Emotional healing

Here is a reply to one of my clients that might be of value to others. 

Blessings, Om

SELF LOVE AND PARENTING THE INNER CHILD

“Yes, this is all about self-worth and self-love. Your low self-worth beliefs come from childhood wounds.  

There is a model I work with that might help you:
 
Your higher self (the divine in you), is like a grandparent. It can provide you with a lot of top quality unconditional love and guidance. So yes, by connecting with this part of you, you can experience what it feels like to be loved by divinity and to embody divine love.
 
Your conscious self (your ego/personality/identity/logical-conscious mind) is your adult self. This is the part of you that is riddled with unhealthy beliefs. It will also tend to be mean to your inner child and try to control her or block her out, or judge her. This is the part of you that needs to learn how to become more like the higher self. 
 
Your basic self (inner child, emotions, memories, body and subconscious), is the small, vulnerable part of you that when happy and balanced, is very connected to and influenced by your higher self. It is often very badly parented by the conscious self, who can be mean to it. This meanness usually comes from negative childhood and social conditioning. The conscious self can also make the mistake of allowing the basic self to take over without providing any parental safe boundaries and guidance. 
 
We need to love ourselves with firm gentleness, or loving kindness balanced with healthy boundaries….. only then can we develop the kind of emotional health and balance that makes for healthy fulfilling relationships with other people. 
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HOW IMPORTANT IS SELF-TALK?
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It’s very important – absolutely critical – to monitor and address self-talk. Always observe your self-talk and ask yourself, is this thought or belief helpful or unhelpful? Where will it lead me? What kind of emotional state or life-perspective will it engender?
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If it isn’t helpful, change it. If you can sense a wounded inner child behind the unhelpful thought/belief, by all means, take the time to sit and listen to how she feels, but then get on with making new choices.
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Remember, it’s 50% sitting with and acknowledging how you feel, and 50% shifting gears and asking yourself how you would rather feel, AFTER you have tended to your inner child/emotional self. Never miss an opportunity to listen to your inner child and care about how she feels, but don’t ever get stuck in her world: PARENT  her, with love and firm boundaries!
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GOOD AND BAD FEELINGS -ARE THEY JUST ILLUSIONS?
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Good and bad feelings are not illusions. They are a reality being experienced by you. Whether or not you choose to continue experiencing this reality is up to you. How do you measure good/bad? Some bad feelings are feelings I choose to experience, like regret, because they teach me things. The pain of regret helps me avoid making the same mistakes in the future. There are some good feelings, like the feeling of being of drugs, that I choose not to have, because it takes me away from reality and balance, which are very important to me.
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Every thought I have, I ask myself, is this helpful or not? I stand back from it and I choose. Every feeling I have, usually has thoughts with it; a dialogue or story that frames the feelings. The story I choose to tell about my feelings is up to me, and can make the feelings helpful or unhelpful. I can choose to learn from my feelings and then to shift them once I have gained enough information from them. Emotions give you information about yourself and your inner world.
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CONFUSION ABOUT NON-ATTACHMENT
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I’m wondering if you are sometimes mistaking detachment for blocking out? Detachment still means you notice, attend to, listen observe, stay present with. It just means you don’t get consumed by whatever it is you are observing. You can keep things in perspective. You get to make choices.
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ASPIRING TO BE MORE DIVINE
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Don’t let the idea of divinity fool you into thinking emotions and the human experience is beneath you or something less-than to be shunned.
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BEING FIXATED ON DECONSTRUCTING BELIEFS
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Ultimately what I’m saying to you is: beliefs aren’t bad things. Attachment to a belief can make you inflexible though, because beliefs are just tools- they are filters through which we experience and shape reality. If you get too attached to a belief you won’t be able to easily judge whether it is useful to the task at hand. It’s a bit limited to think every job requires a hammer, when you have an entire toolbox at your disposal. Non-attachment helps you use your wonderful toolbox of possible beliefs with discernment.
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KEEPING THE MIND QUIET WHILE MINDFULLY TENDING TO EMOTIONS
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Feelings are body sensations. The most important thing to do is to notice how the emotion makes your body feel, so you can build this mind-body awareness.
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Noticing body sensations and being able to name the emotion is good. Taking note of these things is different to getting completely engrossed in a mental story/dialogue about what you are feeling and why you feel this way. You won’t be ale to stay present with your body if you get too caught up in this mental dialogue.
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Going into a mental scene that unfolds for you while experiencing emotion can be useful if you have the experience to frame it and direct it along constructive healing lines. Ultimately, the value in this is about gathering information from your basic self (inner child, body, emotions, memory, subconscious), about how it feels and why.
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But if you go with the visuals, stay in the observers position and look after yourself with parental gentleness and firm boundaries (don’t indulge in crappy story telling that wounds you further)- otherwise you run the risk of re-traumatising yourself and/or getting caught up in the story and just embedding the emotion in deeper, rather than releasing it.
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There is an art to this kind of work that just takes practise and experience. It’s okay to muddle though because this is how we learn!
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What I teach my healing students it to move back and forwards between gathering information and responding to it in a healing manner. At every point you have to ask yourself, have I gathered enough information? Have I learned enough from this feeling yet? Is it now time to focus on releasing the emotion, shifting it? Then… is it time now to make a new choice?
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A really easy way to do this is:
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Spend the first half of the healing session breathing into how you feel on the in-breath and then letting it go on the out breath.
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Spend the second half of the session thinking about how you would rather feel and breathing this in, while you release the old feeling on the out breath.
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Releasing doesn’t mean rejecting. It just means ‘not holding on to’. Non-attachment. It can have the same feeling as completely accepting your feeling without judging it or telling stories about it. And it can also feel the same as sitting quietly with a friend who has a feeling, with compassion for them while not getting caught up in how they feel. Everything stays loose and open. Another way to describe it is that you sit with and experience the feeling while completely relaxing all tension in your body. Really, what you are doing, it teaching yourself to trust your body and feeling safe with the movement of emotion (energy in motion), throughout your energy field. Most of the time, we contract in response to emotion that wants to move and release, because we panic and we judge ourselves. This isn’t helpful.”
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