The word boundary can bring many ideas to mind and this is partly because boundaries can reflect something physical and also something that is not physical or visible to the eye.
This could be a wall around a house or marker at the end of a territory for example. And a psychological boundary is completely different; one cannot see these types of boundaries as they would a physical boundary.
However, no matter what type of boundary we are talking about, it is clear that they all have a purpose. And without them, all kinds of problems would be created.
When it comes to describing psychological boundaries, I would say they are what allow one to have a sense of self. And by this I mean that through these boundaries one knows that they are an individual. They know where they begin and where they end and also where another person begins and ends.
From here one is aware of their thoughts, feeling, perceptions, behaviours and sensations. And as a consequence of understanding this, they can come to know what is not theirs and what belongs to another person.
This person feels safe and comfortable in expressing who they are. And because of this, the people in their life generally support and validate their expression.
When This Doesn't Happen
However, this doesn't always happen and one can then feel controlled and even trapped by others. This means that their internal wellbeing is always being influenced and affected by what another is doing or saying; they are not autonomous.
It might be that one is so engrossed in another person that they don't feel separate from them and that they feel emotionally enslaved to another person or to people in general.
And when this happens, it is only natural for one to have great difficulty in discerning what is theirs and what is another's, at a mental and emotional level.
Sense Of Self
This person doesn't seem to have a sense of self or if they do, it is not strong enough to create boundaries. Their sense of self is being defined by other people and is changing as other people change.
Unconsciously this person is saying 'I am who you want me to be and I will change whenever you want me to change'. Externally this person can come across as certain, just as easily as they come across as uncertain.
What won't be taking place is the expression of their true sense of self and what their true wants and needs are or how they are really thinking and feeling inside.
It appears that they have dissociated form their own internal processes and now their focus is completely external in nature. Here the person is hyper vigilant to what is going on outside and to the reactions and behaviours of other people.
And this is all at the cost of having very little self reflection and in being able to tune into what's going on internally. Dissociation is a defence mechanism that the ego mind uses to protect itself. It does this during times of heightened stress and trauma.
So, if one has disassociated from their own selves, it means that they have done so out of their ego minds need for protection and therefore to be safe.
Safe from what one may ask? Is it that these people are constantly being exposed to situations that are unsafe and out of this, they have to continually deny their true self?
In each individual situation in one's life, where one has come to focus their attention externally; it may seem that this occurrence is always happening externally and that one powerless to do anything.
In order for something to be perceived as safe to the ego mind, it has to be familiar. One could then say that out of continually experiencing having no boundaries; one has become familiar to this experience. And this is partly true; however where did this all begin?
And because of how the ego minds associates safe as being what is familiar, it will continue to create these same situations, even though they are dysfunctional and disempowering.
These boundaries are usually what were formed in ones childhood. And whether one grows up to have healthy boundaries, will largely be defined by whether their caregivers had healthy boundaries. They will then have these early points of reference. And this is because the ego mind will associate these as being familiar and what is safe.
During these early experiences one came to learn whether it was safe for them to express their feelings, thoughts and behaviours. And if these were validated and mirrored the child would begin to see that it was safe to do so.
Here not only is the child in touch with what these are, but the people that are around the child are also willing to accept them. What this is creating, is a sense of self and a healthy one at that.
The child is forming a relationship with what is going on internally and an awareness of its existence.
When ones caregivers have badly formed boundaries, they then have very little chance of allowing their child to develop healthy boundaries. And a big part of this is down to their basic needs being unfulfilled. This means that the child will be used to take care of the caregivers needs.
The Childs own sense of self will remain undeveloped and this is because the child has to tune into the needs of its caregivers. The Childs needs are of course denied during this process.
Here one will learn from a young age, how important it is to tune into others and all at a cost of neglecting one's own needs. As a child, one has to do this to survive, it has no other option.
One is then likely to grow up with a sense of self that is either nonexistent or is severely undeveloped. And this person has learnt from a very early age, that is has to fulfil the needs of others in order to survive.
It then becomes only natural to either consciously or unconsciously looks to other people for constant feedback on how they should be feeling, thinking and behaving. This is also assisted through ones own estrangement from their own inner self.
One can also feel guilt and shame when it comes to fulfilling one's own needs or in listening to their own self.
The above happens through the regression to ones wounded inner child. This child carries all of the trauma and unmet needs of the past. And the ego mind will continue to recreate situations that mirror the past; simply because they are familiar and therefore safe.
It is not possible for the majority of the wounded inner Childs needs and wants to be fulfilled. And this is because they are childhood needs. This could be the need for unconditional love or absolute acceptance and approval from another and as an adult this is neither possible, nor necessary to have.
Healthy boundaries and a sense of self are a consequence of awareness. And the reason that they were not formed in the beginning is due to a lack of awareness. The feelings that were created through not having these original needs met will have to be expressed. And as they are validated and acknowledged through the assistance of another conscious individual, they will begin to disappear.
As this process continues, one will naturally begin to get back in touch with their needs and wants without feeling guilty or shamed of them. Having an awareness of another person's needs is important, but not if it means neglecting one's own needs. And ones true self will also begin to appear as a consequence of this process.
