“How long will it take me to heal?”
“I’ve been practicing Inner Bonding for 6 months now and I still get stuck in my wounded self. What am I doing wrong?”
“I’m not sure I’m doing this process right. I keep doing the same self-destructive things over and over, even though I’m dialoguing every day.”
Does this sound like you?
I constantly reassure my clients that there is nothing wrong with them and they are not doing the Inner Bonding process wrong just because they are not where they think they “should” be.
A Major Life Challenge
One of the major challenges in life is our struggle between our loving adult and our wounded self. This struggle has often been symbolized as the conflict between God and the Devil. While our wounded self is certainly not a devil, it is our dark side – the aspect of us that is disconnected from Spirit.
Healing the wounded self through developing the spiritually connected loving adult is a lifetime process. It does not happen fast or easily. Dealing with the struggle between our wounded ego and our loving adult is why we are here. Life on this planet offers us the opportunities we need to further develop our ability to love. By coming up against the adversity inherent in life, we have many moment-by-moment opportunities to choose who we want to be. Because we have all practiced being our wounded self for most of our lives, it’s a major challenge to shift out of our intent to control and into our intent to learn about loving ourselves and others.
It’s helpful to imagine practicing Inner Work like parenting an actual child. You know that you cannot just spend some time with your child and then expect the child to suddenly be grown up and ready for life. You know that being a loving parent to your child is a daily commitment, not something that happens in a few months.
It may also be helpful to you to see the Inner Work process like physical exercise. When you start an exercise program, you know that you will make progress only as long as you are doing the exercising. You know that if you stop, you will lose ground very quickly, but that if you keep at it, you will gain in strength and health. Practicing Inner Work is like that.
Yes, It Does Take Practice
Practicing Inner Work will eventually become as natural to you as your addictions were in the past. But like anything that is worth learning, it takes a lot of practice. Because life keeps presenting us with new challenges – new situations in which we need to explore what is loving to us – we can continue learning about loving as long as we live.
Becoming conscious – being able to choose the intent to learn and take full responsibility for our feelings, instead of going on automatic pilot and choosing the intent to control – is, perhaps, THE major challenge in life. Huge challenges come up for all of us when we are alone and lonely, when we are ill, when we lose someone we love, when we are in relationships, and when there is conflict. Because staying open to learning and taking responsibility for our wellbeing is such a big challenge, you might occasionally revert to your old addictive patterns for years. But don’t get discouraged! This is par for the course. You WILL see small changes along the way, and you will eventually have much more conscious choice over your intent.
Inner Work is not an instant process – no such thing exists when it comes to healing the wounded self. But diligently practicing the Six Steps will eventually get you where you want to go. I’ve worked with Inner Work with myself and others for many years, and I know it works!