Passing on dysfunction to the next generation, no thank you

Written by Amie on January 28, 2014 – 3:18 am -

It feels empowering to uncover the dysfunctional behaviors I had been living with my whole life that I was conditioned to believe were “normal”. It feels healing and powerful to notice them before they get passed onto my kids. I’m sure my kids will have their own set of “issues” to work on stemming from their childhoods, but I sure hope I’ve minimized these possible issues somewhat by waking up to question all aspects of my life. It isn’t easy being a parent when we have wounds from our own childhood to process, but it is all part of the journey. We can only hope that we catch them and heal them so that our children don’t inherit them. I truly have compassion for all parents trying to heal while also trying to give their children a healthy emotional start. We can’t give what we don’t have. It takes great awareness, courage, willingness, and vulnerability to change those aspects of our lives that have always been a part of who we believed we were. Most of the time I am able to remember this, and just accept what is. And then there are the times when an adult who isn’t able to look at their own issues or wounds comes into contact with my children. This is when I accept their limitations, but I also must take action.

a-line-in-the-sand

Because of the fact that I didn’t have healthy emotional role models in my life as a child, I am vigilant about making my children aware of unhealthy behavior. I want them to know what is acceptable behavior and what is unhealthy behavior. In fact, they are old enough now that they point it out to me, I don’t even have to say anything. I want them to know they absolutely have a right to put boundaries in place that will help to keep them emotionally healthy. It saddens me when an attempt to manipulate my children is made by someone who claims to love them. The same type of manipulation I had to deal with is now being tried on my children. This makes me angry. I have compassion for this person’s limitations, but I also will not allow this type of behavior to be a part of my children’s lives. At least not while my kids are still under my watch. I understand how and why this happens, but I will not tolerate it. It hurts that a person will lie straight to me and say they didn’t do it. It could be so simple! A simple, “yes, I was feeling so upset about our estrangement that I thought getting your kids involved was a good idea. I see now that it wasn’t a good idea, and I am sorry.” This would be a healthy response. But that is me wishing for something that isn’t there. And so I move on.

I move on and I remind myself how far I’ve come on this healing journey. I try to remember to commend myself for all of the hard work I have done in order to get to this place of loving myself, and of healing my depression. Years of hard painful work. I remind myself it is my right to honor my need for emotional safety and health for myself and my children. If there are people who choose to stay in their story and lash out at others, that is their journey. I have to work on keeping myself and my family healthy. If that means not allowing certain people to correspond with my children, that is what I will do. The dysfunction stops here. I feel sad that I am blamed for messing things up, speaking my truth, supporting others, and setting healthy boundaries. But this is my journey. I own my life. This is my life and I am healthier and more at peace than ever before.  I still feel sad and disappointed at times. There is still some letting go to be done. I intend to stay healthy. I intend to protect my children from dysfunctional patterns as much as I am able to. I intend to be present and alive as much as  possible. And I intend to accept what is.

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Posted in Awareness, Healing & personal growth, healing from depression, Help with depression, Mindful/respectful parenting | 4 Comments »

Becoming aware of the truth of your inner voice

Written by Amie on September 2, 2013 – 4:48 pm -

“I made it to adulthood and I am fine”

I was meditating this morning and a very strong insight came to me about how we learn the message very early on to dim our light. We are all born shining radiantly and feeling very connected to divine energy (or whatever label you choose to give it). As a baby grows and gets older, she is given many messages that in a subtle way (but not always subtle) tell her she is shining too bright and she needs to tone down her brightness. (This is not always true, so I don’t want to sound as though I think this is true for every single person. There are some conscious adults who treat children respectfully) Based on my experience and my experiences with others, I feel so much truth in this. I want to start out by saying it is nobody’s fault that this happens. This is the way our society has been programmed and conditioned for quite some time now. Until each person is willing to take responsibility for their experience and heal their inner world, it continues to be passed from one generation to the next. It is not uncommon for people to say, “this way worked for me, I made it to adulthood and I am fine, I turned out okay, you have it better than I did, so something must be working”. This may be true to some degree, but my question is, “what is your baseline?” What criteria does one use for measuring and defining, “turned out okay”?

the agenda, or curriculum, is to make sure we *don’t* feel how powerful we really are!

Before I go off on that tangent, I want to stay with my meditation experience and the insight I gained. On some very deep level, I received the message that we, as humans ,were taught beginning many generations ago, that our power is scary. We were taught to hide the power that is in every single one of us. It seems we were taught to look away from our divine connection, to dim the light so as not to shine too brightly around other people. It seems the agenda or curriculum is to make sure we *don’t* feel how powerful we really are! I imagine how shiny and happy and full of light a new baby is. And for awhile this may continue. It seems to continue until the child starts pushing buttons (subconsciously)  that emotionally trigger the adults, parents, etc. This creates anger and/or fear in the adult. Rather than acknowledging this, the adult may “blame” the child for being “bad”, or wanting to “make things difficult for me”, or “he is just ornery”, or “she is too sensitive or too dramatic”, or he is “strong willed”. (and the list goes on! All ways of dimming the child’s light in hopes that the child will stop calling attention to the adult’s wounds). Not to mention in many cases, the child may be punished, creating more damage to the already dimmed light. All punishment (physical, mental, emotional, verbal) hurts the child, and dims their light.  

not experts at all

The beginning of the dimming is the moment a parent or caregiver decides to go against their own inner knowing and cling to the unhealthy messages they themselves were conditioned with. It is not unusual to hear a parent say something like, “I really wanted to hold my baby all day but the doctor said this is bad,” or “my parents said that would spoil the baby.” So, instead of listening to that inner knowing (that radiant inner voice we were all born with) some may go along with what “the expert” says, or with what the society has deemed “normal” and “healthy”, because this is how many people have been conditioned. Listen to everyone else around you and doubt or ignore your inner voice. One thing I try to remember is that most “experts” who claim to be experts may not really be experts at all.  They may be other wounded human beings who have not yet dealt with their own inner issues. This is another reason to listen to your own inner voice. Listen to what feels true to you. We can listen to other people, but the bottom line is that we need to gauge their information against our own inner voice to see what is best for us.

