Each of us, as we come into this world, carries with us a unique ray of light. We have a unique divine quality and our task is to uncover it and bring it out into life. This is in addition to our core essences of love, power and serenity. We must do this healing work of purifying ourselves as part of our mission to clear away whatever prevents our unique divinity from bursting out of us and putting on a dazzling display.

Workers start out with such a lack of awareness that they’re not even aware of how much they’re not aware of.
Workers start out with such a lack of awareness that they’re not even aware of how much they’re not aware of.

In a similar way, the Guide’s teachings carry a unique divine quality: they guide us in doing this work of purifying ourselves by unmasking and transforming the energies of the Lower Self. As we have said, doing this work isn’t the whole aim, but it’s what we must focus on because that is what’s here right now, blocking our light. The Lower Self is what’s messing up our show, and as long as we go on ignoring it, we’ll remain in the dark.

The Guide’s teachings, many of which are offered in the easy-to-read Real.Clear. series, offer an explanation for how we came to have our faults and images in the first place. Under all of our negativity and destructive impulses is a repository of unhappy feelings that needs to be emptied out. For many of us who are spiritual seekers, we’ve got a lot of clearing to do. It’s as though we gave ourselves plenty of work to do, knowing that we would be hearty enough to tackle it.

The most amazing aspect of all of this is realizing just how much unpleasantness lies simmering inside that we’re not aware of. Workers start out with such a lack of awareness that they’re not even aware of how much they’re not aware of. Our job is to hold them in their wholeness knowing there’s a beautiful light deep down inside that is yearning to shine freely. This is why they have come to us—so we will help them find their own light.

With that in mind, let’s get down to the brass tacks of doing the work.

Healing the Hurt: How to Help Using Spiritual Guidance

Getting into the Work

Awareness, then, is going to be a key. Because we human beings are caught in our own illusions, it is very hard to see our way out of our inner house of mirrors. We need to use these teachings as our frame of reference for understanding what makes us tick; then we need to apply these teachings to our lives. One without the other isn’t possible or of much value. So we don’t discount the use of our reasoning mind, which involves the ego—the part of us that can think and take action.

The nearly 250 lectures we were given by the Guide by way of Eva are tremendous. But picking our way through them can sometimes feel like we are walking through tall grass; it can be slow going. Reading them as part of the Real.Clear. series may help with the digesting of the material, but the original lectures are all available for free online as well, in both written and audio formats. In short, there’s really no two ways about it: the Worker has to learn to understand the lay of the land. Without the wisdom and guidance of the concepts presented by the Guide, they will continue to get tangled up in the wily ways of the Lower Self.

As the Helper, we should never work harder than the Worker. It is not our job to fix them, it is our job to hold the flashlight while they dig.
As the Helper, we should never work harder than the Worker. It is not our job to fix them, it is our job to hold the flashlight while they dig.

Further, if the Worker doesn’t come to understand their defenses and faults, their wrong conclusions and destructive motives, they will likely end up trying to Band-aid the behaviors of the Lower Self. They will spend their time improving their mask—the hands-down least real part of themselves—and moving further into despair and resignation.

If the Worker’s ego is not well enough developed to make the effort to somehow take in these teachings, they are probably not ready to be doing this work. It takes a lot of ego strength to take on the Lower Self. The Worker must be capable of showing up in the world, supporting themselves in some manner financially, and taking the steps needed for making real changes in their life. They need to come to sessions regularly and plan to spend at least some effort each day reviewing their life and their reactions to it. If the Worker wants to heal, they will need to do some real work.

As the Helper, we should never work harder than the Worker. It is not our job to fix them, it is our job to hold the flashlight while they dig. Of course the Worker is going to throw out resistance, and their process will not follow a straight line upwards. It never does. But their overall intention must be to move in the direction of growth and healing. We might need to be encouraging, but we don’t chase after them about doing this.

In our session, we want to welcome all the parts of the self, including the parts that are in resistance. We not only invite these aspects into the session, we give them special attention. Note, this isn’t the same as coddling the resistance; we need to work with it and unwind it, not give it red-carpet treatment.

