Be Gentle With Yourself

Be Gentle with Yourself
By Jafree Ozwald
www.EnlightenedBeings.com

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.” ~ Rumi

We all have a healing process we are going through right now.  There is a wounded part inside each one of us that is requiring our total love and undivided attention.  The wound is often hiding, yet sometimes it comes out and rears it’s full unhappy face, trying to show us just how damaged it actually is. This injured part of ourselves is like a lost cold hungry child knocking at the door on our back porch, and is simply wanting to come inside and rest with us beside our warm cozy fire.

The wound within is not accidental.  On a spiritual level it cracks our hearts and minds open.  It is the yeast we need to catalyze our lives, and get our bread to rise (ascend).  This damaged part needs our attention, a little love, lightness, laughter and this brings it healing. This lost child prays everyday for someone with gentle hands to stroke it’s back, to be compassionate, and bring a calming feeling to it’s painful story.  Little {name} just sits by the door, waiting for a kind soul like yourself to welcome it inside your heart.  When you do this, you will reach the deepest level of healing, a sense of true completion and wholeness within yourself, and feel as if you can fully accept yourself just the way you are.

The wounded part within us is a collection of all the harsh experiences in our lives where we felt less than cherished, respected and truly loved.  It contains all these dark moments combined, where we were rejected, denied, pushed away, made to feel guilty, ashamed and less than holy.  It is all the times we were ignored, told to be quiet, to go to our room.  It’s voice may say that we aren’t good enough, smart enough, rich enough, or perhaps happy enough.  It may have even physically attacked or even sexually abused.

Years may have passed since the wounding started, yet our neglected inner child is still here waiting by our back door continuing to attract the same types of wounding relationships and challenging situations into our lives.  Until it is fully allowed to come into our heart and deeply loved, it will magnetize painful circumstances that feel beyond our control.  Little {name} persists each day knocking to be let inside, as it knows it is the most ignored, pain filled and forgotten part of ourselves. Maybe we feel we’re just too busy to take time to care for this wounded part, or perhaps we stay really busy so that we don’t have to feel the real pain that it’s in.

I feel that the reasons why we continue ignoring this wounded child are more important to be aware of, than the techniques we can actually do to heal it.  We need both strategy and awareness, yet without the awareness of what is actually causing our feeling of dis-ease to perpetuate, we will just continue creating the same illness in another form throughout our life. Only through awareness and acceptance of our wound is there any chance of real healing and truly becoming free.

“Once your awareness becomes a flame, it burns up the whole slavery that the mind has created. There is no blissfulness more precious than freedom, than being a master of your own destiny.” ~Osho

The biggest excuse that most of us lean on is that we either don’t have the time, energy or resources to deal with our wound.  It simply happens to the best of us.  The demands we’ve placed upon ourselves have become so loudly important that we cannot hear the wounded child quietly knocking. One would think that once we are aware that wounded little {name} is sitting there, alone, cold, naked, and miserable at your back door, that we would stop everything we were doing and let this helpless soul come inside.  Yet, we are creatures of habit, and the patterns of remaining perpetually busy and in denial of our wound run deep inside.

One main thing that will help is being aware that we have become completely mesmerized and hypnotized by the world of doing and being productive. The infinite “to do list” often takes precedence over our inner world, and this list soon becomes the main priority of life itself. We are devoted to a life of having bills to pay, places to go, people to see, things to do, and food to buy.  We also may live in a house which is never quite finished and always needs more organizing, cleaning and more beautiful things to make it a better home.  We’ve constructed our lives much like a house of cards, feeling that everything could fall apart if we forgot for a week about being responsible adults who pay our bills. I feel that the most mature and responsible thing we can do is to create time each day to invite our inner wound into a state of acceptance and wholeness.   

