Chapter 10 The Lost Child - On losing Our Inner Child through Dissociation - What Causes this kind of Dissociation? - Traits of the Dissociated - Let Jesus Find the Lost Child
Perhaps, to some extent, you are living emotionally absent, zoned out, or dissociated from Life, love, Being and and nature? The extreme is life with a cell phone in your hand, a music earbud in your earand a desktop or television to entertain you at night. Children and spouse notice that your are not with them - that you don’t really see them. This is a culture producing zombies and hollow men.
What is it like in your family? Do people really listen to one another. For my and my brothers and sisters love was being together as a group but no one was really sharing themselves.
I came from a home where dad buried himself in the paper after supper and did not tolerate interference in his time. He was too busy filling his head with important information to notice or play with his children.
My mom was around us more. But mom was not an easy one to get to know. She was not a warm overtly loving mother. She limited connection with her ‘Peace at any price,’ and ’No fighting to tickling.’ She gave a minimum of attention to complaints, hurts and bruises.
Neither mom or dad talked about emotions in my family. Dad raised six children but did not really attend to them unless it had to do with ideas. He was a thinker not a connecter. Mom gave birth to and raised six children without getting close to any of them.
Mothers family had a Danish background and father an English background. As a tribe the English and Danish may share a general disconnect from life, love and being that everyone takes for granted. This is a cultural dissociation from life that is not shared with other cultures. I can’t tell you what cultures because everyone that I know accepts and lives with this disconnect from the earth, from nature, from the presence of God and the presence of one another.
It seems that most everyone is disconnected from presence of God, others, animals and nature. Disconnect is normal. However some more than others. Most are not aware of what is going on in the spirit; intuition is lost but for some the disconnect is greater. These ones are even more absent to those close to them and zoned out. Certainly all the electronics isn’t helping.
Not being present: Call it dissociation.
Let us use the term dissociation to describe the way we live emotionally absent from one another, zoned out from what is around us, and disconnected from Life, love, God and and nature.
Those who become more deeply dissociated have these traits:
They are zoned out from others and don’t really see them.
Their spouse feels detached from then and that they and finds them hard to get to know.
They are out of touch with their feelings.
They have trouble expressing their feelings.
They have few clear childhood memories.
They do not remember significant events that other members of their family remember.
They live in their head with ideas.
They live in their fantasies ( which at some point may become their reality.)
Theyhave lost touch with their Inner Child.
What Causes this kind of Dissociation?
When parents were fighting and being part of the family seems dangerous, one child may try to help and become the Too Serious Kid while another child may run to safety in the closet of their bedroom. There, in the safety of the closet they try to find safety by hiding, by tuning out the noise of the fighting.
In time habitual hiding and tuning out becomes a life pattern. They perfect the ability to detach from reality and to hide in their thoughts and fantasies. What is happening in their family no longer registers. They have successfully dissociated from what is happening.
This protective mechanism works to avoid those painful moments. It is inevitable that this pattern generalizes throughout one’s life. They begin to zone out more and more and to immerse themselves in their own thoughts and imagination. Their own inner life becomes overdeveloped and their ability to be present to outer reality diminishes.
Often such people have little awareness or connection with most of their own feelings and motivations. In this state it becomes impossible to develop a lot of passion about something. It is difficult to mobilize a lot of energy to throw into a mission.
The more dissociated, the more one lives in one’s imagination and a fantasy life. However this is escapist fantasy not creative fantasy. It reflects disengagement form life not engagement.
Seeing life through a fantasy means not seeing everything clearly and, therefore, not making good decisions and not able to handle much responsibility. See Leftovers. Dissociation and the Inner Child
By dissociation I mean not being present, not being aware of what is going on, not connecting, tuning out. One avoids distress by not seeing and hearing what is going on. If one does not see it then one does not feel the pain. One’s whole relationship with the world becomes skewed because one does not want to see everything that is going on.
Those that dissociate drop out of life. Miss things. Forget things. Childhood becomes a blur. This detachment, this dissociation is one way we lose touch with our Inner Child; can’t connect with little him or her. Our inner child has become absent to us - inaccessible.
The more you disconnect with the events of your life when they happen, the more you will forget that they happened. Your memory of the names and events will be weak. You may remember ideas but not people. Dissociation is just one of the ways that our Inner child becomes lost. (Note 10-1)
Dissociation and Intuition Dissociation is a dulling of perception of the present moment and of one’s feelings in the present moment. This means you are disconnecting from your heart (passions and emotions). Disconnecting from one’s heart makes it hard to connect with people.
Dissociation also disconnects your spirit from God’s love, wisdom, guidance, and creativity. Dissociation disconnects you from your spiritual perceptions - seeing what is happening in the spirit. This is a loss of intuition. Loss of the ability to make decisions from ‘one’s gut.’
As a result a child, or an animal, will know and discern what is happening in the spirit before you do. Native people will not share your urgency to get things done because they live more fully and deeply in Being, in spirit. Time is less stressful when you are resting in God. (Hebrews)
Dissociation leaves one Vulnerable to Sin The deeper one’s dissociation the weaker one’s resistance to seduction, oppression of other influences. That is because our spiritual/emotional core and our will grow weak.
