Tag Archives: child self

Chuck’s Place: Child Care

From whence does our ancient innocence come? - Photo by Jan Ketchel
From whence does our ancient innocence come?
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

The truth is, the child self is older than the adult self. We were all children first. Actually, to advance, the child self had to stay behind so that the adult self could mature.

The child self, who sought the safety and fulfillment of its fundamental survival, who sought unconditional love and acceptance, who sought the pure play of innocence and discovery, had to shut down, hold in, and separate from the seeds of its budding adult self that it launched, while it sank into dormancy, waiting for the day the adult might turn around and rediscover its roots in the purity and innocence of childhood again.

Often, that child self was neglected and traumatized and it secretly bears the weight and torment of its early experiences. Voluntarily, it broke away from consciousness, hiding in the dark so as not to disturb the forward movement of the adult self. Its only hope of redemption, its hidden contract, was that in the triggered moments of adulthood the adult self would come in search of the traumatized child self and lead it to the light of day and help it to become unburdened of its horror stories, terrors, and confusions.

Only the adult self can become the true parent self to its lost child self. Only the adult self can find its forgotten self. Only the adult self can stand with its younger self and bear witness to the full truth of its younger experiences and, in so doing, put them to rest. Only the adult self can free its imprisoned child self and merge its innocence into the play of adult life.

Too often, adults forget their childhoods and only know they don’t want to revisit that horrid period of life. As the child stays cloistered, however, life in adulthood is experienced as barren and lacking, and the adult self seeks to compensate for the lack of joy and freedom by indulging in the myriad of addictions available in adult life.

At other times, adults become parents and inadvertently project their forsaken child selves onto their own children, who they serve as if they were princes and princesses, unable to limit, so deep is the pain of their own forsaken inner children. Sometimes the inner children are projected onto pets or other helpless creatures of the world, whom the adult feels compulsively bound to nurture and save.

Oh, that sweet innocence! - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Oh, that sweet innocence!
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

If we come to the place of discovery of our own inner child, perhaps at first in dreams where our child tells us its secrets, we may be so appalled by the lack of care given and the hardships endured that we feel bound to serve and protect this wounded child at all costs. Young children do need parents to cater to their needs; its the core of survival. But they do also need parents that will listen to the truth, the whole truth of their experiences, and help them sort out the confusion of who is to blame and why things actually happened. Children may need to be helped to release their anger and sadness, and receive appropriate love and support.

But the truth is, our younger child self is much older than we are and may, in some way, be much wiser and more mature as well. After all, that warrior self already endured pain, suffering, neglect, perhaps even abuse and torture, things the adult self finds difficult to endure much less believe.

The child self does not need to be catered to or compensated for all that it had endured or lost. What it does need, however, is to be relieved of its burdens and its innocence to be welcomed into life.

Too often the adult self struggles with facing the pain, suffering and frustrated needs of the child self and tries to make a life for it where there is no pain or woundings. That’s impossible. As Buddha said, life is suffering. What the child self needs to know is that the adult self will not abandon it again, and that if there are woundings it will heal.

The solution is not to remain overprotective of the child self for the life it has lived, whereby cutting off the opportunity for joy in life, nor in overcompensating or catering to a child who suffered by making unrealistic promises or acting out its entitlement demands. The key to child care is a full recapitulation where the adult self stays present and hears the full truth of the childhood it once lived, ending the child’s isolation, validating its truths, releasing it from its frozen emotions and clarifying its beliefs.

During the recapitulation process the child self and the adult self learn to trust and feel safe with each other. They learn, no matter what is encountered or presented, that they can and will handle anything together in a nurturing and loving manner, without judgment or fear, unconditionally committed to a new and open relationship with each other. With that deep work done, the innocence of the child self merges with the maturity of the adult self and together they are not only ready to lead a new and fulfilling life, but fully open to experiencing all the joys and love that adulthood offers.

Perhaps the greatest challenge for the adult self is to encounter the pure innocence of the child self and to not succumb to a deep sadness and protectiveness that freezes the ability to bring that innocence into life. All innocence must experience the wounding of life outside the protectorate of the fairytale. For innocence to continue life in this world, it must grow to know about pain and suffering.

Resolution, acceptance, fulfillment... - Art by Jan Ketchel
Resolution, acceptance, fulfillment…
– Art by Jan Ketchel

Buddha’s father attempted to encase him in a painless magical kingdom, a fairytale world that he would never leave. Eventually, however, Buddha did go out into the real world and fully experience the woundings of the real world, as did Christ in his own ending on the cross. Nonetheless, it was through such woundings, and the ability to not get swallowed up by them, that each of these teachers eventually ascended to their spiritual enlightenment.

The path laid out for the adult self is to let our innocence out into this world and, through the trials and experiences in its human and spirit suffering, to find fulfillment in the enlightenment of the full human spiritual journey. This is true child care.

