This blog is published in Wisdow from North
This blog is published in The Mindful Word
Article translated in French below
Intégrer les trois aspects du soi pour s’éveiller
Les cercles de développement personnel et spirituel parlent souvent des concepts du Moi supérieur (ou l’âme), de l’enfant intérieur et du besoin d’une personnalité positive, introspective, reliée aux réalités de la vie matérielle et efficace. La plupart des ouvrages de développement personnel abordent un seul aspect, rarement deux à la fois et presque jamais les trois. Si quelqu’un me demande ce qu’est l’éveil spirituel, je réponds simplement « Vivre le paradis sur terre », c’est-à-dire la capacité à fonctionner dans cette dimension physique selon des principes spirituels élevés. De manière pratique, nous avons en nous trois aspects principaux et très différents : 1. l’adulte, 2. l’enfant et 3. l’âme, et les trois doivent coexister en harmonie afin que nous puissions être véritablement intégrés et devenir ce que nous appelons un être éveillé. Le développement d’un aspect sans les autres est en réalité un danger pour soi et pour les autres.
L’adulte ou adulte intérieur n’est rien d’autre que notre personnalité. Notre personnalité s’est construite selon notre éducation familiale, notre culture, notre éducation et notre environnement. En conséquence, elle est pleine de concepts erronés, de perspectives limitées, d’idées fausses et de contradictions. Par l’introspection, l’étude des grands sages, l’application des leçons précieuses tirées de notre expérience, la pensée positive et consciente, nous pouvons peu à peu améliorer notre personnalité pour mieux soutenir notre vie et celle des autres qui nous entourent. Beaucoup de livres sont consacrés à nous aider à développer une personnalité plus efficace afin que nous puissions avoir plus de succès dans la vie, qu’il s’agisse de gagner plus d’argent, d’améliorer notre relation de couple ou d’être plus heureux. Un adulte mûr a une pensée claire, répond aux situations de la vie de manière réfléchie, projette des valeurs positives et comprend les étapes nécessaires pour atteindre ses buts. Il sait aussi comment se protéger et protéger les autres. Il est capable de tirer parti de ses précieuses expériences de vie pour améliorer la qualité de vie de tous ceux qui l’entourent.
L’enfant intérieur est un concept plus récent. Bien que Carl Jung soit à l’origine du concept dans son archétype de l’enfant divin, John Bradshaw est en réalité celui qui a popularisé le travail sur l’enfant intérieur auprès du grand public dans les années 1980 grâce à ses best-sellers et à ses apparitions aux côtés d’Oprah. Tous les professionnels de la santé mentale sont maintenant familiers avec le concept de l’enfant intérieur. L’enfant intérieur correspond à notre essence et au noyau de ce que nous sommes. C’est un aspect hyper sensible, complètement ouvert et la source de notre créativité, de notre spontanéité et de notre joie intérieure. Quand nous grandissons dans ce monde difficile avec des parents imparfaits, notre enfant intérieur (ou nos enfants intérieurs) est victime de traumatismes. Ceux-ci vont engendrer une faible estime de soi, une pauvre image corporelle, des déséquilibres affectifs, l’auto-flagellation, des masques bloquants, des problèmes d’identité, d’intimité et d’engagement, des dépendances, etc. Le travail sur l’enfant intérieur a pour objectif de renouer avec cet aspect subconscient du soi, de revivre consciemment les émotions refoulées afin que nous puissions aider notre enfant intérieur à poursuivre son développement.
L’âme est notre moi transcendantal. Celui-ci est déjà parfait, pleinement développé et connecté à l’ensemble de l’existence. Le moi supérieur est au-dessus du cycle de la naissance et de la mort. C’est la conscience elle-même. Grâce à cela, nous pouvons faire l’expérience de la conscience de Dieu. Qui mieux que Rumi, le mystique soufi du XIIIe siècle, pour nous décrire le moi supérieur ? « Ces formes que nous sommes sont comme des tasses flottant dans un océan de conscience vivante. Elles se remplissent et coulent sans laisser de traces. Ce que nous sommes, c’est cet océan, mais nous sommes trop proches pour le voir, même si nous y nageons et le buvons. Ne soyez pas une tasse avec un rebord sec, ou quelqu’un qui chevauche toute la nuit et ne connaît jamais le cheval entre ses cuisses. » Nous ne travaillons pas sur l’âme, il s’agit simplement d’élever notre conscience et de nous rappeler qui nous sommes en tant qu’âme. L’âme est indestructible et ne peut être blessée, car elle est cet amour infini.
Permettez-moi d’illustrer l’évolution de ces trois aspects à travers mon expérience personnelle. Quand j’étais enfant, j’ai subi une série de traumatismes qui m’ont conduit à une dépression profonde et à une forte anxiété à l’âge de treize ans. Ma personnalité adolescente cherchait des possibilités de sortir de mon enfer émotionnel. Bien que les progrès aient été lents à cet âge, j’ai développé petit à petit des concepts et des idées pour rendre mon existence plus supportable. Mes progrès touchaient uniquement le niveau de la personnalité (ou mon moi adulte). Je suis devenu adulte trop rapidement et j’ai géré ma douleur affective en devenant le meilleur élève possible à l’école. Je manquais de spontanéité, j’étais très sérieux et me sentais comme un vieil homme à l’intérieur. À dix-neuf ans, j’ai passé tout l’été aux États-Unis, ce qui a élargi mes horizons. Je suis tombée amoureux d’une fille à mon retour à l’université, et une rupture douloureuse trois mois plus tard a ouvert ma conscience. L’intensité de la douleur émotionnelle m’a fait vivre pour la première fois un état de conscience mystique où je me suis senti extatique. Soudain, je me suis rendu compte que la vie était bien plus grande que le monde visible. Je me suis lancé dans une quête spirituelle et suis devenu obsédé par cet éveil dont parlent les grandes philosophies et religions. Pendant les sept années suivantes, sans le comprendre consciemment, j’étais à la recherche de mon moi supérieur que je n’avais ressenti que pendant quelques instants. En tant que chercheur spirituel, je suis tombé dans un premier piège, et j’ai rejoint une secte. Les sectes sont des organisations toxiques, qui se positionnent comme des intermédiaires dans notre relation à Dieu afin de nous exploiter. Après en être sorti trois ans plus tard, et après avoir pris le temps de me déprogrammer, j’ai poursuivi mes efforts pour m’éveiller. Cela a porté ses fruits et quand j’ai eu vingt-six ans, j’ai vécu un état de conscience où j’ai vécu un état extatique ou le pur amour pendant plus de vingt-quatre heures. Cela a ouvert une porte où j’ai pu retourner consciemment à cet état avec une discipline de vie spécifique. Tandis que j’éprouvais des états de conscience extatiques, je me suis rendu compte que j’étais devenu un junky spirituel et que ma vie ne reflétait pas extérieurement les états de conscience extraordinaires que j’éprouvais intérieurement. J’ai commencé à me sentir seul et j’ai concentré mon attention sur la manifestation physique. Sans le savoir, j’avais changé la focalisation de mon travail intérieur de mon âme à ma personnalité. Pour faire mûrir cet adulte intérieur, je me suis inspiré de gourous de du développement personnel tels qu’Antony Robbins, Wayne Dyer ou Brian Tracy. Je me suis marié avec une PAJ (princesse américaine juive), et j’ai fondé une famille. Je me suis concentré sur ma carrière pour réussir ma vie. Je suis devenu un entrepreneur prospère dans la Silicon Valley et le vice-consul honoraire de Monaco.
J’étais un lecteur assidu avec toujours pour but de m’améliorer. Mon succès professionnel était un mécanisme d’adaptation à ma douleur émotionnelle que j’avais continué à enfouir, et qui se manifestait à travers une relation tumultueuse avec ma femme. Quand j’ai eu trente-cinq ans, je n’ai plus réussi à contenir ces émotions sous-jacentes. Je suis entré en thérapie à ce moment-là et ai commencé à renouer avec mon moi transcendental, car j’avais constamment le sentiment que quelque chose me manquait. Je suis devenu un grand fan d’enseignants de non-dualité tels qu’Eckart Tolle, Adyashanti, Krishnamurti ou David Deida. Quand j’ai eu trente-huit ans, la grâce est venue au travers d’un événement inattendu. J’ai eu une commotion cérébrale à la suite d’un accident de ski, qui m’a recâblé le cerveau. Après avoir récupéré de l’accident, je pouvais méditer sans effort et le sentiment qu’il me manquait quelque chose a alors disparu. Je suis devenu beaucoup plus intuitif et me suis toujours senti guidé dans mes actions. À ce moment-là, j’avais fait un énorme travail pour développer une personnalité consciente afin de soutenir ma vie et ouvrir le chemin intérieur à mon âme. Cependant, jusqu’à ce moment-là, je n’avais fait que très peu de travail sur mon enfant intérieur (je n’étais pas au courant du concept à l’époque) et l’écart s’accentuait entre cet enfant intérieur sous-développé et brisé et le reste de mon être. J’ai connu une crise de milieu de vie et ai attiré une partenaire encore plus déséquilibrée que moi-même. Elle était un canal clair pour son moi supérieur, détenait la connaissance spirituelle la plus remarquable, mais toute sa vie était en réalité contrôlée et rendue misérable par les traumatismes de son enfance qu’elle se sentait impuissante à guérir. À cause de ses dons spirituels, elle pouvait voir à travers moi, et je ne pouvais plus cacher mes enfants intérieurs blessés. J’avais tellement réprimé la douleur de mon enfance pour atteindre le succès matériel et spirituel que mes enfants intérieurs perdus se sont manifestés sous la forme de l’aliénation parentale de mes enfants réels. Tout au long de ma vie, j’ai fait face à de nombreux défis, mais aucun n’était comparable à la brutalité de cette expérience. Mon dernier mariage s’est également effondré quelques temps après. Cette année passée a été difficile, mais riche en apprentissage. Elle m’a permis de réintégrer mon enfant intérieur avec ma personnalité d’adulte et mon moi transcendantal. Maintenant, lorsque mon enfant a mal, je m’assieds en méditation avec la douleur. Mon adulte et mon âme le rejoignent, lui prennent la main et l’aident à guérir. J’ai arrêté de le brimer et de le faire taire comme je l’avais fait pratiquement toute ma vie. Qu’il s’agisse de solitude, de trahison, de dépression, de colère, de jalousie, de suspicion, de méfiance ou de tristesse, je reste assis avec lui sans jugement. Avec suffisamment de patience, mon enfant intérieur est en train de se reconstruire lentement grâce à la confiance en mon adulte intérieur et à la sagesse et la présence de mon âme. En fait, je n’ai pas découvert un seul enfant intérieur, mais plusieurs, qui ont entre deux et onze ans. Il est clair que cet aspect de moi est encore un peu en retard par rapport à ma personnalité et à ma connexion avec mon moi transcendantal. C’est donc sur cet aspect que je me concentre afin d’atteindre mon plein potentiel, et ainsi finir par me reconnecter à mes enfants réels.
J’espère qu’en partageant mon expérience personnelle, j’aurai réussi à illustrer l’importance de rester équilibré avec ces trois axes de travail tout au long de notre cheminement spirituel. Je pense intuitivement que Wayne Dyer aurait pu faire face à un déséquilibre similaire. C’était un professeur remarquable, doté d’une personnalité très intelligente et d’une profonde compréhension de l’âme. Sa troisième épouse, Marcelene, mère de cinq de ses enfants, a divorcé après vingt ans de mariage, et il est décédé plus tard d’une leucémie, révélatrice d’un traumatisme infantile non guéri (Wayne était un enfant de l’assistance publique). De la même manière, Jerry Hicks, l’auteur inspiré de la loi de l’attraction avec sa sixième femme Esther, est décédé d’un cancer.
Les individus qui font l’expérience de leurs aspects transcendantaux sans faire le travail nécessaire sur leur personnalité pour développer l’objectivité et l’intégrité nécessaires, peuvent facilement devenir des leaders de sectes. Leurs traumatismes non guéris génèrent alors des fausses croyances et des illusions.
