Thursday, 3 July 2008

I was looking to get laid but instead I found my inner child

"You spend four nights a week now looking for your inner child.
What you gonna say when you find him? Suppose you don't like him or he doesn't like you?
Suppose once you wake him up he won't go back to bed and wants to stay up late watching TV?
But you say there must be some reason why you feel this way.
Big deal, that's the way we all feel."

- "Big Deal", Everything but the Girl

So something happened last night that felt really important. I say felt, as this is something that purely happened internally, in my mind. It didn’t happen outside in the environment, and as a result, it’s a bit weird, a bit out there. It deals with deep-level psychological ideas, and borders on the metaphysical at times, and as such could be seen as very pretentious. But it happened to me, it was real, and although talking about something this personal could be seen as a risk, I believe in honesty and if a few people think I’m strange, I can live with that. I’ll try to describe it as best I can.

Those of you familiar with meditation and the mind-body connection know that feelings in the body can relate to certain psychological states. Tension in your thoughts more often than not is reflected with tension in your body, and vice versa. Hence why a balanced, relaxed posture and strong core can make you feel so good.

A while before last night I was listening to my meditation CD and I became aware of a tension in my torso, just under the breast plate at the top of the abdomen. It was like a tightness or pressure pushing inwards like you might get if you exhale too quickly. In my relaxed state I became aware that this somehow equated to feelings of jealousy (it happened shortly after this day). I focussed on the tension and changed it – I softly pushed the pressure back out, so that there was a beam of energy coming out of my chest and forwards into the world. I felt much more relaxed and was no longer spending energy keeping the tension in. Did it reduce my feelings of jealousy? To be honest I’m not sure, but it did give me better posture and I feel better and more relaxed, and that’s something. In fact the effect that that has had on my posture has been great and beneficial in lots of subtle ways.

But last night something else happened. Again I was relaxing with my meditation CD just before falling asleep at night. I became aware of a tension in the core of my torso, up and down the front and back, quite deep in the body, below the muscles on the outside (i.e. the ones you can see), close to the spine and the internal organs. I think these are posture / support muscles or tendons. I sensed that they were very tense, constantly contracted. I focussed on the tensions and tried to see what they were. It seemed to want to move out to the right, so I did that.

Then suddenly it moved in front of me and I saw a small child, looking very upset. I see that it is an imaginary version of me from the past, as a small child, who is upset because he wants love, from other people. And this is love in all its forms - friendship, respect, acceptance, kindness, love, sex, favours, parental love, admiration, adulation, on and on in so many forms. And he wants it all, and so much of it. In fact he’s constantly looking for it, all the time, and can never get enough. He a vampire, a succubus, and he’s part of me. Quite a dominant part of me in fact, but one that I haven’t been too consciously aware of. But it’s this constant want, need, hunger that is causing the tension. And I realise that this has been going on for a very long time, I think the boy is about 5 or 6 years old.

I recently went to a conference on a metaphysical process called Big Mind, Big Heart(BMBH) by a guy called Genpo Roshi, which uses a technique call Voice Dialogue to talk to aspects of yourself and resolve conflicts while easily and quickly experiencing high level Zen states. In that process you talk with the voice of various aspects of yourself to understand them, become clearly aware of them and integrate them into your greater whole, so that you might operate more effectively and be more at peace, amongst other things.

So I decided to use that practice here, although slightly differently as the boy who talked with this voice was separate from me and I was talking with him, and yet he was still part of me (i.e. created by my imagination). I told you this got strange. So I became clear on what he wants, and understood his needs, which are massive, and it’s quite scary. I mean, here he is with this voracious, insatiable appetite which is creating all this tension, and what am I supposed to do? How do you solve a problem like this?

Well it’s my imagination so I feel for a right answer. He just wants to be loved. He wants someone to love him. Well, he’s part of me, and I can love him. So I tell him that I love him, and can provide him with all the love he needs. I’m not sure if this is right or true but it seems to calm him down and there is a massive sigh of relief.

And then thinking back to the BMBH process one question you ask of repressed, dysfunctional voices like this is, “What is the mature version of this voice?” At the time I couldn’t think of one as it just seemed too powerfully stuck in its extreme need to become mature. The obvious answer is motivation, or perhaps focus and awareness on the surroundings. Someone that can help point out opportunities to me, which I can then choose to act on. Something along those lines seems to be the answer.

Another thing to consider is that for the voice or part of me that constantly wants love, there is also another part of me that wants to give love, and one that probably hasn’t had as much (subconscious) attention. As such this part of me can meet up with the part of me that wants love, and they can exist in harmony and balance. This is more of a thought than a feeling though.

And that brings me to a final point from the BMBH process, which is that at the end of the day, we speak with the voice of one who consciously chooses to be a human being. That’s a mildly pretentious but actually quite important idea, the idea that you choose to accept yourself as who you are, which doesn’t mean that you don’t necessarily want to change something, but that in the here are now you accept that this is what it is.

And so we come back to the Power of Now, the Buddhist concepts of presence, awareness and acceptance.

This could lead on to another essay on how all self-help, self-development, self-improvement, psychological advancement, enlightenment, call it what you will but all those types of processes are rooted in and come back to the concepts of awareness and acceptance (presence is part of both).

Walking around I now realise that most of the time when I feel tension or insecurity, the "child" who constantly wants love is seeking something from the environment. When I remind it that I can supply it with all the love it needs, the tension disappears.

And it’s improved my posture.

The goals post will come next…

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