“Love yourself and be awake. Today, tomorrow, always. To straighten the crooked you must first do a harder thing…straighten yourself.” ~Siddhartha Gautama ‘The Buddha’

Little {name} knows your biggest priority is probably doing everything you can to keep your house of cards from totally falling down.  Little {name} and is very aware of just how busy you are, how many important things you have going on so usually wounded {name} won’t bother with knocking too hard on your back door.  There is a quiet acceptance that little {name} has about your life, that you’ve become overly consumed by something more important, perhaps the perpetual list of needs, wants and desires, and have no time to deal with the real wounding inside your soul.  Perhaps deep down there is a belief that one miraculous day the outer life will be perfect, and then we can finally relax, rest and take care of our lost forgotten wounded child.

It is vital that we become aware of all our avoidance strategies if we truly wish to heal.  It is only through creating a deep penetrating awareness of our creative avoidance can we take this first step towards wholeness.  In the beginning when you let little {name} inside, it always feels like our world is turning upside-down, yet this is the first time in our lives that things will be turned right side up. Another strategy we have is that the neediness of our wounded inner child is soooo huge, that it would take ALL of our love, attention and life energy.  We might become totally drained by meeting it, and would have nothing left to enjoy our day with. Things are going in a pretty good direction so why focus on the negative and muck it up!!  We may believe that it’s probably best to stick our head in the sand and pretend the wound doesn’t exist.

There also may be a part who is afraid, that if we embraced little wounded {name} we may not know exactly what to say or how to handle the situation. We might feel embarrassed, ashamed, or perhaps even more upset at ourselves for ignoring this sacred little soul who has been there sitting alone and wounded, waiting at our own back door forever. We also might feel selfish in taking time to radically heal ourselves, or we may feel we are cannot financially afford to take the time to stop everything and care for little neglected {name}. 

No matter how you look at it, there are many very good reasons and excuses (that you’ve already got) to not attend to the most abandoned part of your self.  I invite you to write down all the reasons you have right now, as these are going to be the most sacred blocks and challenges of your entire life to overcome. The wound is not going anywhere. It will not go away on it’s own. The knocking may just get weaker through the years, yet little {name} will remain there, waiting for your embrace, and receive a deep healing hug. That is little {name}’s purpose and reason for being wounded inside you.

“Courage is mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” ~Unknown 

As with approaching any Mt. Everest in our lives, we may initially feel overwhelmed by the intensity, details and depth upon first seeing it.   We may not understand our wound right away, and why we should still feel emotionally upset about some random event that happened so long ago.  We probably have developed a sense of numbness, vagueness, and loss of memory about what occurred.  We may feel an emptiness there, a lost feeling, or perhaps a generalized form of denial that says everything is ok. 

Anytime we feel any form of disconnection from life, from God, from ourselves, or from others in our world, it’s a sign that little {name} is still being ignored, unloved and unattended to. It is an enormous emotional risk to take on and truly attend to this unhappy wounded soul.  Yet, perhaps the greater risk lies in what happens if we continue avoiding. What would the face of little {name} look like after 20 more years of neglect?

A good rule here is to never take action out of fear, yet use fear to push you out of laziness.  There is always a procrastination saboteur up ahead who is ready to distract you.  There is going to be a more important reason to delay, to be in avoidance, and a real tantalizing excuse to do something other than to deal with this pain and emptiness inside. Perhaps there is something delicious sitting in the fridge, a friend on the phone who needs you, or something exciting on TV.  Anything is going to seem better than having to feel this unbearable child grinding in pain. This habit to open the fridge (instead of our back door) is exactly why one out of three Americans are obese or overweight!  Usually, it’s not until some real trauma or drama comes into our lives do we actually realize that we have totally ignored our health, and now are urgently in need to take the time to heal our forgotten wounded self. 

The good news in all of this, is that we can change. With awareness it is possible that we have the ability to open the back door and let this sacred innocent soul come inside for nurturing and love.  Healing first begins with making the commitment to meet with little {name} everyday.  When you make this commitment, you will see and feel everything change in your life.  It just happens that our outer relationships are mere extensions of our inner world.  When our wounded self feels held, loved, nurtured and cared for, those beings who are in our outer world will feel the same.  Our friends and family will sense that we are more whole healed beings on the inside, and approach us with the same love and gentleness.

