compassionate inquiry & the role of the Self
Unknowingness. I chose this name because it was supposed to remind me to write from a place of emptiness. I believed that this was where all wisdom came from as this was my personal experience. From the void within ourselves. And yet sometimes now when I write I am not empty, but already full. I am soaked up with knowledge and I’m using my writing as a medium to integrate and share some of my insights with you. Truth is I don’t really know why I do it. I just do. And there’s nothing wrong with sharing knowledge. I just wish to remind myself that both is valuable - knowledge and knowingness. That I can conflate them together like I do now. Mind and no-mind. To be empty and yet to be full.
It reminds me of what Richard said when he contemplated the 2nd Gene Key (which moves from dislocation to orientation to unity): „To orient someone is to love them unconditionally. It’s to be with them. It’s to be yourself with them. It’s to let them see your weakness as well as your strength. It’s to be empty like water and yet to be full. It’s to be intuitive. It’s to trust, to soften, to yield, to flow.“
The second Gene Key or hexagram in the I Ching is made up of six female lines. It is the divine feminine. Our original innocence. It is teaching us that we cannot make mistakes. That every experience is always perfect as it is. That life is always delivering us exactly what we need. That you and I are already complete. This is the siddhi of unity. The divine essence of this energy.
In my hologenetic profile the second Gene Key is activated through my unconscious earth. Which means it is my purpose. So what does that mean? My purpose is my grounding, my being. It’s connected to my radiance, my unconscious sun. These two are called programming partners which means they reinforce each other and in a way oppose each other, too. Purpose is not about that we are here to do. Doing is only the by-product of our being. And like Richard further puts it: „It is about the quality of our consciousness. (…) Purpose is designed to be unlocked by life. (…) As a human being your purpose is to fill your body with your consciousness. Your deepest purpose is simply to be.“
A thought that just came to me is that probably when I am in the gift frequency of orientation more knowledge is coming through and when I tap into the siddhi of unity I am tapping into knowingness. But that is probably only half-true because the essence of the gift frequency is pure yin, too. Which means it is receptive, unknowing, trusting, yielding, and so on. What ever, too much mind again. But as I wish to explore further - there are no mistakes. So I am yielding into my not-self theme of „trying to be certain“ (undefined Ajna in Human Design) by acknowledging my uncertainty.
I am sharing my process with you which in a way I struggle with because I carry a deep rejection towards the mundane. Which is due to my own trauma and conditioning of „I am not enough.“ I wish to be seen. I still wish to be special. Partly because my father made me feel special but then again he didn’t. In my childhood there were many contradictions. He treated me like a princess and yet gave me the feeling that I would never make it. At least not excel in a field that was of any interest to me. I can see now how he was just passing his own trauma on to me. And how really he was trying to protect me. I don’t even blame him. Worse things happened to me and worse things happened to other people (watch out for my trauma response here - a very common one by the way). And I stop. I breathe. I validate what happened. I stop talking it down.
What happens when we don’t fully acknowledge our experience is that we don’t make the necessary space for it to heal. So what does that mean: When we are traumatized (like Richard Schwartz puts it) there are parts of us that are being locked away, he calls them exiles and there are other parts of us that become what he calls the protectors. Both try to get our attention in several ways. They use the body as a medium to communicate with us and these signs often manifest as symptoms or illnesses. Coming back to the space within our Self that we wish to make for those parts: Both the exiles and the protectors need you to make space for them within your unconditionally loving Self to integrate them back into who you are. So this fragmentation of the Self is not leaving you with feelings of overwhelming helplessness but you acknowledge those parts, those experiences, you are compassionate with them. You meet them with curiosity instead.
This inner dialogue is a means of integration. Integration defines as differentiated parts of a system being linked together. So when you view yourself as the system and there are all those different parts of you that because they got deeply hurt they are either locked away somewhere inside you or are trying to protect you from being hurt again - what we want is for those parts to be integrated and returned to Self. And we integrate them through compassionate inquiry, through sharing from a place of Truth. We involve transparency and we replace any judgement we hold for ourselves or another with curiosity and compassion. This is one of the most important insights for me. Being curious from the start and replacing all remaining judgment with compassion. „The essence of healing is the presence of compassion.“ (-Gabor Maté).
Coming back to the protectors once more because I thought you might think: „But they protect me. What’s wrong about it?“ Most of our trauma usually happens in early childhood. So the parts that got hurt back then were parts of an innocent child. Those are the same parts that are now trying to protect you from getting hurt again. They are still the same parts of a child. So in inner child work there is this differentiation between the adult in you and the child in you. What I like to differentiate further is the wounded child and the healed one - but I’ll come back to that later. So there’s the (wounded) child in you that got deeply hurt and this is important to recognize because a child can only protect you in a way a child has learned to protect itself. Those are mechanisms that we developed in early childhood and mostly show up unconsciously now but you can become aware of them. They can manifest as denial, rejection, over-independence, any form of reactivity, avoidance, freezing - just to name a few. You know yourself best so you’ll see it in yourself when you are ready and willing to.