Deeply caring,

A Day in a Life: Thank You Shirley Temple—You Saved My Life

We're all just passing through... What do we offer? - Photo of our resident deer taking a peek inside by Jan Ketchel
We’re all just passing through… What do we offer?
– Photo of our resident deer taking a peek inside by Jan Ketchel

I grew up in an emotionless household. I write about this extensively in my books, as I faced the truths of my family of origin as well as the truths of my long-repressed childhood sexual abuse. And when I say emotionless, I really mean that.

Emotions were forbidden. Neither crying nor elation, and everything in between, was staunched. Evenness of temper, implying that nothing was ever wrong within the family unit, was critical. Imperfections, if present, were denied and suppressed as appearance was everything. Underneath the facade of perfection, however, the emotions of seven children and their parents bubbled and frothed, seeking outlet. It’s no wonder that all my siblings and I went into creative careers, as writers, musicians, artisans and fine builders. Within all of us, emotion sought release in some form of creativity.

When I was a child, at seven o’clock on Sunday nights Walt Disney presented an hour long television show. Simultaneously, WOR—channel 9 out of New York City—aired the movies of Shirley Temple. My five brothers and I fought over which show we’d watch. They usually won. They’d sit by the new TV upstairs watching the Disney show while I went downstairs into the basement to turn on the old television. I’d fiddle with the rabbit ears until grainy reception came through. The snowy picture would suddenly cut out with loud static and I’d have to get up repeatedly to readjust the antenna. I didn’t give up. It was my private time away from everyone. Sometimes my little sister, seven years younger, would sit with me, though mostly I remember being in the dark basement alone, staring into the eye of the old TV set, weeping.

You see, Shirley Temple let me cry. She never asked me to hold back my emotions. She let me be ecstatically happy and deeply sad too. She let me live beside her, feeling her emotions. In every pouty mouth and every delightful glint in her eye, I was allowed to live from a place that normally I had to keep shut down. And so, I thank Shirley Temple Black, who died this week, for offering me that emotional outlet, for all the movies she made and all the moments of release that my child self received from her child self.

She was making those movies in the thirties and forties, years before I was born, but they carried forth into the fifties and sixties all that I needed in order to connect with my deeply emotional self, a natural self that found little outlet otherwise.

Thank you, Shirley Temple, you saved my emotional life,

Readers of Infinity: Your Child Self

Notice the pinpoints of light, the richness in your own life, even as you face your fears... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
Notice the pinpoints of light,
the richness in your own life,
even as you face your fears…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Today, Jeanne asks us once again to face our fears. Just so you know, I faced my own fears to bring you this message today, so when she suggests that everyone we meet is as fearful as we are, take it from me, it’s true! That being said, here is this week’s channeled message:

February 10, 2014

Thanks for listening! Sending you love, good wishes, and good luck!

Chuck’s Place: Guidance For Shutdown

Today, Chuck offers his blog, in alignment with the energy of the world around us. Jan’s weekly blog, A Day in a Life, will appear later in the week.

The old sage stands firm and waits... - Photo by Jan Ketchel
The old sage stands firm and waits…
– Photo by Jan Ketchel

Over the past few weeks I have tracked the energy permeating our world in consultation with the I Ching. Two weeks ago, I was advised that restoration of order—the Tao—required acquiescing to the respective needs of the day, afternoon, and evening. Last week, I asked how this can be accomplished when one part of the self tries to infringe on the needs of the overall self. The I Ching advised that the adult self follow the guidance of the sage, leaving behind the demands of the child self. This week, the child self has rebelled with a fury, seizing control by shutting down the US Government and the world economy as it tries desperately to subvert the implementation of a law it dislikes.

Today, I pose to the I Ching the question of how to deal with such an absurd and obvious coup. The I Ching responds with hexagram #21, Biting Through, with a moving line in the second place.

Biting Through depicts an open mouth with an obstruction stuck in the middle of its teeth as it bites down. “Incorrigible people and situations must not be allowed to impede progressive development,” says the I Ching.* A firm adult stance must be taken here. Furthermore, the moving line in the second place depicts a piece of tender meat in the mouth. Here the discrimination between right and wrong is as easy as biting through tender meat. In fact, the wrongness of the behavior displayed is so obvious that it might lead one to overreact with retaliating anger. This is not advisable.

The antidote prescribed for this opposition is indeed hexagram #38, Opposition. “When people live in opposition and estrangement they cannot carry out a great undertaking in common; their points of view diverge too widely. In such circumstances one should above all not proceed brusquely, for that would only increase the existing opposition; instead, one should limit oneself to producing gradual effects in small matters. Here success can still be expected, because the situation is such that the opposition does not preclude all agreement.”

“…So the cultured man is never led into baseness or vulgarity through intercourse or community of interests with persons of another sort; regardless of all commingling, he will always preserve his individuality.” **

The guidance is clear, stay grounded, stay firm but avoid losing oneself or spending one’s energy in futile battle. What is needed is firmness of conviction with compassion for the folly. Ultimately the child self is dominated by fear of change. The root of its act of sabotage is to find safety in the familiar and unchanging. With firm perseverance the adult takes charge and calmly enacts needed change.

