This is a brilliant video summarising how childhood trauma can lead to addictive tendencies, and what is needed to heal it. I love Gabor Mate’s work and his way of explaining things. Below is a summary of some of the key points:
Trauma is not what happens to you. It’s what happens inside you as a result of traumatic experiences.
Trauma is the disconnection from your self, your emotions, your body and your gut sense or intuition. You lose connection to yourself and how you authentically feel.
This disconnection results in difficulty being in the present moment and in the development of negative views of your world and of yourself. It results in a defensive view of other people.
Addiction is not the primary problem. It’s an attempt to solve a problem, which it does temporarily, but it creates even more problems in the long term.
Recovery is rediscovering, finding your self again, reconnecting to your self, your body, your emotions, your gut sense and intuition. You reconnect to who you authentically are and how you authentically feel.
Recovery and healing are about reconnection.
There are many ways to release trauma and reconnect with your body. One of the main methods I use is Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE). I am qualified to teach TRE to individuals and within a few months will be qualified to teach it to groups. If you’d like to learn more about TRE and how it can help you to reconnect with your body please visit my TRE page.
It is human nature to want to feel loved and secure. Feeling that way occurs when you have a strong sense of belonging – to your family, your tribe, your community, your social supports, friends, etc.
You feel safe and secure when you sense that you belong and are accepted by those around you. When you feel you don’t belong, when you feel excluded or in danger of being excluded, you feel terrified of dying, of being left alone to fend for yourself. This terror relates to tribal days when you did need to band together for survival, to hunt the wild animals that could attack anyone left on their own.
In today’s world it is not so dangerous to be on your own, but loneliness, the sense of isolation, rejection, of not being enough – all erodes your happiness and eventually your health. Studies have shown that those who are lonely and isolated suffer higher rates of chronic illness and shorter lifespans. It is almost like the will to live reduces, because it is so painful to live in isolation and darkness that comes when your thoughts are negative and self-loathing.
It is hard to love and accept yourself when you feel rejected by others. The issue may not be about you. It may be something specific to the group rejecting you, but it still feels bad to be rejected. This is why people will do bad things in a group. They will be immoral and do devilish things that they would not do on their own. They go along with the crowd, they don’t stand up and say “No, I don’t want to hurt that person or break that law. It is immoral and I won’t do it”.
It takes great strength to stand up in such a situation and say no. It risks being ostracised, losing your standing in the group, being rejected and hated. Few people have the courage to do so. Many go along with the crowd and silently regret it for the rest of their lives. This feeds self-disgust and loathing.
Sometimes this gets high enough that a person will leave the group on their own choice, as to stay feels unconscionable. But few people make that choice. Most stay and self-medicate through addiction to numb the painful thoughts and feelings. Others will project the self-hatred out onto their enemy, their chosen other, and this further fuels the conflict occurring.
All of this occurs because each person wants to feel that they belong, that they are accepted, and that they are an acceptable human being.Many of us doubt our worthiness, our goodness, we feel not enough. This comes from childhood conditioning, when our parents weren’t able to be there for us all the time we needed them, and occasionally they looked at us with frustration and tiredness. They gave us looks of desperation and we sensed that they wished we didn’t exist or that we were different to how we were.
This was just their tiredness and stress. It wasn’t really about us. It was about them and their circumstances, but we take those messages to heart and feel that we are somehow unacceptable.
No parent means to do that to their child. They love you and want what is best for you, but they did not have the energy reserves or capability to be always loving and positive in their interactions with us. No one could. It is very demanding being a parent. There are no times off. No vacations from the responsibility for that child and its life.
Most parents do their best to meet the child’s needs. Some do not. Some in their exhaustion and pain will blame the child for their adult problems. Some may even say it to their child, saying “If it wasn’t for you I could have….. If it wasn’t for you I would have….You ruined my life, etc, etc”. Some parents can be very cruel even saying that they wish the child had not been born.
All of this negativity gets taken to heart by the child, who then has such inner turmoil and emotional pain that they may rebel, turn away from the parents and look for love and belonging elsewhere. This is what leads to gang membership. The person finds a group where they are accepted and approved of. They will do whatever they need to, in order to join and stay apart of their new family.
Thankfully most of us just join a sporting club or community activity or friends group where we feel held and safe and accepted.
All of us try to find somewhere, where we will be accepted and gain a sense of approval, a feeling that we are good enough, we do belong, and we are okay.
Some will try desperately to please their parents, bending over backwards doing whatever they ask, in a desperate plea for acceptance and belonging. Some parents will give that to their children and some will continue to manipulate the child well into adulthood in order to get what they want.
