Sunday, August 20, 2006

Healing old wounds

Today I picked up 1,001 Meditations by Mike George again and I found two visualizations that really go together and that can be very valuable for inner work. Here's the first one:
Many of the emotional wounds that we carry around were inflicted when we were children. One way to heal such wounds is to comfort the child within. Imagine a child standing before you. Gazing down at the child, you realize that it's you when you were small. Kneel down beside the child and introduce yourself. Encourage them to come toward you. If they are willing, hold them close to your heart in a warm embrace. Reassure the child that they are safe in your arms and that you will always be there to protect them from harm.
And the other visualization is an exercise in re-parenting:
Visualize the perfect parents. What qualities would they display? Take time to refine and build your vision each day for a week. When your vision is complete, introduce yourself to your imaginary parents and begin to cultivate a loving relationship.
Inner re-parenting is much more effective and reliable than the common approach of looking for a surrogate parent. It's really an exercise in self-coaching. We train ourselves to tell ourselves what a good parent would say - and that displaces the often critical, condemning voice with which we may have habitually spoken to ourselves. And, of course, this process will help us in our relationships with other people - especially children and young people - because we will truly choose what we want to say to them instead of reflexively saying the things that were once said to us.

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