Healing the Energetic Level of PullingBy Phyllis Stein
April 25, 2010
Pulling is the attempt to get what we need inside by trying to extract it from others. At the deepest level it is energetic.
As we progress thru our healing, we become more and more aware of pulling on others, for attention, for approval, for kindness, whatever. Pulling basically means that we are trying to get what we feel we need from another person by trying to have control over them in some way. Maybe at first it is very overt, as we try to find the right thing to say or the right way to be to get the desired response. But maybe we finally become aware of doing this and we choose a different way to behave. Are we done pulling? Not exactly.
Fundamentally, pulling is a search for a certain energy, an attempt to get it from other people. It might be thought of as a certain track of music. We deeply crave this energy on the inner level. We try to get it from others. To try to get that, we try to change whatever music is playing inside someone else, to something that feels good to us. We don't see where they are, we see where we need them to be and try to make that happen. That is the essence of pulling.
In reality, whenever we encounter someone, our inner child automatically tunes into their energy, into the music that is playing inside them. However, many of us learned to completely ignore this information. Often, when we were really little and wide open, it was too overwhelming and painful to feel this energy, to hear this dissonant, awful music, and we had to tune out. I know I did. So, rather than acknowledging the information about the other person's energy, rather than accept that this is where they are, we jump straight into our wounded programming, our old protective behaviors and pull to change the other person's energy, try to make them play the music that we need to hear.
Clearly, with Inner Bonding, we have another option, which is to choose our OWN inner music. Our inner child needs a certain energy, the energy of attention, approval, of kindness and love, a certain kind of music. He or she is actively telling us, all the time, exactly what that is. We learn to connect with our guidance, with a source of love and become able to bring this energy inside. When we are able to supply this, we no longer need to pull energetically on others. Are we done pulling? Not exactly.I realize there is a more subtle level. I assume by default that my inner child wants to hear a certain soundtrack, for example one that feels like "I love you," I don't actually ask, I just assume. Depending on my intent, to take responsibility for my child's feelings or avoid them, I could turn on this soundtrack to actually drown out what my child is trying to tell me rather than really being present for it. That is what a spiritual bypass is all about. That is what my pain management system wants to do with Inner Bonding.
So for me, the challenge is to remember to acknowledge the profound information about the energy of what is happening on both the inside and the outside that my little girl is giving me in every moment, the basic step one of Inner Bonding. She is very wise. I need to not jump to trying to make her feel okay without actually listening to what she is trying to tell me. The habit of tuning out the energetic information she is giving me, her expectation that I will not listen, is still the hardest addiction for me to break. When I look in the mirror, I still see the lonely, hurting, little girl who is still not getting my full attention and validation. And because of that she searches outside for it and pulls on others for it.
I am finding that the metaphor of symbolically asking my little girl what "music" she is hearing and what she wants to hear is helpful right now. For me music is energy and sensation, and it is closer to the language she speaks than words are. It eases the way for me to gently focus on listening to her in her language. It helps me remember that there is always an energetic soundtrack playing inside me, whether I choose it or not. My default is to play the soundtrack of "benign" neglect," of tuning her out unless she gets really upset. I want her just to be okay without actually having to truly be with her. This leaves her feeling lonely, and it keeps me pulling energetically for what I am not giving her.I get that I have to actively take responsibility for providing her with the music she needs to hear, rather than letting it happen on its own as I have. I know I need to be the DJ and choose the music. I have done enough Inner Bonding so that I can do that easily. But unlike a DJ, I need to listen or else I am simply drowning her out. (Wonder why I have always hated when they do that?) I see that this is what taking full responsibility for my feelings is really about. That anything less is not really giving her the kind of love that she needs. I was thinking that the little girl that I see in the mirror looks haunted, but maybe the truth is that she is haunting me. I hope I have come to a deeper level with her now. That I can keep the image of her face in my mind, with deep compassion, and finally choose to take the time to learn to listen to her on the level that she both needs and deserves. Then maybe I can finally be done with pulling on others for it. Exactly.
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Notice who you feel responsible for - yourself and/or others. Are you taking responsibility for others' feelings while ignoring your own? Do you believe you can control how others feel? Do others have to be feeling good for you to feel good? Are you making others responsible for your feelings?
By Dr. Margaret Paul