When it comes to moving on and letting go of an abusive past, it is not uncommon to hear that one needs to forgive. The act of forgiveness is highly regarded by many people and in numerous schools of thought. Religion has also espoused this outlook from the very beginning.
So is it really a case of simply forgiving ones parents for what happened or is there more to it? And if one doesn’t forgive them is the other option to simply carry these destructive memories around?
So let’s take a look at what the word forgiveness actually means. On the dictionary.com website it is described as - 1. To grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve. 2. To give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.). 3. To grant pardon to (a person). 4. To cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies. 5. To cancel an indebtedness or liability of: to forgive the interest owed on a loan.
At an intellectual level, forgiveness sounds like a good idea and as something that is morally right. Here one can come to the conclusion that, to do anything other than to forgive would be to create further problems and yet more stress.
And based on the recommendations of others and on how one perceives the past, one may want to forgive and move on. And perhaps for some people this process does work.
This leaves one with two options; either one can go the intellectual route and forgive ones caregivers. Or one can avoid all talk of forgiveness and remain immersed in the feelings, sensation and thoughts that are a product of theirchildhood.
At this point the first option sounds better doesn’t it? Who would want to constantly be in their past, if they could just forgive their caregivers and move on. It sounds like the logical option and to be the one of reason. And why would one want to be constantly trapped in their past experience.
I think a good way to describe this scenario is that of house that has been destroyed. There is debris everywhere and no matter where the owner looks there is work to be done. This can lead the owner to either ignore the problem or it can make him want to try and rebuild the house from the ruins.
To the owner there is no other option; all he sees are these two options. If the owner were to avoid the problem it would be similar to intellectualising and to try to rebuild it from the ruins, would be analogous to being trapped by the past. He hasn’t thought about removing the debris and starting again.
Two Sides Of The Same Coin
On the surface forgiveness sounds like a terrific idea, as opposed to being constantly affected by the past and living a life that is like a walking nightmare and hell on earth.
If we look at this from a deeper level, we can see that these are actually two sides of the same coin. What happened all those years ago had consequences and these consequences produced internal debris - like in the metaphor above. The debris has to be dealt with before anything else can be done.
what this produced all those years ago will not simply disappear as a result of some logical or moral conclusion. And neither will constantly being overwhelmed by what happened.
Facing The Truth
What needs to occur is the expression of what happened all those years ago. But this is not the same as being overwhelmed by what happened, as one would be in their day to day life or their earlier experiences.
This involves being with an individual who is aware enough to allow one to express and feel all that they were not allowed to feel as a child. And this has to be done without the judgement of what is right and wrong and what should be felt and what shouldn’t. Everything that one feels is fine and has to be completely and wholly expressed.
Whether this is an individual with all types of qualifications or one with very few is irrelevant, what matters is how honest this person is with themselves. And if they can hold the space to allow the whole truth of one’s past to be revealed. If they haven’t faced their own truth, they are likely to sabotage another from finding theirs.
How Is This Different?
The reason this is different to the other two options, is because in both of those options one is identifying with their past. This means that one is holding onto the past. And out of this attachment to the past one is either running away from it; via intellectualising what happened and forgiving; Or they are being constantly exposed to what happened by regressing to the past
Through the assistance and support of another conscious individual, one can begin to feel what happened as well as observe the whole process. The ego mind will hold onto the past because it is familiar and therefore safe. So by this process, one will begin to be able to realise they are the observer of their mind and of their experiences. And this will allow one to let go of the past.
And like a seed that will grow into a big oak tree; one can gradually begin to build up their own ability to observe, through the other persons validation and acknowledgement.
The Forgiveness Trap
One of the reasons forgiveness appears to be such an attractive option is because of the stability this gives the ego mind. Due to the original abuse that took place one is inevitably going to carry fears of their caregivers. And these fears will have been repressed and pushed out of conscious awareness.
This means that whenever one goes to express these original feelings, these fears will appear. And unless one has developed the ability to observe these fears, one will be controlled by them even as an adult. Here one will regress to the hopeless and dependent child that they once were.
Ruled By The Past
And then one will want to avoid those feelings, so that one doesn’t have to relive those original feelings. The intellectual standpoint of forgiveness can allow one to avoid feeling the original wrath of the parents.
When one regresses to the wounded inner child, one will embody the Childs needs once more. This child needs to be approved and accepted to survive and forgiveness allows this to happen.
Is Forgiveness Important?
I believe that it is not about forgiving or not forgiving ones caregivers. What is important is to honest with oneself and to allow these original feelings, thoughts and sensations to be expressed in a conscious manner.
Because to simple forgive is to regress to the child one once was and this doesn’t lead to awareness or of actually letting go off the past. It only leads to the denial of what happened and to the continuation of repression.
The baggage of the past cannot be dealt with by thinking about it or as labelling it as right or wrong. These memories have become frozen and trapped in the body and avoidance is what is keeping them there. Through the process of awareness the weight of the past will begin to diminish.
Prometheus: My Interpretation Of The Metaphors
One of the first things that I heard about this film was that it was a prequel to Alien. And after seeing the trailer I was expecting another film to do with the end of the world. I wasn’t expecting too much and I went into the cinema with an open mind.
After watching the film for the first time I thought it was interesting and it wasn’t until shortly after I had watched it, that I came to see that this film was incredibly deep and full of meaning. So I went to the cinema again and I have come to conclude that this film is a metaphor for trauma; with childhood trauma being the point of focus.
