by Adam J. Pearson
“Be a good parent to yourself” –Gail Sowerby
All kinds of things come up within us: complexes, aversions, clingings, illusions, hopes, fears, worries, anxieties, pain, desperation. I used to call these arisings “shadows,” but now I see that they are neither light nor dark, neither good nor bad. More and more, I tend to see them as children of the unconscious, born out of our innocent attempts to survive, manage, and make our way in the world.
We often reject these inner children, but this is cruel parenting on our part; when we reject our inner children, they lash out and rebel and we suffer. What they need is love and acceptance, like all children. Love and accept what comes up within you and only then can you begin to integrate it; while we are always holding your fears, anxieties, worries and aversions at arm’s length, always pushing them away, how can we integrate them? While we are fighting ourselves, how can we be at peace with ourselves?
The wise gesture is not a push away, but an embrace, a pull towards, the embrace of a mother hugging her child with a love too deep for words. Not closing out, but opening up, not hating what comes up within us, but loving, accepting, this is the way that life and our own unconscious teach us is best. Love your inner children and they tend to quiet their noise and calm their ferocity. Drop the weapons and the peace remains.
See these children of your unconscious as they are: not demons, but innocents. The more we accept and integrate aspects of ourselves, the more we can heal the fissures, fragments, and canyons we feel within us. The fruit of this practice is a vast, fulfilled wholeness that we either forgot or never knew was even possible. Love your inner children and the dysfunctional family that you are will become truly harmonious, perhaps for the first time.