The value of the coup played out before us is the obviousness of its tactics. Mature adults are catering to the power demands of a child self to the detriment of all. When this condition emerges within the personality decisions are impulsive and dangerous. The outcome is generally one of stagnancy, defeat, and depression. This condition comes about when the adult self knowingly or inadvertently accedes its power to the child self.

The antidote to such an inner coup is to suspend negative judgments about the self, but with clarity energetically face the truth of what has occurred and restore order and control as soon as possible. It’s not about self-ridicule or blame, there needs to be total acceptance of self, with firmness in realigning with the guidance and truth of the sage self, always present to clarify and guide.

Assuming adult responsibility for self and outer world requires the clarity and firmness of Biting Through coupled with the steadiness of Opposition, as conditions will gradually return to order.

Let’s see what happens,

* Excerpt from The I Ching Taoist Book of Days, 1983; p.152
** Excerpt from The I Ching or Book of Changes Richard Wilhelm translation, pp.147-8

A Day in a Life: Evolving Recapitulation

I really am in the final throes of editing my next book in The Recapitulation Diaries series: The Edge of the Abyss. For this week’s blog I post another excerpt, as I am conserving my time for editing. As the recapitulation proceeded I constantly discovered just how my inner process was leading me to learn what I needed to learn about myself. Guided by the intent of the process of recapitulation itself—its intent set long ago by the Shamans of Ancient Mexico—I was swept up in that intent, for better or worse, married to it. Though I often felt that I had married a monster, at other times I knew I had married a prince. In the end I discovered that I had been married to myself all along—if that makes any sense! I don’t believe this excerpt needs the same kind of warning as some of the others that I’ve posted. It’s really just about gaining valuable insight about the journey of life and moving forward with renewed intent.

"Look what I bring!" my child self says... Bottle art by Haldis. Photo by Jan Ketchel
“Look what I bring!” my child self says… Bottle art by Haldis. Photo by Jan Ketchel

From February 6, 2003: My son, sick with the flu and a 103° temperature, sleeps in today. I get my daughter off to school and contemplate what I woke up thinking about earlier this morning: shame, and the child inside me who continues to carry it around like a heavy boulder. I’m pretty sure the adult self let it go a long time ago, but the child self sneaks into the adult world at times still bearing this heavy burden. She plunks it down in front of me and says: “See! It’s still here.”

As I peer at this big boulder of shame that she drags around, I suddenly experience complete separateness from this child self, and with utter clarity I understand that she is the one who so tightly rolls into that fetal position every night. Clutching all the pain and shame, she’s still very much alive, residing somewhere deep inside me, while I—the adult—have gone on into life. I’ve grown up and done a lot of adult things, distancing myself from her as much as possible in order to do so. Now, I clearly understand that I went on so I could one day return to this moment, so that I could one day be in the position I’m in right now, intent upon rescuing the child self still inside me and, in so doing, rescue myself.

Until today, I’ve had such a difficult time seeing and believing myself to actually be more than one being, fearful of what it might mean about me, perhaps that I’m crazier than I thought. But only in acknowledging that I am many beings simultaneously will I be able to embrace the crystal clear insight that right now, in this moment, hits me: fragmentation is a valuable skill!

In one aspect of fragmentation, my fully present adult self is able to step outside the memories and from her perspective carefully and sensitively guide my child self. I see this as an evolving aspect of the recapitulation. I realize that in so doing I’m finally able to reciprocate what my child self once so protectively did, as she fragmented, repressing the memories in the process, so I could grow up. I’ve simply not been in a position to fully embrace this insight until now, but it’s very clear that fragmentation is an important tool that has a valid place in the healing process.

"I can do this now," my adult self says... Photo and painted bottle art by Jan Ketchel
“I can do this now,” my adult self says… Photo and painted bottle art by Jan Ketchel

As I continue to hone the use of this skill, I imagine that all of my parts will eventually merge. As my adult self joins forces with my fragmented child selves—my sixteen little girl selves—and grants them each an opportunity to express themselves, they will no longer be alienated parts, separate from the whole. Once each part has told her tale and been fully acknowledged for both her pain and her bravery, another part will link into this healing process, another part offered the way home. Clarity and wholeness will eventually come, as new ideas and new perceptions about life in general and the past in particular are accepted and assimilated too.

It’s really the job of the adult self now to make all this happen, to introduce the guidelines, for only she has the wherewithal and the stamina to take on this monumental task. It’s what I’ve been preparing for. She must nurture and prepare each of the fragmented selves now too, make them welcome, and fully assimilate them into the inner circle of the new self. It can’t happen without a strong adult presence, a loving, respectful, and compassionate self. That kind of maturity is key to this whole process.

Thanks for reading!