As we do the work of uncovering and transforming the Lower Self, we must look for the ways in which the Lower Self tries to undermine our work. And it will. Whether it’s causing the Worker to fall asleep the minute they attempt to read the Guide’s teachings, or making them miss appointments by “accidentally” forgetting them. The Lower Self may put up roadblocks by calling the work childish or embarrassing or misguided. Don’t underestimate its slippery ways. As clever as our Higher Self is, that’s exactly how quick the Lower Self can be in tripping us up. We need to catch on to its game and help the Worker call its own Lower Self on its sidetracking measures.

Healing the Hurt: How to Help Using Spiritual Guidance

As stated earlier, the Higher Self is the part of the Worker that hires us to be their Helper. Their Higher Self is counting on us to call them on their shit. By definition of being a Helper, we ourselves have done a lot of work. We know what the Lower Self looks like and how it behaves. We must now watch carefully for all the clues the Worker is giving us so that we can help them, as discussed in the section about Listening. They will tell us everything we need to know.

If we miss the clues, the Worker will become angry with us. It is not their Lower Self that is angry—that part is tickled pink. No, it’s their Higher Self that gets mad. They depend on us to not let them get away with evasive and destructive behavior. They need to be able to trust us—to know that we have their best interest at heart and have the courage to take on their Lower Self, just as we have taken on our own.

So if we miss the work, it is going to come out directly into the room, aimed at us. Believe it or not, this is not bad news at all. Now the energy of the Lower Self is right there in the room with us. We need to face it, speak directly to it, and work with it. We will be able to face the bold, destructive cruelty that is normally running the show from behind the curtain. Let it have a voice. Let it unload all the filth and anger that has been bottled up inside.

As a Helper, we need to know that we will make mistakes. We are only human and there is a lot to learn about helping to guide another soul. When we mess up, we need to own it. When we suggest a direction to explore and it falls flat, we need to quickly drop it and move on. And when the Worker expresses feelings directly at us, we need to know that this is not personal—even if what they are telling us actually is personal; they may be giving us good information to explore in our own supervision sessions.

At the same time, we need to make sure we are taking care of ourselves and not allowing ourselves to be abused by a Worker. But in the moment that we have moving energy to work with, that is always preferable over trying to get stuck energy to move off the dime.

So we want to encourage the expression of any feelings—all feelings are welcome in a session—while also assuring that we are holding a safe container for doing this work. Be mindful that we aren’t going to get to this point in one of our first sessions—the point of deep emoting—but this is where we are heading. And that’s why we need to tend to the walls of our session container from the start, so that when the Lower Self is ready to come out, it will have a safe place to do so. We need to palpably feel the presence of the Higher Self to hold the work.

Healing the Hurt: How to Help Using Spiritual Guidance

To the Worker’s eyes, it may look like they are going in reverse, as previously hidden aspects of the Lower Self are now more on display.
To the Worker’s eyes, it may look like they are going in reverse, as previously hidden aspects of the Lower Self are now more on display.

We also need to make sure the Worker has the maturity to do the work they are doing. It does them a grave disservice if we allow them to dive into places that are still too far over their head. We wade into deeper waters gradually, building up the stamina and wherewithal to continually work at deeper and deeper levels.

Getting started is always the hardest part. There is not just lack of awareness about the concepts, but also about how to go about this wading-in process. The Worker may have little to no experience with feeling their feelings. They may feel shame at being seen in their vulnerability. They are probably trying to please us in some way, wanting approval and acceptance, due to transference.

We need to grapple with this, because the earlier the Worker begins to take off their mask, the better. But then that leaves them feeling exposed in the world without habitual defenses. To the Worker’s eyes, it may look like they are going in reverse, as previously hidden aspects of the Lower Self are now more on display. But we can’t change something in ourselves that we are not aware of, so the Worker needs to gain awareness about aspects of themselves that won’t be pretty.

The Guide implores us over and over to stop berating ourselves for every little aspect of negativity or imperfection we uncover, or it will be one step forward and two steps back. This is a normal, natural thing that happens—beating ourselves up for the flaws we uncover—and as the Helper, we can go a long way in helping the Worker accept themselves if they see that we don’t judge them for what they bring to session, or for what they uncover. We need to identify this tendency for self-condemnation and self-flagellation when it arises, helping the Worker nip it in the bud.

