Getting Out of Your HeadBy Phyllis Stein, Ph.D.
January 05, 2009
Understanding Inner Bonding is not enough. We need to do something more in order to truly hear our inner child.
The phenomenon of "spiritual bypass,"using the connection with spirit additively to avoid dealing with the deep loneliness of the inner child has been discussed in other articles on the Inner Bonding website. In this column, I want to address another, much more common addiction, the "intellectual bypass." In the case of the spiritual bypass, the false belief is that with sufficient experiences of blissful connection with God, all woundedness and loneliness will automatically disappear. In the case of the "intellectual bypass," the false belief is that with sufficient understand of the principles of Inner Bonding and sufficient understanding of the actions of the wounded self, healing will automatically occur. In both cases, there is a corollary. "If it is not working, do it more."
Like all addictions, both of these are self-reinforcing. Connecting with spirit is blissful and finally understanding "why" is a huge relief. The problem is that both are dead ends. There is nothing wrong with trying to understand and there is certainly nothing wrong with connecting with spirit. What I had to learn is that the issue was "why" I was doing it. I had no idea that I was doing it to drown out my little girl. It took me a very, very long time to get this and I am writing this column in the hope of speeding this process up for someone.
The first time I was ever told that I was "in my head" was at my first intensive. I remember clearly trying to have control over not being in my head (since people seemed to disapprove of it). I consciously tried to move my voice down into my body and keep it there. People seemed to like that better, but looking back, I was completely lost. Re-reading my journal, written at the time of my second intensive, was painful. I thought that I was doing Inner Bonding but I was completely in my head, using the protection that I had learned so well.
I was told that I was "in my head" in each of the many intensives I attended in succeeding years. I kept trying not to be, but how can you get out of your head FROM your head? After awhile, every time I said that I "understood" something, Margaret would wince because she knew that it was understanding it from my head only. People tried to make helpful suggestions but I could not get it from my head.
I don't know how the shift finally occurred, but by the last intensive, I knew that it had. Suddenly, when someone was in their head, I knew it because I could fell the pain of their lonely child, as others had mine for so long.
So let me try to explain this. Being in your head is like having your left brain make a huge amount of noise. You are busy thinking away, making sense, explaining, cogitating. But, just like with a spiritual bypass, this intellectual bypass drowns out the other sounds inside you. It drowns out and disconnects you from the quieter sounds of your right brain, your feeling self, your inner child. Even though I had become quite capable of taking good care of my little girl when I could hear her, when she was triggered, when her cries were louder than my thoughts, without turning down the volume of my thoughts, without really listening, I was completely unable to hear her when I abandoned her by being in my head. I was also completely unable to hear her loneliness when someone else was doing the same thing.
What I want you to know is that when you are busy trying to solve everything by thinking about it, you are automatically tuning out your child. You might feel sort of good but your inner child is in agony. You cannot figure out how to "not" do this. You have to experience it. But I hope that if you know that there is something inside you that you need to listen for, something that is not a thought, something that you cannot hear by figuring it out, that maybe you can turn down the volume enough that maybe, just maybe, you can get out of your head and reconnect with your lonely inner child.
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Today, notice which you focus on more - what brings you joy or what causes fear. Notice that it is often your own thoughts and actions that create either joy or fear. Becoming aware of which you are choosing in any given moment gives you the power to changes your thoughts and actions and take responsibility for your feelings.
By Dr. Margaret Paul