All of this could be avoided or reduced if there was more support for parents when they have their children.If parents with newborns were more supported, whether that be by family, friends, community or government services, it would make it easier for them to be more positive in their interactions with their children.
Most parents unfortunately are exhausted, over tired, fatigued and living on adrenaline, coffee or sugar to get by. It is not a healthy way to be, and it is inevitable that problems will occur. It is hard enough coping with children as a couple. It is even harder as a single parent.
Parents need support so that they can enjoy their time with their children more, so that they can have a more balanced life, with time for them to relax, do a hobby, and have some fun. Without this balance the parents will be in deficit and the kids will feel that and absorb it, feeling like there is something wrong with them, when there isn’t.
The above patterning is the reason for so many people desperately seeking approval. There are solutions at the societal level as discussed, but there are also solutions at the individual level.
We need to recognise any self-lacking thoughts and change them to more positive, self-affirming thoughts. We need to feel our emotional pain from past interactions and be loving and supportive of our self.
Doing inner child work is powerful, reclaiming those younger parts of us that split off, that hid or became tough to survive. We need to welcome those younger selves back into our hearts, give them the love that they missed out on, and welcome them home to our hearts, to know that they are okay and they belong with us.
When we integrate these disowned parts within us, we will no longer feel rejected by the world so much. We can do inner visualisations and Family Constellations with our parents to heal that split and to connect in with their hearts, their goodness, and their love for us.
There are many ways to do this, so that we feel more complete, more accepted and have a stronger sense of belonging, knowing we are okay, we are enough and all is okay as it is.
When we can heal our pain from our pasts and come to a place of self-acceptance and acceptance of our life how it was, is, and will be, then and only then will we drop the need for approval, as we know that we are okay.
Approval then becomes something that is nice, but not needed. We can be our authentic, creative self, showing our heart’s true desires to the world, following our heart’s longings without fear of ridicule or rejection, knowing that if it does occur it won’t cripple us, as we know we are okay.
Criticism can then be seen as another person’s opinion, which is about them, it is not about us. Any barbed spears they throw simply bounce off as there is no wound for them to land in.
When we love and accept our self, we go forth into the world and shine our light confidently, lovingly and securely, knowing we are good enough and all beings are. This is what we hope for all beings, to reach this place of love and acceptance, of self-approval. When that manifests we will have a much more peaceful time on Earth. Blessed BE, Amen.
If you found this blog useful you may wish to consider purchasing a copy of Jodi-Anne’s book ‘Advice from a higher Source’ which contains 85 more answers to questions about life. The paperback book or ebook can be purchased online at – http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/JMS2011. (Once you have clicked into view the description of the book, go to the top of the page and choose the flag symbol for your country, this will show you the price in your currency and enable you to purchase it in that currency)
Life presents you with many opportunities to have what is your heart’s deepest joy – love, connection, inner peace, but you cannot feel these things fully until you clear out the blocks to them.
Throughout life all beings suffer in some way. All have layers of disappointment, hurt, betrayal, emotional pain locked inside them. This forms a wall or barrier to not let people truly close again, just in case they may hurt you in some way. Depending on how much pain depends on how strong the defensive wall.
For some people the wall is small and you can just hop over it. They easily form attachments and can enjoy life connected to others, showing who they really are and feeling relatively safe to do so.
For others the wall is massive, you cannot get anywhere near them without shutters going up, dragons flying over the moat and alligators snapping their jaws warning you to stay away. This extreme reaction shows the person has deep emotional pain stored inside. They are scared to connect, scared to be hurt again, and scared to love. They desperately want love and connection, to feel safe and accepted, but have deemed it too risky. They have turned away from love, from the essence of life feeling it is too risky. They say “No to life”. No to receiving whatever closeness is on offer to them, no to feeling peace, joy, happiness, abundantly fulfilled. They stay locked in pain, in isolation, sad and alone, because it feels too risky to let people in, to feel vulnerable and feel and release the emotional pain inside.
Such a person’s heart is weighed down with grief and what it truly wants is to be free from this, so that it can beat strongly with passion, with zest for life, leading the person forward to embrace the activities that person loves to do and will gain most fulfilment and personal growth from. The heart beat is the signal home, listening to the heart and its messages is the journey. Unloading the emotional pain, the baggage, the unneeded passegers or defense that talk to you in your head – these are the pit stops along the way, and the further you go, the better you feel, the more space you have, as you let go of that which weighs you down and isn’t needed.
