There are many adults in our world today that walk around in their family stories.
These adults continue to play the “role” that they were assigned as children or rebel, assuming a role opposite of that which was “expected” of them. Either mode of expression reveals a person who is still very much affected.
Some souls carry this story with them wherever they go, constantly reacting not to their current situation or reality, but to a story they learned from their parents, who learned it from their parents, and on and on it goes until someone breaks the cycle.
Such folks live life in a constant state of defense, and to a past that is now long gone. They have become self-identified to the reflections that they once received from their caretakers. This is what their minds and bodies have learned about themselves, life, living, and relationships. They have allowed themselves, thus far, to be defined by their environments of old, environments that reflected a vibration of experiencing that wasn’t an accurate mirror of them, that did not validate or highlight the good in others, or the inherent good in life. If this pattern is continued, these are the folks that will become the abusers of tomorrow.
If your family consisted of a bunch of psychopaths would you trust their ideas about who you are? Even if your family is not made up of a bunch of psychopaths, you still know you better than anyone else on the planet and it is high time to learn to trust in yourself again. This can be quite a process because it involves re-training the mind and body so that they can, once again, learn to walk in accordance with the knowing that is of your soul. It can be done, and you can do it.
A person who is no longer connected to themselves and thus hurts others cannot reflect a person who is still connected in heart. Remember this as you walk yourself through this process, and let it remind you to love yourself ever more, and to be gentle with yourself. A person who is unable to love cannot reflect love, and love is by nature who and what you are. This is all that has happened, your soul was learning from souls who simply didn’t know much about loving yet, and you are the change, you have a great capacity to love or you would not be reading this. The result of growing up in such environs is that a child will tell themselves consciously or not so consciously, “I don’t deserve love.” These children become the adults that enter our world in the belief – “I don’t deserve love,” and thus attract to themselves people and situations that will most likely reflect this learned belief. Choose not to allow the ignorance of those who raised you to define who you are. Their behaviors were a mere reflection of their own consciousness, not of you.
How do we begin to heal these wounds?
Here are some tools that will help us to get moving in the right direction:
1) When you feel a charged reaction to any person, situation, or experience – step back. Your initial response may be to attack – stop! Leave if need be.
Most likely, if you are at the point of being aware that you have triggers, you are perfectly capable of learning that you may be responding to a trigger when your reactions to a particular life circumstance or person are getting out of hand. These cues serve in tapping you back into some very old, ingrained, and learned modalities of behavior – your conditioning. When you are triggered, your reaction is usually way out of proportion to the moment and this is another indicator that you are stuck in a “story.”
It is most likely not the intent of the person who is standing before you in the present moment to hurt you. If you have come from an extremely violent environment, it will not feel safe to stop reacting in this way. It may even feel like you are going to die at times. However, this too shall pass.
Ask yourself: Is this person reflecting my past? Are they behaving in an abusive way? Or am I reacting to my past, and the person standing before me is loving and simply does not understand my reaction? You are reacting on a base level to a trigger from the past. Back then your environment was very unsafe and your reaction to this cue was more than likely paired with survival. It will feel like you are lying to yourself at first, as your mind has to be convinced that it is indeed safe to drop the defense.
Keep practicing these steps. It takes work and much repetition to re-train the grooves in the brain.
2) Feel the feeling without projecting it out onto the other person. Own it.
Once you can act without the defense mechanism taking over, which is usually expressed as rage, anger, denial, protection, over-explaining, focusing too much on the “other” person, or over-all defensiveness, the feeling that is just behind the defense mechanism will begin to surface. Keep in mind that there is a reason that this defense mechanism is still intact. Feeling these feelings as an adult is quite the experience – imagine being a 4 year old child feeling such fear and pain. It is in this way that you will begin to understand how your mind, and these defense mechanisms, have served you well. These coping mechanisms may feel totally in your way of relating with others in the NOW – and they are, but at one point they saved your life. Congratulate yourself, that’s progress!
3) Recognize that your mind has developed in this way as protection from a harsh environment and learn to feel compassion for the part of yourself that endured the experience.
4) Sit with the feeling. Honor it and know that it will pass.
5) Console this part of yourself. Even though it feels horrible, the feeling will pass. Release any self-judgment that you may have – this was once a very real and valid feeling. Simply feel, honor and observe it as it is.
6) Watch for it – and every time it reappears repeat these steps until you feel like you can observe this feeling with a greater sense of ease. This way you can see it for what it is instead of re-experiencing it over and over and remaining in the cycle of self/other blame.