Western society usually does not condone letting others see our “ugly” selves, or what I and my colleagues call the “Dungeon Children”. For us, they’re the unloved and undesirable parts of our natures, such as pettiness, jealousy, anger, and unworthiness that we’d really rather not have others see. After all. modern media portrays the norm as bright, bubbly, and full of promise if we just buy the right things. Traditional schooling doesn’t offer many alternatives to understand those aspects of our characters, or how to deal with them. Western medicine offers pills to numb the accompanying feelings, or treatments that are quite lengthy and expensive. Little wonder that most of us shove those emotions under the carpet or lock them away in the dungeons of our unconscious. “Nope, nothing here to see! I’m just fine!”
However, for myself, a lifetime of “stuffing emotions” led to a lifetime of painful body sensations. Previously, in the blog about “Triune Brain” theory, I discussed the different parts of our brains, and how our unconscious, or reptilian brain, often can have deep fears associated with past traumas. The result is stuck energy that is sapping our ability to move forward in our endeavors because we don’t even know that the obstacles of resistance are there.
For myself, my first encounter with my own Dungeon Children was at a retreat during a session of holotropic breathwork. While there are many paths to healing, this particular one was quite traumatic and painful for me, as very vivid and scary images were coming up. The practices that I now use that I’m shown by the Divine are way more gentle, and as a result more efficient and effective, in my opinion. However, the good thing that came out of that breath work experience was that I first saw myself as the hurt, wounded child whose “ugly” aspects had been ignored and not given a voice. I got down on my knees and hugged that grimy, 5 year old urchin that was part of me and have spent the time since then learning how to give her a place in my life.
So who are my own Dungeon Children? Since my father died when I was eight, there’s part of me that doesn’t feel lovable. There’s the needy me, the impatient me, the jealous me… and the list goes on. In fact, there can be quite a whole street scene of “Dickens-like” street children clamoring for my attention, and who wants to look at those ugly, embarrassing parts of ourselves? Yet, we all have our own versions, and without attention, there complaints will be heard, usually in the form of body sensations, pains, and even diseases.
Giving this aspect of yourself a voice is the first step to internal unity. In my shamanic training in Lakota Sioux traditions, I learned that ALL aspects of ourselves deserve recognition. Even if you don’t have a sure knowledge of the nature of what is going on inside of yourself, simply acknowledging that you know that something is wrong and that you don’t understand yet is a big part of starting the process.Telling that unknown part of yourself to please be patient as you learn to communicate with all aspects of you will go a long way to alleviate the fears and body pains. Following that by asking for trust with the promise that you will make time to learn how you can become whole and in integrity with all parts of you is another great follow-up. That last part of making a promise to yourself to take time to “listen” to what your body is trying to tell you is critical. For myself, I had ignored most of the more subtle signals that I was getting.. “Nance, pay attention! You need to hear this!”. So my body learned that it had to wrack me with pain before I would pay attention. Future blogs will discuss more about how to learn to interpret the information your unconscious is sending, but the take away I want to impart here for now is that we all have aspects of ourselves that we don’t like, they are vying for our attention, and one way or the other they will be heard.
How have you ever confronted by aspects of yourself that you dind’t want to face? How did you go about learning to connect in with all of you?
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You can find out more about my healing work at www.hearthealing.net, about my artwork on my web site at www.fiberfantasies.com (be patient as it loads; it’s worth it), and can find me on Google + , Facebook (for Transition Portals), Facebook (for Fiber Fantasies), and Twitter.