"The paradox of control is simple. The more we try to control life, the less control we have."
Joan Borysenko PhD- Minding the Body, Mending the Mind
Recently I worked, via telephone, with a teenager, Linda, from the East Coast. Her mother had received a session a few weeks before and hoped I could “fix” her daughter. Jan was raising her daughter alone and wanted to be sure I knew all the details of what was going on with her daughter.
When Linda called, she sounded like any typical 15-year-old girl with braces. She was intelligent and intuitive, responsible and capable. She knew what she loved in life, and desired great achievements. I asked her to explain briefly what was going on and what she would like work on. She questioned why she was not getting along with her mom like she used to. We began to work on making the transition from childhood into young adulthood a bit smoother.
Unlike in the animal kingdom, when a human child is born, it cannot survive alone for many years. The child and mother therefore energetically agree to create an invisible line of communication or “Survival Cord” between them. This cord benefits them both. The child has a way to survive more safely and the mother gets the experience of full motherhood and intuitive communication with her child. This cord can be created between the father and the child as well, if the dad is the primary caregiver or if the father is emotionally closer to the child. For our purpose, we’ll simply assume it is Mom to whom the child is corded. If you’ve ever had a child, you may remember times when you were sound asleep and your infant was in bed in another room. The child would roll over in his sleep and the next thing you knew, you would be standing next to his bed, wide awake, checking on him, automatically, without even thinking about it, as if he reeled you in. He did. Because of this Survival Cord, your body sensed the movement and brought you to his bedside. Many lactating women have the experience of their breasts dripping between feedings. This is the child communicating to her, through the cord, “I’m hungry.” This energy cord is a wonderful device, perfectly designed for both the parent and the child. The baby is able to get his needs met and the tribe survives.
This Survival Cord doesn’t stay attached indefinitely. Or, rather, in healthy parent-child relationships, this cord doesn’t stay attached forever. I have seen many adults with this line of communication still firmly connected. Perhaps you know of a man who is still a momma’s boy, or a grown woman who is still very much involved with her parents’ lives, with no life of her own. The cord is still attached in these cases. An analogy would be the telephone receiver that hasn’t been replaced on the cradle after the conversation has ended. The loud buzz is an irritation to the system of both the parent and the grown child.
There is a natural and perfect time in the child’s life, when she no longer needs the safety and security of the Survival Cord. In fact she will want to disconnect it to survive on her own, or at least experiment with surviving on her own. In tribes and cultures where children and their rites of passage were honored and celebrated, this was an important and powerful time for the entire community. Today, however, this time of disconnecting the cord can be a time of stress and misunderstanding for everyone involved, including the greater culture. This period of time is called adolescence. It is a time when the child takes her greatest steps toward adulthood.
Linda was experiencing this natural step toward adulthood. She was also experiencing stress and worry about her relationship with her mom. Linda was very familiar with this cord. Every time she worried about Mom, argued with her or took steps toward independence, her solar plexus hurt. This was where the cord was attached now and every time Linda tried to remove it, it ached. The emotional, physical and mental resistance to this cord removal and impending independence, was not only Linda’s, however. Much of it was her mother’s. Jan’s fears about life and her desire to protect Linda from the pain she had experienced as a young woman caused her to keep a good deal of attention and worry on Linda. Jan wanted to keep this invisible cord attached. In fact, Jan needed this cord for her own emotional survival more than her daughter did. As Linda would jiggle and test this line and make efforts to remove it, Jan would notice the shift. Her fears, worries and dependency would flare up and she would make stronger attempts at keeping the cord attached, and Linda controlled. It was literally a tug-of-war that was physically and emotionally uncomfortable, manifesting as stress, self doubt and stomach aches for both of them.