As a Helper, it is critical that we not skip steps, or let the Worker try to skip them. There is no value in any of us trying to pretend we are further along than we actually are, and we don’t want the Worker to dive too quickly into the deep end of the pool. It can do serious harm try to strip off a Workers defenses before they are ready, potentially causing damage to the psyche of the individual. We are the Helper; they are the Worker. We are always looking for ways to help that are efficient and effective, but nothing good ever comes from rushing.

Healing the Hurt: How to Help Using Spiritual Guidance

Welcoming All of the Selves

According to the Guide, the Spirit World has a name for planet Earth that roughly translates as “the land of lack of awareness.” Our denial of so many aspects of our own beings is not just notable, it’s remarkable. The Worker then, is seldom aware of just how much they are denying in themselves. It is this perpetual looking away—from their faults, from their pain, from their own cruelty—that keeps them locked in blindness and lacking in fulfillment.

The Guide tells that were we to get a clear look at the contents of our inner selves, we would laugh. So following his lead, let’s not feel too grim about all this. Instead, let’s just go ahead and invite all of the selves with all of their states and various feelings into our sessions so we can get a good look at everything and see what’s going on. The question is: what does that invitation look like?

Healing the Hurt: How to Help Using Spiritual Guidance

Unlike the Lower Self, the Higher Self won’t come blazing into the session with its spurs on, trailing a cloud of kicked-up dust. But make no mistake, it’s in the room.
Unlike the Lower Self, the Higher Self won’t come blazing into the session with its spurs on, trailing a cloud of kicked-up dust. But make no mistake, it’s in the room.

Accessing and Aligning with the Higher Self

For the Higher Self, we invite it in during our attunement, we include the Higher Self whenever the Worker hits a stuck place and prays, and we close with a prayer or intention that helps set the new truths coming from the Higher Self’s perspective into the soul substance.

This is an important aspect of all the clearing and releasing work we do. The Worker needs to consciously imprint truth into the newly tilled soil of their soul so that Lower Self doesn’t come rushing in to fill the space with more negativity. That could show up in the form of regret for revealing what surfaced in the session, self-condemnation for now seeing previously hidden negative aspects, and potentially a discounting of the work that has been done.

The Higher Self is always the seemingly more elusive quality to presence. In truth, it is the most real and rock-solid aspect of our beings, but it is typically the most faintly heard, swallowed up as it is by the loudmouth ways of the Lower Self. Even in the thundering silence of withholding, the Lower Self makes its presence known; it’s unpleasant, but it is still loud and clear.

The vibrations of the Higher Self are finer and lighter, so by their very nature, emanations from the Higher Self are not as close a match to the material world as the Lower Self. We incarnate, in fact, to embody our unique ray of Higher Self light for the purpose of spiritualizing matter. So making more space for the healing light of Higher Self is not trivial. Just the opposite: it’s monumental.

No, unlike the Lower Self, the Higher Self won’t come blazing into the session with its spurs on, trailing a cloud of kicked-up dust. But make no mistake, it’s in the room. Our job as the Helper is not only to acknowledge the Higher Self’s presence, but to intensify it. One way to do this is by using honor cords, which we’ll learn about shortly.

Healing the Hurt: How to Help Using Spiritual Guidance

Inviting in the Lower Self

As explained in Spilling the Script, the Lower Self comes in two distinct varieties that we need to recognize so we handle them each appropriately. The little-L Lower Self is the split off, wounded inner child who survives in a state of fear, humiliation and a feeling of being less than. Its approach to life is “I can’t.”

The Big-L Lower Self is the negative part of ourselves that wraps itself around these young aspects, justifying cruel, destructive behavior aimed at the self and others by leveraging misguided images that convince us to stay stuck and in hiding. It thrives on fear, a competitive drive to win and prevail over others, and a refusal to give or give-in to life. Its approach to life is “I won’t.”

The first venture into the pit of pain may be more like an accidental slide over the edge of feelings that couldn’t remain bottled up any longer.
The first venture into the pit of pain may be more like an accidental slide over the edge of feelings that couldn’t remain bottled up any longer.