Many people resist the jouney, they don’t know how to feel safe and access the emotional pain that needs to be released. They try to push it away, pretend it isn’t there instead. This just clogs your arteries, blocks the fuel lines and leads to your engine not working properly. You are still on the journey, you are just making it harder, creating suffering through your resistance. Eventually the pressure will become so strong that the radiator will blow, forcing yout to stop and pay attention, to do the maintenance needed, so that you and your vehicle (your body) can function effectively again and travel where you need to go.
Life is a journey of healing, of expansion and what the heart really wants is to be heard, to sing joyously as it goes on meeting people deeply with love and joy for life, celebrating all that is and the opportunity to evolve that is given to us by being here on Earth.
Once the heart is free from the weight of emotional pain, the connection to self and Source also deepens, enabling it to share great wisdom and messages with you, to guide you forth to your destined purpose here on Earth.This will be something you love doing, something that makes your heart sing and is of benefit to others, something you do and time passes quickly without you realising it because you are so deeply immersed in it and enjoying it. These are clues of your purpose, your true joys, your real heart’s desire. It will be different for all of us, but the first step to accessing it is the clearing out of the old baggage, the accumulated emotional pain, so you can step forward joyously in life.
Life will help you do this, it will guide you forth – to the right book, course, movie or song to trigger you so you feel and hopefully release the emotional pain. The right people, situations and events will happen to force you to face what is stored inside, to stop and listen to your heart and its messages. The more you choose to do this consciously – through stillness, meditation and dialogue with your heart, the less life needs to bring painful situations to make you listen.
When you consciously choose to tune into your body and invite it to share with you what needs to be felt and released it will. The body holds all of our tension, stress and trauma locked into the cells and muscles. It is this build up of unexpressed emotions, of not honouring how we feel or not speaking our truth when we wanted to that leads to the tightening up of our necks, backs, shoulders – the parts of us that lock up and ache with tension and stress.
One way to release this is using Trauma and Tension Release Exercises (TRE). It is a way of accessing the body’s own natural mechanism for releasing stress, tension and trauma. It is a tremoring process – the body shakes out that which it no longer needs. The shaking uses up the adrenaline and cortisol that get built up in the body when we are triggered into fight, flight or freeze and don’t run or fight.
When we swallow how we feel because it isn’t appropriate to tell your boss how you really feel or to tell your In-Laws that you don’t want them to visit again, that tension, that triggered charge gets shoved down into the body. TRE helps to release it. It lets your nervous system unwind, to use up the stress chemicals and relax back down to its calm state.
TRE can be learned in an individual appointment online or an appointment in person. Once learned you can use it regularly for the rest of your life to release tension, stress and trauma, so it doesn’t build up in your body and you can live in a more relaxed and joyous way. It’s well worth learning it as a self-care technique that you can use to support yourself.
It is up to you to choose to face what is within, so you can be free of it and enjoy life more fully, loving and connected to self, others and Source. It is worth the effort and Jodi-Anne and others can show you how. There are many guides along the way who have parts of the map that they can share with you to make the journey easier. Noone has all the puzzle pieces. We are all learning and growing together. Each has its own way, unique to them, others can only point the way. It is up to you to heed the messages from deep within that will guide you to freedon and Heaven on Earth. Blessed BE, Amen.
Love this TED talk about the negative impacts of loneliness on our health. So many of us feel deeply alone, isolating to protect ourselves to avoid rejection or abuse, scared to let people close and risk feeling more loss if that person leaves. This has been and continues to be one of my deepest challenges. For me it has been easier to hide in work and study than risk more loss. I have learned to love any way and to let people close and for that I am eternally grateful. Much love to all who struggle with loneliness, may you take a risk to connect and find your tribe.
Most people do not fully love themselves. They may like themselves a bit, think that they are okay, but they don’t cherish the precious being that they are. They don’t look at themselves with love and reverence. They don’t honour their bodily needs and treat themselves with the respectful thought, touch and actions that they would do for others.
Many of us have been taught to dislike ourselves. Life has shown us evidence that we are not lovable, good enough or okay. This is false evidence. It was just the interpretation of events that were not actually about you, even if it seemed they were.
Parents can rarely meet all needs of a child. It is too much to ask for. That is why traditionally they say it takes a tribe to raise a child. When one is tired and needs to rest, another steps in to care for the child. That way interactions can be mostly positive, loving, nurturing and accepting.
In today’s way of being parents are often trying to do it on their own or with occasional support from family or friends. The parents are tired, coping with work, money concerns, their own stuff as well as caring for the child. Out of exhaustion and frustration it is harder for all their interactions to be loving and kind to the child. There are times when they simply have nothing left to give and may feel resentful of the child and its needs. They may wish the child didn’t exist or they could give them away. This is just exhaustion. Just a lack of support in the way that modern life operates.
The children however can sense the above. They feel that Mum or Dad is not available, distant, angry or upset. They feel the absence of love and joy when Mum is depressed and lonely, struggling to cope. While the parents actions are not really about the baby itself, it will feel like it is. It’s not that it is the baby’s personality, the being that it is, that is the issue. It is the demands of parenthood in a time when that role is undervalued and unappreciated. It could be any baby and it would get the same response. However, as a baby and a child growing up we do assume it is about us personally. We may think ‘if only I was prettier, smarter, more like Mum, Dad, brother, sister – whoever does get the attention more easily – if only I was like them then I’d be lovable. Then I’d be okay’. This is the foundation of self loathing, self rejection and self denial. We start manipulating who we are to please others, to get approval, to fit in and receive love. It is all about LOVE.
In the early stages of life we need to be nurtured and looked after by others, mainly our families and friends who care for us and our welfare. Without touch and care babies do not thrive and gain weight. It physically damages them to be left alone and not cared for.Uncontrolled crying, being left to cry, actually releases cortisol into the baby’s blood stream, a stress hormone, that eats away, dissolves parts of the baby’s brain. It actually damages the brain physically.
So don’t let babies cry. Find a way to be there for them. Ask for help and support when you need it. Go outside into nature and let the Earth’s energy support you if noone else is around. Ensure that you do have plans in place for those times when your personal reserves are empty, when your gas tank is on zero. Have someone you can call on or text that can come help.
The breakdown of community and isolation that most people live in, makes this so much harder. So many people are lonely, scared to reach out to others for fear of rejection or further loss and pain. Instead they hide at home with their pets who provide them with their main source of love and affection.
If so many people are feeling lonely, unloved or deep down feeling perhaps they aren’t lovable, don’t deserve love or will never be loved, shouldn’t we just all take the risk to love each other, to meet each others needs? Acknowledge we are all carrying wounds around this and beliefs about ourselves that we need to change, emotional pain that needs to be felt and released, so that we can realise we are perfectly okay as we are. Take a step today and reach out to another human being. Offer your friendship, your love, your time and see what happens. Not all will accept, but some might and you only need one or two to start with. Offer them your heart and say ‘I will love and accept you as you are, will you do the same for me?‘ You may not say this out loud, but energetically it is what you are wishing to portray. Get out there, join social, sporting, art or other types of groups. Do what makes your heart sing and you will start to feel more fulfilled and full of love as you honour yourself and treat yourself in more loving ways.
There is much that you can do to show yourself that you are loved, lovable and deserving of good things in life. Tell your friends how you feel and you will be surprised that they feel that way too. We all have some self doubt and insecurities. We all have issues we are working through. Sometimes sharing with others is good. Other times put that aside and just have fun. Just go out and have fun. This is how you love yourself fully, by honouring your own needs and meeting them. By doing for yourself what your parents could not do. You choose to be there for yourself, to meet your needs, to rest when needed and have fun.You follow your heart’s messages and do what it desires. You risk opening up and connecting with others who feel safe and play together, honouring each other.
Love is not hard. It is our natural state, the most natural thing for us to do. We have just been conditioned to be wary of it due to life experiences.It could be school events where you were bullied or teased. It could be workplace incidents that led you to feel incompetent or not good enough. These issues can occur at any time of our life, but the seed of them is planted during our time in the womb and as a baby.
A foetus knows whether it is wanted or not wanted while growing in the Mother’s womb. The foetus receives the Mother’s blood supply and all the molecules of emotion it contains, through the umbilical cord. It carries this from the start, this knowing, and it forms the start of its identity. Preconception, pregnancy and birth truly are significant and important events which shape the personality of the child and its feeling of being loved or not, safe or not, wanted or not. These are times when tenderness and care are needed. When loving touch is needed. Ensure that these are times of love and joy, and your baby will flourish and grow with less doubts about self and his/her self worth.
The important thing to realise is everyone goes through this. We are all carrying degrees of ‘Am I okay?’ questioning. Realise you are. You are enough. You are perfectly enough exactly as you are. Find the courage to show yourself to the world and stand strong in who you are. You don’t need to play games for approval or modify yourself to fit in. Let it go and be yourself. Let it go and be happy with what you have and who you are. As you do so your inner world will flourish and your outer world will alter to match it. You are okay. You are lovable, and you do deserve the best in life. Do the healing necessary so you believe in yourself and live life freely as the beautiful human being that you are. Blessed BE. Amen.