Les Amérindiens ont souvent un lien authentique avec le divin et ont un enfant intérieur en bonne santé. Malheureusement, le manque de développement de leur personnalité fait cependant d’eux une cible facile pour l’exploitation, les abus ou la dépendance.
Les personnes ayant une personnalité très développée, mais peu connectées à leur âme peuvent avoir beaucoup de succès, voire faire des choses magnifiques dans la vie, si elles ont un enfant intérieur en bonne santé, mais il y aura peu d’incitation à aider les gens en dehors de leur famille proche. Celles dont l’enfant intérieur est traumatisé seront souvent autocratiques avec le désir d’exploiter leur prochain.
Ces trois dimensions sont faciles à voir chez les êtres éveillés. Par exemple, le Dalaï Lama agit souvent comme un petit enfant qui adore s’amuser ou plaisanter, mais peut exprimer des concepts complexes à partir de sa personnalité sans jamais perdre de vue sa nature transcendantale. Il peut basculer entre ces aspects à volonté en fonction de ce qui est requis dans le moment présent. Une personnalité développée peut comprendre et connaître Dieu, cependant seul l’enfant en bonne santé en nous peut en faire directement l’expérience en tant qu’amour, unité et créativité. C’est pourquoi on dit souvent que le cœur (auquel l’enfant intérieur a un accès direct) est le siège de l’âme. Ayant développé cette trinité en nous, nous pouvons maintenant regarder les étoiles avec les pieds solidement plantés dans le sol et créer le paradis sur terre.
Part III – Growing and healing together as a couple
For the most part, my last blog on Understanding and Loving the Borderline was well received except on a Facebook group that brings together a vulnerable minority group. My blog triggered them, as they felt stigmatized and shamed. I removed the post from this private group as my intent was to make people feel better not worse, and they were unable to make use of the information. They probably suffered a lot in the hands of a mental health system that often uses labels to prescribe drugs and to scapegoate them instead of providing them with genuine support for healing. Labeling is indeed a dangerous thing. It is fine for people to label themselves as borderline or codependent as a tool for self-observation, but we should refrain from labeling other people this way, as it would just trigger their shame. Shame and self-awareness are incompatible states. This is why, once our shame is triggered, any positive change towards our authentic healthy self becomes impossible. We become frozen and what can happen instead is more fragmentation, meaning that we would build a false self in order not to experience this feeling of shame again. This is actually the process of how false cult personalities are created, and how the false “good guys” personalities are built with codependents. The borderline is however unable to cope and goes into rage. I sincerely do not know which is healthier. Every tool can be used for empowerment or to hurt people. It is up to each one of us to use this information wisely.
We mirror each other’s disowned self
As I was doing inner work, I remember when I first met my “inner borderline”. We call this process voice dialog or parts work. I display externally little of the BPD characteristics. As I mentioned previously, I have been struggling instead with codependency in my intimate relationships. This makes sense as we manifest externally what is deeply repressed in us. This is how attraction works. As a child, the borderline aspects of my mum and stepmom terrified me but I had to bond with them for my emotional survival. I had made the depression of one and the anger of the other one unacceptable emotions. I created these parts internally to mirror them but buried them deep within my psyche out of fear and in a subconscious attempt to feel safe. I could not have been a magnet for PBPD partners all of my life unless there was a part in me to reflect them. So if a codependent is in a relationship with a PBPD, we need to remember that the borderline is the repressed aspect of the codependent, and vice versa. There is futility in blaming our partner because they are you, both representing the positive and negative aspects of you that you have disowned. The most extreme form of internalizing the people we feel traumatized from, and that we feel dependent on for our survival is well documented as the Stockholm syndrome. An example was the adoration of Nazi concentration camp SS physician Josef Mengele by his victims. Josef Mengele performed the most horrific deadly human experiments on prisoners and in particular on children twins. I recommend a quick read on other famous cases of the Stockholm syndrome. Here is how it works. When a traumatic event occurs that we are not able to process consciously, we fragment. This means that aspects of our consciousness leave our body to find escape somewhere else. In very powerless situations, these fragmented selves actually find refuge in the abuser as it feels it is the safest place to hide. As a result, we create deeply repressed internal parts of the very same persons that traumatized us. We cannot acknowledge these aspects consciously as otherwise we would live in a constant state of anxiety so they manifest externally in particular in the form of romantic & intimate relationships. We have a tendency to fall in love with people showing the same dysfunctional aspects of our parent of the opposite gender. This is why women raised with an emotionally unavailable father would attract the same in their partners. And this is why I have been with PBPD most of my life. I am not a victim. They are simply mirroring the aspects of me that I have repressed. They are helping me to become conscious. In the same way, all the PBPD I have been with had a codependent father that I was mirroring back for them. It may be depressing news but most of us are simply trying to earn back the love we did not receive as a child (from our parents). We are actually replaying the traumas and the stories of the past instead of actually truly connecting with our partners. There is only one way out, which is bringing these lost aspects of ourselves back to the light of consciousness. Seeing these parts, accepting them, loving them and ultimately forgiving oneself for reenacting this drama subconsciously are the steps to recovery.
In the process of integration, I have found it a helpful tool to see myself as the composite of my (hurt) inner child, my adult and my transcendental self. The codependent identifies with his adult self, while the PBPD identifies with her hurt inner child. The borderline feels too much while the codependent is hardly in touch with his feelings. For a healthy development of the individual, we need a balance between these two aspects. The inner child gives us our spontaneity, our creativity, our joie de vivre, access to more subtle aspects to our being. The adult self keeps us out of trouble, has wisdom to draw from, and helps us function in this physical reality. A genuine partnership between our child and adult has to be formed to restart an inner development that likely stopped during an early traumatic event. We do not want an overbearing internal adult (codependent) or tyrannical and out-of-control inner child (BPD). Life has its way of recreating balance. This is why children of PBPD get parentified, and why codependents are irresistibly attracted to PBPD. If you able to create a healthy balance of these aspects within yourself, the universe will also mirror it externally with a more stable partner. How does this work in practice?
- When you feel uneasy and stuck, do shadow work to bring these aspects of you into awareness. Do not bulldoze your inner child into performing other activities that may appear more important to the inner adult. I understand that life has constraints so if you cannot attend right away to the inner child (which is the ideal), commit to schedule this inner work within 24 hours.
- Follow personal inspiration, creativity and your inner joy whenever you can. Look for simple ways to feel genuinely happy
- Stay aware of the consequences of your actions. Spontaneity does not have to equate with recklessness
- Temper your internal fears with the wisdom from your personal experience
- Know your limits, and assess your personal boundaries wisely. Follow-through, be responsible but not at the expense of your authentic self.
Try to visualize some of the healthiest parent/child relationships you have witnessed in your life. This is what you need to create internally. The inner child is the seat of the soul. The bible says “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven”. But the child needs to develop to become this clear channel to the higher self. And he needs a wise, compassionate and supporting inner parent to grow-up. As we enter the spiritual path, many of us will find a hurt inner child whose development stopped at a very early age. We need to take this traumatized child where he is, without judgment and patiently re-parent ourselves. Another way to look at it is to see our inner child as our essence and our adult as our personality. When these two aspects of us start working in harmony, we can consciously access the more transcendental aspects of our beings.
To get out of codependent relationships, we need to realize that “People in the relationship are more important than the relationship”. This sentence goes against many of our social bias. Miserable married people are often advised to stay together even when they have become toxic to each other. I understand that any intimate relationship will go through their ups and down and I am not advocating to breakup as soon as there is a bump in the road. Sometimes we struggle with the relationship but we deeply care about our partner and we feel this is helping us become a better version of ourselves. This is a situation where we need to fight for the relationship because it is supporting us as an individual. Actually, as we are able to successfully survive these difficult times, the relationship will then reach a much higher intimacy. There are other situations however when the marriage brings both pain and the loss of self. These are times to get out. Staying in a miserable marriage for the sake of the children does not make sense; they are well aware of the conflicts and this is damaging to them. We want to be models that they do not have to compromise their personal happiness to be in an intimate relationship. Putting the self above the relationship is a very scary and risky choice for the codependent. We probably entered the relationship pretending we were someone we are not because of our personal shame. Our partner may feel betrayed, duped or threatened as we reveal the real us. We may be rejected, abandoned as a result, and if your partner is narcissistic, they will surely do this and also discredit you to any common acquaintances. This is a very painful experience but a price worth paying to recover your authentic self. In any case, we need to remember that any other option is futile. What makes us attractive and sexy is our individuality; not being an accessory to someone else. As we compromise ourselves to fit into the relationship box dictated by our nascissistic partner, we will stop our attractiveness and our mate will abandon us anyway. We need to remember that it is better to be alone than being in the wrong company. We can remind ourselves that we survived brutal breakups in the past, and ended in a better place once the grieving was done. As we feel depressed by the loss of the relationship and see no end to our personal misery, we can bring King Solomon’s wisdom: “This too shall pass”. Actually, when we look back at the most difficult times of our life, we can see retrospectively that these were the times we did the most growth, and created the foundations of our future happiness. Life is a series of steep climbs and flat plateaus, then further climbs. Being in a relationship should always be a free choice. This is the only way to experience a true heart-to-heart connection to our partner. While there are external forms of coercion such as the threat of personal injury, losing one’s children or litigation when attempting to leave a relationship, these are quite rare and extreme. What is more insidious and common is the coercion coming from our own personal fears. Here are some examples.
If I leave her/him, if s/he breaks up with me:
- I will have to compromise my personal lifestyle, take care of my personal finances and probably lose financial security
- I will be alone which I cannot handle
- I will have to be back on the dating scene, which I detest
- I will lose face with my family, friends and community
- I will have to go back to work
- I will have to move
- I will not have sex anymore
- I will not handle seeing my ex with a new partner
- I will have to take care of the children on my own which I feel incapable of doing
- I will die because I cannot handle another breakup
- I will not handle the guilt of hurting my children
- I will have to start cooking and do my own laundry
- I will lose all of our joint friends
- I will have no one to protect me
- I will have no one to take care of me if I am sick
- I will lose the relationship with my children
- I will lose the relationship with my in-laws
Can you see these are all wrong reasons to stay with someone? It makes the person a means to an end and this will destroy your intimacy. The times for selecting our partner for survival reasons are well over. In this day and age, intimate relationships are primarily for emotional nurturing, experiencing love, feeling seen, felt and understood, personal growth and enjoyment. If you are just looking for transactional relationships, you can simply use service providers as our world can offer any possible service imaginable in exchange for money. This is why it is so important to develop personal autonomy in our life as this allows our closed ones to be with us because they want to be there and not because they have to. We can move from the conditionality of love of the sacral chakra with all its cords, control drama and power struggles to the unconditional and pure love of the heart chakra. Of course, we should not take the goal of personal autonomy to the extreme to the point of being afraid of asking for support from others. The key is never to put yourself in a state of dependency that may lead you to compromise your personal integrity or stop honoring your personal boundaries. When your personal situation does not allow for this right away, just make a goal to create this personal autonomy in the future and make it a priority. Authenticity cannot strive in a controlled environment because the price to pay for your personal truth would be too high. Also, when we are incapable of taking care of ourselves, we will create expectations in our union, which in turn will create tension. This is not a conducive environment for love to flow. If you want a clean house and both you and your partner dislike cleaning, best is to hire a cleaning lady. If you are in need of physical affection but your partner is drained, go get a therapeutic massage. As a codependent, authenticity can be daunting as we are so afraid to lose everything once we find ourselves, and start sharing our authenticity with the world. It is true that the world reacts often very brutally to codependents finally standing in their truth. If you express your authentic self to your partner in a vulnerable way but s/he is not able to carve a place for your authentic self, it is best to let go. Our authentic self is our most treasured possession and without it, there cannot be the possibility of a joyful and happy life. I had given everything to my relationship but once I stood in my authenticity, the relationship did not survive. It took courage and it was incredibly painful but as a result, I received the ultimate gift of living an authentic life and stepping out of codependency. It was all well worth it.