The work of healing needs to work with both aspects of the Lower Self, and although this work is seldom linear, it is helpful to think about working with the Lower Self as being sequential. The Worker needs to get to know the Little-L Lower Self and what it is holding before taking self-responsibility for the cruelty of the Lower Self.

One major driver for people entering a spiritual path of healing is the desire to better avoid the pain being held by the Little-L Lower Self. We’ve been running from it most of this lifetime, not to mention many before this one. And yet, when the Worker sits down in the chair across from us, it’s here with us already. All the evasion in the world has actually done nothing to make it go away.

The pain, for the Worker, feels like one giant bottomless pit of pain. The Guide calls this an abyss, and we fear that if we get next to the edge of it, we’ll fall into it and be annihilated by it. Our work as the Helper is to guide the Worker to the edge of this abyss, and then gently encourage them to let go. As the Guide teaches, each time we do this, we discover that we float.

As one might imagine, this takes some getting used to for the Worker. The first venture into the pit of pain may be more like an accidental slide over the edge of feelings that couldn’t remain bottled up any longer. This slip-and-slide entry into feelings isn’t a bad way to get started, provided the Worker feels confident that the Helper is right there with them. For others, it will be more like wading gingerly into the water, one baby-step at a time.

However they get there, at some point—and in general, the sooner the better—the Worker needs to take the plunge into feeling their feelings. Many new Workers tend to spend way too many sessions resisting their tears and therefore missing the point. And let’s be clear, the point isn’t to cry—the point is to feel the residual pain that’s been bottled up inside. So let’s face it, there will be tears.

Note, not all tears are the same. There are some tears that Workers cry from their defensive mask that basically say, “No, life, stop doing this to me.” If we listen closely, we can learn to detect this type of crying. It’s a “woe is me” cry that is bargaining with life for the pain to go away. It’s not a real release down into the depths of the pain itself, and we don’t want to let the Worker spin here, going in circles instead of following the work along a spiral that takes them into the nucleus of the pain.

After passing their painful recreations many, many times, each time on a deeper level of the spiral—if they are truly doing the work and not spinning in circles—the Worker will reach the core of their issue. They will then go through a test before the whole constellation of painful experiences and memories dissolves.

As they slowly work their way through the levels of this spiral motion, we will help the Worker to peel back the layers of illusion and misguided thinking, gradually realizing the falsity of their defenses and fears. And of course, they will need to first learn what their defenses even are and how these create the very result the Worker is trying so hard to avoid. It takes courage for a Worker to do this work, and we can always be encouraging them to pray for the strength and courage they need. But know that at first they will hang on, and hold their breath, and cling to their fears and faults and mistaken beliefs in the misguided notion that this will keep them safe.

Working with Honor Cords

A key aspect of the Guide’s teachings involves understanding the role of the ego, that fragmented aspect of ourselves that needs to become strong enough to overcome itself and let go. This part of the Worker needs to make the effort to understand the Guide’s teachings so they have at least a thimbleful of truth in order to get started.

A good way to begin teasing out the ego from the other aspects and strengthening its constitution is by using the Guide’s Meditation for Three Voices, which is included in Pearls: A Mind-Opening Collection of 17 Fresh Spiritual Teachings. In this meditation, the ego is actively tasked with the job of opening up a pathway between the Higher Self and the inner child, so that the inner child receives the support it needs to come forward and do the work needed to heal.

Here is how we would work with the honor cords on this. Taking three cords of three different colors, we create three circles on the floor. One represents the child, one (positioned between the other two) represents the ego and one represents the Higher Self. The word “represents” is almost misleading, because the cords are actually doing much more than that. They aren’t just representing an aspect, they are becoming it. They create a space that embodies an energetic aspect of our being, so that we can isolate that aspect and step into it more fully.

The Worker will feel the difference in these three spaces when they step into them, and may even feel a reluctance to step into one of them because of what they sense it expresses. Invariably, the experience within the energetic state is not what they thought it would be like. But this points up the way that the inner child tosses around fear like its candy. They will hold back out of fear, when the fear is the exact illusion they need to challenge. Stepping into the circle then gives the Worker a lot of felt-sense information about how their psyche operates and about the truth.

