INTIMACY WITH SELF AND OTHERS
"A Death To Ego"
Have you have ever wondered why it is so much easier to feel Spiritual in relationship to nature or animals? Well, here is your answer:
Because of people who wounded us in childhood. It is those people whom our egos developed a defense systems to protect us from. And was also the beginning of "Bitter-Roots".
Our ego adapted itself to the environment it was experiencing. It developed emotional and behavioral defense systems in reaction to the emotional pain we experienced growing up with parents who were wounded as children.
The Truth is that the ways our parents treated us in childhood did not have anything to do with who we are - was not really personal. They were incapable of seeing themselves clearly. They certainly could not see us clearly - could not see our unique individuality from a perspective that allowed them to honor and respect us as beings separate from them. Their perspective of us was filtered through a prism of their own shame and woundedness. They projected their hopes and dreams, their fears and insecurities onto us. They saw us as the fix for their feelings of unworthiness, an extension of them that gave their life meaning - or perhaps they saw us as an inconvenience and a burden holding them back, preventing them from making their dreams come true. For some of us, a parent(s) was so caught up in their alcoholism, or survival drama, or career, that most of the time they didn't see us at all.
And both our parents and society taught us very clearly - through direct messages and role modeling - to be dishonest. Our parents taught us that keeping up appearances, worrying about what the neighbors think, was more important than our feelings - because it was so important to them. Or, some of us experienced a parent who went to the other extreme, where they acted like they didn't care what anyone thought - which caused us to feel embarrassed and ashamed of their behavior because it was so out of balance, and caused us to worry about what the neighbors thought. They taught us to give power to other people by wearing masks and keeping secrets.
Even more importantly, our role models taught us to be emotionally dishonest. Because it wasn't safe to be emotionally honest - they did not know how to be emotionally intimate with themselves, and instead, constructed a false self image to survive. We learned to wear different masks for different people.
As children we were incapable of seeing ourselves as separate from our families - of knowing we had worth as individuals apart from our families. The reality we grew up in was the only reality that we knew. We thought our parents behavior reflected our worth - the same way that our parents thought our behavior was a factor in rather they had worth.
We live in a society where the emotional experience of "love" is conditional on behavior. Where fear, guilt, and shame are used to try to control children's behavior because parents believe that their children's behavior reflects their self-worth.
In other words, if little Johnny is a well-behaved, "good boy," then his parents are good people. If Johnny acts out, and misbehaves, then there is something wrong with his parents. ("He doesn't come from a good family.")
What the family dynamics research shows is that it is actually the good child - the family hero role - who is the most emotionally dishonest and out of touch with him/herself, while the acting-out child - the scapegoat - is the most emotionally honest child in the dysfunctional family. Backwards again.
In society we are taught, in the name of "love," to try to control those we love, by manipulating and shaming them, to try to get them to do the right things - in order to protect our own ego-strength. Our emotional experience of love is of something controlling: "I love you if you do what I want you to do." Our emotional experience of love is of something that is shaming and manipulative and abusive.
Love that is shaming and abusive is an insane, ridiculous concept. Just as insane and ridiculous as the concept of murder and war in the name of God.
Rather our parents made us their reason for living - which is a form of toxic love in which the child is the drug of choice (causing a child to feel responsible for an adult's self worth is emotionally incestuous and abusive); or a burden to be carried, the scapegoat they blamed for ruining their lives; or treated us like we were an inconvenience in the moments when they even seemed aware of us; it wounded us. We felt betrayed - by our own unworthiness, because we were incapable of knowing they were not perfect. We felt abandoned and rejected by the people in our lives.
We were wounded in our first relationships with other people. We were tiny, innocent, little beings who were completely dependent upon wounded people who did not Love themselves - and therefore were incapable of Loving us in a healthy way.
Fear of Abandonment, Betrayal, and Rejection
We also have a fear of intimacy because we have a fear of abandonment, betrayal, and rejection. We have these fears because we were wounded in early childhood - we experienced feeling emotionally abandoned, rejected, and betrayed by our parents because they were wounded. They did not have healthy relationship with self - they were our parents who were abandoned and betrayed themselves - and their behavior caused us to feel unworthy and unlovable.
We exited the warm nurturing cocoon of our incubator into a cold, harsh world. A world run by parents, and any body else bigger than us - siblings, grandparents, hospital, or orphanage personnel who were wounded in their childhood. And in reality, we had parents who were not emotionally healthy, and did not know how to Love themselves.
As little children we were completely ego-centric and magical thinking. We did not have the capacity to understand that our parents were not perfect. We watched their role modeling, experienced their behavior, and felt the emotional currents of our environments - worry, frustration, resentment, fear, anger, pain, shame, etc. - and we, as children, was emotionally traumatized. The people we Loved the most - our parents - hurt us the most. Our emotional intimacy issues were caused by our early childhood experiences. And our fear of intimacy is based upon painful, traumatic experience. The emotional trauma we suffered in our early childhood, created within us, brought on the feeling of toxic shame.
Sharing who we are is a problem through our bitter-roots because at the core of our relationship with ourselves, is the feeling that we are somehow defective, unlovable and unworthy. Bitter-roots is rooted in our ego programming from early childhood. That programming is a defense that the ego adapted to help us survive. It is based upon the feeling that we are shameful, that we are defective, unworthy, and unlovable. Our bitter-roots defense system is an attempt to protect us from being rejected, betrayed, and abandoned because of our unworthy, shameful being.