The man (or woman) deep is dissociation may be targeted by a woman who wants a ’sugar daddy.’ She targets him in different ways even if he is married. She may use spells and curses to trap this man.
The dissociated one becomes easily addicted to alcohol, to pornography, to the seduction of being constantly on line.
This vulnerability to sin and temptation is also due to one’s inability to be corrected and directed by the Holy Spirit.
The underlying sin of dissociation is fear, avoidance and hiding from life, love and God. It is hiding one’s talents our of fear of failure. It is hiding oneself in relationships out of fear of vulnerability and hurt (The Avoidant Personality is one result.) It is about the fear of risk that blocks growth in life.
Jenny’s Story of Deep Dissociation A client (whom we can call Jenny) felt alone and distant from people. She said she couldn’t ‘feel’ them. It was like there was a glass between her and others. She does not feel her mother’s love. She lived with a feeling of being trapped and alone with a sense of emptiness or void and no empathy of feeling for others. We used listening prayer to explore this feeling with Jesus and all the beliefs that held her there. She was able to picture a door and get out of this cavern when Jesus said to her, “There is a way out.”
Let Jesus Find the Lost Child This is a prayer drama in which Jesus goes and looks for our lost Inner Child. We picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd and our inner child as the lost sheep. This sheep is away from the fold, out in the cold night, scared and perhaps trapped and unable to move. Feel and picture that situation. In response, the Shepherd sets out to find the lost sheep. Picture Jesus in his strength and love coming to find you. When the Shepherd finds the lost sheep, He gathers up this precious lamb in His arms, and carries it home. Imagine feeling calmer and warmed by the nearness of the Shepherd's body and by the soothing sound of His voice. Once the sheep is safe in the arms of the Shepherd, he knows he will soon be safe at home with the flock.Imagine how it feels to be home safe and with the rest of the flock. You enter into this prayer drama, by imagining yourself as that lost sheep - scared, wet, cold and trapped. You are bleating in fear.You are calling out for the Shepherd in the darkness.Feel this. Imagine how that lost sheep feels in that moment. Now imagine that you can hear your Shepherd as He searches for you. You hear His voice calling your name in the distance. He’s getting closer. You open your mouth to call out to the Shepherd for help. He responds to your call and soon you can see Him coming straight for you, to rescue you and lift you out of your hiding place. How does that feel? When the Good Shepherd arrives, He speaks soothing words of comfort to you.He picks you up and cradles you in his strong arms. He helps you to calm down.He dries you off and cleans you off.He holds you tight and begins to carry you back home.How does this feel? Imagine yourself feeling warmed and calmed as the Shepherd carries you. Take a few minutes to experience what it’s like to be carried by the Good Shepherd. Imagine how thankful you feel. Finally, you arrive back with the flock. You are now safe in the sheep pen. Imagine how good you feel now that you are back home and welcomed by the other sheep. You’re home. You’re safe again. Take time to notice how you feel. Write a prayer to Jesus the Good Shepherd from the perspective of a lost sheep. Ask for him to find you. Describe how you feel being so far away and alone. Cry out to Him for help. Describe how thankful you are when He finds you and comforts you. Tell Him how it feels to be carried in His loving arms. This can be your own psalm. Create a sense of who you are based on how you feel at the end of this prayer? Create ‘I am’ statements based on how you feel now. Write them down to remember over the next few weeks. Review them daily. While listening to bilateral Music (also called EMDR Music therapy or bilateral music for EMDR) make your ‘I am’ statement remember the feeling and reimagine the experience you had with Jesus. This reinforces, stabilizes the healing and your new identity. Imagine what tomorrow would be like in this new identity and these new feelings about yourself. Imagine a week living in this identity and with these feelings. How would that go? Make it a regular practice, before bed or first thing in the morning, to remember this identity and to imagine , what it is like living out of this identity. When anxious or distressed recall your identity, make you ‘I” statement and reimagine your experience with the Good Shepherd. Use bilateral music to help relax and install (consolidate) this experience. You may have another picture ofwhere your lost Inner child is and will be able to imagine Jesus finding your Inner child in a way that resonates with you. Use your own best picture. Follow your intuition. Practice Being Present Being present (called mindfulness see Footnote 10-2) corrects the habit of being absent. Being present is a form of love, of choosing life, and it nurtures your spirit. Here are some ways to begin and strengthen this practice:
Every hour look up, look around, become aware touch, smell, hearing and seeing. Scan your environment. Look for beauty. Look for nature. Smile and thank God for life. This is Godly Mindfulness or Practicing the Presence of God. Note:
Make it a practice to put away your phone when with someone and tune in to them. What are they feeling? How are they experiencing the day? What is bringing them enjoyment in the moment?
Practice praising God, thanking God and loving God through your day and notice how that feels. Do you feel more joy?
Theology Jesus comes that we might have life. “I have come that they may have life, and they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27. Jesus being our Shepherd, and us being his sheep, is more than words describing a good idea, is it a reality of a spiritual connection. Jesus is our Good Shepherd. The Parable of the Talents.