It's All About Connection and DisconnectionBy Olivia Tornai
May 14, 2011
Did you ever wonder what would happen if you actually treated your inner child as well as you treat other people whom you love?
As long as I can remember I was always numbing out by keeping busy. Keeping busy physically and mentally just like everyone in my family of origin did. Even as a little girl, I didn’t play because of the joy of playing but to escape the heartbreak and the loneliness of not being able to connect to anybody in my family. I learned very early in my life that by staying in my mind and keeping busy I could avoid feeling the deep pain of disconnection.
Finally I understand that all my busyness was to protect my little girl from the deep pain of disconnection. Because of our disconnection from our parents, in order to protect feeling this pain, we each developed our own kind of addiction: numbing, daydreaming, judgments, keeping ourselves busy with work, activities, sports, etc. All which helped us cope and avoid the pain of not being unconditionally loved, cared for, of being unheard and unseen both growing up and as adults too.
Since I first joined IB, I tried to understand what it means to love and to be emotionally connected. I really didn’t have a clue what it meant to really truly unconditionally love someone. Or to love myself. What was that about? I never heard about loving myself before. Wasn’t that the job of other people to love me?
After I read Phyllis Stein’s article: “I Asked My Little Girl a Question the Other Day”, the following questions and answers came to me.
How do I treat someone I love? How do I emotionally connect with someone I love?
- When I get up in the morning? I smile and say “Good morning, darling!”
“Did you have a good sleep?” And as I give my loved one a hug and a kiss, I
feel warm sensations over my whole body.
- When making plans with my beloved? I make plans to do something
together which would bring us closer together. To enjoy or to create
something together. I look forward to our time together. I feel excited and
wonderful in anticipation of the planned event.
- When parting for the day? We wish each other a great day and look
forward to seeing each other at the end of the day. A kiss and a hug. I feel
warmth and love throughout my body.
- During the day as we go about our tasks? Our thoughts often fly to the
other with love and appreciation. Again I feel the warm sensation of love over
my whole body. I find myself smiling just thinking about my beloved.
- When my beloved is worried, hurt or sad? I take time to listen, to support
and encourage. I show my compassion and my understanding. It feels good to
be there for the other. With the love I feel in my heart I hope to give strength to
the one I love.
- After returning from our day of carrying out all our responsibilities? We
greet each other with excitement, love, kiss and a hug and pleasant sensation
over our whole bodies at seeing each other again. It feels good to reunite at the
end of the day.
- At the end of the day? We relax together, sharing about our day, and
departing for a good night sleep feeling loved and cared for. With feelings of
appreciation and gratitude for having each other in our lives.
In the past I had done some of these loving and caring actions with my children and my partner. Maybe not all the time. Especially not when I was hurt or disappointed. But at least I know how it felt to be loving and caring.
My last question was: Wouldn’t that be great to be connected in this way with my little one? All the time? Can I love my little one as much as I love my beloved? As I love my children?
How would I feel if I would speak to myself only with a language of love? Expressing only appreciation to my creative and loving my little one, being excited about my IC throughout the day just as I am about a new love in my life. To always listen with excitement what my IC has to share, what is hard for her, what her needs and wishes are. To give her all the undivided attention I would give to my new love. To encourage her when she is anxious and scared instead getting busy physically or mentally. To stand by her and support her when she feels lonely or not confident enough. To speak to her words of courage. To hold her tenderly and with compassion when hurt by another unloving words or behavior as I would any little child who comes to me with tears in her/his eyes and hurtful heart.
How would I feel if I would be present with my little one all the time? Not being preoccupied reading or with activities when spending time with her? Just being there for her, now in this moment?
I bet if I would treat my little one with so much love I would feel happy, excited, full of joy, full of exciting ideas. Full of love.
Why is it so easy to fall in love with a stranger and so hard to fall in love with myself, with my little girl?
It is all about connection. When I fall in love with a stranger I try to be emotionally connected with this person all the time. To be in love with my IC I need to be emotionally connected with her not only sometimes but all the time. Just thinking about being connected will not do it. I need to be disconnected from my mind. I need to be truly connected with my heart by following my deep breathing from the time in enters my body until it leaves my body. I need to be in touch, I need to feel my heart area and my belly area. I have to be aware how it feels inside there. Do I feel calmness or do I feel some kind of tension? Any tension is a sign that my mind is preoccupied with something what happened in the past, with some of my faults or something about another person or is worrying about something what will happen or not happen in the future.
Do I feel calmness? That is a good sign. Is there anything my IC wishes to do?
I wondered how would I feel if for one whole week, I would just attend to my inner child in really loving way? No numbing out with busyness, with computers, with reading, with watching TV. Just being there in silence and letting the doing come from being in the silence. Sometimes I tried to do that on my vacation. Until now I wasn’t conscious why I chose to do it. I would like to try it and be conscious of the effect on my IC when I choose be truly loving to her. I bet she would like it. I bet she would be happy.
I am working towards feeling like that. Not only for a week but all the time. I just need to be mindful what is going on in my mind and make conscious choices moment by moment by not letting my wounded mind take over. It is a challenge but it is so worth it.
My wish is that we all will learn how to truly emotionally connect and be in love with our inner children as much as we connect and fall in love with a stranger we meet.
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Today notice, WITHOUT JUDGMENT, if you are primarily a taker - expecting others to take care of you, or if you are primarily a caretaker - taking care of others in the hopes they will love you and connect to you. Since neither taking nor care-taking are loving to yourself, both are aspects of the ego wounded self and are symptoms of self-abandonment.
By Dr. Margaret Paul