Nurturing Loving Connection
“Maintain your awareness in the heart center in a soft and nurturing way. Remain aware of the external environment but without reaction to it or thought about it.” Swami Veda
Our unconscious patterns of protection disconnect us from this warm, loving energy and from kindness and compassion that we might show other people but not ourselves. Healing happens over time as we bring kindness back into our heart.
Shame is profoundly disconnecting. When we feel that our parents don’t really know us or care to know who we are, we interpret that as being unlovable. We are highly conditioned in our culture to believe that parents should be like characters on television. Sitcoms like Happy Days portray an engaged ideal family, but that is not real life for most of us.
About a third of children experience significant Adverse Childhood Experiences and many more were raised in an emotional desert where we developed core deficiency beliefs that we are unlovable and unworthy. The internalized shame of feeling unloved by our parents lingers underground affecting all of our relationships, including the most important one, with ourselves.
A mindfulness practice can help us to notice when we are being shamed, by ourselves or others. We become familiar with the felt sense of shame in our body, and we can intervene. Short term, we can come back into the present moment and regulate our nervous system.
Shame is a compelling signal that something is wrong and we need to take this seriously. We have been conditioned to believe we are what is fundamentally wrong. We live with an underlying belief of unworthiness and this causes tremendous suffering.
Reparenting ourselves involves understanding trauma, developing a more regulated nervous system, and recognizing persistent patterns and beliefs that cause suffering. We connect with our younger selves with deep authenticity until we begin to know in our guts that we are loved and safe and worthy of inclusion. Our old survival and protective mechanisms are not needed as much and the volume lessens.
Children raised in a home of regulated adults who are parenting them learn this when they are young. It is not too late to be a good-enough parent for ourselves by offering attuned empathy and kindness over and over. Eventually it heals the wounds and beliefs from childhood and earlier in our adult life.
At the bottom are three practices. One is a beautiful practice of connecting with and reassuring our younger self so we begin to feel and know our value. One is to cultivate kindness. Even if no one else in our life to date has seen and validated us, we can do this for ourselves. The other is on seeing and releasing shame.
Listen to my interview and others in the reMothering Masterclass beginning June 1st. Click here to register to watch free.
The fact that we need summits and master classes addressing feelings of being unloved and broken is evidence that feeling this way is not a personal failing. This is a predictable set of beliefs based on our experience driven by a primitive brain and nervous system that evolved for a very different type of world than we are living in now.
Understanding is helpful and we need to do the practices that will break the habit of disconnection and survival strategies like fight/ flight/ freeze/ fawn. We heal through experiencing kind, authentic, loving connection with ourselves.
Kindness is All It Takes to Heal, guided practice on Insight Timer
Supporting Our Younger Self, guided practice of loving connection