These psychological aspects and metaphors of the film are my personal view and are based on my own interpretation of what these metaphors and psychological aspects are and there meaning. They are in no way the right or only interpretation, they are just my view.
This will mean that I will miss out certain parts and only describe what stood out for me and what I felt was significant. There will also be parts that I don’t understand and that will also be a reason as to why it has not been mentioned. This will also mean that it will not be like a story board and that I won’t be describing the whole
So with the disclaimer of sorts out of the way, let’s begin.
In the beginning of the film we see someone that looks like an extremely muscular human being that has come to earth via a space ship. However, what is not clear is if this is actually what is classed as a male on our planet. And shortly after the beings arrival the ship soon disappears. It is at this point that the being begins to drink some kind of liquid.
This liquid then begins to destroy its body and during this process we see Its DNA splitting into two parts; with his body being destroyed in the process. Its DNA then filters into the water system.
And based on the premise of the film, it is here that one is shown who ones creators are. This one moment is meant to show how male and female human beings were created on this planet.
To take a deeper look here, what this is showing us is that this was the beginning of duality. And duality is a product of the mind; it is not something that exists in nature or the universe.
After this we see a group of archaeologists looking in caves in the isle of sky in Scotland. And soon after digging they come across a map in the cave. This map shows alien looking creates pointing towards space ships in the sky.
The focus at this point goes to two people. One is a male called Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) and a female called Elizabeth Shaw (Naomi Rapace). These two people not only have love for archaeology, they are also in a relationship together.
The minds duality of higher and lower and as seeing life as what’s inside and what’s outside is demonstrated here. These are two people who are not looking for the answers within; they are looking for them outside. And the ego mind is extremely capable of projecting inner splits and inner conflicts externally.
The Space Ship
From this point the film jumps to the space ship named Prometheus. And the first person we meet is David (Michael Fassbender). Who at this moment, appears to be human. The rest of the crew are all asleep, and this is due to the journey taking two years to complete.
David is able to listen and watch the dreams of the rest of the crew. And the dream that we see is the one Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) is having.
We see Elizabeth as a child asking her father why her mother had to die and where she had gone. Her father has also died at a young age.
This gives us an extremely deep look into what motivates Elizabeth in her archaeological work and in the pursuit of her creators. In many ways this search for her creators is her inner child’s need to understand what happened to her as a child and why her parents had to die.
Because due to the minds way of seeing life through duality, it means that there is always a creator and a created. This is how the mind sees life; it does not see that these are two sides of the same coin. The heart sees only oneness, but the mind does not.
The planet of their destination is close by and the crew have been woken up. What one begins to understand at this point is that they are on the space ship because they have located where these beings came from and are on their way to try and communicate with them.
Each person on the ship has an area of expertise and the briefing is held by Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron). It is also around this time that one finds out hat David (Michael Fassbender) is actually a robot.
Through this early experience of Vickers, we can see that she appears to be somewhat cold and calculated and lacking in empathy. In fact she could just as easily be a robot herself. However, she has emotions and expressions that are primarily classed a ‘negative and a robot is typically neutral in its expression.
It would seem at this point that Vickers has experienced trauma in her life, most likely in her childhood and this has lead to the closing of her heart and therefore this has created a lack of empathy and the ability to be emotionally intelligent.
Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) appears at the briefing via a hologram. The maps have been found in different countries and although the two archaeologists are there to find out why they were created, we soon find out that the financial provider of the mission has a very different purpose. He wants to live forever.
We can’t see at this point what Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) is like, other than he paid for the mission and is no longer alive. The nature of his psychology is hard to understand; all one has to go by is what his daughter is like.
Leaving The Ship
The team leave the ship and enter the structure where they believe their creators are. What they soon find out is that their creators have all been killed. And through the help of a hologram, they are able to partly see how this happened.
Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) takes the head of one of their ‘creators’ and David (Michael Fassbender) takes a long object from inside.
Once they are back on the ship David (Michael Fassbender) offers Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) a drink and he puts a drop of something from the object that he took from inside the structure. However, their relationship up until this point has not been positive. David has been put down and marginalised by Charlie from the very beginning.
So although he is a robot, he is developing and adapting to his environment and as a result of this, he has started to develop emotions. And everything that Charlie has not dealt with and faced within himself; is has been projected onto David (Michael Fassbender) from the beginning. This has lead to David reacting to his projections and in responding to them both internally and externally.
It could be said that even though David (Michael Fassbender) is a robot there was still an intention behind his creation and this original intention may have caused him to have certain idiosyncrasies. Similar to how the intention behind the birth of a child can influence how the child develops and behaves when the child is born.
At this point it is hard to say what this intention may have been, especially as his creator Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) is now dead. The only insight into his character right now is his daughter.
Are You A Robot?
Janek (Idris Elba) asks Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) is she is a robot. This is of course coming from her dark nature. She is not there to make friends and is clearly out for herself.
And after all these experiences with Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) a gradual picture is being created of what her father was probably like.
When they go back into the building, David (Michael Fassbender) goes into another part and finds out that one of their creators is still alive. And while he is there, he watches a re-enactment of a mission that they had planned to complete, that involves the destruction of planet earth.