After you’ve taken on the commitment to welcome little wounded {name} into your heart everyday, the next step is how to deal with each separate personal wound.  We must investigate, be a warrior for the truth, and truly discover what actually happened and what interpretation did we make out of what happened.  We need to teach young {name} to see a bigger reality, and invite it to experience how deeply loved and cherished it truly is.

The unhappy wounded part of us will of course test our love to see if it’s real.  Little {name} is no idiot, and needs to be reminded all day long of the love you have inside.  Little {name} trusts in your love, yet just happens to be used to living outside, alone in the cold, knowing it’s abandoned, ignored, and is supposed to be quiet on your doorstep.  All I can say is be very consistent and patient when dealing with your inner child.  There is a 99% chance that little {name} will try to go back outside, in the cold to be alone, even if you persistently invite it in for a cozy healing love snuggle.  

“Dance, when you’re broken open. Dance, if you’ve torn the bandage off. Dance in the middle of the fighting. Dance in your blood. Dance when you’re perfectly free.” ~ Rumi

My best advice for you in dealing with little {name} is to create a ritual where you go outside everyday and take a walk in the park alone together. Listen to the full story little {name} has been trying to tell you your entire life. Allow the youngest most wounded parts to come through and have a voice.  As you walk, allow these immature emotions to be fully felt and experienced.  Know that these trapped experiences inside your body have a place to be healed when you let them out.

It may help to bring some humor in and give little wounded {name} a new name that mirrors their story.  So you might refer to them as, “Jealous Jamie, Betrayed Bernie, Wounded Wally, Victimized Veronica, or Angry Alice.” Have fun with them, yet always connect with them in a loving sensitive manner.  Help them to see that this wounded personality is just needing relief. The most playful happy little {name} cannot come through fully until it receives all of your love and forgiveness. Allow yourself plenty of time on your walk each day to look, listen and really feel what little {name} is needing to forgive another and be forgiven for doing.

As you go on this daily inner adventure, your experience will deepen.  Bring some music with you, perhaps something that reminds you of your childhood. You may also want to pull out old pictures from your past. Do whatever it takes to resurface all the deepest memories that may have something to do with the story around your pain.  Do your best to breathe through any intense feelings, allowing them into your heart whenever they arise.  The heart is our greatest healer and will know exactly what how to deal with this pain. 

Every night before you fall asleep, visualize going to your back door and letting little {name} come inside.  Imagine the smile on their face, and reach out for little {name}’s hand and take them in.  Let them know they are safe now, and tell them they are welcome to come in any time.  Sit by the fire and stroke their back as they fall asleep on your lap beside the warm cozy fire.  As you stroke little {name}’s head, listen to any stories of wounding that it’s been through without trying to fix, please or change it in any way. Just be present and patient with this healing process. You will know little {name} is beginning to heal when you can completely relax within. 

The next morning, go outside and take little {name} for another walk. When you return, take the risk to integrate the new connection and healing into your life.  Do this by opening up to those who are in your life today.  Create a more radical feeling of intimacy with your loved ones.  Practice being open, honest, real and vulnerable with your partner, your friends, family, a co-worker you trust, and with God.  When it comes down to it, the most important thing of all is putting into action what we learn, and living a life filled with real deep healing on your inner and outer world.

“Accept the enormity. Give up illusions of containment. The hardest fact of all is that no matter what the outcome, it is highly unlikely that you can ever be the person you have been until now.” ~ Ron, “How Do You Know” (DVD Movie)

To continue welcoming our wound on a daily basis means we must be willing to know ourselves very intimately.  This can be a scary thought because we’d have to face the possibility that we have no idea who we are.  We may feel that this wounded part is bigger than us, and could take over our somewhat happy and balanced lives.  We must be rebellious and embrace the possible catastrophe that the house of cards around us is not real, and if it comes crashing down we have the resources to deal with it.  We are big enough to deal with whatever situation that arises. We simply have to step into our heart everyday, and find the courage to be real with ourselves.