We have a fear of intimacy because we were wounded, emotionally traumatized, in early childhood - felt rejected and abandoned - and then grew up in emotional dishonest societies that did not provide tools for healing, or healthy role models to teach us how to overcome that fear. Our wounding in early childhood caused us to feel that something was wrong with our being - toxic shame - and our societal and parental role models taught us to keep up appearances, to hide our shamefulness from others.
Toxic Shame - defective, unlovable
It is very important in recovery to start making a distinction - drawing a boundary - between being and behavior. Growing up in a dysfunctional family taught us to equate our worth - and judge the worth of others - based upon behavior. We experienced love as conditional on behavior. Someone who behaves badly - i.e. not the way we want them to - is a bad person. Someone who behaves the way we want them to is a good person.
At the foundation of our relationship with ourself - and therefore with other people and life - is the feeling that we will die if we reveal ourselves to other people, because then they will see our shameful self. I felt deep within me (in those instances of breaking through my denial and blaming to a moment of honest clarity), that if I let anyone see who I really was, they would run away screaming in horror at the grotesque, deformed, shameful being that I was. But in truth; that is not the way we are. That is not the way God created us to be.
Our lives have been dictated by an emotional defense system that is designed to keep hidden the false belief that we are defective. We use external things - success, looks, productivity, substances - to try to cover up, overcome, make up for, the personal defectiveness that we felt caused our heart's to be broken and our soul's wounded in childhood. And that personal defectiveness is a lie. That feeling of toxic shame is a lie.
We have spent our lives trying to protect ourselves from a lie about who we are. We have spent incredible energy in our lives trying to keep the toxic shame hidden. Because as small children we did not have any perspective or discernment. We were incapable as viewing our parents as anything other than perfect parents. Because our parents were wounded and did not know how to Love self, we were wounded and got the message that something must be wrong with us. Which is - Toxic Shame.
Out of our bitter-roots relationship with life, there are only two extremes: "blame them", or "blame me". Buy into the belief that they are to blame for what I am feeling - or I am to blame because I am a shameful unworthy being. The emotional pain of feeling unlovable to our parents - which is a reflection of unbearable anguish of feeling separated from The Source - can feel like a bottomless pit of agonizing suffering. At the core of our wounding is the unbearable emotional pain resulting from having internalized the message that God - our Source - does not Love us because we are personally defective and shameful.
Our addictions, compulsions, and obsessions; our continuing quest to reach the destination, to find the fix; our inability to be present in the now through worrying about the future or ruminating about the past; are all tools that we used to avoid the emotional pain. Our behavior patterns and dysfunctional relationships (of all kinds, with your wife, with other people, with money, with your gender and sexuality) are symptoms. Bitter-roots is a defense system that was adapted by our damaged egos to try to avoid falling into the abyss of shame and pain within.
We formed our core relationship with self, with your wife, other people, and life based upon this feeling of toxic shame.
That shame is toxic and is not yours - it never was! You did nothing to be ashamed of - you were just little kids. Just as your parents were little kids when they were wounded and shamed, and their parents before them, etc., etc. This is shame about being human that has been passed down from generation to generation.
There is no blame here, there are no bad guys, only wounded souls and broken hearts and scrambled minds.
The only way to overcome your fear of intimacy is to get into recovery for your bitter-roots. And do your inner child healing work so that you can learn to be emotionally honest and intimate with ourselves and with your wife. Integrating a Loving Spiritual belief system into your relationship with self and life is an invaluable step in taking power away from the toxic shame so that you can start to Love yourselves and be open to being Loved by others.
The key to healing Your wounded soul is to get clear and honest in your emotional process. Until you can get clear and honest with your human emotional responses - until you change the twisted, distorted, negative perspectives and reactions to your human emotions that are a result of having been born into, and grown up in, a dysfunctional, emotionally repressive, Spiritually hostile environment - you cannot get clearly in touch with the level of emotional energy that is Truth. You cannot get clearly in touch with and reconnected to Your Spiritual Self.
You have an inner channel to Truth, an inner channel to the Great Spirit; God. But that inner channel is blocked up with repressed emotional energy, and with twisted, distorted attitudes and false beliefs.
You can intellectually throw out false beliefs. You can intellectually remember and embrace the Truth of ONENESS and Light and Love. But you cannot integrate Spiritual Truths into your day-to-day human existence, in a way which allows you to substantially change the dysfunctional behavior patterns that you had to adopt to survive, until you deal with your emotional wounds. Until you deal with the subconscious emotional programming from your childhood:
* You cannot learn to Love without honoring your Rage!
* You cannot allow yourselves to be Truly Intimate with yourselves, or anyone else without owning your Grief.
* You cannot clearly reconnect with the Light unless you are willing to own and honor your experience of the Darkness.
* You cannot fully feel the Joy unless you are willing to feel the Sadness.
You need to do your emotional healing, to heal your wounded soul, in order to reconnect with your Soul on the highest vibrational levels. In order to reconnect with the God-Force that is Love and Light - Joy and Truth .... And you do this by recognizing the bitter-roots of your childhood and bring them before God and have them cleanse through the Blood of Christ.