Back From The Dead
In the following scene we see that Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) is still alive. And that he was put to sleep with the intention that, if the creators were still alive, he would have enough life left to speak to them.
Now is the first time that we get to see Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) interacting with her father. And what we see is that she has a lot of anger and rage towards her father. But as well as this, we see her get down on her knee and kiss her father’s hand. And as she does this he clenches his fist.
We are being shown many things here. It is clear that she was abused by her father in some way and how she feels towards him shows she wasn’t given what she needed from him as a child. This doesn’t seem to bother him and he shows no understanding to Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron). He is also very cold and appears to be lacking empathy himself.
However, even though she feels this way towards her father she still kisses him on the hand. This seems like not only dysfunctional, but also very strange, why would she express such anger on one side and yet still submit to this man by kissing his hand?
This is the result of Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) regressing to her inner child and the
child she once was. So even though she feels all these emotions, she is still indentifying with the original fear that she had of her father. And because she is not aware of this, she is still reacting to her father and to the feelings that she felt all those years ago.
David And Elizabeth
Before they head back into the building again, David (Michael Fassbender) says to Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) ‘But doesn't everyone want to kill their parents?’
Now, this is a loaded statement and as David is a robot one could assume that he doesn’t feel anything towards his creators. But as we have seen from the behaviour of his creator Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce), it wouldn’t be surprising if the reasons and intentions behind his creation were for the wrong reasons. And as a result of this he is projecting the rage and anger he feels onto other people.
He has also been exposed to the relationship between Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) and Meredith
Vickers (Charlize Theron). And so it is likely that he has very little experience of relationships between parents and children that are made of love and not control and abuse.
And this statement is the consequence of how abusive parents make their children feel. But it is largely taboo to reveal these feelings and at the time would lead to the rejection of the parents and so they have to be denied and repressed. And in many cases this goes on for not only the whole of one’s childhood, but also for the rest of their adult life.
The Last Journey
They head of to see the last remaining creator; with the intention of finding out why they were created. One they are here, David (Michael Fassbender) communicates with the creator in a different language.
And the question of why were they created is soon asked; With Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) desperate to understand the reasons. This doesn’t go to plan and their creators are soon found out to be anything but friendly.
So what was this all about? I believe that these creators were a projection of how their own parents were. They had regressed to their inner child and from this position they were unconsciously looking for their parent’s reassurance again.
We can see that from Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) and from Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) that their childhood wasn’t very functional or loving. And Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) lost her parents when she was very young, leaving her with many unanswered questions in regards to where she was from and why her parents had to die.
These questions didn’t appear to be observed or to be looked at from a different perspective and so they were directly pursued by her mind. And this is a mind that can only see in duality and cannot see any other way. To the mind there is only life and death and beginnings and endings.
Saving Planet Earth
As Soon as Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) gets up and goes back towards the ship, she tells the other crew members that it is going to destroy planet earth and that it needs to be stooped. So Janek (Idris Elba) and the other two pilots fly into the space craft as it is about to leave.
Here we see another duality of life and death and the heroes and the villains. I think these are childhood fears that are being projected and played out again. We have Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) who lost her parents at a young age and this must have felt like the end of the world. And then we have Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) and Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) who appeared to have been abused at a young age.
So where as it became the end of the world when Elizabeth Shaw's (Noomi Rapace) parents died, it must have felt like the end of the world whenever Meredith Vickers (Charlize Theron) and Peter Weyland (Guy Pearce) were exposed to abusive treatment. And due to these fears being repressed and denied, they become unconscious. This leads to reality being created and perceived through these original experiences.
After the destruction has ended, we are left with only one survivor and that is Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace). This is not much of a surprise; as she seemed to be the one who had the biggest drive to find out where she came from.
She is not alone though, as David (Michael Fassbender) is still alive. The plan is to go to where their creators came from and ask them the questions.
It is easy to see how this journey could go on forever. If Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) was to find out why they were created; then what about who created the creators? And then who was it who created them? These are questions that could go on ad infinitum and without ever getting anywhere.
As this film is classed as a sci-fi and deals with deeper questions like who are we and where did we come from, it is often easy to miss the psychological and metaphorical aspects involved.
From the very beginning of this film we are shown an example of duality; with the male and female aspects. And then the trauma involved with the father/daughter relationship and with the women’s loss of her parents at a young age.
I believe it is the original childhood trauma that these people experienced, that set these people up to look for their creators. And because of their traumatic experiences with their own creators, their caregivers; they ended up creating this experience again.
They were still identified with the child they once were and to their ego mind and this made it impossible for them to see any other way.
In today’s world fame is not merely seen as a by-product or as a consequence of achieving something; fame is pursued directly and as a goal in and of itself.
With there being numerous examples of people who place fame as the ultimate achievement in life and above anything else; it might seem that fame is what one is on this planet to attain.
In the past one typically became famous through what they had given to the world. And although this might have not always been something that benefited humanity, it was usually something significant.
In the modern day world, there are people that are routinely in the media who are classed as being famous simply for being famous.
It would be easy to say that the majority of people who are famous today have very little to offer and that they are famous simply because they have been in the media so often. But if these people are in the media, then they are fulfilling certain needs that society has.
