REMEMBER IT, OWN IT, FEEL IT, UNDERSTAND IT, HEAL IT
By Wendy Hill, Ph.D.
You can give yourself the freedom you have always desired. You can find within yourself inner peace and harmony. You can transform yourself and in doing so, transform your life. The process introduced here is known as The Renaissance Process, also known as Belief Restructuring or Core Belief Transformation. You will be guided step by step through this process directly to a “healing” and resolution. The process includes communication with your inner child and your Great Loving Wise Self. It is the healing experience of total nurturing and loving. This process will be both challenging and rewarding. You may experience some mental blocks at times. It may seem like an invisible wall is stopping you. Be willing to persevere through this wall. As you push through, you will discover the wonderful relief and love that comes af- ter you face your inner “dragons”.
There may be times when you feel discouraged and fearful during this process. This is your inner child expressing the need to feel safe. Remember that your inner child feels frightened and hopeless about many things. Though your adult self knows that there is hope and that it is safe to do this process, your inner child may not know. If you find yourself feeling uncomfortable or anxious, try this little exercise with your inner child. Imagine that you see your frightened child-self standing before you. Become sensitive to your child’s feelings as you hold your arms out to your child. Hold your child close for a few minutes. Tell your child that you will protect and guide him/her. Assure your child that he/she is now safe and is not alone. He/she has you, the adult, and The Great Loving Wise One as constant companions. Continue with this reassurance until you feel a shift toward feeling more comfortable.
This process will help transform your life in so many wonderful ways. However, you may still feel a little frightened or strange about doing this process since it will be a new experience. We all have some fear of change, even positive change. This is normal. If you feel you are approaching a memory or emotion that is too uncomfortable to face without the presence of another person, seek professional help. Find a psychotherapist who specializes in regression and healing the inner child. If you feel too “stuck” and are concerned that your natural defenses are too great a block to overcome alone, seek professional help from a psychotherapist. Remember that sometimes you can’t see beyond the defenses that block your progress. They are like blinders that prevent you from seeing clearly. Sometimes you may not be able to “see” or feel anything. This is not necessarily a sign that you should stop trying. Inability to remember the past is a defense mechanism adopted in childhood in order to cope. An objective and skilled person can help you break the block so you can continue with your self healing.
Your childhood is in the past. You no longer need your childhood defenses. You are safe to drop those old defenses and expand yourself by adopting new, more helpful attitudes. A desire to grow is a key factor to your success. Your desire to grow must be very strong. Use your will to persevere through all blocks. Remember that you are worthy of great effort. Build a desire for a higher level of happiness and well being. Think about your life as it has been. Think about those things that have caused you unhappiness and pain. Consider how much better you will feel and how much happier you will be once you have made the changes you desire.
There is a wonderful love waiting for you. This love is worth all effort. The following is an exercise that will help you build a “warrior spirit” and will help you clarify your goals and build your desire level. This exercise is a series of questions. Address each one of these questions to your Great Loving Wise Self (God or Spirit) within. Spend a few moments with each question, waiting patiently for the answer. Trust your intuition. Remember, if you are tuned into your Great Loving Wise Self, you will hear a truthful answer to each of these questions. Be dedicated to knowing the truth and you cannot fail. Always tell yourself the truth.
Question one: What do I want? What changes do I want to make in myself and in my experience? How do I want to feel? How do I want my life to be?
Question two: Do I truly want to achieve these goals?
Question three: Am I willing to be uncomfortable for the sake of the little child within myself in order to achieve these goals? Am I willing to face my anger, hurt, fear, and shame? Am I willing to face my personal dragons?
Question four: Am I willing to admit that I am in a certain amount of denial about my prob- lems, what I feel, and who I am?
Question five: Am I willing to humble myself? Am I willing to know that I have been wrong about certain things regarding myself and others? Am I willing to discover the truth about my- self? Am I willing to have an open mind?
Question six: If needed am I willing to seek the help and support of others?
Question seven: Am I willing to spend the time, effort, and money necessary to help myself achieve my goals? Am I willing to persevere with determination?