The point I wish to make is that those parts, both the exiles and the protectors, just wish to be loved. Just wish to be recognized for what they’ve been through, wish to be held in the presence of an empathic other (which can be you), wish to be seen. Wish to be integrated, wish to become one with you again. Wish to be part of your Self again. And here’s another very important one: The Self - which is you - cannot be destroyed. Cannot be harmed. It remains untouched. It is invincible. It is your very essence. It is unconditional love. And that’s the place from which you observe. That’s the place from which you can always and only be compassionate because that’s the nature of the Self.
So when you go into these inner dialogues, always remember to locate your presence and attention there. I like to breathe deep into my lower belly, that’s where I feel most centered. But you just try for yourself. More often than not the exiles and protectors are also felt in a specific place in the body. All trauma is stored somewhere. So the body is the container for all experience and the medium through which those experiences wish to be recognized by you. It is also the medium through which all relationship to the experience can heal.
Also very important to make that differentiation: I learn from a couple of quite brilliant people at the moment and one thing they all seem to agree upon is that the trauma in and of itself might never fully heal. The trauma has already happened, it wouldn’t make sense to try and erase it. What heals is the relationship to it. Because that true Self that you got disconnected from is still available to you. In any moment. Life, love, is available. Literally every moment in your life holds the capacity to reverse your relationship to your trauma by recognizing and being compassionate with it.
I like to view the Self as this flame. It never diminishes. It cannot. But it can be very small and dim. It can be overshadowed by the protectors that can be angry or frustrated, or disappointed or bitter, or simply scared. It can be overshadowed by your conditioning, which is attached to your trauma, too. It can be many things. So I asked myself what does a flame need to be strengthened? To be nourished, to be loved. Coming back to self-remembering here: It needs presence & attention. Fire needs air. It needs time and space to breathe and to put all into perspective. It also needs wood, matter, or we could call it earth. So maybe this can be understood as grounding, being, nurturing in the original sense like mother earth nurtures us. Would make sense if we connect that idea back to the Gene Keys because there our radiance which is associated with our health is connected to our purpose which is associated with grounding and being.
So to be healthy is to be in our body, is to listen to the body, to move the body and let the body move us. I believe that in everyone lies dormant a completely healed and healthy inner child, too. It might not come out very often. But it is most definitely somewhere in there. So to connect with that part of you, listen to a part that is wounded. Because that part just wants to be freed from their suffering and come out and play with you. So listen to that part compassionately and ask them what they might want or need in this moment. Maybe at first they don’t come out at all because they don’t trust anyone. Maybe they jump at you right away because they’ve been waiting for most part of your life to be recognized. Maybe they first want you to hug them, cry with them, moan for them and then they just want a huge portion of ice-cream. Maybe something completely different happens. Be curious. Be compassionate. It’s you. Wanting to come home to you. It’s always been you.
For me a good way to connect with my true authentic Self when I feel somewhat lost and agitated, absorbed in my own drama, is to first of all let go by shaking. Shaking is used in bioenergetics and it’s a big part of embodiment. Shake it, shake it, shake it. Let it aaaall out. Sometimes sounds want to come out and leave your body, definitely allow that. They are also just energies that were stuck somewhere and actually making those sounds is a way to release them. Running works, music, singing, breathing deeply, dancing is a big one for me. And the kind of dance where you simply allow your body to take the lead. In Indonesian tradition this is called Latihan meditation but it can be what ever you need it to be. Allow your bodily wisdom to take you there. With music it’s tricky because often I used to play myself deeper and deeper into my own suffering, as if the music would just soothe and support by current state. So just be aware of that possibility, of course it doesn’t have to be that way. Sometimes I manage to play myself out of it.
What’s important in all of the above is that you improvise. Don’t set yourself a specific goal, don’t follow any other system than your own. Because when you do you are back in the field of „I am not enough.“ „I need to prove myself in order to be loved.“ You do not. You are already it. You just need to remind yourself. In your own unique way. Because you are unique. What you need will be unique. I’m just giving some examples here but I am sure you will know exactly what you need once you manage to pause and tune into that inner dialogue of yours. You have all the answers my love. You are the answer actually.
One question that came up during the embodiment conference was „but what if I don’t remember my trauma?“ And Gabor replied to this in a brilliant way. He said: „You might not recall what happened but you always remember.“ This really got to me. Because I, too sometimes don’t recall especially what happened in my early childhood. And I dissociated so much in my life that I wasn’t even sure I have access to those memories at all. But we do. Because the body remembers everything. We just need to learn how to listen to it. So make that differentiation: You might not recall, but you do remember. Tune into your body, any pain, any tension. And simply listen without judgement but with curiosity and compassion. Another thing Gabor likes to say is „Where ever there is tension, it needs attention.“ Simple as that.
Which is similar to what somatic experiencing is about. In a nutshell: You tune into your trauma by tuning into bodily sensations associated with it. Which can be pain or tension of any kind. You don’t need to know what the trauma is about. You just relax into these sensations while you continue to breathe deeply into your belly and just allow what ever happens to happen. By being really present and compassionate with yourself you are creating an experience that contradicts the experience of your original trauma and therefor heals your relationship to it. Boom! Blew my mind.
So I think I’ll leave it there for today. I know it’s a lot to digest. If you read this far maybe you want to get up and shake for a bit, maybe even go for a walk if that feels like a nice idea. Do what ever you need to feel nourished, grounded and safe. Know you are loved always.