These needs may be different to the needs of long ago, at least on the surface, but they are needs nevertheless. And unless people needed what they were offering, then these people wouldn’t be elevated to the position of being famous.
On one side we have the desire of some individuals to be famous. And on the other side we have the individual that is prepared to look up to and assist in another person achieving fame. It is a symbiotic relationship; where In order for one to exist, the other also has to exist.
Now, as I have stated above, fame per se is not negative or dysfunctional, it is often unavoidable and merely a consequence of doing something that one enjoys. For an individual that enjoys singing, playing an instrument or for someone who enjoys acting, due to the nature of what they are doing, it is often natural for them to become famous.
However, this type of fame is not pursued directly by the individual. It just so happens that what they like doing, interests enough people and therefore they will become famous.
The other type of fame is not achieved through people appreciating and valuing what one has to offer the world, the other type of fame is fuelled out of the need to be famous.
And how this person achieves this is not important, all that is important is to be famous.
One might ask: is being famous the highest possible achievement in today’s world? Is this the whole purpose of life itself? Let’s pause here and take a moment to reflect on this modern day obsession and addiction.
Is This New?
What is clear to see is that this is a relatively new occurrence in the world, at least in its current expression; but I think it would be naive to think that this means it is a desire that didn’t exist before.
The reasons that motivate an individual to want to be famous may have existed for a long time, before this craze came to the fore in today’s world. What today’s world has created, with the development and power of the media and through the internet, is a platform for fame to exist and to grow like never before.
One might also argue that this has a lot to do with our survival needs and that the more people one knows, the better chance one has of surviving. And I believe there is an element of truth here, and what it also clear to see is that in the modern day world, one doesn’t need to be famous in order to survive.
A Closer Look
I believe that in order to understand people’s motivations and behaviours, one has to look not only at another’s current psychological disposition, but also at anothers childhood development.
Ones childhood may have occurred many years ago and one may have no interest in psychology today. The body might have changed and one may have had many experiences since that time, however one thing has remained.
The Inner Child
How the inner child affects ones life today will depend on the quality of their upbringing and also if they have done any work on themselves. The needs of a child are going to be radically different to the needs of an adult.
A child is described as being egocentric and this is ultimately because the child doesn’t have the capacity at the age to be any other way. This is neither good nor bad; it is just how a child is.
The child has to rely on its caregivers to take care of every need it has. This could be to do with being loved unconditionally, being emotionally mirrored and validated and being accepted and approved of.
As Time Goes By
When these needs are not met during ones childhood, ones inner child will have been wounded during these important stages. And what this will then do is influence and affect ones present day needs, wants and behaviours. The wounded inner child is also what conditions ones ego mind.
Here one will regress to the wounded inner child and will then become emotionally dependent on others. And this is because a child has no way of validating or approving itself; it has to gain this externally through its caregivers.
These needs of the inner child cannot be fulfilled directly and this is due them being childhood needs and not adult needs. As the child has no way of fulfilling these needs, it meant that these needs were insatiable and needed to be constantly fulfilled by caregivers.
And when one regresses to these needs today, it is like an abyss; these needs can never be met directly and will only lead to obsessive and compulsive behaviour.
One has to grieve these forgotten needs and to acknowledge and validate what happened. This is possible through awareness, observing what is occurring and feeling these original feelings and not through the attachment to what happened.
What is evident among people who want to be famous or who are famous is there constant need for attention. It is as if they have no identity other than the one that is given to them by other people. Whether they feel good or bad or love or hate themselves is being defined by the views of other people.
The ability to approve or accept themselves internally does not seem to be in action. And although they are adults, their behaviour is very similar to that of a needy and egocentric child.
And just like how a child can only be regulated through other people, people that desire fame also often exhibit this inability to regulate themselves.
What this shows is how powerful this wounded inner child is and that as long as it is left unobserved, it will continue to affect and influence ones life.
The Other Side
So what about the people who help to elevate these individuals, what is their benefit? What is occurring here is an action of the ego mind called - identification. Here the ego mind will identify with people who are expressing the behaviours that it wants to display.
And through this process one can feel and experience these things through the attachment to the other person.
I believe that the obsessive need for fame in today’s world is a consequence of ones childhood. On the surface these people can be judged as attention seekers and as being self centred.
While this is an appropriate description; I believe that what we are seeing is the emergence of ones wounded inner child. And this child is craving all the things that it didn’t have taken care of many years ago. This age regression will continue to appear, until one has validated and acknowledged these neglected childhood needs.
When it comes to the psychological development of a child, the needs of the child are of the upmost importance. And not only are they important in the Childs journey to becoming a functional adult; as extreme as this sounds, they can also be the difference between whether a child lives or dies.
In an ideal world, the Childs needs would be met when the child needs them to be fulfilled. But this is something that doesn’t always happen and as a result of this, the Childs needs often end up being neglected.
Child abuse has been described as what happens when the needs of the caregivers are more important than the needs of the child. Here the needs of the child are always secondary to that of the caregivers.
And as the child is completely dependent on its caregivers, it is not much of a surprise to see how much damage can be done when the needs of the caregivers take precedence.
The mother of the child is typically the one who has the biggest influence on whether the Childs needs are fulfilled or unfulfilled. And this is due to the mother having a natural bond with the child.