Through several decades of doing inner healing work on myself and others, the most powerful thing I’ve ever discovered is implementing the conscious intention of slowing down my actions, thoughts and energy.  Slowing down is being gentle with ourselves.  It is a natural deepening, a surrendering, and a relaxation into the divine core essence of our being.  Slowing down allows our wounded child to have the space to become curious, playful, non-serious and full of joy for no apparent reason at all. When we feel tremendous joy for no reason whatsoever, know we have taken that huge slowing down journey towards the healing summit.

If you cannot slow your life down, then make the commitment to practice responding to others in your life with gentleness.  No matter what your situation is like, choose to respond with a feeling of being gentle with yourself, the other and what they are dealing with.  If you feel challenged by this with someone you’re close to, imagine their inner child is also sitting at your back door, cold, naked, alone and staring at you with sad eyes.  Feeling this is what they’re dealing with, how can you respond with anything other than compassion and gentle energy?  Pull every ounce of love you have inside your heart and push it into their inner child.  They will feel the shift in your energy, feeling more safe with you, grounded and responding back with the same gentle connection.  Practice this with everyone in your life and you’ll find that the greatest joy and healing feeling follows you wherever you go.

Being gentle with others naturally flows out of our being when we are in touch with our own inner wounded child. Organically, we radiate a sensitive compassionate energy that is all-forgiving and understanding to everyone around us.  This is what real true healing energy is all about. Sure we can still engage in the wild adventures of this world, yet by doing it with more sensitivity we become more conscious awakened beings. 

We can also live a more conscious “normal life” of talking on the phone, driving to work, eating, showering, checking emails etc… yet we are doing it with more love, sensitivity and kindness. By simply being aware that our wounded child is here, we are not so quick to judge another, or jump down their throat with criticism. It seems that no matter what we are doing, we are being gentle, patient and kind, because this sensitive approach provides our inner wounded {name} with an experience of healing to everything that we are doing.

“Any real ecstasy is a sign you are moving in the right direction, don’t let any prude tell you otherwise.” St Teresa of Avila

  It always happens in life that the thing we run from eventually becomes the thing we run towards.  If you wish to jump on the fast track to healing, the greatest healing happens on it’s own accord when we take time to be quiet, solitary and truly alone.  Many of us are completely terrified of of being alone, and we avoid it at all costs.  There are a thousand better reasons to stay with the herd than adventure off into some lonely forest in the distance.  We may have been taught that in being absolutely solitary, nobody loves us and everyone has abandoned us.  However, it is only in the very depth of this silence that we make life shifting decisions.  It is in our state of being absolutely alone that we can truly start feeling the pain our lost inner child and decide to do something different about it.

My final piece of advice for you is this. Do not wait. Face your wound right now and go for your healing walk with your inner child everyday for the next 2 weeks.  Get yourself into the healing habit and take on this process with absolute urgency. Act as if the entire back porch of your house was surrounded by a pack of hungry wolves and your inner child is in danger of being devoured!!  Don’t wait for some horrific manifestation in your life to show up before you attend to our back door.  Remember little {name} is lost, cold, naked and needs your help right now.  Little {name} needs to be comforted by adult {name} now.  If you’ve said to yourself in the article that you’re going to do something different now then DO IT.  No more false promises to yourself.  You don’t want little {name} to stop trusting big {name}. This trust is the only way our wounded child can feel safe enough to fully come inside where you can relax, rest and be transformed.

 With practice of welcoming little {name} into your heart everyday, you will come to experience that your wounded child is happy healthy and free. You will naturally find yourself laughing, dancing, singing and playing with others all through your day! This sincere yet non-serious feeling of truly coming home to yourself is like no other. You will discover a new attitude about yourself as your inner child will be nourished, feeling truly creative, spontaneous and playing with everyone!  You won’t take everything in your life soooo seriously anymore.  There will come a natural feeling of contentment for no outer reason at all.  You will have a true inner sense of joy and appreciation just for being alive.

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Sending lots of cleansing and healing,
Jafree Ozwald
www.EnlightenedBeings.com

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