Loneliness is one of the most painful feelings to experience consciously. We understand conceptually that we are one and connected to everything that is alive. I remember reading Radical Forgiveness years ago from Colin Tipping, and I had an epiphany when the author stated that our experience on earth is first about experiencing the illusion of separateness. Separateness is an enduring illusion because our physical body is separate from other beings. We are one with our mother then separate from her at birth to create an individual experience. We go through the process of death and many other painful experiences alone. We cannot go through life without feeling rejected, abandoned or criticized at times. In my personal experience, there is actually no biggest suffering than losing the connection to our creator. Even Jesus doubted on the cross if God had abandoned him “Father, why have you forsaken me?” Many of us with attachment traumas are suffering from profound loneliness and we become vulnerable to a variety of addictions as a result. There is a compulsory need to fill this void at any cost. This feeling of emptiness is actually caused by our internal fragmentation as we have lost many aspects of ourselves through the traumatic events of our upbringing. Filling this void with people or various addictions can only give us a temporary relief, and this is what codependents and borderlines attempt to do. It is like the person who lost his way in the forest who gets relief by meeting someone else only to realize this person is lost too. This may bring some temporary comfort however the two people are still lost. From my perspective, this form of pathological loneliness can only be healed in two steps. First, we need to feel consciously our deep and profound loneliness without trying to escape it. This is best done in a meditation setting where we create an internal container for the painful emotion with no judgment, letting our internal torment and fears run their course. From this place, if we are patient enough, eventually grace will come in and we will remember somatically our divine nature and recover our connection with God. As we realign with our soul and our sense of purpose, we can feel complete. We may still feel lonely at times as we go through phases when we do not have special people in our life to reflect our wholeness. However these phases are temporary and they do not destabilize us because we feel the security of our connection with our higher self that is connected with everything. Overtime, we learn to be alone without feeling lonely and aloneness becomes even a means to strengthen our connection to the divine. Our deep longing for an intimate connection becomes more a thirst to reflect our divine nature than to fill an endless void. Our divine nature is love, giving and receiving love. Is there anything better in the world than intimate relationships to experience it?
Stepping out of the drama triangle victim/persecutor/rescuer
The PBPD is addicted to the victim role. She feels so unworthy and hopeless that she believes she can only get attention through pity and other form of victim control drama. The codependent is addicted with the rescuer role. He feels so unworthy that he feels he has no value unless he fulfills a specific role or does something for someone. To break this negative cycle, the codependent needs to apologize to the PBPD for putting her in a state of dependency, disempowering her and not creating the conditions where she could solve her own problems. Without bypassing her pain, the PBPD needs to find the strength to find the hidden treasure that came from her abuse, to realize that her persecutor is just another victim like her and eventually forgive her abuser and herself for creating this painful experience at a soul level. The Hawaiian prayer Ho’oponopono “I am sorry – Please forgive me – Thank you – I love you” is another powerful way to break out of the dysfunctional roles of the drama triangle and undo the false narration. But please remember to do this prayer from the adult or soul perspective but never from the hurt inner child as this could be very damaging.
Transition plan as we rewire our brain for real love
Because of his unhealthy childhood environment, the codependent actually got addicted to constant drama. He thrives with chaos, conflict and dangerous situations as this gives him the opportunity to prove his self-worth by rescuing. Drama is actually associated with love in his brain. Because it takes time to rewire a brain and examine all false beliefs, I recommend the recovering codependent to engage in more productive activities where he could experience the same adrenaline rush. He can start a more risky professional activity (reward and risk often go together), or enjoy extreme sports. On the other end, the borderline is addicted to emotionally abusive situations so that they can get attention through victimhood. Abuse equal love in her brain. One of my partners had suffered in a horrific way in the hands of one of an extremely disturbing violent cult. The abuser of her childhood pretended to be her dad but was also sexual with her. As we can expect, her intimate relationships were very unstable as a result. She would start all of her relationships idealizing her partner but then would slowly start seeing her companion through the filter of her childhood abuse. She would then replay the escape of her childhood nightmare by orchestrating the end of the romance. Then, she would enter a demonization phase where she would try to convince anyone willing to listen to her that her ex was part of the same cult that inflicted her so much grief as a child. In a similar way than the codependent, the PBPD can turn her addiction to abuse to productive use by helping the unfortunate ones. Since 2001, Angelina Jolie has been on field missions around the world and met with refugees and internally displaced persons. She also adopted 3 children. French sex symbol Brigitte Bardot has dedicated the second half of her life rescuing animals. Princess Diana was involved in over 100 charities and she made a big impact fighting homelessness and helping victims of HIV/AIDS and leprosy. Overtime, as healing takes place, both PBPD and borderline learn to enjoy a more peaceful and simple love without relentless crises. They realize that can experience intimacy and love without the roller coaster.
The 80/20 rule in seeing the positive in your partner
The PBPD will have a tendency to catastrophizing and only focus on the negative in herself and her partner. The codependent will often err on the opposite. He will stay positive and apparently strong any time his partner feels bad or negative. This is his way to cope and exercise control in the situation. He has a tendency to act too optimistic in situations potentially dangerous to his partner. Even if his wife struggles with alcoholism, he could say “Let me give you a glass of champagne darling, this will help you relax”. He will let his wife go out with a man interested romantically with her trusting them a bit too much. He will give his daughter to a baby-sitter with bad vibes. He will decide to go out with his friends at the time his wife feels suicidal. Wearing pink glasses is his way of coping. He thinks he can make himself safer when imagining that we live in a good world with good people. He actually endangers himself and his family with this attitude. His borderline partner, on the opposite, feels too much the potential dangers and often amplifies them. She feels she cannot trust her codependent partner to keep her safe and will go ballistic at him when her anxiety reaches a threshold. The codependent will typically only crash emotionally and display negative emotions when his borderline partner feels happy! First, he feels very threatened by her happiness as he fears that she will not need him anymore if she feels good. Secondly, he built resentment through the many crises but did not allow himself to feel any of it because of the instability in the relationship. If he sees his borderline partner doing well, he feels this is his opportunity to share everything that upset him over the last few weeks, which unmistakably overwhelms and triggers his borderline girlfriend.
It is very frustrating for the PBPD as she feels she spends most of her time in doom, and when the sunshine comes, he immediately spoils it! In my twenties, I worked as an engineer in the Silicon Valley software start-up. We had a borderline male employee called Steve with constant conflictual relationships with many co-workers. The CEO liked him however because Steve’s mind was always focused on what could go wrong and this helped avert potential business threats as he felt that the rest of the management team was too optimistic. Though there are some positive aspects in looking at a glass half empty however there is a problem in always seeing the negative in your partner. The codependent struggles with shame too. If he is constantly shamed who he is and what he does, he will start deflecting the shame and pointing to his partner her own shadows. They will work on each other non-stop. It will cease to be a relationship. It will become a self-improvement torture chamber. To support someone towards positive change, it is well known that we need to receive more compliments than criticism. By continuing to reflect the positive of our partners, we will support their development towards their higher potential. On the other hand, the codependent needs to be more connected, aware of his environment and realize that the policy of burying one’s head in the sand is not the right strategy to follow. He should ensure to stay positive when his borderline partner feels good so that she can fully enjoy these brief moments of happiness. He needs to improve his communication so that he can bring constructive feedback in a way that would be best received by his borderline partner. He needs to express things as they come so that they do not have the time to fester in him. The borderline has to learn to see her codependent partner more objectively. She goes from idealization to demonization back to idealization and then again demonization in no time. She needs to recognize that her partner has qualities and flaws just like she has. Putting in writing how she feels about her partner will help her realize her “splitting” and eventually heal from it.
Become an expert in your partner
First by becoming an expert in your partner, you will learn to spend enjoyable time together while minimizing triggers. Ask lots of questions, be inquisitive and curious about him/her. The better she feels, the better you feel or more succinctly “Happy Wife, Happy Life”. By better understanding your partner’s dysfunctions, you can also better support their recovery and avoid fatal mistakes. This knowledge is best received when it is inconspicuous and unconditional. It should not be a way to score points for a hidden agenda. In this day and age, we are lucky that so much valuable information is at our fingertips. About any question we have may be answered by an insightful YouTube video or podcast. We can make our car a university on wheels during our commute time and keep improving our relationships. There are optimal communication strategies for any type of person and this is what we need to become skillful at using the right words at the right time. If you partner is codependent, here are some of the approaches that may work:
- If he feels disconnected, be inquisitive, ask him how he feels, use his love language to bring him back to his heart, help him bring out to the surface what is bothering him deeply inside
- If he says yes but you feel no weight behind his words, challenge him in his commitment. Either get him accountable and make it easy for him to say no. Confront him every time you feel he is lying to him and others (mostly subconsciously because he is a people pleaser). Do not let him off the hook. Point out his lack of consistency and how this is impacting others
- If his words or actions are hurting you, become vulnerable on how he is making you feel and take responsibility for your feelings not to trigger his shame. Empower him to make things better for you. Tell him you hurt because you love him
- Get him in touch with his shadows. Create a safe container for him to express the parts behind the “good guy”, all of the unsavory aspects of his hurt inner child. Reward him every time he has the courage to go there
It is important that we learn to clearly communicate our needs and likes instead of expecting our partners to know them telepathically. While this feels great when our partner does things what we treasure without the need to ask them, why not make it easier on them instead of constantly testing their love for us? Let us coach them to speak our love language instead of doing things for them with the expectation of getting something in return. Even the most compatible persons will have difference in their love language so communication is key. Make separate lists of your needs, what you love and share it with your loved one. Provide loving and non-judgmental frequent feedback so that both partners can improve constantly of making each other feel loved.
The importance of the commitment to self
Happiness comes from the simple things of life: knowing who you are, feeling love for who we are, intimacy with special people and relationships, a supportive community, feeling creative, have our needs met at a physical level, being healthy, a connection to something greater than ourselves (ideal, God, values) and practicing activities that we enjoy. This is not rocket science but it takes commitment to fill our life with the ingredients of joy. In codependent relationships, we sacrifice our authentic self for the relationship. We are so desperate to be loved that we project a false idea of us so that we may be liked. The commitment to self has to come first as the people in the relationship are more important than the relationship. If the relationship stops supporting the individuals within the relationship, it does not have to mean a break-up. People can find creative ways to adjust the relationship in a way that they will feel better supported. This takes tremendous courage as these changes may trigger our insecurities and fears of abandonment. The commitment to self requires us to be OK to be alone, as we cannot control the reactions of others. This may not be our preferred way of being but unless we can sit in peace with ourselves, we will not be able to give our partner the freedom to love us by choice. Once our sense of self is secure, the commitment to the relationship comes with less anxiety so we can navigate the ups and downs in a more astute way. We typically make the worst relationship mistakes when we are triggered. As we dive deeper in intimacy, we start including the other into our personal field so the commitment to self will naturally encompass them too. Loving oneself extends to loving our partner and eventually to the whole universe as we increase our awareness.
Own your shame
Most fights between codependents and borderline are escalated when shame is triggered. Owning your shame is the best way to de-escalate the argument. Let me give you a couple of examples. Instead of “Why did book this shitty hotel? This is the last time you do the travel reservations”, say “I felt small and taken for granted when you booked this hotel for us. I really want to feel safe with you and it is hard to do when you do not seem to see me”. Instead of “Can I have some space now? I cannot take this constant drama” say “I feel at odds with myself and I do not think I can be a good company for you until I can sort things out. May I go meditate and reconnect with you after I am done?”. Instead of “How can you be friend with that asshole? He is just a narcissistic jerk” say “I feel triggered around your friend. He always speak about himself and never seems to care to listen about things in our life”. Instead of “Being with you is like being with a cold stone. It is obvious why none of your relationships never lasted very long” say “I do not feel seen, felt or understood right now. I feel unsafe as a result. I need you to really connect to me right now”. If you can show some genuine vulnerable emotions, your communication will be that much more effective. Owing our shame starts with the courage to believe that our innate nature is lovable, which would allow us to be vulnerable and therefore to build intimacy. It is important to stay humble because unless we are willing to acknowledge our own failings, we will continuously project what we refuse to see in ourselves into our partner. I had once a partner who kept saying obsessively that I had duped her to get in a relationship with her. This was partly true because as a codependent, I would portray myself as someone I am not in order to conquer the object of my desire because I felt unlovable deep within. However, what she failed to realize is that she felt even more intensely like a bad apple and did not believe anyone could love her for who she is. There were just as many things she hid about herself than her codependent partner. Projecting this deep shame solely into her partner prevented her to own it.