However, once the child is born the father or any other caregiver can also have a strong impact on the Childs development. This is if they are positioned as the primary caregiver and have the responsibility to meet the Childs needs.
In the beginning these needs will be to do with being loved unconditionally, mirrored and validated and these needs are just as important in the Childs later years.
And as the child has no way of taking care of its own needs, it has to completely rely on the awareness of the caregivers. Firstly they have to notice these needs and secondly they have to respond to these needs.
This is a process that will be incredibly important during the early years of a child’s life and as the child grows up it should have developed the ability, through the mirroring of the caregiver, to know that it can have these needs met.
When these needs are met, it can lead to the creation of a healthy sense of self and a knowing that one deserves to have their needs met and that they belong in this world. They will have the reference points to know that if they need something they can ask someone and that when they do ask, they will more often than not, be acknowledged.
In the description above I have described what happens when the caregivers are in tune with the needs of child. And yet this is something that doesn’t always happen. Here the Childs needs often end up being neglected or perhaps even ignored completely.
And no matter how old the child is; the purpose of the Child will be to fulfil the caregiver’s emotional needs. And due to the Childs survival resting on the caregiver’s approval; the child will have to deny and ignore its own needs in order to survive.
So what then happens is the child is put under immense psychological stress. The roles have changed and although the Childs own needs have not been met and desperately need to be met; the needs of the caregivers have become more important.
What we now have is a child that has become a caregiver and a caregiver that has become a child.
The likelihood that this child will grow up to be a functional adult is low; unless this person becomes aware of these early experiences and faces their history. But unless one does this, there will be problems created around having ones needs met. One is likely to feel unworthy and guilty if they even think about having them met.
How Has This Happened?
At first glance this may be hard to comprehend; how can a caregiver behave in such a way? And if they were going to use a child to take care of their needs, wouldn’t it be a good idea to take care of their own needs before they had a child?
If one were to look at this logically, it probably wouldn’t make sense. The caregivers can be judged as being irresponsible, bad and careless. And based on what takes place; these are worthy judgements. But this alone doesn’t lead to answers or to understanding what is actually going on.
What is defining the caregiver’s behaviour is the level of awareness that they have and the reason they are doing what they are doing is because ultimately they are unaware of any other way.
Why Are They Unaware?
First off, we know that the caregivers needs are not being met and as a result this, the child is being used to compensate. Therefore the origins of this probably go back to when they were a child.
And just like how they are treating their own child, is how they were treated by their own caregivers. Their needs had to be denied and they did their best to survive the experience. These needs had to be repressed and pushed out of their awareness.
Of course it is possible for them to become aware of these needs and to begin to take care of them in a functional and healthy manner. But something they will have to contend with whenever they seek to fulfil these needs is the guilt and shame that will be triggered as a result of regression.
And this was passed on from their caregivers when they were too young to question its validity; where at such a young age, they were made to feel guilty and ashamed for having needs.
Questioning The past
What these caregivers didn’t manage to do is to question what happened to them in the past. And one of the reasons for this would have been the appearance of the original fears that they felt as a child.
Repression And Denial
So after years of repression and denying what happened all those years ago, the caregivers are then destined to repeat the same behaviour. Because even though one may be a caregiver; one is still influenced by their emotions. And as a child is so dependent and vulnerable; the caregivers will take on the role that their caregivers had all those years ago.
Here the caregivers will regress and so that they become the perpetrators. And what fuels this behaviour is all the feelings that they felt when they were the victims of this abuse many years ago, but have been repressed for many years up until this point.
The caregivers cannot give what they haven’t got and so being around a needy child, will trigger the anger and rage that they felt as a result of not having their needs met all those years ago.
The only reason this cycle has continued is because the caregivers are unaware. Their children are innocent, just as they were when they were children. And what has happened is impersonal.
This shows how important it is that one faces the emotional consequences of their history. Although what happened may well have happened many years ago, it still exists in the mind and body. And it will appear through reactive behaviour and dysfunctional patterns of behaviour; as well as mental and emotional problems.
Taking Care Of Ones Needs
If one was brought up to feel guilty and ashamed of having needs, then it is only natural for one to feel these feelings now. But these are carried feelings and having nothing to do with who one actually is.
The ego mind holds onto these perceptions out of their familiarity and what is familiar is associated as what safe to the ego mind. Whether something is actually true does not matter.
And what we can be seen from this is that unless one takes care of their own needs, it is more or less impossible that one can take care of another’s needs.
These memories have to be faced and this can be done with someone who is aware enough to listen without judgement or blame, to acknowledge and validate what happened.
Over the ages the purpose of the royal family has changed. Today they are not only an attraction for people from all over the world and for people in Britain: they are also idolised and worshiped by thousands of people.
The royal family are the modern day celebrities and this is of course a far cry from their original purpose. However, unlike other celebrities that are often elevated and then toppled by the media; there identity is rarely tarnished.
Modern day celebrities are all too familiar with being scrutinized and pulled down, some get back up and others do not. One of the reasons that this doesn’t happen to the royal family is because they are generally portrayed as being perfect human beings. And out of this perception is the creation of an incredible illusion.
A Deeper Look
Here I will present my own views on this obsession and they are not to be taken as the absolute truth. My intention is not to label the royal family as being appropriate or inappropriate or as good or bad, but to simply look at the psychological dynamics that are involved.
On The Surface
No matter what one is talking is about, something exists because it has a purpose and the royal family are no different here. On the surface they could be described as individuals that posses esteemed quality’s such as; morality, integrity and compassion.
As a result of this, The Royal Family, are role models to people from all over the world. How they behave and the way that they conduct their life is what people of honour are made off. Their behaviour is magnified as a result of there being so many examples in the media of people who act without a sense of morality or who are without higher values.
Now, this can either cause one to see these people in two ways: as role models and an example of how life can be lived. Or one can end up seeing them as superior and out of this superiority comes the feeling of being inferior.
And if one feels inferior to something, then one can either worship or disdain that which is causing them to feel inferior.
The Royal Illusion
One of the things that the royal family have done extremely well in upholding, through the assistance of the media, is the royal illusion. As part of this illusion, they are treated and perceived differently and are almost seen as being above other human beings.
Questioning The Unquestioned
However, in order for an illusion to exist it has to be believed and if it’s believed, it will never be questioned. If one has been brought up by to see life a certain way by their caregivers and then grows up to see that the majority of society see life the same way; it will be unlikely that another way of seeing life will ever be considered.
Life is made up of many illusions and falsities. When children are younger they are often told fairytales. There are also numerous films that can be watched by children about princess and princesses.
These fairytales are not meant to be taken literally and contain a deeper meaning or message. They are symbolic in nature as opposed to being literal.
And in the modern day royal family we have a fairytale that has been manifested into a reality. It would appear that this manifestation doesn’t carry a deeper meaning or anything symbolic.
A closer Look
I mentioned above, that something only exists because it has a purpose. And in order to understand what psychological needs the royal family are fulfilling; I believe we have to look at the role of the ego mind, childhood development and the inner child.
Although the royal family are perceived differently and live a life that is materially and socially different from the majority of people on this planet, they are still human beings. And inherently they have no more value than anyone else and they will also live and die like everything else.
What this means, is that the only reason they have such power and influence over people is due to what an individual has not realised within themselves. Here the parts that have not been realised will end up being projected externally. This is what the ego mind does and it does this as a result of seeing life through polarities.
To the ego mind, everything is split and separate; wholeness does not exist. And through projecting these parts outside they will show up in certain individuals or groups of people. If one is conscious of this process then they can embrace what is within, but if this doesn’t happen then these external figures will be seen as being superior or inferior.
This way of looking at the world and others is usually formed and influenced in ones childhood. Whether one had their developmental needs met during this time and to what degree they experienced trauma, will go a long way to defining what one will unconsciously seek or not seek in other people as an adult.
As an adult it will not matter that these childhood needs were neglected all those years ago and no longer have the same importance; because one will be pulled back to these moments. This will happen through the defence mechanism known as regression.
Here one will regress to their wounded inner child and have the same feelings and behaviour that they did all those years ago.
The power that this Wounded inner child has over present behaviour and feelings cannot be dismissed or minimized. One can become completely overwhelmed and lose all awareness through regressing to the wounded inner child. And this wounded inner child, just like a real child, has a strong need to be safe.
So How Does This Relate?
If an individual regresses to their inner child, as a result of certain childhood needs being neglected or trauma that needs to be processed, one will perceive these needs as coming from someone else. They will also see other people as mother and father figures. And this will mean that certain people will be seen as being superior and as having more power.
And if this wounded inner child didn’t have a functional or happy childhood, it will constantly be looking to make everything perfect and to receive what it didn’t have all those years ago.
With one regressing to this wounded inner child that has such a strong need to be safe; one will then feel more of a need for external support and familiarity. The ego mind is conditioned during these early years and sees what is safe based on what is familiar.
The Royal Family
So in many ways the royal family are there because they are being perceived as parental figures. There are seen as god like and worshiped, which is the way children typically see their parents.
Through the illusion of the royal family being perfect, they give some people that have regressed to their wounded inner child the perfect parents that they never had. Here people’s wounded inner child can identify with the image that is being portrayed.
And through the royal families familiarity and there constant exposure, they create a sense of being safe in people and this creates an inner stability through external familiarity.
Each of these elements is not necessarily dysfunctional if one is aware of what is taking place, but if one is not aware it can lead to an obsession and to seeing the royal family as more than they truly are. This will not assist in ones realisation as a human being and will cause one to be perpetually trapped in an illusion.
When it comes achieving psychological well being; validation plays an incredibly important role.
This primarily consists of two aspects: On one side this means that one’s thoughts, emotions, feelings and behaviours will be acknowledged and accepted by other human beings; and on the other side that one’s identity is accepted by others.
However, what is absolutely clear here, is that it is not possible for ones feelings thoughts, emotions and behaviours to be accepted and acknowledged by every human being and neither is it possible for every human being to accept ones identity.
The Ideal Relationship
So although it is not possible to be validated by every human being, one has this possibility through individual relationships. This could be through relationships with friends, family or colleagues for example. Here ones identity and internal processes will be accepted, appreciated and valued.
And as this process is taking place, it will also be occurring in the other person. They will both be giving and receiving; with neither of them feeling as though they have been invalidated or used.