If you have answered “yes” to all of these questions, you are ready to begin. If you are excited and a little frightened, you are ready. It is normal to feel afraid. Find your courage. Remember that courage is not the lack of fear, it is the willingness to persevere in spite of it. You may have concerns about some of these questions. Reflect on what you fear most about each question that concerns you. Ask your inner child what would be the worst thing that could happen. Now ask your adult self for a new perspective to help you resolve your inner child’s concerns. Much of the time your concerns can be resolved by looking directly at your fears. You may realize that what you fear is not truly real and see that there is little validity to your fears. See that the risk is small compared to the reward. Whatever your concerns, you can begin to resolve them with some inner soul searching. Allow yourself some time to become clear and comfortable with doing this process.
If you are ready, take a deep breath and begin. Take one step at a time. You can always distance yourself from any part of this process and return when you are ready. Proceed at your own rate. Go at a pace that is comfortable for you and take all the time you need. Repeat parts of this process as you need. Stay with it until you are victorious. Find a place where you will not be disturbed. Release your thoughts about your everyday life. Much of this process is best done in silence and with closed eyes. When you have come to an understanding of how each phase works, close your eyes and proceed. Allow yourself time to absorb and understand.
In this process you will discover the source of “happiness blocks” that were created in your childhood. These blocks have effected your present life-often dramatically. Among other things, these blocks have hindered your ability to give and receive love. They have hindered your ability to love yourself. They have robbed you of your personal power, your self esteem, and your ability to communicate your needs adequately. They have robbed you of your clarity. In this process you will have an opportunity to identify what actually caused your present conflict. In this process you will be using feelings from a recent event to stimulate a memory of a past event or condition. This past event or condition is key in causing you much pain in your present adult life. In this process the recent event is important in the fact that it has caused a strong emotional reaction within you. This emotion will connect with an unresolved event or condition in your past. Awareness of this connection gives you the opportunity to resolve the emotional conflict in the past, thus resolving your emotional conflict in the present. In this way the past and the present are connected. Understanding this is key to your healing. Changing your perception and feeling about your past does change your perception and feeling about your present. This in turn changes your experience of the present. You can change depression, anxiety, and lack of confidence to the experience of aliveness, inner peace, and well being.
Close your eyes. Concentrate for a moment on what has not been working in your life. Allow yourself to recall the uncomfortable feeling. Remember a time recently when you felt angry, sad, depressed, anxious, upset, or in some kind of conflict. Allow yourself to remember the event in detail. Re-live it. Now allow yourself to remember exactly how you felt. Feel it again. Focus your attention down in your middle, right above your stomach. This is an area in your body where you feel many of your emotions. As you focus on this area of your body, see if you can identify any of the four basic conflicting emotions: anger (frustration, rage, resentment, irritability); fear (anxiety, panic, nervousness); guilt (shame, embarrassment, humiliation); and hurt (sadness and grief). These are the emotions that accompany conflict. You may feel some or all of them at once. Do not judge them. You feel what you feel. There is a reason for what you feel that goes beyond the present circumstance. The reason lies in your past. Identify with your emotions. It is safe to feel them. Allow yourself to acknowledge your feel-ings. Feel them. Trust yourself. Your highest self wants you to be whole and healed. Your mind knows precisely what has hurt you in your past. Like a computer your mind has recorded every moment of your past, even forgotten events. It is capable of recalling your past in great detail-who, what, where, when, how, colors, odors, sounds, your emotions, thoughts, sensations, and any other perception you had at the time. Your mind is capable of going back to any experience in your past. This includes experiences that you do not consciously remember.
Think of yourself as a detective. See yourself as looking for clues about your past. These clues can help solve many mysteries in your life. Once you piece all the clues together you will have the information necessary to begin a positive change within yourself. Here you have the opportunity to find a specific event or experience that has subconsciously caused you conflict. Ask your mind to go back to a time when you were an infant, fetus, or child. Use the emotions from your more recent conflicting experience to be a spring board into the past. Your sub-conscious mind will understand. Trust it. With your eyes closed, ask your mind to show you an image of an infant, fetus, or child who was experiencing pain. Watch the imaginary movie screen in your mind. If you do not immediately see an image, note any spontaneous thought. Objectively observe whatever images or thoughts that come to you. Observe any sensations in your body. Observe any emotions you may feel.
