When a loved one gets stuck in the state of feeling like a victim, and may be angry or raging, you might be able to be a lifeline for them. It can bring you great joy to learn to be a channel of love for them when they are in the rabbit hole of the darkness, fear and despair of their wounded self.
Today I want to talk about an important topic, which is how you might be able to help a loved one when they are stuck in their wounded self – how you might be a lifeline for them when they are stuck in anger or rage – stuck in the darkness of terror and despair.
We all get stuck there at times, and sometimes it’s hard for us to see our way back into a place where there’s more of a sense of clarity and safety. When we get stuck, it’s like being in a dark night of the soul, and we might need help to move out of being stuck in the darkness of our wounded self.
Sometimes there is a way to help a loved one who had wound down into that rabbit hole and is stuck there. But, in order to be of help to them, you need to know that they really want the help. If you’re with a partner who goes into a very complaining victim place, or a rageful and blaming place where they’re projecting their anger onto you, and you know that they really don’t want to be there, and that they would be available for the right kind of help, then I want to help you understand what it is you can do. However, if your loved one just wants to control and avoid, and has no intention or desire of getting out of that place, OR that’s the place they live in most of the time, then you have to accept that there’s no way to help them – that you have to disengage from them, and that being open to learning with them is only going to backfire on you. You can’t bring your love in to help them because they are not open to your love, so you need to disengage.
But what I want to talk about is how to help somebody who gets lost in a wounded place, but it’s not where they are most of the time. Most of the time they’re open and loving, and they want to learn and grow. But perhaps because of childhood trauma – unhealed childhood trauma, they might be stuck in terror that comes out as anger or blame. Something scared them and triggered them into a very wounded place and they can get stuck there because they can’t access their own loving adult. But they are available for your help. They are available to get beyond the fear from their wounded self, because most of the time when people go into that state into that angry victim blaming state, it’s because they’ve had fear triggered that they don’t know how to deal with. When you learn how to be there for them in a loving and caring way, you can actually help to rescue them from their fear which is underneath their anger and rage, especially with somebody who’s suffering from PTSD, either from childhood trauma or from other situations in life, that they may be triggered into. They may be triggered into deep terror which can trigger rage, and you might be able to be of help to them.
In order to help them, you have to be able to stay in your spiritually connected loving adult state. You can’t get triggered into your own wounded self. You need to be able to stay present in your own heart and connected with your higher guidance. You can’t take their behavior personally. This, of course, might be a big challenge for you. What do you usually do when your partner or someone else you love is angry and blaming? Do you get angry back? Do you withdraw? Do you patronize them and try to fix them? As I’m sure you already know, none of this helps you or them. None of that is coming from love. So in order to help another, you need to have done your own inner work to stay open and loving.
You need to be able to create an environment of trust and safety for them. If you can’t do this, if you’re triggered into your own wounds, then you won’t be able to help them. if you’re going into your own fear and reactivity, you can’t create the trust and safety necessary for them to feel trusting and safe enough to emerge out of the terror of their wounded self. if you have an agenda for them, which means that you are trying to get them out of that place, they will sense this and not only resist you, they might even get angrier. When someone is in that place, they are generally very sensitive to the energy that’s coming at them. And if you have an energy that’s attached to getting them out of that place because you’re getting triggered and you’re scared, they’re going to pick that up, and they’re not going to feel trusting of you, they’re not going to feel safe with you.
You need to be in a place where you’re not blaming of them, where you’re not trying to get them to hear you. You’re not trying to get them to come out of it. You’re not trying to get them to be rational. But as I said, they have to want this help, because you can’t help somebody who doesn’t want help. Now, they may try and push you away because lots of times when somebody gets stuck in their wounded self, they might try and push you away. But if you really want to help them, you don’t let them push you away. Sometimes, that person is hanging on by their fingernails, and they need to know that in their regular life, this is not who they are, they’re not their wounded self. Somebody who is available for help knows that they’re not a bad person and doesn’t see them as bad, even though they’re acting like a bad person and likely feeling like a bad person when they’re in that wounded state.
This is very different then enabling and caretaking somebody. The difference is, is that this person actually does want your help, although they will be help rejecting if you’re manipulating them rather than coming from your love. You need to understand that at that time, that person may believe that they’re stuck there, that they’re too far gone, and that they’re bad and that there’s nothing you can do to help them, especially if they’re triggered into childhood trauma. Enabling and caretaking are coming from your wounded self trying to control them, while what I’m talking about comes from the healing power of love.
So, you need to get into a spiritual spiritually connected space. You need to get into a place where you’re allowing love to work through you. You need to be in a place where you can say, where you can genuinely say to them,
“Honey, I’m right here. I love you. You’re not alone. I will walk this with you. We will go through it together. You are not alone in this. I’ve got you. I’m here. And I’m not going to go away.”
This is actually very similar to what I have suggested people do when you feel the core painful feelings, the existential painful feelings of life, the loneliness, the grief, the helplessness over others, or the heartbreak. That process is basically the same. In that process, you’re putting your hands on your heart and you’re saying to your inner child “honey, I’m here, I’m with you. I’m not going to leave you alone I love you. We’ll go through this together. I’m not going to abandon you. I’ll stay with you until this moves through you.” It’s a very similar thing that we do with the person who’s stuck in their wounded self. If they let you, you can put your hand in their heart and let the energy of your love flow through your hands and into their heart.