The part of the Worker holding the perspective that “these are just harmless circles of honor cords” is the ego. The ego must fully show up and do its job. At first its job is to show up in the world and take responsibility for thinking and acting in a manner that is successful. Then the ego gets a new job.

Its work is to recognize how limited it is, and therefore it needs to let go and dissolve into the Higher Self. It’s like it first opens the door to the Higher Self, and then when it’s time, it walks through the doorway itself. Eventually, this must become so habitual for the ego that it readily takes action and at the same time gets out of the way so the Higher Self can come through. But trying to jump ship to the Higher Self before the ego has developed adequate strength for living is a formula for disaster. It amounts to skipping steps and that never goes well.

Healing the Hurt: How to Help Using Spiritual Guidance

Of our many layers, the one that wasn’t around when the child was going through their trauma was the adult ego. It is helpful for the Worker’s inner child to realize that they now have more resources for handling these difficult emotions than they did when they were young. And especially during a session, when the Worker is re-experiencing themselves at a younger age, they need to know that there is also now an adult version of themselves present to hold their hand and walk with them. It is really important for the Worker to find this resource within themselves, and not from us physically holding them as a way to comfort them. When we do that, this young aspect remains dependent on someone else to care for them, so they won’t mature, which in the end is the whole point of what we’re wanting to accomplish.

As the Worker moves from one circle to the next, following their inner guidance and readiness to move, they will likely notice that some energies are harder to sense at first. Staying in that circle is the way to strengthen the energies of that circle, praying for help as needed along the way. As the Helper, we should endeavor to have no preconceived idea of what the Worker will experience in each circle. It really will be their own experience arising from within them.

That said, we need to have a general idea of what one might experience in each circle, so when we hear the Worker saying things that don’t jive with the circle they are in, they need to move to the circle that is aligned with what they are saying. As Workers, we have been overriding our inner experience for so long, it is not uncommon for our experience to be polluted by our over-thinking.

When we start doing this work, our egos are usually in such a state of overdrive, they show up and tell us what our Higher Self is thinking. As Helpers, our work is to help the Worker tease these aspects apart and have a more clear understanding of the various inner aspects and how they interrelate. It’s almost impossible to do this from the starting point of vague inner confusion. This is what makes the honor cords such a valuable tool to work with, at least in the beginning.

A few further notes about working with the honor cords. First, these are just honor cords, the kind that graduating students hang around their necks to symbolize their various achievements. They can be ordered online in a wide variety of colors. It is really helpful to have a bag of ten or more cords in various colors, and since they typically come two-tied-together, each one can be untied to create two.

As you work with the cords you’ll see that the creative ways you can lay them out and the things they can represent are truly endless. As the session unfolds, you’ll want to move the cords as the energy shifts. This is why it’s good to have two of one color creating a length of cord that can be moved, and that creates a large enough space for the Worker to move around inside of. The Worker will literally be stepping into specific energetic states and modifying the cords as they work. You may want to suggest changes to the cords as a way for the Worker to notice how they react: What if the cords from that person’s circle touched yours, like this—how does this feel (or What do you notice)?

The cords can be laid out to represent different people, different aspects of the self, different situations, or perhaps to illustrate something the Worker has said. Perhaps they commented that they feel like they’re speeding down the highway of life and are about to crash. So lay out the highway and put something in the road; let the Worker viscerally respond to what it feels like to approach the impending obstacle, and then step inside it and learn more about it.

The feelings associated with the fear are likely to escalate as the Worker gets nearer to it, so keep slowing things down and noticing what happens. If the Worker literally steps over themselves and walk into the circle without being ready or noticing their inner experience, explore what that’s about: “Notice if this feels like how you bulldoze your way through life, not willing to feel what you feel.” It’s all good information to work with.

There are a few do’s-and-don’ts for working with the cords. First, always honor what the cords represent once you’ve laid them down. Don’t switch them around or move them willy-nilly. It creates great confusion to get started with a certain scenario and then re-identify a cord as representing something else. Add a new cord of another color when needed, and try to avoid having the same color representing two different things. This may sound juvenile, but in working with cords for many years now, I can only attest that something powerful gets created and the energies invoked should be worked with in a sacred way.