Do not analyze until you are finished with this phase. There will be plenty of time to analyze later. Right now you must give plenty of space to your mind to communicate with you in its own way. Your mind is always sending you messages in a attempt to communicate with you. Trust and learn the language of your mind. Much of its language is symbolic. It speaks to you in pictures, sensations, feelings, emotions, and spontaneous thoughts. It may give you fragments of information at first, showing you only pieces of the puzzle of a past experience or condition. Be patient. Allow all the information to come to you before judging what you have seen. You may want to say, “That can’t be true. That never happened. I never felt that way.” Remember that you may have forgotten much of your past in order to cope. It may be painful to remember. You may still want to deny what your mind is trying to tell you. Take courage and persevere with determination. Say to yourself, “I have courage. I want to know the truth. The truth will set me free. I am safe to know.”
Note what your mind and feelings have revealed to you. Rest for a while. Allow yourself to reflect. Now concentrate on seeing your childhood family as a whole. Seek to clearly reveal your family’s temperament. Look for the “feeling” at home. Ask your mind to take you back to dinner with the family. Close your eyes. See yourself as a child sitting at the dinner table. What was the atmosphere? What feelings were expressed? How did you feel about what was going on? What was life like on a daily basis? How did your environment effect you? What were the conditions that were on-going during your childhood? Look for any kind of conflict.
The following are some of what to look for: poverty, divorce, illness, emotional upset, over affection, too little affection and attention, denial of problems, abandonment, workaholism, under or over control, disapproval, sarcasm, shaming remarks or attitudes, competition, alcoholism, drug abuse, verbal or physical abuse, or neglect. Were you spanked, ignored, or criticized? Note what your mind and feelings have revealed to you. Rest and reflect. Now concentrate on how individual family members effected you. Ask your mind to show you your important relationships. Close your eyes. See your mother. What is your immediate response? What does she seem to say? What does she seem to do? How do you respond? Repeat this process with your father, brothers, sisters, any other person that was an important part of your childhood. Also ask yourself how your parents treated each other. How did they treat other family members? Note what has been revealed to you. Rest and reflect. Now concentrate on attitudes and behaviors you learned by watching your parents. Close your eyes. See your parents. Observe their attitudes and expressions. Observe their behavior. What did it seem Mother and Father believed about themselves? How did they show these beliefs? How did they communicate their needs? How did they express feelings? How did they respond to life’s problems? Take note, rest, and reflect. It is safe now to remember what really happened in your childhood.
Your parents did the best they could. Remember that you are seeking information about your childhood. You are seek- ing to know what you actually experienced as a child. You are not doing this to blame your parents. You do not need to protect your parents. You have a right to know what really hap- pened. You have a right to acknowledge your own experience. Experience each process as many times as you need. Take each phase of this process slowly. Do it until you feel satisfied that you have a clear picture of your past.
The previous process has allowed you to see the conditions and events of your childhood more clearly. You may still have difficulty in trusting and owning what your mind, feelings, body, and intuition are showing you. Give yourself time. Trust yourself. Past conflict is often difficult to acknowledge. Gradually begin to own it. In time, as you continue with this process you will become more comfortable with what you are learning. You may have denied part of your past in order to protect yourself from further conflict. You may have denied it so you would not have to feel the pain. You may have denied it in order to maintain a safe relationship with your parents. To admit to the conflict may have seemed to put you into a dangerous position. Perhaps your inner child or infant believes that to admit to the conflict would mean further abandonment, disapproval, abuse, criticism, or neglect. Denial of events and conditions is a way in which we keep ourselves safe. However, the safety is delusive. By denying, you keep yourself vulnerable. Denial only serves to push the truth of the conflict deeper into your subconscious mind. When it is out of your consciousness, it is out of your control. Then the denied conflict has power over you. Denied conflict is a major cause of dysfunctional behavior, inability to maintain healthy relationships, compulsions, inappropriate reactions, low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, victim behaviors, and emotional conflicts in the present. Your unresolved conflicts from the past effect you negatively in the present. When you deny them; you become a victim of your past. You become a victim of yourself. Your only hope for freedom is to release your negative feelings and damaging experiences from your past. Behind your pain and fear is your freedom.