Once again it has to be from a genuine place. You can’t help them – your energy won’t be healing for them if you’re trying to manipulate them in any way. You need to genuinely want to be there with your love. You need to genuinely not be taking their behavior personally. You need to genuinely be connected with your higher source of love. This may be challenging for you if you don’t have trust in your own Higher Power. This is something that you may need to work on before you can help a loved one come through their dark night of the soul. It’s an issue of trust. it’s an issue of safety. Many of us lost trust as we were growing up. I lost all trust in my mother when I was four years old, and she allowed me to get molested by a pediatrician. As a very sensitive child, I knew ahead of time, and I asked her ahead of time before he came into examine me, not to let him do what I knew he was going to do, and she didn’t listen to me. In that moment, I lost all my trust and I lost my safety. I could never again trust her, and indeed, she turned out to not be a trustworthy person.
And later I lost my trust in my father as an adolescent when he became sexually abusive with me. And without any kind of religious or spiritual upbringing, I had a lot of work to do to gain trust in my higher power – to gain trust in my own source of love. In order to be able to be there for others who I love to be a source of safety and love and trust for them, I need to learn to trust my higher power.
Also, as I said, the person you want to help needs to be open to love in order to let you in.
This is one reason why it’s important to choose a partner wisely – someone who’s open to learning and growing and healing. Someone is open to a spiritual connection – open to their source of love. The thing is when somebody gets stuck in their wounded self, they’re completely stuck on the left side of their brain. The wounded self is in the lower left brain, in the amygdala, and because they can’t find their way out of that, they think what’s happening is the truth. You need to be in your right brain, which is the aspect of us that can connect to spirit. Our higher right brain is the seat of our nurturing spiritually connected loving adult. Our higher left brain is the aspect of us that can take loving action. But when the left brain is in charge, and not connected to the right brain, that’s when we’re just reacting to the external world.
As people learn and practice Inner Bonding, the left brain learns to be in service of the right brain, rather than just operate from the intent to control. The left brain without a connection to the right brain, can take very unloving action in the world, as we see when people just want power and control. The left brain is that part of us that wants power and control. But when the left brain is in service of the right brain, that’s when we can take loving action, guided by love. And this is where we need to be when we’re wanting to help someone we deeply care about who’s stuck in their lower left brain, stuck in their wounded cell and needs help in getting out.
What you’re really doing here is letting that person know that they don’t have to be alone in the way they were when they experienced trauma. Most of us we’re alone or at least felt alone when we experience trauma, and that was a major part of the trauma. There was not only the trauma of the situation itself, but there was the trauma of being all alone in it. We’re not meant to be alone when we’re having a very scary time, and so when you let a loved one know that you truly love them, and that you understand the fear and pain they are in, and that they’re not alone in this place of rage or despair – that you completely understand how they feel, how alone they feel, they see the light out that you are offering. they need your full presence to get a glimpse of the way out.
They need you to be a channel of love for them, because they cannot do it for themselves at that moment. No matter how much we’ve worked on ourselves and how strong our loving adult is, there may be times when the feelings are so big that we cannot handle them alone. We need another loving adult there to help us reconnect with our own heart and soul, to help us reconnect with our own source of love.
A good example of this is the movie Steel Magnolias where Sally Field’s daughter, played by Julie Roberts, dies, and Sally Fields starts to fall apart. She feels she can’t handle it. She goes into rage, and she wants to hit someone. She wants someone to hurt them as much as she is hurting and she’s getting lost in her pain, lost in her rage. But her close friends who love her so much are there to help her and they are able to do it through humor. it’s through humor that sometimes we can move somebody out of their dark place. Once they got her to laugh, she could come back into her right mind, but she could not get there by herself. She needed her beloved friends to help her get there. We all need help at times. We are social beings and we are not meant to always handle everything by ourselves. We need the caring, the compassion, the love of at least one other person who knows who we truly are, who knows that we’re not our wounded self, that we’re not the person we are when we’re blaming and lashing out and being a victim, a person who can help us come back into ourselves.
When people who love each other can do this for each other they create such a deep sharing of love. They create a relationship of safety and of trust. They know they’re not alone when they can show up and do this for each other. They feel the oneness that comes from the true sharing of love when both hearts are open. We each need to be able to trust that someone who says they love us will be there for us even when we feel so lost and alone. But they can only be there for us only when that is what we want. Like I said, if your intention is purely to control, if that’s all you want, if you’re stuck in your left brain as your way of being in the world rather than as a place you go occasionally, then you’re not available for help, and even somebody who loves you will not be able to help you, so as the helper it’s very important to know that the person who is angry, who is rageful, who’s stuck in blame and victimization, and sees themself a victim, actually wants help – that they don’t want to be there and that they will let your love in, that they will let you let them know that they’re not alone, that you will walk the path with them until they come out the other end back into their connection with themselves with you and with their spiritual guidance.
There are many very good reasons to practice Inner Bonding and develop your spiritually connected loving adult, and this is one of the good reasons. As you learn to love yourself and bring the healing power of love and compassion to your own wounds, you can become a channel of love for others. The healing power of love can work through only when you have a strong enough loving adult to no longer be reactive to another’s wounded self – no longer take personally another’s wounded self.
Your own inner work will not only bring you great joy as you learn to take responsibility for your feelings, it will be bring you great joy to genuinely be able to bring the healing power of love to your loved ones.
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