There is a technique used in group-work in which a group member stands in for another person; this allows for the possibility of the Worker trading places with that person, and thereby gaining insight into the other person’s disposition or reactions. In a similar way, the honor cords can be used to allow the Worker to experience the energetic states of other people, as well as of their own reaction to making various choices. It’s all good grist for the mill.

At the end of the work, it is helpful to invite the Worker to state a prayer or intention before they step outside the cords. Then respectfully pick up the cords and return them to their bag. This helps the ego regain its position. The wounded young aspect will likely have been included in the work and may even feel an attachment to the scenario that’s been created. It’s helpful for this aspect to see the transitory nature of reality, and to not need to cords to remain in place for them to continue to feel calm and safe.

Lastly—and it should go without saying, but let’s say it just to be safe—make sure all your creativity is directed at ways to lay the cords on the floor, and never on top of or around the body of the Worker, except possibly over the top of their feet.

The Power of the Pillow

In my own work as a Worker, pillows were called into service on a regular basis. For the Meditation for Three Voices exercise, one can stand on or in front of three different pillows, although sitting in three different chairs works well too. What I discovered in sessions with Workers is the power of using a pillow to represent their inner child, especially when it is given a chair to sit on in the session. Again, this may sound trite until you work with this in a session and discover the powerful effect it can have for the Worker.

In our looking away from these hurting splintered aspects of ourselves, we sometimes become angry at the inner child. Anger is a typical cover for painful feelings, and when it gets directed at these young parts, it makes it hard for those parts of the Worker who are in pain to come forward for healing. So by inviting that aspect into the room, by literally giving them a place at the table, we bring feelings into the room that need to have space.

If the Worker has a strong reaction to the presence of their young aspects, help them come into relationship with those aspects. Let them choose where to position the seated-pillow in the room. Let them react and see what comes up for them. Once feelings are present we can do the work of exploring what they are about—what memories are they associated with—and allowing the tears to wash clean the old wounds.

Of particular help is to have a very small pillow available to represent a very young inner aspect that the Worker can hold in their lap and then hug. (And perhaps first kick across the room; you just never know.) This self-comforting and self-acceptance is what most of us didn’t get enough of as children, but which the Guide teaches us can now only come from ourselves. We are now adults and it can’t come to us from the outside any more. It the end, healing is always an inside job.

A final note about pillows: they are wonderful sound dampeners. Often there is unexpressed rage that can best come out by giving voice to powerful unexpressed feelings. Screaming into a pillow works well to allow the Worker to feel they can dig deep without scaring the neighbors.

Healing the Hurt: How to Help Using Spiritual Guidance

We speak a lot about the inner child, which is a phrase that has unfortunately gotten a bum rap since it made an appearance on the main stage back in the 70s. This is why the phrase “young aspect” may work better for some people. But more than that, we talk about the inner child but we never speak of the plural inner children. And there are a whole bunch of them in there. It seems more correct to reference one’s many young split-off aspects.

In my own work, I have found it helpful to sit in meditation and imagine a setting in which all of the split-off aspects have a place to hang out. In my made-up landscape, I see a pool of water around which there are many young beings of various ages, and then in the distance is a forest encircled by a road. Some of the young aspects went far into the woods and were hiding out there in the wilderness. And they don’t all come back at once for healing.

We are imparting no advice, just sharing the Guide’s teachings where appropriate.
We are imparting no advice, just sharing the Guide’s teachings where appropriate.

Each healing session is an opportunity for a split-off aspect to come forward and let its pain be felt and its wrong conclusions about life be known. As the Guide teaches, energy and consciousness are so intimately fused that wherever we have one, we automatically have the other. So when the energy of pain is expressed and re-enlivened, the untruthful concepts it has held trapped inside its frozen consciousness will become open and malleable. Then prayers for truth will be able to infiltrate this aspect and bring a fresh new perspective that wasn’t seen before. But as long as the Worker keeps looking away from this young aspect, it will remain immature, self-centered and ill-equipped to handle life. This will color the Worker’s entire view of life.