A good family therapist is important to help us navigate through the intricacies of interpersonal relationships with our partners, children and parents. There is a significant stigma in Europe with people using therapists. They are often labeled as crazy and unstable so most people in Europe would see a shrink in secret. People in the USA and even more Californians are very open to it. When a situation triggers both partners at the same time, a qualified therapist is critical. I do not recommend using a friend because the friend would typically be biased and they do not have the professional training to rise above the interpersonal conflict. The therapist primary goal is to help release the unconscious into the conscious, support introspection and empower the stakeholders towards a creative solution as their awareness is lifted. It is important to take your time to find a good family therapist. Many enter this profession because they feel damaged and they have not done yet all the inner work necessary to help others. A skilled family therapist is important at times to any intimate partnership but it is absolutely critical for codependent/borderline couple who need all the help they can get with their rocky relationship. The best therapists would actually be the ones that experienced earlier in their life the same negative patterns. I have an absolutely extraordinary family therapist. He is an older gentleman. He was raised in a horrendous family dynamic and he had a disorganized attachment style as a result. He was married and divorced 3 times before he was able to finally develop a healthy and intimate relationship with his 4th wife whom he has been for over 30 years now. He has done immense inner work to get where he is now, which makes him incredible knowledgeable and insightful in helping his clients.
Make the couple a sanctuary
Codependent/borderline relationships are inherently turbulent and therefore experience power struggles. Power struggles come from personal insecurity and powerlessness. We attempt to control our partner to love us because we feel deep inside unworthy of love. If someone does not feel secure in a relationship, they have the tendency to enroll their personal friends to validate their opinions and show their partner that they are right. This can do no good to the relationship. While venting to your friends can be sometimes helpful to release some of the internal pressure and frustration one may experience, enlisting them to prove your points would just damage the relationship. We need to keep remembering what is more important to us, to be loved or to be right? I was once in a very unhealthy community situation where all the community members were either employees or followers of my wife. They worshipped her and she could do no wrong. It was very tempting for her to enlist them to make herself right to me, ignoring the fact that they were all biased to start with. If I had used my close friends or French family to rally to my opinion, they would have sided with me. That would not have made me right. This was not an option anyway because they were not in our living community. And this would have just made the conflict larger instead of contributing towards a meaningful resolution of the conflict. This is why a trained therapist should be used instead of friends or community members to work through a relationship conflict. Communities are a very dangerous place for committed intimate relationships. As a young man, I remember that most couples that moved to the Fellowship of Friends community in northern California would divorce the first year. Community life diffuse the commitment between the two individuals and there is a high temptation to get one’s needs met outside the relationship instead of doing the hard work of focusing and solving the conflicts within the relationship. In my recent situation, community members that were my wife followers surrounded her. It was like living at the queen’s court. They were always fighting for her attention and it was difficult to have time where only the two of us could be together alone to simply connect. If you are looking to live in a community, I would advise to look for an equal community where members relate to each other on an equal basis and have interdependent relationships instead of dependent and hierarchical ones. It would be a model where each family knows very well their neighbors, and where the community is enhanced through regular get together, instead of a pyramidal structure. My situation was extreme and is quite rare, but it is important for any couple to make their intimate relationship a priority. As we discussed, the self is the priority because if we are not true to ourselves, we cannot be in an authentic relationship but the relationship is next in line even before the children for a married couple. The children feed from the energy of a healthy marriage and get damaged by the constant conflicts of their parents. So by putting your marriage first, you are putting your children first. Recomposed families are more complex systems and they are outside the scope of this article. It is a big temptation once we have children to put our marriage after the children, after our hobbies and sometimes even after some of our friendships. The result is often disastrous because the marriage is supposed to be the foundation of our family life but no more energy gets invested into it. You need to treat your relationship like a sanctuary if you want a happy life. The codependent and the borderline need to stop their destructive habit of enticing people outside the relationship to look like victims and instead take full responsibility for their personality disorder and their relationship.
Do not fool yourself that you will jump dramatically in terms of quality of partner from one relationship to the next. Remember that your partner comes to you through the law of attraction so they are an external mirror of who you are inside. What is far more important than finding a perfect partner is to find a partner that you can grow with. If you have attachment traumas, it is then far more sensible to find an introspective partner that has done a lot of inner work, and has learned from their personal wounds. Even if you meet someone with a secure attachment style, it is likely that there will not be any chemistry unless you have a secure attachment style yourself. For this reason, my future partner is likely to be a conscious borderline. After the initial honeymoon phase of a new relationship, we usually come back to the same personal flaws that contributed to our last breakup. Intimate relationships are a personal growth accelerator so there is simply no escape to what we are supposed to work on this lifetime if we are going to share our lives with someone special. I trust in the power of attraction in terms of intimate relationships. Many people have been hurt in intimate relationships so they learned to distrust their own chemistry & attraction feelings. They would rather cut their attraction sensors and focus solely on a compatibility checklist out of fear. Our body never lies. It is all about understanding and becoming conscious of what our body is attempting to communicate to us. Attraction is the path of freedom and back to oneself. However it is critical we move into this attraction with self-awareness because of our personal shadows. If there is no chemistry, there is limited growth. Our society is addicted to the removal of pain and struggles but suffering is a fact of life that needs to be embraced instead of feared so that we can become whole again. A friend of mine has a joke about the frozen packages of processed chicken in supermarkets. He called them boneless, skinless and flavorless chicken. Do you want a boneless, skinless and flavorless relationship or do you want to be consumed by love and be transformed to the full potential of who you are?
Love and intimacy are powerful forces because they reflect the movement of God towards integration. Many of us with attachment traumas, whether we are codependents or borderlines have been damaged through relationships. We can now heal through relationships too. This is why we need each other.
I was fortunate to have many experiences in my lifetime. I have traveled in many parts of the world, I have built companies, non-profit organizations, I have connected with people from many different cultures, I have networked with the rich, wealthy and famous and experienced high-flying lifestyle. Among all these experiences, not a single one ever came close in intensity and happiness than the deep and intimate connection with a beloved. This experience is available to any of us as we open ourselves to authentic love no matter what may be our background.
I have fallen in love 6 times in my life. Falling in love feels like a higher state of consciousness where all we care about is spending time with our beloved, where our happiness is her happiness as we would do anything to earn her grace. In that state, time ceases to exist as 10 hours with our lover feels like 2 minutes. Eating, drinking and sleeping are deemed non-important when we are love-intoxicated. It is a very powerful state that can induce fears among the person’s entourage as someone in love appears suddenly so unpredictable. For that reason, psychologists have described this state in less favorable terms as infatuation or limerence, denoting a state of obsession, unreasoned passion or even addiction. In my personal experience, it is a very beautiful state that needs to be cherished, enjoyed thoroughly and extended as long as possible as it is so precious. Reality eventually kicks in, and it always feels too early when it does.
The Universe is very interested in our growth and it knows that there is nothing better than an intimate relationship to boost our self-awareness. So, it baits us with the magnificent feeling of falling in love. When we merge with someone else, we die and we are being reborn. The person we are going to fall madly in love with is the person that has the potential to maximize our inner development. Unfortunately, we all know from our lives that the times when we grew the most may have been the most challenging, and this is true for intimate relationships. I fully subscribe to the Imago theory that was developed by the Hendrix’s. It says that we are attracted to partners that will help us relive and eventually heal the unresolved traumas from childhood. Sometimes partners are able to go through that growth and healing together. However, some other times, one partner may run away from the other and will see the break-up as the most conducive to their healing. It is a matter of individual choice, and it is best to honor the person’s free will rather than pretending we know better by emitting judgments. Nevertheless, breaking up from an intimate partner is one of the most painful experiences of our existence down here, only comparable to the death of a loved one.
Paradoxically, my most difficult break-up was with my first love when I was only 19. I did not make a formal commitment to her such as an engagement. There were no legal or financial complications. We were both very young and our break-up only impacted us emotionally with very little consequences for our friends & family. How is it possible that my break-ups involving children, parents or splitting all of our assets could have felt less difficult to handle? This confirms that our life experience, the healing tools at our disposal, and mature thinking are critical in supporting the grieving process of break-ups. For this reason, I want to share with you what I have learned in this process in hope that it may be helpful to you.
Follow the waves instead of resisting them
The process of uncoupling is brutal because it involves many parts of us: physical, emotional and mental. As we lose this special person in our life, our body may go into shock as we cannot hug them, touch them or cuddle with them anymore, especially if this aspect of the relationship was really fulfilling. We may miss sharing our feelings, the small attentions, feeling loved or their emotional presence. We may miss the long, passionate and intellectually stimulating conversations. It will really depend on the specific relationship dynamics. In any case, this leaves a big void in our life. It is best to acknowledge it and completely feel it rather than denying it. I would like to share a quote that was sent by a friend of mine: “Grief, I’ve learned, is really just love. It’s the love you want to give but cannot. All of that unspent love gathers up in the corners of your eyes, the lump in your throat, and in that hollow part of your chest. Grief is just love with no place to go.” – Jamie Anderson
People who cannot move on from a relationship are people who cannot grieve because they refuse to feel the pain associated with the loss. Their ego refuses to experience this suffering because it would make it mean that they contributed to the failure of the relationship, that they were flawed, that they were bad, that they are meant to be alone, that they are unlovable, that they deserved to be abandoned, and so on, and so forth. It is all about unhealed attachment traumas. Instead they become negatively obsessed with the former object of love that they used to glorify publicly. They attempt to appear as a victim, forgetting they entered the relationship full heartedly with their freedom of choice. We do not need to be perfect to be loved. To be human is to be imperfect and we make mistakes. I gave all that I had to my important relationships so I hold no regret. Yes, I made mistakes but I did not know better at the time, so there is nothing to dwell on.
After we have broken-up from a partner we loved, the pain will be acute, and the first waves will hit us hard. Last April, after I had just landed in France, if one of my friends would ask me how I was doing, I could not say a word but started shedding tears as the dissolution of the marriage had just started. This was healthy! After getting some sleep and recovering from jet lag, my mind was again in control and I lost touch again with my emotions. I had brought back my heart walls so as not to feel the pain of the break-up. Fortunately, my friend Jacques made me realize that I was getting in the way of my own grieving process. My mind was so afraid to feel out of control that it had started shutting down the feelings of loss. This was unhealthy. Societal expectations are therefore the opposite of what we need for our grieving process. The down waves may take the form of feeling unlovable, isolated, anxious or depressed for example. These emotions have to be experienced fully and somatically (with the body) with no judgment. The big mistake we make in our healing process is to overuse our mind while the body is so much better equipped to release trauma. Crying, shouting, shaking has done more for my healing than all of my analytical processes. Analysis should follow healing from the body and the emotions but not precede it. Fortunately, we have the ability to take advantage of our emotional suffering for healing purposes. So we can always benefit from a difficult and painful situation.