Face your past and you free yourself in the present. You are safe now. Own it. Acknowledge the conflict of your past. No matter what happened, you lived through it. You are different now. You are bigger, more experienced, more mature, and no longer in the condition or circumstance. You no longer need your parents for survival, love, and support. You can fill your needs for these things yourself. You are an adult. What helped you in your childhood, may well be hurting you in your present. Let go of your need to see the past as being OK. If you cannot find any conflict in your past, you are probably in denial of conflict. Although parents do the best they can, they are not perfect. All people, including parents experience problems. All people have periods of conflict, confusion, and unhappiness. Life is difficult and is especially difficult for children. Children have little choice and control over their lives. This condition creates much frustration for a child. Find your source of frustration, anger, hurt, sorrow, shame, and grief. It is there. It is waiting for you to discover it so you can heal the wounded child within you. Your inner wonder child is waiting to be freed.
You have admitted to your past conflict. Now allow yourself to feel it. Consider that you may have spent the last years of your life denying your deepest feelings so you would not have to experience them. Emotions can be painful. You may have to experience your rage or your grief at some loss. Remember that you already feel your emotions on some level. When you bring your emotions to a conscious level, you have found the door to transform yourself. “From the ashes of your desperation rise the phoenix of your truth.” When you admit to your truest and deepest emotions, you begin to set yourself free. Do not fear your emotions. They are a natural part of you. Feel them. What you feel, you feel. You cannot hope to change anything about yourself until you admit to your emotions.
You may need to participate in a workshop such as The Renaissance Experience Workshop or some form of intensive therapy in order to help yourself identify and express your emotions. Certain therapeutic modalities offer the opportunity to express your emotions in a safe and loving environment. For example, you may need to cry deeply about your past. You may need to scream the screams you held back in childhood and infancy. You may need to have the tantrum you didn’t feel safe to have when you were a child. You may need to hit a pillow in rage.
You may need to suffer the pain you could not suffer as a child. Unexpressed pain holds you prisoner. Unexpressed grief and rage are your enemy. Find a safe way to express you emotions. Many people benefit greatly from an intensive workshop. You can also express and release emotions in the privacy of your own home. (Let your family members know what you are doing in advance. Find a time and place that is appropriate. Do this process separate from children.) Try having the tantrum you never had as a child on your own bed. Kick and scream. Try hitting a sturdy vinyl type pillow on the floor as you scream out your frustration. Lie on the floor, bury your head, and cry the tears of the little child within you. Finding expression for those locked up emotions will help set you free.
Do not give up on your first or second try. You may feel frightened, embarrassed, or ashamed of your feelings. It is only natural that you have these feelings. If you didn’t, you would have expressed them long ago. Your child mind will still try to protect you by blocking you from feeling. If so, hold your inner child in your arms and tell him/her that it is OK to express emotions now. Give your inner child permission to feel. Keep reminding your inner child that it is safe to feel. No one is going to reject you. No one is going to punish you. No one is going to leave you. You are safe to express your feelings. Your automatic mind will get the message that you do indeed want to feel and express your emotions. You will succeed. Just keep trying. You may be amazed at the amount of emotion you have trapped within you. You will feel a great relief at releasing them.
Do not attempt to express your “unhealed” resentments to others who have hurt you in the past. This is not the time to go to your parents or others and confront them with their wrong doings. Your purpose in this process is to identify what you really feel about your past. Your parents are victims of victims. They were confused, afraid, and in conflict themselves. There is no positive or helpful purpose in angry or tearful in person confrontations. You are responsible for healing yourself. No matter what they may have said or done, it is now your responsibility to change your own beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors.
Now it is time to understand how your past effected you. It is time to learn the wonderful and releasing truth about yourself. Close your eyes. Recall the condition or event in your childhood that hurt you. Go back once again to the moment of greatest conflict. Ask yourself, “What did this event or experience cause me to decide about myself?” Determine the upsetting or conflicting belief you took on in that moment in time. (Look for the conflicting decision you made, not the decision you made later when you felt better. “I’m strong, or I’ll never let others hurt me, or I can do it alone” may be secondary decisions that came later.)
