioned part of ourselves.
The Adaptive Child in us makes a vow to never, ever let us get hurt like that again. It’s that inner voice that says, “Hold my beer, I’ve got this!” and develops a myriad of strategies to survive. Most of them work great when we’re a child, but unfortunately, they’re not great strategies for an adult. Hence this conflict between the ‘take no prisoners’ Adaptive Child and the hopes and dreams of our adult is what keeps us in duality.
We all know that life is meant to be so much more than just survival and protection, but that is the narrow perspective from which the Adaptive Child lives. Seeing this, you begin to understand how we can be at cross purposes concerning many of our goals and heart’s desires. For example, if you had an intrusive parent, as an adult a partner loving you with full intention could make you uncomfortable and want to find fault with that partner. If your parents thought harshness was a virtue, you begin to understand how that could set you up for heartbreak, given that the trauma we survived as children is the trauma we keep in our lives as an adult. Paradoxically, there is a kind of comfort in the discomfort and the Adaptive Child gravitates towards this, keeping us in duality.
When I was awarded a large sum of money from the car accident, it was put in a Trust Fund until I was 21. So for some 12 years I heard from my mother on a regular basis, “Men are only going to want you for your money.” So while other girls were being warned by their moms that boys might be only interested in something else, my mother’s entire focus was on my bank account. You can imagine how this left me dual-intentioned about money. Since I wanted to be loved for being lovable, the solution my Adaptive Child came up with was to spend all of the Trust Fund as soon as possible. She had no conception that she could be loved for who she was – and have money. Thanks to the The Releasing Process, I was able to unpack all that trauma and neutralize it. I was able to make that money several times over and be thoroughly loved the whole time doing it!
So your brain synapses have probably been firing reading this and emotions may be coming to the surface, so let’s get to work.
1. Writing Process
- You will need your journal for this exercise. Take a moment and close your eyes and connect to what feelings got provoked reading this.
- Did any memories come to the surface? How old were you? Gather whatever details from the memories you can. Imagine it like you are watching an old movie.
- What issue remains a mystery in your life? What is that one thing, in spite of all the work you have done on yourself, that remains out of your reach?
- How are the feelings and memories that came to the surface connected to this mystery?
- Take some time and journal about it.
Here is an opportunity to get acquainted with your Adaptive Child.
Close your eyes and drop down into your heart, more specifically where your heart connects to your spine. This is the place you are most receptive, where you are receptive to visualize. You are in your very own inner sanctuary in your heart. Rest there. Invite your Adaptive Child to be in there with you. Notice how old he/she is/ What he/she looks like. Start a conversation with your Adaptive Child. Thank him/her for showing up and for all the years of protection you were given. It truly helped you, but you realize you don’t need that kind of protection any longer. Be generous with your gratitude, then tell your Adaptive Child you can take it from here and see yourself merging with your Functioning Adult.
3- Releasing Process
- I release the anger and frustration from spending years working on myself and yet this one thing remains a mystery.
- I release the helplessness and feeling that I am never going to get to the bottom of this and my heart’s desires will always elude me.
- I release the frustration at feeling constantly pulled in two directions.
- I release my over-reliance on my Adaptive Child to protect me.
- I release my confusion between my Adaptive Child and my Functioning Adult.
- I release my need to continue to empower my Adaptive Child to protect me instead of my Functioning Adult.
- I release clinging to safety and protection. I make a new decision to take a breath and breathe life in fully, and exhale.
Add your own Releasing Statements here.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read this. I hope it brings some clarity and healing into your life and more importantly laser-like intentionality. I would love to read your comments below.