How can I tell if the voice I’m listening to is my Higher Self or my scared inner child, masquerading as a wise being?

Elaine had good reason to ask this question. She firmly believed in her inner guidance, engaged in many spiritual practices which helped her feel loving and peaceful, and was just emerging from her fourth disastrous relationship.

“Each time I meet a new man who excites me, my inner voice tells me this time I have really found the right one; this time it will be different! But it isn’t long before he starts the same old pattern of distancing himself from me. With four different men I have started out feeling close, and as soon as I really commit, each one has pulled away.”

Elaine sought help from her spiritual teacher, who suggested gently that sometimes people seek spiritual healing to avoid dealing with painful past experiences. When a problem keeps recurring — like repeatedly choosing inappropriate men — more spiritual work is usually not the answer. Repeating something that has not worked in the past is unlikely to solve the problem. The teacher suggested that Elaine find help to explore the source of her problem.

Working with a therapist, Elaine discovered that she was choosing men who reminded her of her father, who had never given her the affection she desired. Her inner voice was indeed a child, hopefully seeking affection from a man “just like Daddy”. No wonder they seemed right — they were perfect, and because they were so perfect, they acted just as distantly as daddy had.

When Elaine finally let herself feel how angry and sad she was about her childhood isolation, she realized that she had been avoiding this intensely painful memory. She realized she kept trying to get her father to love her, rather than exploring a relationship with a man who felt “different” and might really offer what she needed.

Elaine decided that her inner voice was not her Higher Self when it came to choosing men, and started avoiding the men she was excited about. She is slowly learning that she can get the affection she wants.

[tags]Personal Growth, Emotional Problems, Self Help, Self-Improvement, CoDependency, Inner Child, Relationships [/tags]