To say the inner child is the one who is hiding is perhaps a misnomer. The Worker, being blind to these young aspects, is in a sense, actually hiding from them by turning away. The inner children are just doing what kids do—acting out, behaving childishly and generally causing a ruckus, or hiding under the bed and not coming out to play. This is what wreaks havoc on a person’s life, and turning a blind eye to this inner turmoil makes people highly perplexed by why they behave the way they do.

So going back to the session, these are the aspects that need to be actively, consciously welcomed into the room, along with any emotions that have been treated as verboten. This time, we’re going to listen to them. Once we hear what the young child believes to be true, we will need to re-educate it. We can do this by speaking the truth of the Guide’s wise teachings to the Worker’s reasoning mind—that ego mind whose job it is to open a conduit between the child and Higher Self. But better yet, the Worker’s own Higher Self will hold just the right wisdom for re-educating the young aspects.

Just because something makes sense to the ego doesn’t mean the child has gotten the message. Repeating back the words the Worker has discovered from their Higher Self, we want to speak directly to the young aspect: “It’s not true the other must be perfect for me to have love. It’s not true that being afraid keeps me safe.” We want to bring in the light of truth, which is outside the bounds of duality and can therefore hold opposites as both true. “Yes, my parents loved me the best they knew how, and yes, it hurt a lot to be treated that way.

It is powerfully healing for the inner child to be heard, and to be witnessed using wisdom that arises from their own Higher Self. We are imparting no advice, just sharing the Guide’s teachings where appropriate. The healing process must follow the Worker’s own God-inspired course that we, as the Helper, have the privilege of facilitating.

Healing the Hurt: How to Help Using Spiritual Guidance

Working Within the Body

It is clearly a specialty of these teachings to focus on both developing our awareness and feeling all our feelings. Whatever is present in our beings, we want to know about it, accept it and express it. Awareness alone then is not enough. We must move the energy that is integrally wound up with our consciousness; our defense patterns are not just machinations in our brains—they have become molded into our physical bodies.

Often the Worker starts out so confused, they don’t know what they believe or what they’re feeling. So we need to take a two-pronged approach in which we work the equation from both sides, illuminating errors and ushering in new truth on one end, and dropping into feelings on the other.

The phrase “dropping into feelings” is apropos because we don’t find our feelings in our head, we find them in our bodies. So we need to help the Worker come down out of their head—out of story—and into the body where the feelings can be found and experienced. Pathwork has a rich history of taking this double-decker approach, blending the teachings, spoken by Eva Pierrakos through her ability to give voice to the Guide, together with Core Energetics, which her husband John Pierrakos developed. Core Energetics is all about working with the blocked energies in the body.

The phrase “dropping into feelings” is apropos because we don’t find our feelings in our head, we find them in our bodies.
The phrase “dropping into feelings” is apropos because we don’t find our feelings in our head, we find them in our bodies.

A very brief summary of the Core Energetics approach and the five character structures is given in Spilling the Script, but far more in-depth learning is available to anyone interested in studying this aspect of the work further. What feels important to convey here is how one would use this information as a Helper while giving a session. In particular, we want to notice how the Worker’s energetic proclivities—tugging on us, pushing us away, manipulating us—may be inviting us, the Helper, to react to the them in a way that will seem to reinforce their need to defend themselves. Knowing this, we can make a conscious decision to energetically hold them in a way that would be helpful, and not hurtful.

If energetically, a person appears to be schizoid, they are likely ungrounded and scattered. It may feel to us like parts of a mobile all operating independently instead of hanging together as one cohesive unit. This person may benefit from starting the session by giving attention to grounding and pulling themselves together, so to speak, by relaxing down into the chair.

As they talk, we may notice they tend to go off in fragmented tangents. Rather than collude with this, we may want to point this out and gently invite them to come back into their breath and their body—to feel their wholeness. We can reflect back to them that we’re finding it hard to hang with these disconnected pieces, asking them what that experience feels like for them. We may want to lay out some honor cords that represent their disjointed way of presenting themselves, and then slowly move the cords so they become more integrated and whole.