Find out what you decided when you felt the most vulnerable. What is the thought that has caused you the greatest conflict? This thought is a hidden negative belief you have about yourself. What negative thought did you have about yourself? What negative thought did you have about your self worth? What negative thought did you have about your safety? What negative thought did you have about your lovability? Now ask yourself to see what this experience caused you to believe about others. How did this effect your trust of others? What did it cause you to believe about others’ ability to care about you and love you? You are probably discovering that your beliefs about yourself and others were fearful and negative. You may discover that you thought that you were not worthy, or safe, or lovable. You may be learning that you believed others are untrustworthy and uncaring about you. Under conflicting circumstances it is natural that you developed such beliefs. You were vulnerable, in pain, and inexperienced. Without realizing it you have brought these beliefs into your present.
Now ask yourself to see the patterns that developed based on these negative beliefs. How did your beliefs cause you to feel and react? How did you begin to defend? How did you begin to attempt to fill your needs? How did you relate to other people? You will be able to see nega- tive patterns based on negative beliefs. Look at your present life. Look for the same patterns of feelings, behavior, compulsions, and reactions. Look for the relationship. Find the connection between your present patterns and the patterns that developed from your negative beliefs in childhood and infancy. You will be able to see a direct relationship. This connection is the key to your understanding. You will be able to see how you are acting out your childhood conflicts in the present. You will be able to see how you have created your own problems and how you have over reacted to people and conditions in your present. You will understand how your subconscious “child mind” has directly effected your present. Now you can take more responsibility for you life.
Now you have available to you the knowledge and understanding necessary to help you make the changes you want. You no longer need to regard yourself as a victim. You can see how you can change your attitudes and reactions to the people and conditions in your life. Now you can take greater charge of your life. Eyes closed again, imagine that your inner child is standing in front of you. See yourself as you were in that moment of conflict. Notice how you look, how you are dressed, what expression is on your face. Look in the eyes of your little child. Notice the feelings and emotions in your child’s eyes. See yourself as you really were-an innocent child. See the child who just wanted to survive, who was trying so hard to please and to be loved. Now ask yourself if those negative beliefs are true. Is it true that this little child is unworthy? Is it true that this child is bad, or stupid, or evil, or not lovable? Is it true that this child is still unsafe or in danger right now this moment? Of course, none of these things are true. Your little child is worthy and lovable and good and innocent and safe.
When you look closely you will find that you have always done the very best you can. As a child, all your thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors were to help you survive. Any negative behavior has only been a reaction to upsetting experience and negative beliefs. There is no bad child-only children who are trying to survive. Your negative beliefs are a result of your conflicting experiences. Your negative behaviors are an attempt at getting love and staying alive. Your conflicting experiences were not caused by you. You were a victim. You were not at fault. You were a victim of upsetting and confusing circumstances. You were a victim of con- fused and upset people. These people, your parents, were also victims. Even so, you still have a right to your emotions and a right to understand and to heal. You no longer need to protect your parents. You have a right to all of your emotions. You have a right to your own healing. As you continue to see your inner child standing before you, you may begin to feel the emotions you have long buried. You may feel a deep sadness, loneliness, or remorse. If you do, this means you have broken through to your inner child and healing has begun.
Do not stop your feelings. Allow yourself and your inner child to express your emotions. Ask yourself how you feel about this little child before you. Do you want to help him/ her? Do you feel compassion for this little one? What is the truth about this child, that you could not see when you were this child? What do you know now about yourself that you did not know then? What is the truth? If you could be with this child and talk: to him/her, what would you say? What would you do?
This process offers you the opportunity to turn the negative belief into a positive belief based on truth. You have allowed yourself to get in touch with the present. You have regressed back to identify what past conflicts negatively affected you. You have identified the deciding experience and your emotions associated with that experience. You have identified your negative thoughts and beliefs that resulted from that experience. You have linked your past experience with the present to see how you have brought forward your negative beliefs and attitudes. You have seen how your negative beliefs have caused you to act and react in negative behaviors. You have seen and understood your inner child of your past. You have acknowledged your inner child’s innocence, lovability, worthiness, and safety. Now you can communicate those truths to your inner child. Now you can love your inner child and in doing so, love yourself into positive change.
