In a recent post (see How To Embrace Your State of ‘Becoming’) I mentioned that the process of spiritual growth goes in a somewhat opposite direction to that of personal individuation—as we separate from parental figures. This is because you must come full circle to integrate all of who you are; and like everything in Creation, your journey follows the ebb and flow of inner and outer expansion of Consciousness: the eternal interplay of the Divine Feminine and Masculine.
So you go from the quiet intimacy of the womb to external expressions of your creative energy; from the self-centered perception of childhood to collective cultural conditioning; from a loving sense of self that looks forward to the future to an often judgmental sense of ‘otherness’ that tries to keep you trapped in the past.
To grow and awaken to your true nature, you have to go backward—or rather, inward—unraveling patterns and beliefs you acquired growing up that no longer serve you and reclaiming more authentic aspects you left behind, unloved. Without integrating these orphaned pieces of your puzzle, you may feel disconnected, confused, or lost, and unable to move forward with confidence and clarity of purpose.
They hold you emotionally stagnant in a wounded child archetype while your physical and intellectual development continues. Life becomes more meaningful when you heal the inner child; the process of looking within helps you make sense of the painful experiences you’ve gone through (and the suffering you witness in the world) to gain a clearer picture of who you really are and what your life is all about. But how do you accomplish this?
Recognize Your Wounded Child Archetype
Since it reflects neglected or unappreciated aspects, this archetype lies hidden in the subconscious and can manifest in many forms; you have to learn to perceive it in all its possible manifestations. Think of how children behave when they’re upset or sad or afraid. They can throw a temper tantrum simply because they’re tired or scared or frustrated because they can’t get what they want; or they withdraw into a fantasy world when their needs aren’t met, wishing and hoping that what they desire will magically appear without doing anything.
Can you see how most people still behave like wounded children in temper-tantrum, rebelliousness or avoidance mode? If you think about it, the ego-mind is this wounded archetype that keeps you stuck between a sense of self yearning for freedom and a sense of otherness overpowering your self-expression—just like when you were a kid—compulsively looking for the validation and love you didn’t get or waiting for symbolic ‘perfect parents’ to come rescue you and make your life easier. Here are other ways it shows up as your resistance to change and to growing up:
- Lacking self-discipline to complete a task or project, especially when it’s for your own fulfillment;
- Dwelling in resentment when things don’t go your way;
- Feeling powerless and pleasing others to gain some sense of control;
- Perceiving yourself like a victim in any way or blaming others for your emotional states;
- Expecting people to do what you need or want, as if they owed you something;
- Making excuses or justifying yourself, as if you owed them something.
- Believing you can heal your wounds through others, especially close relationships;
- Seeking love and validation outside of yourself;
- Following compulsive or addictive behaviors to cope with anxiety, frustration, or stress;
- Settling for situations that squelch your independence and joy.
Both emotional and spiritual freedom require the maturity that comes from overcoming the obstacles and resistance this archetype projects into your reality. Even if you had an okay family, you can get stuck emotionally, because when your ego-mind was formed you were in a position of codependency and lack of control; the world seems so big and overwhelming when you’re young! To move past this self-perception, absolute honesty and self-discipline are needed.
Personal growth happens when your inner child starts catching up with the rest of you; that is, when your emotional maturity matches your mental and spiritual development more closely and you embrace the aspects that make you feel authentic and empowered to take charge of your life—centered and focused on what keeps you connected to the inner voice that leads you to a higher awareness of your divine Self.
Clearly, this requires great self-love and compassion as you mother yourself to become independent and self-directed. It’s a process of integrating the Feminine—your emotional and spiritual aspects—with the Masculine–your rational and conscious actions—as well as the past with your present. So contact me today to embark on this wondrous, inward-bound journey of self-exploration and soul integration, to create an abundant and empowering life that resonates with all of who you truly are!
© 2016 Yol Swan. All rights reserved.