For someone who is oral, we may feel how they pull on us, wanting to get something from us that they will then have a hard time taking in. Such people sometimes suck on other people’s energy as a way of taking in pre-digested energy. Rather than resisting or blocking them, which is probably how most people react to them, we can ground ourselves, open up and allow them to feel nourished. Then we can comment to the Worker that it feels like they are wanting to “get” something from us—are they aware of how they are doing this?

The psychopathic defense structure has a lot of energy coming over the top. This Worker may be a Will Type who wants to challenge us and argue with us. They are adept at skillfully throwing energetic hooks, attacking people as a way to connect with them, while simultaneously pushing them away. Realizing that this isn’t personal—even though they may use personal criticism about our work as a Helper in order to engage us—allows us to meet them, without engaging in a tit-for-tat battle. Offering words to explain how we feel attacked by them can provide helpful information in understanding how they affect others.

People who use a masochistic defense structure are particularly tricky to work with, as help from the outside can easily feel invasive to the Worker, triggering their wounds around feeling smothered in the way they were parented. Their imploding, withholding energy can beg us to come in after them, but this is a trap. We need to back off and allow the Worker the space to come out of themselves under their own steam. By creating a neutral container, we offer them the safety of making their own decision and following their own timing. Considerable patience is often needed on the part of the Helper.

The rigid type is the least likely to show up in front of us in a session. They are the most likely to have received “good enough” parenting, but they may have a wicked split between their heart and sexuality that makes loving, intimate relationships a challenge. They can love the one they are not attracted to and be attracted to one they will not love, and in either case, that’s a painful place to be. While seduction can be an issue to watch for with people sporting any of the five character structures, the rigid type may be overly prone to this. They are used to cutting off their feelings—their heart—by pushing their energy into their pelvis—their sexuality—and may benefit greatly from our open-hearted stance toward them that is not polluted with sexual overtones.

So if we notice how we react to what the Worker is unconsciously doing with their energy, we may better understand how we can best help them. This will also give us a lot of information about how other people in their world react to them. It takes considerable skill and experience as a Helper to know the right timing and the right way to share our insights with the Worker about what we notice about their behavior, or how we notice ourselves reacting to them. Done well, we can offer tremendously valuable information that the Worker would not realize about how they affect others. Done poorly, we stand the chance of re-wounding someone who has come to us for help in healing. Supervision is invaluable for navigating such delicate opportunities.

Healing the Hurt: How to Help Using Spiritual Guidance

We must always be willing to continually keep doing our own work. Or as my teacher put it: A good Helper is also a good Worker.
We must always be willing to continually keep doing our own work. Or as my teacher put it: A good Helper is also a good Worker.

Staying Present in Our Own Body

Since our work with our Workers involves getting them into their bodies, it only stands to reason that our work as Helpers requires us to be in our own bodies. We will need to have done our own intense work to be able to stay grounded and present in our physical bodies when Workers are present with their defenses and highly charged Lower Selves. As we are human beings, our reactions are expected, but as Helpers, we must learn how to manage our reactions.

If we attempt to come into relationship with the Worker by cutting off some aspect of ourselves, well, that just goes against the grain of everything this work is about. We need to bring all of ourselves to a healing session, as best we can, and always remain cognizant that the work of helping is not work done by our ego. We bring the presence of our healed self to the session, and we relax into guiding the Worker down roads we’ve already explored ourselves.

However the helping session goes, underneath all the ins and outs of the surface story, most inner wounds are basically the same—identical plot with a different cast of characters. People are not as unique as we like to think we are. So our own healing is our best teacher. Our compassion and understanding for our Workers arises from our recognition that “we have this in us too,” and the landscapes the Worker must traverse are not unlike what we’ve already gone through.

Here’s where the need for supervision is apparent. Because if we haven’t gotten all the way to the other side of our own work—and let’s be honest, we’re still human so there’s still more work to do—the Worker’s work is likely to trigger our own work. This is a normal and expected part of what it means to fully show up ready to help, so we must always be ready and willing to continually keep on doing our own work. Or as my teacher put it: A good Helper is also a good Worker.

Healing the Hurt: How to Help Using Spiritual Guidance

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