With very little instruction, Linda began to gently, slowly, respectfully and lovingly loosen the cord. Two minutes into the work, our phone line went dead. While I waited for Linda to call back, Jan came to mind along with her anxiety, worry and loving concern for her daughter’s well-being. When Linda called, I asked her what happened. “I don’t know, the phone just went dead and Mom was standing at the door, asking me if I got disconnected.” Interesting choice of words, I thought. Indeed, that’s exactly what happened. As the cord was loosening, Jan noticed, energetically, the change in Linda’s connection with her. Just like times when Linda, the infant, rolled over in her crib, Jan was aware of the shift. This time, however, she became insecure and uncomfortable and created a situation that stopped the removal of the cord. Jan had been vacuuming and “accidentally” pulled the telephone cord out of the wall socket. There are no accidents. Linda understood this was just energy between herself and her mother. Instead of continuing the process, I gave Linda instruction on how to gently disconnect the energy cord and gradually transition into young adulthood with greater ease. Both she and Jan could now make the change with less physical, emotional and mental conflict.
Releasing the Survival Cord doesn’t mean you won’t have a mother or child anymore, or that the two of you won’t love each other. What it does mean is that each of you will now have the freedom to move and create and design your life the way that pleases you, while you support the other person and her journey. You both can now bump your nose, scrape your knee and experience the empowering act of picking yourself up. This is one of the greatest gifts parents can give a child; the freedom to stub her toe, learn from the experience and create a better way that works uniquely for her.
An interesting side note: Six weeks later, Jan called for another appointment. Some changes were occurring that Jan didn’t understand. Linda was no longer angry and rebellious. She was doing better in school and Jan was feeling alone and abandoned. The previous relationship pattern was breaking up and Jan was confused. She learned to reduce the size of her end of the cord and was soon able to find her inner stability without depending on her teenage daughter for security.
Energy Tool #9 - Releasing a Cord
Releasing the Survival Cord can be done from either end. Either the parent or the child can begin to disengage this line of attachment when it is no longer needed. It isn’t advisable to do so prior to adolescence.
1. After Grounding out your daily noise and finding the Center of Your Head, become aware of where this cord is attached. You do this by noticing what part of your anatomy may have uncomfortable sensations when this person (as in teenager) is pulling away from you, or is acting overly concerned and worried (as in parent). The Survival Cord may be attached to any chakra area (base of spine, lower belly, solar plexus, heart, throat or head). It is different for every body and every relationship. If you are not sure which body part or chakra is connected, just go with your first inclination. You can’t make a mistake here. If it is a parent/child relationship you’re working on, pretend the cord runs between first (base of spine) or third (solar plexus) chakras. If it is a love relationship that you’re working on, just pretend the cord runs between fourth (chest), second (lower belly) or first chakra.
2. Once located, simply imagine a cord attached from this spot and extending out into the air in front of you. You are not concerned about disengaging it from the other person, just about making your own separations and reestablishing your own balance. Visualize what the attributes of this cord might be, its shape and diameter, color and texture. You might notice, with amusement, if your analyzer gets involved here. If so, just ask him or her to sit this one out.
3. Very gently and slowly, pretend you are making the diameter smaller and narrower. You may use your physical hand if you like.
4. Over a period of a few sessions of decreasing its diameter, it will be a very simple matter of gently jiggling it loose or unscrewing it. The longer you take in this process, the smoother it will be for everyone involved.
Death and Divorce
Have you ever had the experience of losing a loved one either from death, divorce or abandonment and felt the pain in your body? The physical location of this discomfort is where you shared a cord with this person. Terry lost the love of his life to cancer several years back and he suffered for many months from severe pain in his solar plexus. He described it as feeling as though something was ripped out of his gut. Something was ripped out – her cord. In order for a person to take their Next Step, whether that is passing back into the non-physical or divorce, they must collect up their attention and energy from where they left it. That means disconnecting their cords and moving on.
You may look at it this way: if you have ever moved out of a marriage, you either took the physical things you were attached to, or decided you didn’t need them anyway. If an object did hold great meaning to you and you left it behind, a portion of your attention and energy would remain there with it. That portion of you is not with you now and is not available for your personal use. To make complete separations from someone or something, one must either be in possession of 100% of their energy and attention or be neutral and uncharged about what they did leave behind. You may use the Releasing a Cord tool to make the important changes that will enable both of you to take your Next Steps. Another Energy Tool to experiment with is Making Separations