Book Excerpt

From The Wounded Child's Journey by Paul Ferrini

The wounded child cannot be kept separate from you. 

If s/he is in fear, you need to love the one in fear.
You must be willing to feel her pain.

This is a sacred journey through fear to love.

You must learn to approach the child, not as a judgmental parent,
but as a loving one. For only love releases the pain.
Only love gently brings the darkness into the light.

The process of recovery does not end
until there is no one left to blame or shame, including yourself.

It does not end until you can see the light
behind your shadow.

It is time now to take the little child into your arms
and rock her and speak to her softly
the words of love s/he needs to hear. 

Do not be afraid of her anger or her pain
but remember that all s/he wants is love.
and that is the only gift you can offer her.
Paul Ferrini
Love is my gift to not just to you, but also to myelf
When I give love, I bring you into the circle of our innocence. Love is truly a gift because it does not belong to you or to me. It is a state of consciousness we enter into when we see our equality.

Love is my gift to not just to you, but also to myself. When I choose anything other than love, I am isolated and alone. By seeking to ostracize you, I have chosen to isolate myself.
I cannot choose to love you without also loving myself, nor can I choose to love myself without loving you. This is not a truism, but a law of life.

What is commonly understood as self love is merely selfishness. My selfishness excludes you and isolates me. But real love for myself does not exclude you. It naturally reaches out to embrace you.

Love always makes love. It never makes war. If war is happening, if struggle and pain are happening, love has not entered yet. Selfishness has closed the door and locked love out. But love is always there, waiting in the wings. As the door of the heart opens, love greets us.

Until the laws of equality are understood and embraced, the concept of Atonement means nothing. There is no exclusive salvation in this world. What is true for some must be true for all.

Love is a continual choice in our experience because in every moment we decide whether to stand with others or to stand alone. To stand alone is different than to be alone. I can be alone with you. I can be alone with myself. In each of these cases, I am in relationship.

But when I choose to stand alone, I am choosing to be separate. This is an impossible choice. I cannot be separate. No one can "be" separate. I can only "be" in relation. The very word "being" suggests relationship.

Choosing to stand apart is choosing an illusion. It is choosing a world of "non-being." It is a perverse ontological choice, a kind of psychological suicide.

When I don't feel loved, I choose to be separate. Or to put it another way, separation occurs when I accept the idea "I am not loved."

The idea "I am not loved" prevents me from giving or receiving love. It shuts off my love supply as long as I believe it. What we call ego is simply this belief and all the thoughts and actions that spring from it.

Ego wants love, but it will not ask for it. If offered love, it probably would reject it. Ego says: "Fine. If I can't have love, I'll do without it." Ego is the belief in love-deprivation and the defense built against love.

The belief "I am not loved" begins as a feeling "I do not feel loved." When I communicate this feeling, it is a call for love. I say: "I do not feel loved. Please love me."

To this point, ego still has no foothold. As long as I am either loving or calling for love, I am a being in relationship with other beings. I belong inside the Circle of Atonement.

Ego is established when I accept the idea "I am not loved." That idea is the basis of my shame. It quickly becomes "I do not deserve to be loved."

That is why it is so important that feelings be communicated. They are a bridge to the reality of inclusion. When I am able to tell you that I hurt, the hurt lessens. When you listen to how I feel, you bid me enter the circle of my innocence.

Feelings come and go. Sometimes I feel good. Sometimes I feel awful. This work is not about feeling good all the time, unless that is what is real for you. This work is about feeling whatever you are feeling without losing the awareness that you are loved.

So this moment may be a difficult one for me, but I remember that I am loved. "I remember that I am loved, but I don't feel loved right now." This is my call for love.

My call for love is honest and straightforward. It doesn't deny my feeling of disconnection, nor does it capitulate to it. It does not ask me to pretend to be "connected" when I don't feel that way, nor does it "feed" my feelings of separation with confirming thoughts and actions. It simply communicates how I feel. It enables me to ask for the love I think I lack.

Every time I ask for love, I connect directly with the Holy Spirit, whose purpose is to answer me. Spirit knows that my call for love is as close to love as I can come in this moment.

Spirit does not stand back in judgment and say: "How dare you ask for love? Don't you already know that you are perfect?" It simply answers my call for love with gentle reassurance.

So long as I do not fabricate my feeling of being unloved into a belief that I am unloved, I live under Spirit's guidance. However, as soon as I let that temporary feeling of separation become a belief about who I am and who you are, then ego establishes its foothold in my psyche.

Every day I have unhappy moments. Every day my brother or sister has unhappy moments. That is the warp and woof of life, the play of consciousness. The fact that I have unhappy moments is not a judgment of me. It is simply a sign that I am still learning.

Learning my lessons as they come up, however difficult they may be, is still less difficult than pretending that I don't have to learn them. If I did not have lessons to learn, why would I choose to be in a classroom?

So I experience the highs and low of emotion. That is just fine. That is the way it is here. When I experience the highs, I move upward without becoming inflated. And when I experience the lows, I move downward without allowing myself to get deflated. I take a deep breath and re-center. I am here. Up and down are just feelings that come and go. But I am here, in the center of my being: steady, on course.

Experiencing my feelings always takes me back into balance. I ride out the high and the lows.

It is a funny thing: experiencing my feelings enables me to let them go; denying them makes me hold onto them. When I hold onto them, I begin conceptualizing them, interpreting them. They become fixed beliefs about myself, rather than the dual play of emotion that they are.

Sometimes I feel loved. Sometimes I don't. When I feel loved, I am a channel for love. And when I don't feel love, I call out for it. That is the real rhythm of my life in this embodiment. Anything other than this is embellishment. Anything other than this is a belief in inequality, a belief that I'm special, that the highs are my special reward, or that the lows are my special punishment. This simply is not true. It is just my conceit.