The Hierarchy of Psychological Development:
The transition from the false self (the ego, image, or trauma-induced identity) to Our True Self
Traumatic experiences when we are young divert us from the natural cumulative course of psychological growth, from infancy to adulthood. The more traumas we experience, the more we evacuate from the human qualities that sense the traumas, feel the pain of their impacts, and obsessively think about what happened. We lose our humanity as a result, descending the evolutionary ladder. For example, if our animal body motivates the majority of our decisions, we are in the Animal Stage. When the ups and downs of our environments control our lives, we function like a Vegetable. When we have evacuated so completely from our humanness that we no longer grow, change, or have choice, we exist as a Mineral. Minerals fiercely defend against their humanness or violently attack it, having concluded that it is to blame.
The Child Stage
Focus—"ME" and "THEE!" Theme—“I choose to grow while exploring, engaging, and enjoying me and you."
The psychological world becomes increasingly important to the growing Child, who is beginning to notice its representation within the outside world. Self-discovery and inner development, profound feeling, and deep, heartfelt relationships are the hallmarks of this stage. The Child looks inside everything and everyone to see how they work, fathoming the psychological cause for physical effects. He is eager to learn about psychology, applying his learning in remarkably resourceful ways. Aware of the enormity of his needs and his own limitations in meeting them, the Child turns more and more to the Spiritual for guidance.
The Tender Child: A deeply feeling individual, Stephanie is not afraid to show her emotions. She is always the first to cry at weddings. She says she can sense whether the marriage will be successful. At times, her tears are of joy, but often they are of sorrow. Before the nuptials, she may try to share what she feels in order to minimize the pain these folks will go through, but most don’t listen. Some have even blamed her for somehow cursing their blessed union. If she hadn’t brought up such “negativity,” by mentioning the serious nature of each person’s unresolved psychological issues, the marriage might have survived! These attacks and rejections wound her, but she tries to learn from each experience. She alters her approach accordingly so that she might more and more ease the suffering to which she is so sensitive.
Each Child is endowed with amazing gifts of help and healing. Because those in the younger stages of development are so threatened by the Child’s flow of feeling, her inspired thought, and her out-of-the-box methods of handling most situations, they tend to blame her for any surfacing problems. Some badmouth her, and others avoid her, most preferring those who appear more “normal” and who can give them an appearance of success.
The Child allows the bad press to move him into the unconscious mind where he finds much that is worthy of blame. He humanly responds with guilt and shame. Increasingly aware of his own agonizingly painful inadequacy as an individual, he reaches more and more for the spiritual for guidance.