respond in the present time, rather than reacting from our own emotional wounding

This is one way the conditioned behavior of dimming one’s light is passed on to the next generation. The baby or child is crying (not always literally) for what they need, and the caregiver reacts to them from their own wounded self, rather than the inner light of knowing; the light they were taught to ignore. Emotionally wounded adults have to work very hard to be able to respond to others’ needs in a conscious way. It takes someone who is willing to be a work in progress to be able to respond in a healthy way. In order to meet the needs of a child or anyone really, we have to be willing to see them, hear them, and respond in the present time, rather than reacting from our own emotional wounding. As adults, the “crying” continues in ways that are unacceptable or in our world. The “crying out for help” is looked upon as weakness by other emotionally wounded adults. The “crying” is the adult who is always angry, who explodes in rage, who takes to drinking, eating, or shopping (many other outlets as well) excessively, or who submits to others in hopes of getting what they need. The adult who is crying to get their needs met by something other than the inner voice they no longer feel intimate with because they were taught to ignore it!

We have been so deeply conditioned

This happens generation after generation until people learn to trust their inner guidance and to trust that their own inner light is safe to follow. We have been so deeply conditioned. I do believe people are feeling this misalignment, but many aren’t sure how to change it. The pattern runs deep. Think about it, you were taught that your beautiful radiant self is too much for other people to handle, so you need to turn a part of yourself off. The moment you accept this message, you begin to lose who you really are. And the more you accept this message, the more you ignore your inner voice, and the more you change who you are to try to fit others’ definition of who you should be. Ignoring the inner voice that is the same voice of the divine energy in which you were created! Your lifeline! Your life force! We have been so conditioned to believe that others know better than we do about ourselves! We are being conditioned by other people who have also been wounded and are coming from a false sense of self! (assuming they haven’t done their own healing work) In this way, dysfunction is passed on from generation to generation until these false beliefs are questioned and healed. The theme seems to be, “this is the way we’ve always done it.” We accept this because our inner light is so dim (or sometimes almost extinguished), that we are unable to hear it. This light will never burn out, even when your physical body dies. But it can become very very dim. Your light will continue to send you messages no matter how dim it becomes. It will continue trying to get your attention, trying to wake you up from the conditioned belief that it is right to go against your inner light.  You may be unable to hear these little zaps of truth.

UNTIL YOU QUESTION EVERYTHING

This is the cause of depression. We dim our light so that others will be more comfortable and to keep our truth at bay. Keeping your truth at bay is hard work, and also taking responsibility for your truth is hard work. Self-hate becomes the standard because how can you love yourself if you are going against who you really are? How can you love yourself if you also feel you are failing what you have been taught is “normal”. We keep telling ourselves we shouldn’t be depressed, we shouldn’t be angry, we shouldn’t be disappointed, we shouldn’t be longing for something more, we should be independent, we shouldn’t crave connection. Even when we say we crave connection, do we act on it? Many people are afraid. I was one of those people, and still am at times for sure. They are afraid they will seem needy or clingy or others will think of them as weak. So our basic human nature of being vulnerable is masked at all costs. It is so common in our culture to apologize if we cry or become upset. As if we are bothering others by being human! Think about all of the conditioned behaviors in our culture. Most of them perpetuate the cycle of dysfunction. Think about the messages that are sent to the victims in our world. So many receive the message that it is their fault what happens to them and that they need to forgive and get over it. Is it surprising that so many people are depressed and unhappy and unfulfilled?We have been conditioned to believe that being human equals being an emotionless robot! Starting from a young age we hear, “you are fine, stop crying”, or “you just have to deal with it, it’s the way it is”, etc. etc. etc. This indoctrination continues on UNTIL YOU QUESTION EVERYTHING!!!!!!

be curious as to why it is “normal” to go against what you *know* 

Humans are naturally curious! Ask yourself questions, be curious as to why it is “normal” to go against what you *know* in your body. Ask yourself, “when did I start believing that someone else knows me better than I know myself or my child?” Ask yourself, “why is it normal for children to be taught to keep their opinions, thoughts, and feelings to themselves when it comes to emotional situations especially?” Why does it scare adults or make them uncomfortable when a child points out a truth about an adult? Why are children not being taught that there is a divine connection they are tethered to 24/7 that uses their inner voice to help them have a spectacular life!? (I am not talking about religious indoctrination). When did you agree to go along with the expert advice to stop listening to yourself and to stop listening to the children in your life? Why is it okay to treat those younger than you with disrespect? Why has it become okay to look at children as though they are a liability in our lives rather than the incredible teaching beings they truly are? Ask yourself, “when did I stop trusting my inner guidance? And when will I make the choice to want to feel better?”

Depression is repression of yourself, all experiences that were traumatic, including the traumatic experience of accepting the message that your true self should be turned off. (Please know I am in no way making abusive situations into a minor detail in depression, not at all) Depression means ignoring that inner voice that is telling you something is off, something is very off.

This has gotten really long, so I think I will continue later with ways to get your inner light shining bright again so that it radiates so strongly it can’t be missed. Big big love to all. Remember you are loved every second of your life no matter what. The big love is in that inner light right inside you, right now.  

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Posted in Awareness, Connection, Depression, healing from depression, Help with depression, Kids/teenagers and depression, Mindful/respectful parenting, Self hate | No Comments »
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