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The Need to Be Received

By Phyllis Stein
October 25, 2011

Being received on the deepest, most intimate level is our birthright as mammals, yet this need is rarely met in our society. Looking at our lives through this dimension can explain a lot, and give us tools to deepen our Inner Bonding process.

I have just finished an excellent book called "Nurture Shock" by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman.  One of the chapters is about why some children learn to talk easily and quickly, learning a lot of words, and others do not. Certainly, many parents are eager to help their children develop and even buy DVDs that are supposed to expose children to language in that hope that they will learn it faster.  Yet, when studied, it turns out that these DVDs have zero effect in promoting language development.  It turns out that when interactions between parents and babies are studied, the babies who learn language more quickly are those whose parents respond to their communications rather than those whose parents attempt to drill their babies and get them to respond to THEM.

Today, I was thinking about this in more global terms.  I was thinking about how essential it is that our parents respond to us on the deepest level when we are babies, tuning in to our emotions, to our bodies, to our energies and harmonizing with them.  I remember the excitement of becoming able to do that when my babies were little, drowning as I was in oxytocin, the hormone of connection that Mother Nature makes available in such abundance in nursing mothers, human and non-human.  The need for this level of connection among mammals is primal, and yet most of us never had it and our mothers did not either. In a way, doing it with our babies and experiencing that it was possible was deeply healing for us.

I suddenly realized that most of our mothers had a very deep wound, a deficit, because they were never truly received in this intimate way.  As is the case with all of our deficits, we spend our lives trying to get what we never did from someone else, trying somehow to complete ourselves, and we often give the job of giving us what we never got to our children.  I saw that when I was a baby, my mother was busy trying to get me to receive HER.  Therefore, communication was pretty much one way.  When my children were babies, they would actually cry when she tried to interact with them, because it was so one way, as she was trying to get them to receive her without responding to their body language and cues.  Eventually, I went into resistance and refused to take the job of receiving her (and by default anyone else) which of course triggered her and caused her to blame me for her pain, but I think other children do wind up taking the job which is the other side of the same thing.

The relevance of this to Inner Bonding is huge.  I realized that when we are in our wounded self and trying to dialog with our Inner Child, often we are still trying to be received, but this time by our own Inner Child.  We get really uncomfortable with just being there to receive what our Inner Child needs to tell us.  We try to get him or her to perform in some way, just as our parents did.  Instead of receiving, we fix. We do the same in our outside relationships, so focused on trying to be received by the other that we do not begin to receive them. 

In the process of healing with Inner Bonding, we access a source of spiritual guidance and we finally do have a reliable way to heal this wound of not being received.  We don't have to DO anything to be received by guidance.  It just IS. But at the same time, I suspect that unless we can connect with and embrace this wound and with the fact that being received was our birthright, we may sometimes have trouble experiencing being totally received by our source of spiritual guidance too.

So it might be useful to tune into this dimension when doing Inner Bonding.  Am I truly receiving my Inner Child or trying to get him or her to receive me?   Can I stay connected enough to my Inner Child when I am with others so that she or he feels received, or is it easier to receive other people and tune out my own Inner Child?  What do I do when other people are not open to receiving me?  For me, there were a lot of "AHA!'s" in these questions, and a new tool to access a deeper level of healing.  I hope this turns out to be true for some of you as well.


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