In this process you will be communicating with three aspects of yourself: Your adult self of the present, your wounded inner child of the past, and your Great Loving Wise Self (your higher power). Each of these aspects of yourself are needed to complete this process. You will be able to transfer your mind’s focus from one part of yourself to another according to what is appropriate at the time. You will be instructed as to which part of yourself to focus upon when. Your adult self is your present conscious self. This part of yourself sees much more objectively than your limited and fearful wounded inner child. Your adult views and attitudes are much more mature. However, this aspect of yourself cannot see as objectively, lovingly, and clearly as your Great Loving Wise Self. The Great Loving Wise One within yourself loves unconditionally, has a clear and objective view about things, people, events and your inner child. This part of yourself is most beautiful. Your Great Loving Wise Self makes forgiveness possible. Complete understanding, compassion, and wisdom spring from your Great Loving Wise Self. All questions are answered and are rewarded with peace. This is your highest self. This is the source of your joy, bliss, love, and peace.
Close your eyes. Imagine that your hurt inner child is somewhere in the room with you. Notice where your child is in the room. Your child might be hiding. He/she might be in a corner, or turned away. Do not judge your child. This child deserves your complete acceptance. Do not push this child away nor force him/her to be close. Just accept with love. Now feel a light in your heart. Fill yourself with this light and allow it to spread within you. Allow it to expand beyond you and fill the room. Allow it to surround your inner child. As you do this feel your Great Loving Wise Self. Feel your compassion, and your love. Feel yourself becoming objective. Remain compassionate. Allow your love to grow. See this child as worthy of healing. Remember that this child was created by a loving God that wanted you to be happy. Now tune into your adult self. This part of yourself has a body and a voice and can reach out physically to your child. At the same time remain sensitive to your Great Loving Wise Self.
Wherever your child is, look over at him/her. In your imagination slowly reach a hand out toward your child and touch a hand. (At this point you may want to have a soft pillow close by to act as your child. You may use the pillow to touch and hold as you imagine it is your child during this process.) Notice your child’s reaction. Does your child accept your gesture or withdraw? Does your child trust you or distrust you? Say to your child, “Hello, sweetheart. I am your adult self and I have come through time and space to help you. I know you have suffered. I know you feel alone. But I have come with help. You are no longer alone. I want to help you. I ask you to trust me.” Continue in this way until you feel your child is receptive. You may see a change in your child’s expression or body language. At some point you will feel a shift within yourself. When your child seems receptive, reach your other hand out and gently touch your child. Do not push or command that your child be any certain way. Continue with a loving approach. If your child does not respond immediately, continue on with your reassuring approach until you see your child relax. Reach out and pick up your child. Bring your child close to you and hold him/her gently. If your child resists, keep your distance until your child allows this kind of close contact.
Continue on with your efforts at gaining trust. Ask for their trust. Continue to reassure him/her that they are safe and that its OK to trust you. Your inner child may speak to you. He/she may reveal to you feelings and thoughts that have been long buried. Accept what you hear and feel. Help your inner child begin to see things in a new way. Say, “I love you. You are loved. You are safe. You are worthy. You are innocent. Mother and Father and others were confused. They did the best they could, but they did not fully understand you. They did not know how to love you in the best way for you. I will help you understand things. I will love you. I will never leave you.”
Speak with your child. Talk as though you were talking with any child you love. Learn to dialogue with your inner child. Learn how to help your inner child be free of negative,. self- defeating beliefs, fear, grief, anger, and shame. Help your inner child know the truths known by your Great Loving Wise Self. Experiment with new ways of communicating with your inner child. Find ways to help him/her understand the wonderful truth about him/herself. Discuss specific events that have distressed him/her. Help your inner child resolve these old conflicts as you communicate from your adult self. Give love with the help of your Great Loving Wise Self.
You will come to know this wonderful little being within you-your inner wonder child. You will come to appreciate this beautiful part of yourself. You may repeat any of the above processes as you feel is needed. It is helpful to repeat “processing” each conflicting event several times so you can defuse its impact on your consciousness. Gradually you will begin to experience a real shift in how you feel. You will begin to notice that your reactions are different. You will feel more confident, more alive. You will see things more clearly. You will begin to express yourself more clearly, more lovingly. You will communicate more of what you need and want. You will be more able to define clear boundaries, telling the truth, defining what you want, saying “yes” and “no” with love. In time you will recognize that you are changing in very positive ways. You will come to know a new sense of inner peace and clarity.