I found my inner child walking along the noisy hemline of a dry alfalfa field. I sat down with her in my lap and asked her why she was all alone. “It’s just me” she said, “Something in me that people see or feel that scares them like a ghost. Maybe no matter what I do, I am bad. I’m sad because no matter how hard I try, I can’t get rid of the thing in me that scares them and makes them hate me and makes them go away forever.”
I took this child to the ‘safe place’; a construct in my mind where I take all my inner children after rescuing them. I bathed her in a healing stream with apricot shampoo and promised her that it is all over now. She will never be alone again. She belongs with me. After drying her off, I had her pick out a satin duvet in the color of her choice. She chose one that is maroon red, the color of safety. I wrap her in it and sit in a chair overlooking the aspen trees, holding her like an infant on my lap. She feels frail and etheric to hold. She feels defeated. The tears magnify the pleading in her eyes. I know that this child has never been seen. Her internal world is a mystery to those around her, not because she is a mystery, but because the people in her life leave her inner world untouched and unmapped. She thinks there is something evil and bad about her… Something that renders her unlovable. So she is afraid to show people this inner world, for fear that it will make her lose the love of yet another person. But it is also what she is starving for most in the world. Helpless to create and maintain connection with others, she begs me to see her. To try to find what is so bad about her so she can understand. She begs with a look that is shrouded in silence.
I have developed a process, called the connection process; I have already shared it with the world. It is outlined in the bottom of this very blog. It has never occurred to me to use it on any of my inner children... Until today.
I began the journey into my inner child. Letting myself melt through the pupil of her eyes, the first thing I experienced was that the reflection of her eyes suddenly amplified and was trying to keep me out. This is the first wall. A fragile, reflective attempt to keep the inner world veiled and thus protected. Right under that was a layer of darkness, like the darkness of space. It held wisdom, but a wisdom that felt alien instead of occult. This is the part of her that is observing the world. A perspective that no one could relate to. It holds the feeling of another time-space reality and her, a foreigner in this one. I fell backwards through it as if slipping backwards through infinite space. I know she feels she is not part of this world. I feel myself land against something hard. It feels the same way a steel wall would feel if you bumped up against it in the pitch dark, not knowing it was there. I hear a woman’s voice in the dark, coming from the left. It is my mother’s voice. “I swear Teal, some day a mother ship is going to land in the field outside this house and it will all make sense.” There is a painful humor in the statement. She used to say that when she felt perplexed by me. Her voice echoes in the darkness in this space. I try to follow its movements and figure out what it is echoing off of exactly. It feels as if I am stuck. No idea how to progress. I surrender to the endedness. And then I fall through.
The floor has fallen out from underneath me. I am upside down, peering at a fantasy landscape. Down is up and up is down. It looks very much like the valley in the end of the movie 'The Dark Crystal'. The castle in the center is the same. Glowing white towers. The river that runs beside it is glimmering in the sun. I turn myself right side up and hear hoof beats approaching me. It is a white unicorn. The unicorn seems sad. She has large, almost cartoon like eyes. I think to myself, I get it; this is “The Last Unicorn” from the child’s movie. My inner child is showing me two movies that she identifies with. She is ‘Jen’ in The Dark Crystal. She is The Last Unicorn. I watch this lonely unicorn, who feels no sense of belonging. Her pearlescent fur covering the air of a broken heart beneath it’s splendor. She is spooked off by something. She disappears into the fern like pine trees and I turn around to see the fantasy scene being ripped apart. The ground beneath my feet being sucked into oblivion. A hungry storm, it is one I recognize. It is “The Nothing” from the movie ‘The Never Ending Story', yet another movie I related to as a child. Instead of running from it, I see that this is another wall. It is a wall trying to keep me out of an even deeper layer inside my inner child. It wants me to run. But I do not. I let myself be pulled into the nothing. Even though this is a kind of meditation, it elicits a reaction from my body like the one that would occur in real life just before you let yourself be consumed by a tornado.