In my personal experience, the up and down waves take on average a week, and the waves’ intensity get lower over time to eventually stabilize back to a normal state. Recently, during one of the down waves, I started feeling very heavy energy. I went to lunch with a friend anyway but the plumber called me just as I was about to order lunch. I had to come back home right away. I realize this was a wake-up call to make the healing process the priority instead of daily activities. We went into the healing room and I started expressing the raw feelings without any filters. In this case, it was about that I felt that people I loved the most saw me as a monster. I let my body purge these emotions, and could come back to the original childhood fragment related to my sister. My parents lacked emotional maturity and did not prepare her well for my venue into this world. She saw me as the newcomer that was stealing from her the small crumbs of love from our parents. She developed hatred towards me that I had to internalize to cope. So I developed self-hatred and I created in my reality situations to reflect that belief. I was able to let go somatically of that belief during this session. I worked on changing that belief during another healing session. Interestingly, at the end of that session, one of my loved ones that is demonizing me called me unexpectedly and we had a nice exchange. I knew then that my inner work was starting to work on the fabric of reality.
If you are getting a divorce, chances are that not all of the relationship was rosy and aspects of it were rather difficult. So the good news is that you will be experiencing up waves too! If your partner was over controlling and possessive, you may feel a sense of exhilaration from your newfound freedom. If your life was drowning in drama, you may feel relieved about experiencing peace and quiet again. If you were constantly criticized and always walked on eggshells, you may enjoy being again in an environment that is both supportive and nurturing. If you did not particularly enjoy your wife’s close friends, you may be happy to be away from them. Use these up waves to your advantage. Make sure to create opportunities for yourself to do the things you could not do when you were in the marriage to fully experience some of the benefits of the break-up. This will make you feel better about the divorce. On my end, I took a month in Europe to reconnect with old friends and family. There was nothing more healing than being surrounded by people who loved me and appreciated me for who I am. Healing is about having the opposite experience. I got inspired by doing things I was not able to do when I was married. This helped me to see the glass half full instead of half empty. Also we can only receive after we empty our cup so let us develop a sense of wonder of what is coming next into our life after the loss of love.
We have been conditioned in this society to do everything on our own. So naturally, when tragedy strikes, we have a tendency to isolate. This is not healthy. We are social creatures and need each other. After breaking up an important relationship, our emotional balance goes off so we should not make things worse by denying our most basic human need to feel supported, loved and cared for. I felt very fortunate that some good-hearted people showed up in my life and kept me company when I needed it the most. Good people naturally want to help especially when their support is appreciated. It feels empowering to them and they are often healing themselves through this process too. The key is to be authentic with your pain and your needs, and you will be surprised by the amount of goodness coming your way.
Real pain versus imaginary pain
As I mentioned before, break-ups are some of the most painful experiences we can go through. However, we can make the process of grieving easier or harder on ourselves with the quality of our thoughts. The feeling of loss is real and takes time to heal. However, there are a lot of other emotions that are not real in the sense that they are fabricated by erroneous thinking. Without the faulty thought, some of the negative emotions would not even exist. This is where our mature inner adult (IA) can help our hurt inner child (IC).
IC: “This person destroyed my life. I will never be able to recover. This person took everything away from me.”
IA: “This was a difficult experience and I chose it out of my free will. There are important lessons to learn from any painful relationship.”
IC: “What’s wrong with me that I cannot have a healthy and nurturing relationship? I am forever doomed. God hates me.”
IA: “I have learned important lessons of this past relationship and I am much better equipped as a result to attract the right type of person into my life. Though it was painful, I see this person as an important teacher. There are often many layers of healing we need to go through to manifest what we truly want.”
IC: “This person has to pay for what he did to me and my children. I will make him pay for the rest of eternity so that he does not hurt anyone like he hurt me.”
IA: “I hope this person can be happy in their future relationships. I am glad I am not in his life anymore so that I can attract a relationship that feels better. If the same pattern appears again in any future relationship, I will know that the problem may be more related to me than him.”
If the inner child is really hurt, it is best for the inner adult to start validating the inner child before sharing his wisdom. For example, in the first situation, this would look like “I feel that this person destroyed my life and took everything away from me. Sometimes I may feel that I will never be able to recover. However, I have been through similar difficult break-ups in the past and I have survived. I actually keep attracting better partners. I can see this was a difficult experience but I chose it out of my free will and no one forced me into it. There are some important lessons I learned from this relationship”. Use your intuition to balance effectively your IC and IA. If you were to let your toddler run the show in your household, things would be quickly out of control and your sweet child would turn into a high-chair tyrant. Meet all the emotional needs of your inner child but do not lose yourself in the process. An important role of the IA is to educate the IC to grow-up. Emotional validation has to come with accountability so that we do not get stuck in a victim role, which is one of the lowest vibrational states.
Keeping contact or not after a break-up?
People who break-up that still love each other will feel very hurt. It is often very difficult for them to stay in contact, and any exchange with the estranged partner may feel like re-traumatization. In an ideal world, especially if there are children involved, it would be best for former partners to stay friendly and on social terms. In my experience, it is however only feasible when the love has faded away for both partners and they have moved on with their respective lives. There is no sense of loss anymore or hard feelings. This can take time. How likely is this when a couple has just broken up? Very unlikely. If one person is not in love anymore but the other person is, then the situation is just as difficult. I am of the opinion that people need to do what is best for their personal healing. However, if children are involved, put the children’s healing first while not succumbing to ex-partner control dramas. I have kept in touch with a couple of the women I have been in love with in the past, and I have found these relationships rewarding. However, it often took years before we were able to reconnect. This should not be forced, as the newly gained friendship would need to be unconditional and away from all the failed expectations of the past. So in most cases, a clean cut in the short-term may be preferable to support the emotional healing of the recently broken up couple.
Gratitude as the ultimate healing tool
By doing important healing work in Europe supported by friends and family, I found the resources to write a blog about the end of the marriage in a way that was genuinely grateful. And this time, I was not bypassing. I could appreciate all the wonderful times and all the gifts that came from the relationship. It was now up to me to create in my life and in myself all the things I previously adored in her. When we are grateful, we cannot be resentful. When we are grateful, we cannot feel like a victim. When we are grateful, we cannot feel revengeful. When we are grateful, we are looking forward to a bright future and we are not lost dwelling on the past. When we are grateful, we do not close ourselves off and on the contrary, we keep our heart open to new possibilities. We should not rush ourselves into this state however. Before we can reach genuine gratitude, all raw emotions of powerlessness, anger, resentment, sadness and loss have to be experienced. And sometimes, we have to go through these emotions multiples times through various cycles. Our emotions need be true, and we should not pretend we are feeling something that we are not. This is a big part of living an authentic life. We need to find the courage to express openly how we feel when we are in a safe environment unconcerned of the good opinions of others
How long does it take to heal from a break-up?
If we are committed to our healing, have a supportive environment, and can rely on a wise IA (Inner Adult), I think one month per year of the relationship is a fair expectation. Otherwise, it may take much longer and actually some people never get over some past relationships. Sometimes the grieving or pulling away will actually start when you are still in the relationship. During the grieving phase, strict celibacy is most recommended. Our sexual energy is the finest energy at our disposal and this energy can be turned inward for healing. This will work marvels and help you shift to a new level. If we genuinely listen to our body during a grieving cycle, we will notice that the body has no desire to expand its energy sexually. Only the mind may do so in order to prevent experiencing difficult emotions as it follows an addictive pattern. Our mind is a good servant but a poor master. Our heart and body wisdom are far more reliable to know what is best for us. Do not rush your grieving process. Slower is often faster.
How about you? I am interested to know more about your own break-up stories, what you learned from them, and what helped your grieving process.
French translation below – Article en Français ci-dessus
Je suis tombé amoureux six fois dans ma vie. Tomber amoureux, c’est comme vivre un état de conscience extatique où tout ce qui nous intéresse est de passer du temps avec l’être aimé, où notre bonheur est son bonheur, et nous ferions n’importe quoi pour mériter sa grâce. Dans cet état, le temps cesse d’exister, et dix heures avec l’être aimé passent si rapidement. Manger, boire et dormir sont relégués au second plan lorsque nous sommes dans cet état d’ébriété amoureuse. Une personne amoureuse suscite des craintes au sein de son entourage, car elle apparaît soudainement imprévisible. Pour cette raison, les psychologues ont décrit cet état amoureux en des termes peu favorables dénotant un état d’obsession, une passion irraisonnée ou même une dépendance. D’après mon expérience personnelle, c’est un très bel état qui doit être chéri, apprécié complètement et rallongé aussi longtemps que possible, car il est si précieux. Le quotidien et la routine reprennent le dessus sur cette passion toujours trop tôt.
Il n’y a rien de mieux qu’une relation intime pour notre croissance intérieure et développer notre conscience personnelle. Les périls sont importants, et la nature nous appâte par ce sentiment magnifique d’être amoureux. Lorsque nous fusionnons avec quelqu’un d’autre, nous mourons et nous renaissons. La personne dont nous allons tomber éperdument amoureux est celle qui a le potentiel de maximiser notre développement intérieur. Malheureusement, nous savons que les moments de notre vie où nous avons grandi le plus ont peut-être aussi été les plus difficiles, et cela est d’autant plus vrai pour les relations intimes. Je souscris pleinement à la théorie Imago développée par Harville Hendrix. Il dit que nous sommes attirés par des partenaires qui nous aideront à revivre et éventuellement à guérir les traumatismes non résolus de notre enfance. Le couple est parfois capable de s’aider mutuellement à revivre ensemble ces traumatismes de l’enfance afin de catalyser leur guérison intérieure. Cependant, bien trop souvent, l’un des partenaires prend peur, abandonne ou considère que la rupture est la condition la plus propice à cette même guérison. C’est une question de choix individuel, et il est préférable de respecter le libre arbitre de la personne plutôt que de prétendre que nous savons mieux qu’elle en émettant des jugements et des critiques. Néanmoins, rompre avec un partenaire intime est l’une des expériences les plus douloureuses de notre existence ici-bas, comparable à la mort d’un être cher.
Paradoxalement, alors que je n’avais que dix-neuf ans, j’ai ressenti la fin de mon premier amour comme la rupture amoureuse la plus difficile que j’ai vécue. Je n’avais pourtant aucun engagement formel, comme des fiançailles. Il n’y avait aucune complication juridique ou financière. Nous étions tous les deux très jeunes, et notre rupture ne nous a touchés que de manière affective, avec très peu de conséquences pour nos amis et notre famille. Comment est-il possible que mes ruptures impliquant des enfants, des parents ou la séparation de tout notre patrimoine aient été moins difficiles à gérer ? Cela confirme que notre expérience de la vie, les outils de guérison à notre disposition et une pensée mature sont essentiels pour la guérison des cœurs brisés. Pour cette raison, je souhaite partager avec vous ce que j’ai appris au cours de ce processus, dans l’espoir que cela puisse vous être utile.
Le processus de découplage est brutal, car il implique de nombreuses parties de nous-mêmes : physique, émotionnelle et mentale. Lorsque nous perdons la personne que nous aimons, notre corps peut être sous le choc du fait que nous ne puissions plus les embrasser, les toucher ou les câliner, surtout si cet aspect de la relation était épanouissant. Il peut être aussi douloureux de ne plus partager nos sentiments ainsi que les petites attentions du quotidien, de ne plus se sentir aimé, et leur absence nous pèse émotionnelle. Les longues conversations passionnées et stimulantes sur le plan intellectuel peuvent aussi nous manquer. Les souffrances de la rupture sont vraiment spécifiques à chaque relation. Cependant, cela nous laisse avec un grand vide dans notre vie. Il est cependant préférable de reconnaître et de ressentir ce manque plutôt que de le nier pour notre guérison. Je voudrais partager avec vous une citation qui m’a été envoyée par un de mes amis : « Le chagrin, c’est de l’amour. C’est de l’amour que vous voulez donner, mais il n’y a plus personne pour le recevoir. Tout cet amour non partagé se rassemble dans les coins de nos yeux, dans le creux de notre gorge et dans cette partie vide de ta poitrine. Le chagrin est un amour qui n’a nulle part où aller. » – Jamie Anderson
Les personnes qui ne peuvent pas guérir et donc faire le deuil d’une rupture amoureuse sont celles qui refusent de ressentir la douleur associée à la perte de l’être cher. Leur ego refuse de vivre cette souffrance, car cela voudrait dire qu’ils son responsable de l’échec du couple, et donc qu’ils étaient défaillants, qu’ils étaient mauvais, qu’ils rendaient l’autre malheureux, qu’ils méritaient d’être abandonnés et ainsi de suite. Il s’agit de traumatismes d’attachement de l’enfance non guéris. Au lieu de cela, ils s’obsèdent à détruire et critiquer cette personne qu’ils glorifiaient auparavant. Ils tentent maintenant d’apparaître comme une victime, oubliant qu’ils sont entrés dans cette relation amoureuse avec leur libre arbitre. Nous n’avons pas besoin d’être parfaits pour être aimés. Être humain, c’est être imparfait, et nous faisons des erreurs. Je me suis donné entièrement aux femmes que j’ai aimées, et je n’ai rien à regretter. Oui, j’ai fait des erreurs, mais j’ai agi au mieux en fonction de mes compréhensions de l’époque. Il n’y a donc pas de quoi s’attarder à refaire le passé.
Après avoir rompu avec un partenaire que nous avons aimé intensément, la douleur est aiguë et les premières vagues de chagrin nous frappent durement. En avril dernier, peu après la rupture avec ma femme, si l’un de mes amis me demandait comment j’allais, je ne pouvais pas dire un mot, mais commençais à verser des larmes. C’était en fait une bonne chose ! Après avoir dormi un peu et récupéré du décalage horaire, ma tête était à nouveau en contrôle et j’ai de nouveau perdu contact avec mes émotions. J’avais à nouveau blindé mon cœur pour ne pas ressentir la douleur de la rupture. Heureusement, mon ami Jacques m’a fait comprendre que je m’opposais à mon propre processus de deuil et donc de guérison émotionnelle. Ma tête avait si peur de perdre le contrôle qu’elle avait commencé à enfouir mon chagrin. C’était malsain. Les attentes de la société reliées à la non-expression des émotions négatives sont donc le contraire de ce dont nous avons besoin pour notre processus de deuil. La perte d’une relation intime peut prendre la forme d’une dépression, d’une lourde solitude, de l’angoisse ou d’une tristesse inconsolable, par exemple. Ces émotions doivent être vécues pleinement et somatiquement (avec le corps) sans jugement. La grande erreur que nous commettons dans notre processus de guérison est de tout résoudre et analyser par la tête alors que le corps est tellement mieux équipé pour libérer un traumatisme. Pleurer, crier, trembler a plus fait pour ma guérison intérieure que tous mes processus analytiques. L’analyse doit suivre la guérison du corps et des émotions, mais pas la précéder. Heureusement, nous avons la capacité d’apprendre de nos souffrances émotionnelles pour devenir des personnes avec plus de sagesse et de compassion. La vie nous donne justice, car nous pouvons heureusement toujours bénéficier d’une situation difficile et douloureuse.
D’après mon expérience personnelle, les vagues montantes et descendantes de souffrance émotionnelle prennent en moyenne une semaine, et l’intensité de celles-ci diminue progressivement avec le temps pour finalement se stabiliser à un état normal. Récemment, pendant l’une des vagues, j’ai commencé à ressentir une énergie très lourde. Malgré cela, je suis allé déjeuner avec un ami, mais le plombier m’a appelé au moment où j’allais faire ma commande. Je devais rentrer à la maison tout de suite. Je me suis rendu compte que cet appel était un signe que je devais mettre en priorité mon processus de guérison plutôt que mes activités quotidiennes. Nous sommes allés dans la pièce de la maison réservée aux guérisons émotionnelles et avec le soutien de mon ami, j’ai commencé à exprimer sans filtre toutes mes émotions négatives. Dans ce cas précis, je ressentais que les personnes que j’aimais le plus dans ma vie me considéraient comme un monstre. J’ai donc laissé mon corps purger ces émotions, et j’ai pu alors revenir au traumatisme initial de mon enfance relié à ma sœur. Mes parents qui manquaient de maturité émotionnelle dû fait de leurs propres traumatismes et ne l’avaient pas bien préparée pour mon entrée dans ce monde. Elle m’a perçu comme un intrus qui lui volait les petites miettes d’amour venant de nos parents. Elle a montré tout de suite une haine envers moi bébé, que j’ai dû intérioriser pour y faire face. J’ai donc développé un dégoût envers moi-même et j’ai manifesté dans ma vie des situations pour incarner cette croyance. J’ai heureusement pu abandonner somatiquement cette opinion négative grâce à deux séances de guérison. Fait intéressant, à la fin de la deuxième session, un de mes proches qui me diabolisait m’a appelé de façon inattendue et nous avons eu un bon échange. Je savais alors que mon travail intérieur commençait à travailler sur le tissu de la réalité.
Si vous divorcez, il est probable que la relation n’était pas toute rose et que certains aspects étaient plutôt difficiles. La bonne nouvelle est donc que vous ferez également l’expérience de vagues émotionnelles montantes et joyeuses également ! Si votre partenaire vous traitait de manière trop possessive et contrôlante, vous ressentirez peut-être un sentiment d’exaltation relié votre nouvelle liberté. Si votre vie était submergée de drames constants, vous serez alors soulagé de retrouver la paix et la tranquillité. Si vous étiez constamment critiqué et que vous marchiez toujours sur des œufs, vous apprécierez d’être à nouveau dans un environnement à la fois positif et encourageant. Si vous n’appréciiez pas les amis proches de votre partenaire, vous serez alors heureux de vous en éloigner. Utilisez ces vagues ascendantes à votre avantage. Assurez-vous de faire à présent les choses qui n’étaient pas possibles pendant le mariage afin de profiter pleinement des avantages de la rupture. Cela vous permettra de mieux vivre le divorce et de voir le verre à moitié plein au lieu de celui qui est à moitié vide. De mon côté, j’ai pris un mois de vacances en Europe afin de renouer le contact avec d’anciens amis et ma famille. Il n’y avait rien de plus apaisant que d’être entouré de gens qui m’aimaient et qui m’appréciaient pour qui je suis. Guérir, c’est vivre l’expérience inverse du traumatisme. Selon la sagesse bouddhiste, nous ne pouvons recevoir qu’après avoir vidé notre tasse, alors laissez-vous remplir d’un sens d’anticipation et d’émerveillement de ce qui va arriver dans notre vie après la perte de l’amour.
Solliciter de l’aide
Nous avons été conditionnés par la société à tout faire par nous-mêmes. Alors, naturellement, lorsque nous sommes blessés, nous avons tendance à nous isoler. Ce n’est pas sain. Nous sommes des créatures sociales et avons besoin les uns des autres. Après la rupture d’une relation intime importante, notre équilibre émotionnel se dégrade, nous ne devons donc pas aggraver la situation en niant notre besoin humain le plus élémentaire de se sentir soutenu, aimé et pris en charge. J’étais très chanceux que de bons amis et des personnes aimantes me tiennent compagnie quand j’en avais le plus besoin. Il est naturel pour la plupart d’entre nous d’aider son prochain surtout quand notre soutien est apprécié. Cela nous donne une image positive de nous-même, et aider l’autre, c’est aussi souvent se guérir soi-même. Le plus important, c’est d’être authentique dans l’expression de votre douleur et de vos besoins, et vous serez alors surpris de toute la bonté venant vers vous.
Douleur réelle et douleur imaginaire
Comme je l’ai déjà mentionné, les ruptures sont parmi les expériences les plus douloureuses que nous puissions vivre. Cependant, nous pouvons rendre ce processus de deuil plus ou moins facile grâce à la qualité de nos pensées. Le sentiment de perte de l’être aimé est réel et cela prend du temps à guérir. Cependant, beaucoup d’autres émotions n’ont pas vraiment lieu d’être dans la mesure où elles sont fabriquées par une pensée erronée. C’est là que notre adulte intérieur(AI) peut aider notre enfant intérieur (EI) blessé.
EI : « Cette personne a détruit ma vie. Je ne pourrai jamais m’en remettre. Cette personne m’a détruite. »
AI : « Ce fut une expérience difficile, mais je l’ai choisie de mon plein gré. Il y a d’importantes leçons à tirer de toute relation douloureuse. »
EI : « Qu’est-ce qui ne va pas chez moi, je ne peux pas avoir une relation saine et enrichissante ? Je suis maudite à jamais et je serai seule pour le reste de mes jours. »
AI : « J’ai appris d’importantes leçons de cette relation passée et je suis beaucoup mieux équipée pour attirer le bon type d’homme dans ma vie à présent. Bien que cela ait été douloureux, je considère cette personne comme quelqu’un qui m’a beaucoup apporté. Je sais maintenant beaucoup mieux ce que je recherche chez un homme et ce dont je ne veux plus. »
EI : « Cet homme doit payer pour tout le mal qu’il a fait à moi et à mes enfants. Je vais le faire souffrir pour le reste de l’éternité pour qu’il comprenne. »
AI : « J’espère que cette femme pourra être heureuse dans ses relations futures. Je suis heureux de ne plus être dans sa vie, car il y avait beaucoup trop de conflits, et je peux maintenant attirer à moi une relation qui me convient bien mieux. Si le même schéma réapparaît dans toute relation future, je saurai alors que le problème vient de moi et non d’elle. »
Si l’enfant intérieur est blessé, il est préférable que l’adulte intérieur commence à valider l’enfant intérieur avant de partager sa sagesse. Par exemple, dans la première situation, cela ressemblerait à ceci : « Je sens que cette personne a détruit ma vie et m’a tout pris. Parfois, je m’égare à penser que je ne pourrai jamais me rétablir psychologiquement. Cependant, j’ai vécu des difficultés similaires dans le passé et j’ai survécu. En fait, je continue d’attirer de meilleurs compagnons. Je peux voir que ce fut une expérience difficile, mais je l’ai choisie de mon plein gré et personne ne m’y a forcée. J’ai appris quelques leçons importantes de cette relation. » Utilisez votre intuition pour communiquer harmonieusement avec votre EI et votre AI. Si vous laissiez votre bambin tout diriger chez vous, cela tournerait rapidement au souk, et votre doux enfant deviendrait un tyran en landau. Écoutez patiemment tous les besoins émotionnels de votre enfant intérieur, mais ne vous oubliez pas dans ce processus. L’un des rôles importants de l’AI consiste à éduquer l’EI pour qu’il grandisse. La validation émotionnelle doit aller de pair avec la responsabilité afin que nous ne restions pas coincés dans un rôle de victime, qui est l’un des états vibratoires les plus bas.
Rester en contact ou non après une rupture ?
Les personnes qui se séparent, mais qui s’aiment encore seront très blessées. Il est souvent très difficile pour eux de rester en contact, et tout échange avec l’ex-partenaire peut être ressenti comme un nouveau traumatisme. Dans un monde idéal, en particulier s’il y a des enfants, il serait préférable que les anciens partenaires restent courtois. D’après mon expérience, cela n’est toutefois possible que lorsque l’amour du couple n’est plus là et que chacun a tourné la page. Il n’y a alors plus de sentiment de manque ou de rancœur. Cela peut prendre du temps. Quelle est la probabilité que cela se produise lorsqu’un couple vient de se séparer ? C’est très improbable. Si une personne n’est plus amoureuse, mais que l’autre personne l’est, la situation est tout aussi difficile. Je suis d’avis que les gens doivent faire ce qu’il y a de mieux pour leur guérison personnelle. Toutefois, si des enfants sont impliqués, accordez la priorité à la santé émotionnelle des enfants sans céder aux drames et au contrôle de votre ex-partenaire. Je suis resté en contact avec quelques-unes des femmes que j’ai aimées par le passé, et j’ai trouvé ces relations enrichissantes. Cependant, il a souvent fallu des années avant de pouvoir créer une amitié après la fin de l’histoire d’amour. Cela ne peut être forcé, car l’amitié nouvellement acquise doit être inconditionnelle et éloignée de toutes les déceptions de la relation passée. Donc, dans la plupart des cas, une coupure nette est préférable à court terme pour permettre la guérison émotionnelle du couple récemment éclaté.
La gratitude comme outil de guérison ultime
En effectuant un important travail de guérison en Europe grâce au soutien de mes amis et de ma famille, j’ai trouvé les ressources nécessaires pour écrire un blog afin d’annoncer notre divorce d’une manière réellement reconnaissante en pensant à tous les bienfaits et les moment merveilleux qui ont accompagnés notre relation. Et je ne faisais pas la politique de l’autruche. C’était maintenant à moi de créer dans ma vie et en moi tout ce que j’avais adoré auparavant chez elle. Lorsque nous sommes reconnaissants, nous ne pouvons pas être en colère. Lorsque nous sommes reconnaissants, nous ne pouvons pas nous sentir victimes. Lorsque nous sommes reconnaissants, nous ne pouvons pas nous venger. Lorsque nous sommes reconnaissants, un avenir radieux nous attend et nous arrêtons de vivre dans le passé. Lorsque nous sommes reconnaissants, nous ne nous fermons pas et au contraire, nous gardons notre cœur ouvert à de nouvelles possibilités. Cependant, nous ne devons pas précipiter le processus de deuil en soi. Avant que nous puissions atteindre une véritable gratitude, nous devons faire l’expérience de toutes les émotions crues d’impuissance, de colère, de rancœur, de tristesse et de manque. Et souvent, nous devons vivre ces émotions négatives plusieurs fois au cours de différents cycles. Nos émotions doivent être authentiques et nous ne devons pas prétendre ressentir quelque chose que nous ne ressentons pas. C’est cela que de vivre une vie authentique. Nous devons trouver le courage d’exprimer ouvertement ce que nous ressentons lorsque nous nous sentons en sécurité sans se soucier de l’opinion d’autrui.
Combien de temps faut-il pour guérir d’une rupture ?
Si nous voulons vraiment guérir, si nous vivons dans un milieu sain et si nous pouvons compter sur un adulte intérieur qui a de la sagesse, je pense qu’un mois par année de la relation est un délai raisonnable. Toutefois, cela peut prendre parfois beaucoup plus de temps et d’ailleurs, certains individus ne surmontent jamais certains chagrins amoureux. Il est aussi possible que vous fassiez le deuil de l’être cher alors même que vous êtes encore dans la relation. Pendant la phase de deuil, le célibat strict est très recommandé. Notre énergie sexuelle est la plus fine des énergies dont nous disposons, et vous avez besoin de tourner cette énergie créative vers l’intérieur pour votre guérison. Si nous écoutons réellement notre corps pendant un cycle de deuil, nous remarquerons que le corps n’a aucune envie de dépenser son énergie sexuellement. Seule la tête peut le faire afin d’éviter de ressentir des émotions difficiles, car cela suit un schéma de dépendance et de peur de la solitude. Notre tête est un bon serviteur, mais un bien pauvre maître. La sagesse de notre cœur et de notre corps est beaucoup plus fiable pour savoir ce qui est le mieux pour nous. Ne précipitez pas votre processus de deuil.
Je suis intéressé à en savoir plus sur vos propres histoires de rupture, ce que vous en avez appris et ce qui a aidé votre processus de deuil. N’hésitez pas à partager vos histoires et vos questions ci-dessous dans les commentaires.
Yesterday, we went hiking with the family and visited an aviary with birds from all over the world. I had decided to organize some fun family time as I understood how important is “together time” for Winter, Teal and our extended family. Teal and I travel often and I have many activities and responsibilities that occupy my time and I recognized I was not present enough to my stepson and members of the extended community such as Graciela. As we were about to start on our day trip, Winter started to act out and refused to come. A couple of years ago, if it had been my children, I will have raised my voice and coerced them into getting into the car, shutting their feelings as I felt I knew better what was right for them. Fortunately, Teal knows better and she took the time to engage a dialog with her son. She got him to a point to express his discomfort. And as we were driving to the mountain, he started to give us to our awe a remarkable speech on the power of the attachment theory with the words of a 7 year old. He expressed how his heart was starting to feel distrust as people acting as nannies would come in and out of his life. He felt very connected to a community member that last year for a variety of reason had to leave us temporarily and as a result he is now feeling a resistance to get close again to new caretakers as he feels they would leave and the pain of separation would be too great to handle. He explained in a remarkably clear way for a 7 year old what he needed to feel very close to this individual again. She felt so moved by his words that she started shedding tears. I used this opportunity to ask Winter about our own personal connection and with his hands, he showed me the separation between him and I which was significant. He basically said that I was around but not really there. His statement moved me deeply too. He is right that I am not really present to him as a stepdad as I have not made it a priority and often find myself delegating his caretaking to other members of the community. We talked and we decided together to spend at least once a week some time just the two of us so that we can truly connect and feel closer to one another.
As we drove back in the evening, I told Teal that I felt a heavy heart and would love to do a process with her on it, before working on the computer. I had pain in my upper neck, which was an indication I was repressing emotions. Teal helped me work through some triggers and did some body work on me. Her hands are truly magical as her extra sensory gifts showed her visually the stuck energy in my body. At that point, she felt I was ready for an authentic talk. She confronted me that while we spent the day together, she felt I was not really engaged and present with the rest of them. It was hard to hear at first as I had organized the full day to make it fun for everyone, and it felt like all of us had a good time. I reviewed then the day in my mind and could see her perspective. I had spent the day a lot in my own mind. I did not make particular efforts to engage with anyone. I found myself a couple of times alone during the activities as I was either before or behind our small group. I asked to read my book in the car instead of going to the store shopping for clothes for Winter. I started to feel bad. I tried to do the right thing by organizing a fun family day but I had failed. I had been physically present but not emotional present to the family. As a result, my wife was actually starving of connection after a day dedicated to spending time together as a family! I pushed my projects aside that evening and made sure all my attention and focus would be on her and us.
Teal was right. I was acting as a human doing and not a human being, and I was making them feel while I was with them that I did not want to be there and that I would rather work on my projects. I became conscious that I had the same pattern with my previous family. I would go on hikes, often leading the way in the front of everyone, not curious about my children inner world, feelings, endeavors, content with a shallow connection while this would our only day off in a busy Silicon Valley work week. Shortly after Alina and I separated, I tried to make the time spent with my children special, and I would organize special trips, time with friends or activities during the time I had them. They however complained to me that what they really wanted was to connect to me instead of always being distracted. I felt unappreciated as I felt I was really trying to make our time together special. I was making them feel that they were not enough by themselves for themselves and that I had to always add more stimulation to make the time spent with them acceptable. This was not my conscious intent. This was more my own projection. I felt subconsciously I was not good enough that they would enjoy spending time with me without additional entertainment. People around me often feel that I would rather do something else than truly being and connecting with them. Despite my 25 years on the spiritual path, I felt disabled in my connection abilities. I was feeling powerless to create the very feelings in myself and others that are so important to me.
As I went deeper into my process with the support of Teal, I realized the trauma was coming from dad side. His mother would rarely visit him when he was a child. He subconsciously felt she would rather not be with him as she felt shame for the relationship that had given birth to him. Their infrequent meeting was more a painful reminder that there was something wrong and bad with him. My grandmother always lived in her own world too and always had difficulty connecting with family members at a deeper level while appearing as a socialite to the outside world. She had a sister called Tati Jojo who was very kind to us, and we developed a much deeper relationship with her, and this created some jealousy on my grandmother side as she could not understand why my sister and I felt closer to Tati Jojo than her as she was not aware of her relating pattern. We are dealing here with generational trauma. My grandmother mother died when she was 11. Her father quickly remarried. The new wife did not like her and her sister. They were kicked out of the house and had to start working at the post office in their early teens to sustain themselves. Then, 50 years later, my parents divorced when I was 10. My sister and I stayed initially with my father but because of the insecurity of my stepmother and the codependency of my father, I was sent back to be with my mother while I had asked my dad to stay with him. Again, I felt powerless not to repeat the same pattern. My son was 11 when Alina and I separated. While I did everything on my end to fight for an integrated family structure after the divorce, my children were taught to hate my new wife while they never met her, and from their perspective, they felt abandoned by a dad that would choose another woman over them. Any family trauma that is not healed, repeats from generation to generation, often in a tragic way.
After my parents divorced, some of the most painful time I experienced was the time spent with my father. During that time, I felt invisible. Though the times we would spend together were rare, he was not emotionally present to me. It felt like he would rather do something else and be somewhere else. I felt non-existent, small and unworthy of love. He often had hurtful comments or clumsy gifts that made me feel worse about myself. From his perspective, he felt he was making efforts trying to be a good father while still acting from his hurt inner child not very differently to what I am doing today with my closed ones. I understand that he often thinks of me and believes he loves me however his actions more often than not send a different message. He is not an abusive man. He is actually doing what he can but because of his own upbringing, he has incapacity to connect and make other people feel special because deep inside, he feels very unworthy. And I have to accept that he is a mirror of me. My father would often tell me that he and his parents were proud of my school results. As a result, I felt I could only be valued for my successes and external accomplishment not for who I am. I learned that people did not have a real desire to connect to me. I always strived to be the best at school so that I would have a chance to be loved. I became a human doing, and experienced for most of my adulthood relationships that were conditional in nature as a result.
Then Teal brought me to a visualization of the type of father that I really wanted as a child. This father would be fully present to me, he would be a teacher full of wisdom about life and relationships. When we would interact, he would focus and empathically listen to me, he would show concern, have the sincere desire to know me deep inside. He would be excited to spend time with me. I would always be on his mind. He would show small gestures of love making me feel important. He would act as a protector when necessary and always be available for me when I need it. He would encourage me, help me overcome my fears, have a sympathetic ear, and show both strength and vulnerability. As I contemplate who my inner child really wanted as a father, I come to realize the brutal truth that in my present life, I often act more like my father than being the man my inner child has been starving for. From this painful awareness, I feel a sincere desire to change. I understand that to truly heal my life, my relationships, it is time to give my inner child what I always wanted and give it to the closest people of my life. For you Winter, I want you to feel that I enjoy spending time and connecting with you, that you are important to me, that I will be careful with your heart and not pull away, that I am interested to understand and see the unique being that you are. For you Teal, I want you to feel that I would rather be with you than doing anything else in the world, that you are my top priority. I want to make you feel safe, cared for, cherished and adored. I want you to feel that I am an expert of you and always care about your best interest. I want to be your anchor, strength and stability even during the storms of life. I want to share the same qualities to my extended family. As I heal, I sincerely hope that my own children will feel the call of my heart and will consider reconnecting with me as they feel I could improve their lives and support them authentically instead of being a liability.
I remember that in the past I have tried to bring these higher masculine qualities however I am now realizing that I attempted to do so while repressing my inner child. Now, I am committed to bring these qualities within me while staying present to my inner child. My man self not only need to take care of my loved ones but also to my hurt little boy, as he is being reflected externally. This is why relationships are such an accelerated track for expansion. And by living a life with the spiritual catalyst, all my shadows appear clearly and there is nowhere to hide as everything is reflected and amplified.
In my life, I have been a human doing more than a human being and it is not a surprise I spent 20 years in the Silicon Valley where a regular work week is 70 hours without counting the side projects to get ahead. As a human doing, how we feel about ourselves is only connected to our accomplishments. We received compliments as a child only when we achieved something special externally. This is true to me and also to Teal’s childhood. This style of parenting is very common and well regarded in society. While it is better than emotional neglect, most people do not realize the amount of damage done by this parenting style. To be worthy of love, children learn to behave a certain way and accomplish certain results otherwise love is removed. They learn they do not have an intrinsic value. Unfortunately, everyone knows that the satisfaction derived by accomplishments is always short lived. When I was 20, after I entered one of the top engineering schools of France after national competitive exams, my joy only lasted a couple of weeks and quickly turn into depression as I lost the escape mechanism for my own inner void and childhood trauma. Teal told me yesterday that a happy wife will mean much more to me than any of my accomplishments in terms of personal happiness. She is so right. As we grow older, our joy comes more and more from simple pleasure of connecting and relating instead of our past achievements. As a human doing, we develop an addiction to cross as many items from our list in order to feel fulfilled for the day instead of feeling how we have impacted each other lives for the better. As a human doing, failure to perform means worthlessness and that we are undeserving of love.
