I am recognising how vulnerable my loneliness can make me. This is why it is important for me to practice self care and make sure I am doing a lot of things that bring my soul joy and fill up my own inner tank with happiness and comfort and soothing. When I don’t look to myself first, I become very vulnerable to others. They may not necessarily be abusive but they may be disconnected or disconnecting from themselves in subtle and not so subtle ways.
It is also vitally necessary for me to have a constant contact with my inner child and higher self,the intelligent observer self in me who can watch the wounded self and take care of that self when it is hungry and reaching out too far. One of the problems of being neglected as children is that we do get hungry for love. We can turn against ourselves in an effort to get this love. We can loose touch with an inner source of joy that comes from feeling we are good and know and can trust our own insides.
Many of us may have been shamed for being happy. I know I most certainly was. There were Nazi anti happiness terrorists amongst the Nun’s in our school and they passed on that shaming to our inner children at school. I can only guess their own inner children were very sad and shamed too.
I also have my North Node (the position of spiritual growth and increase that we need to develop in this life) in Leo which relates to the divine child or soulful child within. This is the most essential part of our being and spirit that we naturally inhabit early in life, open to a sense of wonder and magic. If we are shamed a lot we loose touch with this part of us. If we have to grow up too soon and be too responsible, are not allowed enough play time, or time to goof off this part of us atrophies and dies on some level. We become hyper vigilant and super serious. I know I most certainly did. And in the place we should feel joy, spontaneity and freedom we feel sadness, emotional constipation and constriction. Our emotional starvation makes us literally famished for life and we may subvert this repressed longing into addictions or dysfunctional attempts at connecting. Are these things really wrong? No just misdirected hunger and energy that needs to find a more positive healthy outlet.
These days I am aware that I need to be constantly on the look out for things that light up my inner child. Letting my dog run free with no lead in grassy expanses and play tumble with other dogs at the doggie park, listening to old music, dancing around home (naked if I want), dressing in bright colours and other things that bring a sense of magic to my day.
I am seeing recently that I have had more than ten lifetimes of pain, trauma, seriousness and tragedy and for so many years I have been stuck there. I crucially need a sense of humour today and I do believe that a sense of irony or humour is one of the gifts of embracing the Dark Night of the Soul. The ability to laugh and see the irony and joy naturally arises out of being with the deepest, darkest painful feelings we go through in reaction to invalidation abuse and trauma.
The question I am going to ask myself more and more as I negotiate my days now is this. How does doing this, being with this person make me feel. Does it add to a sense of freedom, lightness and joy? Or does it drag me down and make my energy low, constricted or confused? I can then take appropriate steps to make sure that I get enough of the good stuff on any day to keep feelings of powerlessness and victimhood at bay and keep my inner child nourished and nurtured.