I am in a cave. It is nearly pitch black. Just light enough that I can get a feel for the emptiness of the space. This layer is void. There is a timeless stuckness to this place. Like you could come here and be stuck here forever in a state of starvation for everything and everyone and no one would ever know. No one would even hear you scream. At first I thought this layer of emptiness was just a void within her. I knew instinctively that to get to a deeper layer, I had to walk in the direction that felt like I was going deeper into the void. My feet began to sink into the floor of the cavern. It was as if I was walking through little rivers of mud. I imagined a flashlight in my hand. I turned it on and to my shock, they were rivers of blood that had turned the floor of the cave soft. I got a shiver all through my body. And despite my fear, I hurried in the direction of the source of the blood flow. To my horror, I began to run into bodies scattered incrementally on the path. Some of them I recognized… my mother, brother and father among them. I started to feel like this void was turning into a layer of horror. All around me, I felt like I was being watched, no worse than that... tracked. I thought to myself, "Is this the darkness in me that people see and fear?" I sat down and began to cry with despair while looking at the collection of bodies, illuminated by the dim light of the flashlight. I succumbed to the loss and to the powerlessness I felt when It sank in that I could not undo what had been done. I felt like I wanted to let myself just give up if this is what it had come to. I was sobbing and suddenly, it was as if there were two voices sobbing instead of one. Taken aback, I stopped and held my breath. I turned around, expecting to find another horror. But what I saw was a pile of old and weathered wood, with a child behind it. I got up and went toward the woodpile. The child was an even younger inner child. She was terrified and dirty and curled up as if trying to hide. I reached out to her and she jumped into my arms without reservation as if I was the first lifeline she had touched in years. At that moment I got it… This was a trauma layer within her personality. This layer was my inner child's fear. And in my childhood, I was given good reason to fear it as the man who became my abuser, told me that this would be the outcome of anyone ever finding out about what he and I did together.
Her whimpering stopped and she pointed towards a little chest like box behind the wood pile. It was no bigger than a small jewelry box. She wanted me to open it. I grabbed the box and handed it to her to hold; but I felt that we had no time left to escape. I held this smaller inner child against my chest and ran deeper into the cave. We came to an ending. The cave simply dead ended and there was no escape. I felt disheartened and a bit panicked for a second. I realized this must be another wall. I looked down at this inner child and thought "we have to get out of here". So I took my foot and kicked the cave wall as hard as I could. I had so much desire backing the kick that the kick absolutely shattered the wall. The minute it shattered, the pieces of it began to be sucked outwards as if into a vacuum. I jumped into the vacuum and ended up in outer space moving forward. I was holding my inner child, walking on a clear glass pathway straight through the middle of space. Galaxies and stars and planets were gleaming through the safe, familiar blackness. I felt free and untouchable. I followed the pathway to a grouping of purple dust clouds that were thick enough to sit upon. I sat in them, overlooking the curved surface of a beautiful blue planet.
My inner child began to shift in my arms. She sat up on my lap and started pulling at the lock on the little chest I had handed to her in the cave. When she couldn’t open it, she handed it to me. I pulled at the lock with my teeth and when it gave way, I pried open the lid of the tiny chest with my fingers. When the lid opened, to my surprise, I saw a frail looking human heart. “Whose is this?” I asked. “Mine” she said. She pointed to her chest where there was a gaping hole that I felt ashamed I had not noticed before. She held it towards me and said, “I had to get rid of it because it was sad”. Like a stroke of insight, I understood… This box contains the thing that is bad within me… it is not evil nor malevolence that threatened people when I was young. It was my unhappiness. And so, my unhappiness is the thing that needed to be loved the most. It is not wrong or bad. With the impact of that insight, I felt like the phantom of this bad ‘something’ inside me I’d been carrying all my life (having finally been identified) vanished. I felt an unfamiliar but yearned for clarity in my adult body as it went.
“Can I have it back now? Can you bring it back to life? she asked. “Yes” I said. I took the heart from its box. It was cold and lifeless. I reached out instinctively towards a star in the distance and plucked it like a tiny flickering diamond from the sky. I dropped the star into the opening in the top of the heart, holding it upright so it would reach the center and when it did, like light beams through a window, streams of light pierced through the flesh of the heart. It was as if dropping it into the heart had caused a chain reaction; bringing both the star and the heart to life. It began to pulse in my hands. The flesh of it turned red and blue and warm against my hands. I had my inner child lie across my lap and I placed the heart inside the hole in her chest, waving my hand over the top of it so that her chest would close around the heart. She smiled and laid back. “I can go home now,” she said and just like that, she evaporated into thin air as if taken back to source.
I stayed for a time with the feeling of the clarity within me. For the first time in my life, not having that feeling that there was something bad and unlovable in me, I closed my eyes and felt myself melt into the feeling of being squarely in the vibration of the higher self. I had penetrated through.
So I came back to the safe place; to the child that I had journeyed into. Tears were rolling out of the corners of her eyes. I kissed her cheeks and told her “I see all of you and I will never stop seeing.” I held her close to me. Her relief sank into me and cradled us both in a kid of cocoon. I felt as seen as she felt seen. I felt as loved as she felt loved. And so I will end with this:
“Happy is he who still loves something he loved in the nursery: He has not been broken in two by time; he is not two men, but one, and he has saved not only his soul but his life.” – G.K Chesterton
The Connection Process: