Letting go of outdated coping mechanisms can be challenging. Sometimes we have done them for so long it seems like who we are. It can feel weird, and unsettling to choose to behave differently.
For instance, I have been a people pleaser for a long time, trying to win love and approval because I felt so alone, so sad and scared at times when I was young. My Dad worked away from home for weeks on end, and my Mum wasn’t very happy or child-focused. Her Mum wasn’t a cuddly Mum either so it was normal for her to tell me to just go away, go play, and leave her alone. This taught me to be able to hide, not take up too much space, be somewhat invisible and repress my needs for contact, affection, and togetherness.
The positive of this was I became more connected and attuned with nature, wandering the farm on my own. I became focused on studying and later work/career as a way to occupy myself and distract myself from my loneliness and sadness. I too was a lot like my Mum telling my needs to go away, leave me alone. And as I got older I treated my friend’s kids as a bit of a nuisance too. I’d be polite and friendly, but get bored quickly and wish they would go play so I could spend time with my friend. What occurs to us when little stays with us until we heal it.
I wanted to have kids but never did. They’d take up so much time and energy. I had so many fears of them getting hurt, of not being able to protect them, and of not wanting to hurt them myself. I had so much family baggage and entanglements with my ancestors that the fear was overpowering.
I’ve had to work through layer after layer of conditioning and entanglements to release them and be more open to caring for my inner child, meeting my needs, accepting what occurred in my childhood and understanding why my parents behaved the way they did, and that it actually wasn’t about me.
Their moods, their sadness and confusing behaviour weren’t about me. It was a consequence of an unhappy marriage that wasn’t working out and was heading towards separation. My parents, like a lot of us adults, were caught up in their own pain and life challenges and didn’t notice my needs.
This is very common and kids are very adaptable. They find ways to get by, to cope, to avoid or distract themselves from their painful emotions. They change the way they behave trying to win or earn love, attention, and approval.
I was the queen of that! Do a PhD, try and save the world, and help improve the sustainability of the planet. Added bonus I’m so busy working and studying I can ignore how sad I am or how lonely I feel because I’m doing important work. I’m being useful and good, earning my place in society, and hopefully getting seen, loved and accepted.
This pattern of overwork and study, helping others and helping the planet and society have continued through all I do, but I try to be more balanced with it now and to do it because I love it and enjoy it, not because I have to or am trying to win love, attention, acceptance or thinking that others need me to save, rescue or fix them. That’s classic codependence and not healthy.
So now I focus more on what I want to do and what I need. I meet my own needs and take care of the younger selves within me who were hurting. I look at life with more adult eyes, instead of wounded child eyes, and I realise my life is good. I have what I need, a home, a good job, a loving partner and family, friends, hobbies and more. My life is actually really good. It was just all the old hurt, old story that made it feel less than, not okay, lacking.
As I settle into this ‘enoughness’ I start to question “What do I want to do? How much of it do I want to do? What do I value most and where will I put my time and energy?” It’s a recalibration of the old coping mechanisms into a newer, freer, more flexible way of being, able to say no, to rest, to be quiet, still and receptive, reconnecting with body and heart, not just mind and feelings.
It’s a big journey coming back home to feel safe and okay in your body, letting go of the old story and accepting what has been and is, and choosing how you want to live your life.
Our pasts may have been painful and filled with challenges. We don’t have to like that, but fighting against it, and complaining about it just keeps us stuck. When we do the work to heal we can break free of the patterns and open to the new. It is worth the effort.
Many blessings to all,
P.S. There is a range of free resources on my website that may be of assistance to you with your healing journey.
In the first blog on this topic, we talked about the impacts of abuse and mentioned some tools for healing. In the second blog, we focused on the impact on your sexuality and ability to interact lovingly with others. In this third blog, we focus on the pain and releasing it from the cells of your body.
When great trauma occurs it is often too intense for the person to cope with. They escape it in some way. It may be by pushing the pain down in their body – swallowing it, holding it deep inside locked in the cells and muscles of the body. Others push it out, try to escape it by pushing it away, pretending it didn’t happen, not wanting it to touch them ever again. This keeps it in the person’s energy bodies and it does still affect them and touch them, just energetically. It is like the black cloud walking along behind or above them. Either way, the pain and trauma stay with you.
You can tell the trauma is still there by the bodily reactions when someone comes close to you. Do you react in fear? Does your breath stop or become shallow? Do you flinch? Do your muscles tighten? Do you try to shrink and become smaller to avoid their touch? Do you become angry and resentful? Do you puff up trying to become bigger to ward off the person and protect yourself?
Clearly, any of these reactions show that the body is not relaxed and at ease, the body is not feeling safe or trusting of other people. This shows the body is still locked into the trauma and is in a state of fear, not love, not peace, and certainly not joy. It can be. You just have to release the trauma out of the body.
The trauma is stored within the cells and muscles of your body. That’s why you get tight muscles. They’re literally frozen, tensed up in fear, ready to react to defend yourself, run away or freeze and be still so you hopefully can hide and not be seen.
It is exhausting for the body to be tense and on hyperalert so much. This tension and the trauma underneath it can be released out of the body so that your body relaxes and so that your mind doesn’t feel a need to be so defensive. Relaxing the body results in the mind softening and your defences melting. We literally thaw out the frozen parcels of trauma stored within the body so they can melt away.
One way to do this is through ‘tremoring’. Your body has an inbuilt shaking mechanism to help shift out the trauma and tension from your body. All mammals have it. The shaking uses up the adrenaline and cortisol, the fight or flight chemicals that were created in the life-threatening moment. If you couldn’t run away or fight back at the time, then these chemicals didn’t get used up. They stayed in your body resulting in tension and clenched muscles.
Your body was primed, ready to fight or run, but it didn’t get to and afterwards the body didn’t relax fully. It still felt on edge, nervous, anxious, because these chemicals weren’t discharged. The trauma activation never got released. Later when we get triggered, when our body startles easily, is on edge, even if there is no real danger, it is because of these unfinished trauma activations.
You can use ‘Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) to help the body complete these activations, to use up the fight or flight chemicals through shaking, resulting in the body finally being able to relax, to know the war is over, that you survived and you’re okay.
TRE is a very simple process and once learned you can use it yourself forever for free, to release stress, tension and trauma. If you’d like to learn more about TRE click here to watch some videos or to book an appointment in person or an appointment online to learn TRE. It is well worth doing so your body can finally relax.
Another important process for helping the body to relax and to complete the trauma stored within is inner child recovery work. When you get triggered or scared it is actually a younger part of you that is triggered and scared.
By becoming conscious of your bodily reactions it enables you to start self-soothing. You can tell yourself “You are safe, it’s okay I’m not in danger here”. You can self soothe by holding your own hand, so to speak, or lovingly stroking your arm or your hair. This calms the body, to know it is held and cared for. I have literally stroked my own hair at times of distress and it feels like a safe adult is brushing the hair of a vulnerable child, and this act of self-kindness leads to a softening of the emotion and relaxation back to peace.
Basically, you become the protective, loving parent of the scared child within you. There is literally a scared child inside you and an angry one and a mad, bad, stomp on all the bad guys one who wants to punish those that hurt people. These are the parts of you from the time that you were that age and experienced those things.
You can easily access these inner children by closing your eyes and asking to see them. At first, they may be hiding from you, you might just sense a closed door or a room of furniture with the inner child hiding behind the sofa, just peeking out at you. You need to win their trust, to have them feel you are safe, you will be there for them and they can tell you how they feel and what they need and you won’t reject or abandon them.
In time as you imagine sitting and talking with them, they will start to trust you and come closer, they will start to share their deepest secrets about what hurt them the most. Listen to them, reassure them you love them and that they were not at fault. It was not their fault if someone older sexually abused them or interfered with them. Many inner children may be confused. They may have allowed the contact to occur because the perpetrator was being nice to them, showing them love and tenderness when others weren’t. When it is a parent, step-parent, Uncle, Grandpa or family friend involved, it is extra confusing to the child as that person was known to them, was a safe space, but then all of a sudden wasn’t.
The child may not have thought what occurred was wrong, they may have thought it a game, only to find out later it was labelled as bad or sinful. There are lots of different scenarios.
The point is your inner child is likely to feel confused and until that is cleared up, they won’t feel comfortable trusting anyone else who enters your life. They will always be cautious and on guard, wondering if this new, supposedly safe person is going to one day hurt them as the family member did. Therefore, they don’t relax, they keep their guard up and stay alert for danger.
In this way, they refuse to let love in. Even if the other person is genuinely authentic in their caring for the person who has suffered abuse, it is difficult for the abused person to accept it, believe it or reciprocate it. This, of course, has detrimental effects on relationships and prevents true intimacy and the feeling of being loved for who you are. Without love coming in from within – to ourselves, or from without – from others, our cup becomes empty and we can fall into despair, depression and feeling worthless, unloved, unwanted and think the world is a horrible place.
Yet the love and the light is there, good people are all around us, we just have to learn to let the love in, and to do so we need to allow ourselves to feel vulnerable, to take the risk to love and receive love, to surrender to life and its process of awakening.
While the inner child is still confused, scared, angry or ashamed this process is blocked or minimised, often to the point of almost complete annihilation. Anyone who dares to show you love or acceptance becomes seen as a threat, a bad person or a foolish one because if they truly knew you, you think they shouldn’t love you, and hence if they do they must not be very wise, smart or worth much. So you judge them and push them away.
To stop such patterns you need to heal your heart, talk to your inner child, send it love. Any time you feel scared, know it is your inner child asking for reassurance, wanting to know you are aware of its concern, and you are taking care of the situation, that you will keep them safe and it’s okay for them to go play or have a nap. They may prefer to stay with you, clinging to the back of your leg, watching to make sure you do handle whatever interaction is occurring that has led to their nervousness.
In time, once they have seen you do handle it and keep them safe, then they will relax and go play, they will become a joyful, innocent child again and this frees you the Adult to also enjoy life again. Your body relaxes, so much so, that when someone approaches you, you do not react with fear or hesitation. You can welcome the person and interact joyfully, peacefully, light-heartedly. It takes a long time to reach this stage, but it is worth the effort.
All it takes is becoming conscious of your patterning and comforting yourself, your inner child, becoming the good parent to it and guardian of it, and in time it will relax. Then the pleasure is amazing. You can stare at the leaves moving in the tree and feel transported into a magical place again, you can feel the awe and wonder that a little child feels for life. You can see the beauty and love all around you and you can let it in.
You can let yourself receive love and goodness and the Universe pours it into you. It always has been doing this, but our defences have stopped us from receiving it. With those defences melted away, we can finally accept the goodness and allow ourselves to have a happy life, with friends, love and peace. It is wonderful to do so. Blessed BE. Amen.
In the past rejection meant death, whether it was the witch hunts, the torture chamber or being left to fend for yourself in the wild as your tribe moved on without you. To be isolated and alone meant death, not just sadness and loss, death.
In today’s world rejection is less serious, a loss of a friend, a job, a group. They can easily be replaced. It is not life-threatening. It only feels like it is or like something serious. In reality, it is not.
The intensity of our fear of rejection depends on how much we were hurt when little. If our parents were there for us and we felt accepted, seen, heard, and loved, we will have a sense of secure attachment, love, and safety when interacting with others.
But if our parents weren’t consistently available to us or our interactions with them led us to feel not seen, heard or accepted, we will have pain interacting with others. If we felt rejected by our parents, not good enough for them, that is a deeply painful process to experience. It is this pain of not being loved and accepted fully by our parents, the devastation of that which then taints our interaction with others. We fear feeling that pain again.
But the reality is as an adult we are not dependent on others like we were as a child on our parents. We needed our parents to care for us, to provide for us. As adults, we can give that to ourselves. So rejection is not as serious or life-threatening anymore. It is just the emotional pain of our past experiences with our parents that leads it to feel so serious.
We can do healing work to heal those wounds so that we feel more secure and safe within. We can meet our own needs and reconnect with our body, releasing the stress, tension and trauma, so that we feel safe and secure within and can be more relaxed and open with our interactions with others. When the wounds are healed it no longer feels so dangerous and we can react playfully and joyfully as we meet others, knowing we are safe and can have fun. Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) can help us to release those tensions and complete the old trauma activations freeing us to enjoy life more fully.
The reality is you may be rejected many times throughout your life. It may be lovers, it may be parents ashamed of your choices. It may be misunderstandings between friends or work colleagues. Do not react with anger or hurt, simply move on, accept it for what it is and move on.
While rejection feels like a loss, like a forced change of direction or focus, it is actually occurring for your highest good. That person or situation has served you well. They have shaped the next chapter in your story. They have helped you redirect your efforts to something or someone else.
Not everyone will be in your life forever. People come and go, they grow and evolve, and their vibration shifts. If your vibrations conflict, you will part. It is not actually personal. It is energetic and it is meant to be.
A deep loss, of a loved one or parent or child, for instance, may cripple you emotionally for quite some time. It helps you to release sadness and grief. It helps you question your life and what you are doing with it. This may lead you to listen to your heart more and do something you care more about, instead of just going through the motions, doing things that society tells you to do.
The loss prompts significant change and it serves you. It is a gift, not a tragedy. A gift, remember that look for the good that comes out of all your experience and it is easier to accept.
A minor misunderstanding with someone you barely know, which results in the end of the blossoming friendship, shows you that rejection, while a little hurtful, isn’t the end of the world. Life goes on, your normal life is still intact, just that person will no longer be a part of it. This shows you rejection is okay, there is no need to fear it so much or give your power away to other people so much.
You are actually okay on your own. You don’t need people as much as you think you do. It is not the ancient battlefield or tribal village anymore. There are large numbers of people out there who are willing to be your friend, your partner, your lover, your work colleagues. When the time is right you meet them. You don’t need to search, you don’t need to try and force it or effort it or think too much about it or what you will and won’t say so people will accept you and won’t hurt you, reject you, abandon or abuse you. Just be yourself. That is all you need to do. Those that are meant to join with you will. Those that aren’t, won’t. It is as simple as that. So stop walking on eggshells around other people. Be yourself and be proud.
Rejection is not a death sentence anymore. It is simply one of many events in life that help shift your perspective and help you evolve, as you travel along this journey called life. Blessed BE, Amen.
In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ‘Why do we fear rejection so much?’ It is one of over 100 questions she has asked about life and channelled an answer through automatic writing. All of these answers to questions about life, how to live peacefully and happily are available for free on the ‘Life Insights‘ page of her website.
It’s easy to get caught up focusing on what’s not how you’d like it to be. When we do this we forget to notice what is working in our life. This video explores that tendency and ways to focus on and see the goodness in your life.
You can use a wide range of tools and techniques to help shift your vibration, release the old energies, enabling your energy and mood to elevate. Tension and Trauma Release Exercises (TRE) is one process you can use at home for free once you have learned how to do it.
TRE is the body’s natural, built-in mechanism for shaking out tension, stress and trauma. Just as your body will subconsciously react in fight, flight or freeze, it also has a subconscious process to help the nervous system to unwind those reactions and to calm back down into a socially engaged state, where you feel safe to play and interact with others.
TRE enables the body to release its contractions, its tightness, its buried tension and emotions bit by bit. Like letting steam out of a pressure cooker so that it doesn’t explode.
TRE supports your body and your health. When you are caught in defensive patterns your body feels like it is fighting to survive, so it focuses its energy on that. Blood flow goes to your arms and legs to enable you to fight or run away. Your digestive system, immune system, reproductive system and much more gets less focus as the body considers these less important than escaping the tiger or threat you’re facing.
The body assumes if you get away from the danger then when you are safe it can return its focus to the health-promoting and maintenance activities. Unfortunately, many people stay in fight or flight or freeze, in high-stress defensive patterns for long periods of time. The body doesn’t get the message that you’re safe now and it should focus its energy back into your health-promoting activities. It really is important to do that inner work so your body can function more fully. TRE can help with this.
As you shake out that built-up tension, stress and trauma your inner child is willing to talk to you more. They like it as you start to relax and can be more playful. They like to see you are taking care of yourself. Even though your outer world may not have changed that much, it becomes easier to appreciate all you have, to be grateful and enjoy your now more.
You feel better inside and this radiates out enabling your outer world to improve too. This is how you can change your life bit by bit for free at home, by shaking off your tension, stress and trauma. It’s worth doing so you can enjoy life more and stop complaining.
In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ‘How do we focus on the goodness in our life and stop complaining?’ It is one of over 100 questions she has asked about life and channelled an answer through automatic writing. All of these answers to questions about life, how to live peacefully and happily are available for free on the ‘Life Insights‘ page of her website.
This week I’m sharing a video on healing from child abuse, on the difficulties involved and the ways forward. It helps to know you’re not alone, to see your reactions and challenges are not abnormal, but a consequence of what you’ve experienced. All of your defence mechanisms and conditioning can be healed so you can enjoy life more, feel safe and live life happily and peacefully. It takes a lot of work but you can do it. I hope this video gives you insights into the process and the next best steps for you. Many blessings, Jodi-Anne
If you would prefer to read the blog the video is based on you can do so here.
Tension and Trauma Release Exercises helps hugely with this release of blocked, trapped energy within the body. TRE is a process that activates the body’s natural mechanism for releasing stress, tension and trauma. The body will systematically shake out the contractions and release the stiffness enabling the body to come back to life more, to move through the emotional residue and open back up to love, laughter and play.
As the buried tension and emotions are released the body starts to feel safer, no longer under threat as the old trauma activations are completed. The past is known as the past. It no longer feels like it could happen again at any moment. The hyper-vigilant defensiveness softens and the person is able to be in the now more fully, not distracted by the past or worrying about the future.
The safer the body feels, the more space there is to focus on what you actually want to do and be in life, instead of automatically reacting to triggers from the buried trauma and pain.
It is worth the effort to heal the trauma so you gain that freedom to be you, to enjoy your life and have fun. TRE is a great tool to help with this. With consistent use of TRE your body will slowly unwind the tension and trauma patterns so you can move forward.
In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ‘How do we heal from child abuse?’ It is one of over 100 questions she has asked about life and channelled an answer through automatic writing. All of these answers to questions about life, how to live peacefully and happily are available for free on the ‘Life Insights‘ page of her website.
When life has been challenging and you’ve experienced multiple disappointments it can be hard to believe that it can get better. Your past experience is that it doesn’t and you can lose hope and faith in a more positive future. In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ways to move out of disappointment and feeling stuck, so that you can enjoy life more.
In this video, Jodi-Anne explores ‘How do you let go of disappointment and expect the best?’ It is one of over 100 questions she has asked about life and channelled an answer through automatic writing. All of these answers to questions about life, how to live peacefully and happily are available for free on the ‘Life Insights‘ page of her website.