I can see how this pattern has affected most of my relationships. Every time I have fallen in love, the first couple of months are heavenly. There is no time, just the pleasure to connect with one another. A day feels like a couple of minutes. Then the intensity of the infatuation subsides, and a covert subconscious belief comes in. It makes me feel that unless I am able to have achievements, she will leave me because I am not good enough on my own. So I pull away to focus on my activities in order keep the love I cannot afford to lose. By pulling away, I bring dissatisfaction to my mate that starts pulling away to protect herself emotionally and my very fear of the lost love becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. She feels abandoned, not good enough for who she is and her own insecurity is brought up. She feels unloved and unworthy at her turn. Inevitably, she detaches to make me feel the way I make her feel and the relationship becomes rocky. I become alone in my accomplishments and do not understand why love is going away while I am working so hard, and do so much for my wife and the family. This is the tragedy of the human doing.
Instead, by focusing on our children feelings, values, efforts, how they treat other people, we show them we truly care for who they are, and not only have concerns about their results. Let’s leave that for the corporate world. Transactional relationships may be OK for the business world however they are toxic for family relationships as we need to instill unconditional love to our children to create the new earth. We will then raise children with less fear of failure that are free to experiment and discover their unique gifts, as their self-esteem is not in danger when they do not perform according expectation. We may fear that this attitude may make them under achievers however by doing so, we focus on the very underlying conditions of success and we make them connect to their individual talent derived directly from their inner child. Movement, spontaneity and creativity are natural in children, not apathy. Inactivity and aloofness are the mark of trauma not of a healthy emotional upbringing. Our children can achieve success in two different ways. One will be a direct expression of their being, happiness and creativity, and will often translate in fulfilling and meaningful careers. Other will achieve success at the price of intense inner struggles, coping mechanisms, misery along the way often followed by a crash, realizing later in life that they hate their job and their lives. They will often fool people on the outside as everyone think they are successful. These two categories of success can be observed in all walks of life, especially with top athletes. The human doing is the personality than has repressed the human being or the inner child, the seat of the soul with all its creative, expressive and intuitive abilities. Our human doing has done enough damage shutting down our inner child. It is time to have our human doing serve our human being for a truly meaningful and satisfying life.
Do you want to be a human doing or a human being? What do you want your children to become?
This morning when I woke up, I felt some intense and dark heavy energy. For the last 6 years, meditation has been my refuge when I was faced with challenging emotions. For this reason, I put on my favorite meditation music, sat and started to listen to my internal world. I have verified what Teal teaches, which is that strong emotional triggers can be used as a rope to get deep within yourself and to get unique insights about the healing that needs to be brought forth. Often the strong energy of the trigger will bring on an altered state of consciousness. In this altered state of consciousness, you can see yourself from a higher perspective.
The first energy I felt was connected to the loss of my two children that I have not been able to talk with for almost a year now. A wave of shame ensued. How bad do you have to be if your own children aged 11 and 13 refuse to have any contact with you? At a conscious level, I can understand the psychological dynamics at play. I intellectually understand that because of the many complex aspects involved in this situation I should not be so hard on myself. However I find that my inner child is unable to separate from the deep shame created by this separation.
In my coaching role over the years, I have worked with many people that have daddy issues. Some of them had the most horrible fathers but the children were still trying to have a relationship with their father. They were doing this despite an obvious lack of reciprocity. I am not saying I was the perfect father as I can see that I have made many mistakes along the way as a father. I did what I could with what I knew at the time. Losing all contact with both of my children (like I never existed for them in the first place) feels utterly unfair and cruel. It feels so painful.
At this time during my meditation, I remembered my talk with my friend Avtar in Atenas, Costa Rica. He was telling me that I was making the pain worse by creating a story about the situation that would make me feel worse and solicit other people’s support. I challenged him. I told him that there is a part of us that requires validation, care and concern when we are confronting pain and suffering. Dismissing and discounting the part of us that is suffering is even more damaging. I shared my personal experience with him that I had become an expert at coping. Earlier in my life, I developed the ability to perform & function no matter what the circumstance. I had created a spiritual personality that could always see the silver lining in everything and even convince myself that situations that are traumatic are “all perfect”. While this is true from a higher dimensional perspective, it was only after being with Teal that I realized that I was bypassing and that I had repressed a lot of traumas this way. As a result, they kept manifesting externally. This is exactly what happened with the loss of my children.
My spiritual personality had shut down my inner child and left me disconnected. I had lost my spontaneity and my aliveness. Avtar and I agreed that it is important to avoid the two extremes of identifying with the story around the pain and repressing it. There is always a higher alternative which is to fully experience the energy around the trigger without a story and let this energy runs its course without resistance within ourselves.
As I reflected back on our conversation, I let myself fully experience the pain without identification or without the need to create a story around my pain. I went to a higher perspective and saw that I was continuously creating and emitting the energy of loss in my life. I dove into the energy of loss and I saw my life from this perspective. I re-experienced the loss of intimate partners that I was so close to. I felt their betrayal. I felt the pain of losing my stepson. I felt the pain of losing most of my friends who cut all contact with me after I made the decision to leave the cult I was a member of when I was 23. I felt the pain of losing my own children after a horrendous court battle. I felt the pain of suffering the betrayal of colleagues and employees that I worked with so closely for a long time. I have a self-concept that I am a good guy however all these events seem to show a different story. They show a herd of people angry with me, seeing me as an awful person. I acknowledged this fact and sank into the deep shame underneath all these events.
In the meditation, I was brought back to my parents and I was shown their shame. Shamanism teaches us that we inherit all of the unresolved issues of our parents through our genes. My mother lost her own mother when she was 3 years old after a neighbor had reported the abuse of the new stepfather. She became a foster child raised by an old lady. She was taught to shower in the dark because her own nudity was considered shameful. She was forbidden to turn on the light to do her homework so as to not waste the money of her caretaker. She was instructed to use worn ugly clothes in order to not attract the envy and the negative attention of people that were paying for her upbringing through subsidies with their tax money. My mother’s first love died in his early twenties from terminal illness.
My father’s story is also built upon shame. Unbeknownst to him (until he was in his sixties), his mother became pregnant with him after a love affair with a Nazi officer during the Second World War. She moved away and managed to hide the truth of the situation. However in order to avoid a possible punishment, she gave her son away to an old lady in the countryside. She would send her money, and rarely would visit. Though she loved him, she was incapable of hiding her own feelings of shame about this liaison from her son. It was only after getting more stable in her life and marrying the man that I thought was my grandfather that she took her son back. He was 10 years old. At that time, he hardly knew any French and was acting more like a wild animal than a boy of his age. Considering their background, my parents did relatively well. However, all of the shame they were not able to transform was passed to my sister and to myself.
For this incarnation, I chose to be the son of two parents who were struggling with huge shame issues. During this meditation, I saw my soul contract with shame. 4 years ago, during a spiritual experience, I saw how earth was a prison planet. I saw a vision that we were all souls that had deviated from the divine plan. I saw that from our own freewill, we started to hurt other beings in the universe and as a result, were brought to earth to re-learn the consequences of our actions to become benevolent again. From this perspective, we are like fallen angels using earth as our purgatory. Our sense of guilt has brought us to our human experience.
For a couple of years, I volunteered in jail as a chaplain to provide spiritual guidance to inmates. I realized that most convicts carry an immense amount of guilt and this is how they become a match to the experience of jail. There are a lot of people that have committed much worse actions that walk freely in the world today. If they experience no guilt, they would not end up in jail. This is why someone like Doc (Teal’s abuser) is still walking freely today. In this new meditation I saw how shame, even more than guilt, was the energy that was attaching us to earth. It is acting just like the force of gravity.
In the spiritual community, people see Love as being the opposite of Fear. From this new perspective, I could see how all fears stem from shame. When I am jealous, I feel ashamed about not being good enough for my partner. When I am afraid to do public speaking, I am ashamed to look like a fool. When I am afraid to lose my job, I am ashamed that I cannot support myself or ashamed of the disapproval of my supervisor. Most conflicts in relationship emerge from shame as well. We are desperately trying to make each other wrong so that we can be good. This is a deep realization I had with Teal a couple of weeks ago and now, we decided to practice owning our shame consciously rather than deflecting it in order to avoid conflict escalation.
I recently read the excellent book of Ross Rosenberg called ‘The Human Magnet Syndrome: Why We Love People Who Hurt Us’. He describes the codependent, narcissistic and borderline personality disorders and how they play out in relationship dynamics. As a result of reading this book, I realized that all personality disorders live within us in various degrees because they are the direct result of emotional abuse or neglect that took place in our childhood. From that perspective, there is no mental illness but only traumas that have not been released or integrated. When I realized this true cause of personality disorders, I began to see that these personality disorders all come from the shame we acquired in the face of trauma.
As a child, if something bad happens to us, we need to create meaning to deal with the suffering and most of time the meaning we create is that we are bad and this is why we deserve to get into painful experiences. The personality disorder we will develop will depend upon our degree of powerlessness in face of trauma and our own predisposition for coping. Of the three types, the codependent is the least powerless. While still raised in an environment where their emotional needs cannot be met, they are able to somehow affect the response of their caretakers. For example, a child like myself could have felt powerless with his mom’s mood swings, emotional unavailability and dark suicidal thoughts however he may have been able to get his mom’s attention by crying to evoke her pity at the very least. Codependents learn to control other people through various emotional manipulation strategies because they are not able to meet their emotional needs directly.
The codependent has a desperate need to appear to be the good guy to cover up his own inner shame. The two other disorders (Narcissists and Borderlines) develop from complete and utter powerlessness to create any needed emotional reactions from their early caretakers and they will split into 2 groups. The first group develops the ability to shut down their feelings as a coping mechanism to cover their own shame. These people can end up being narcissists, sociopaths or psychopaths. They become unable to feel. They replay their own inner drama externally, often by creating great pain around them. More often than not, men will adopt this coping mechanism because they are head centered. When the individual is unable to stop feeling as a coping mechanism, they will most likely develop borderline personality disorder. This often translates into self-injury, self-hate, suicidal tendencies and emotional deregulation. Women who are more heart centered are most likely to develop this personality disorder. This personality type creates a lot of turmoil around them however they are creating a living hell for themselves more so than for anyone else.
Some of the descriptions of these personality types may appear extreme, however we should consider that each one of us demonstrates some of these traits depending on the amount of unresolved trauma we experienced. And you will always find shame at the core of each dysfunction. Skilled therapists are reluctant to use these labels (narcissist or borderline) because they know their clients will automatically feel shame as a result of being put into that box, which would make the therapy unproductive. These terms are only useful when used from the point of view of self-observation and accessing the wealth of knowledge and tools available around them. They are not useful as a shaming mechanism.
Today, I did an exercise where I listed all the things I am ashamed of. To my surprise, there was over one hundred items in this list! It felt like I was finally being authentic and it helped me release a very heavy emotional burden that I felt I have been carrying for a very long time. I am only sharing with you a few of them because I am too ashamed of the rest 😉
- I am ashamed that I have been such a terrible father that my children have chosen not to have a relationship with me
- I am ashamed that I am so unattuned that people sometimes see me as dangerous
- I feel ashamed of my heavy French accent after 20 years in the US
- I am ashamed that I trigger my significant other often
- I feel ashamed that I am not valuable enough to my father that he decided not to go to my wedding with Teal
This exercise helped me so much that I would like to invite you to share your own shame list with all of us in the comments below. We should consider that most institutionalized religions and most social organizations are anchored in shame. I am finding that one of the fastest ways to advance on the path of liberation is to become consciously aware of your shame.