Releasing Old Patterns of Behavior – The Tree
INNER CHILD WORK
In a somato-emotional release session recently, I was dialoguing with my client’s internal wisdom (also known as the Higher Self, the All-Knowing Self or the Inner Wise One). This client was working on releasing an old pattern from childhood – one that held his inner child hostage to the emotions of needing to please his mother. It’s an age-old scenario, popularized by Oedipus, only in this storyline, my client felt that in order to receive maternal love, he would have to subjugate his own power to defer to hers. Naturally as children, kids want to please the parents, as they are their main providers of food and shelter, and since all children are survivors at heart, they’ll do anything to stay alive – Even if it is to the detriment of their own psyche, will or emotional body. This pattern then gets locked into the tissues of the body (the muscles, fascia, bones, etc) and as the person grows, s/he repeats the same old ‘familiar’ pattern, even if it seems to be harmful to them.
So, my client recognized this old childhood pattern and saw how throughout his life he repeated this same scenario with other women in his life- girlfriend or lovers,- but always with a similar disastrous ending. Tired of being the pawn in his own game of life, he wanted to transmute the negative, subjugated energies into those of strength and self-will. He desired to transform his inner child’s weakness into one of power and self-possession. But he didn’t know how to, without feeling like he was betraying his mother’s love and alienating himself from his own inner child aspect.
That’s when we began playing with a symbolic image that is so prevalent in springtime. Many times, just at the change from winter into spring, certain trees still have dead leaves clinging to their limbs. I guess there are trees that don’t shed their leaves in autumn, but hold on to them all throughout the winter, so that when you look at them in April, they look the same as they did in October. Unchanged. Very similar to that of inner child energy patterns in the body that go throughout life unchanged once cemented in by trauma, choice or survival. Unchanged, that is, until a natural Spring challenges them into metamorphosis.
Such was the case with my client. We used the image of this autumnal tree as representative of his inner child aspect, still holding on to its old ways of being, even though there is regeneration and rejuvenation happening all around. We had his body feel the energetic sap rising from the base as if he were the tree, filling his entire being with this new revitalizing energy. The old patterns as represented by the dead leaves, began to be pushed out by the new growth of shoots emerging from the branches. The old blueprints that his inner aspect held on to (even though they were out-moded and no longer for his highest good,) began to drop, as the new energies (as represented by the new shoots and buds) began to push the patterns away. His body’s energies shifted and a new current of life-force replaced the stagnant, dormant holding patterns. He was able to visualize releasing his old negative emotional body, as if he were shedding a layer of self (or dead leaves), having a new found self emerge like buds on a tree. He made a conscious choice to let go of his need to please, his subjugation of self-will, and saw himself in his own mind’s eye as strong, powerful and self-actualized.
So, what does all this mean?
For me, I’ve seen that we all have survival techniques that were developed as children to safe-keep ourselves. It is only natural that as children, we strived to please those who held the key to our very existence – as in those who put food on our table and a roof over our heads. We often had to bow to their dictates and take on their truths as our own in an effort to satisfy their parental principles, lest we get demolished by their anger if we didn’t.
But at some point in our lives, as we grew, we began to sense that the parent’s beliefs, their codes of conduct or ways of being, didn’t resonate with our inner soul’s truths. We instinctually knew that the path we needed to journey couldn’t be done by following in the parental footsteps. We had to individuate and march to our own proverbial drum beat.
And yet, because we had developed these survival techniques, and they served us well as children, they became core energetics in our bodies. They became viscerally charged, and anytime we tried to deviate from the parental dictates, the gut would seize up and become symptomatic.
The belly is where we hold our seat of power – and when a parent has so strongly indoctrinated us into their belief systems, anytime we stray from that belief to our truth, we can get an immediate gut reaction. This is just the inner child’s aspect holding us to an old antiquated pattern that no longer serves our highest good, which is why it doesn’t feel comfortable. We often are held hostage by an inner child aspect – one who has bought into the dictates of a parent or teacher – and can’t grow past that level of understanding. We then, in any given situation, will always react like a child, unable to access the grown-up self because the child’s energy is so intrinsically locked into the cellular memory. We default to cellular memory because it is so engrained in our neuro-pathways.
But we can release these patterns by changing the energy behind the pattern. We need to teach the inner child aspect how to trust our grown-up self and invite the inner child to listen and understand our new ways of being. We need to replace the old parental/teacher tapes with new information that supports our true soul’s journey and show the child how we joyously see the world through mature eyes. By befriending the inner child aspect, we can hold his/her hand and invite the child to accompany us on our true path. And by doing that, the pre-patterned parental energy begins to release and transmute. By consciously choosing to follow our heart’s song and our inner knowing’s dictates, we can allow the child to trust and let go of old ways of being that no longer serve and grow to equal our self-actualized energy. By loving the inner child aspect and encouraging new expansion, we can let go of visceral miasms and cellular memories that don’t align to our soul’s essence and our mind/body connection.
We can be like those trees in spring. We can allow old non-functioning parts of self to be shed and encourage new growth and rejuvenation.