Through these relationships with others, one will also look to be validated for their own self expression. And no matter what ones dreams or aspirations are, there will be support from the other person.
This will be an action that is mirrored between the people in the relationship; with each person becoming enriched through this process.
Due to one being validated by others, one is likely to have a low tolerance to being invalidated. Being around people that honour who they are and what they are going through is not only part of their life experience, it is also what they have come to expect from life.
If they need someone to talk to about how they feel or what is going though their mind or what they want to achieve from life; someone is there and if they’re not available straight away, then their never far away.
And as their feelings, thoughts and emotions are being heard and their self expression and identity is being supported, they are likely to feel whole and together inside.
The need to repress or deny who they are is not there. And as they usually have someone around to talk to about how they feel; they rarely run away from or repress how they feel.
Each one of these descriptions above describes what it is like for a human being that leads a life of being validated. They could be described as absolute examples and that reality is not always like that. This may be true, but for the purpose of clarity and impact, I have chosen to use two extremes in this article.
And for someone that is constantly invalidated or lives a life of experiencing invalidation as a regular occurrence; it may well sound idealistic and out of touch with how life is.
To the person that is invalidated, the world rarely mirrors back their true reflection what this person sees does not create happiness or joy; what it creates is frustration, anger and a whole myriad of other experiences. This person is also likely to have a high tolerance for being invalidated.
And how this invalidation is experienced can range from being ignored and unacknowledged to being physically or emotionally abused; with abuse being the extreme version of invalidation. Either way, each form of invalidation carries its own form of pain and suffering.
When one leads a life of being invalidated, their thoughts, feelings and emotions are unlikely to be expressed very often. And because one has taken on the identity of being invalidated, one may not even be aware of what they are feeling, thinking, emoting or how they are behaving.
So not only will others not find out or hear about these processes, but one may not even allow oneself to hear or listen to them either. This has the potential to create repression and an internal split in the mind and body.
Although this person may have an identity; it is highly unlikely that is represents who they truly are. The identity that they have has probably been given to them by someone else. Or maybe this person knows who they are inside, but out of their fear of being invalidated, they keep it hidden from other people and the world.
The same scenario is likely to be true of their goals and visions for the present moment and of the future.
The Absence of Happiness
If ones whole indentify is based on what is not real or what is true, there is unlikely to be a real sense of happiness within. To this person real happiness could be nothing more than an idea or a word and not as something that has any real significance or relevance.
This person may not even know that the reason they feel unhappy is because on every level of their being they are being invalidated. And just like a fish that has lived in water its whole life and has no concept of what it would be like to live out of water; the individual that has been invalidated rarely has any concept of what it would be like to be validated.
Let’s Take A Moment To Reflect
So as we look at each of these examples, we can see that there is a radical difference between being validated and being invalidated. And that this can be the difference between being happy and successful and being unhappy and unsuccessful.
However, is the person who is validated really any different to the person that is being invalidated? They may look different, feel different and behave differently, but inherently they are the same. What is different is how they perceive themselves and their life.
The person that is being invalidated is unaware that there is another possibility or is aware that there is another way and is beginning to be validated. And the person that it being validated has either been that way from the very beginning or has come to be that way through awareness.
In The Beginning
When we are children our caregivers have the power to either validate us or to invalidate us. And what will go a long way to defining which one of these occur, will be whether the caregivers were made to feel validated or invalidated when they were children. If the caregivers were invalidated as children and have never questioned this, then it is highly likely that they will then go on to
invalidate their children.
And it is what happens during these formative years that one’s ego mind comes to learn as familiar and therefore as safe. So if ones internal processes where invalidated and ones needs and wants as a child were denied; then this child is likely to grow up being completely out of touch.
As an adult the ego mind will only feel safe when it is experiencing life as it did as a child. And if one was invalidated as a child; then this is what one will come to expect and feel safe with as an adult.
This means that if ones feelings, thoughts and emotions were ignored and invalidated as a child; it will cause one to continue to attract people and situations where the same experience is created. And the same will apply to ones wants and needs and their goals and aspirations.
These situations do not reflect who one truly is; all they are doing is reflecting what ones ego mind has come to associate as safe through many years of familiarity.
By questioning and seeing these patterns and associations for what they are, one can come to break through them and create a different way. One can also come to be self validated and this is where it all begins – with the self.
In recent years there has been increased awareness around emotions. Before all of this came about, IQ (Intelligence quotient) was seen as the most important factor in deciding how intelligent someone is and in how there life would play out.
This was until EQ (Emotional Intelligence Quotient) was introduced. Here, ones level of happiness and ability to function for example is largely associated with their level of emotional intelligence.
For so long emotions have been portrayed as the enemies to our wellbeing and as occurrences that need to be controlled, manipulated and removed. And because of this paradigm there has been the tendency for emotions to either be repressed, suppressed or for them to be acted on.
Here one can either feel numb and completely cut off from their emotions or one can feel completely overwhelmed and constantly at the whim of their emotions. Either one of these options makes it extremely difficult for one to have emotional intelligence.
Whether one chooses to suppress or act upon their emotions does not necessarily lead to dysfunctional consequences. Just like how eating something unhealthy once in a while is unlikely to lead to bad health.
What will lead to dysfunctional consequence is when emotions are repeatedly inhibited or are expressed and acted upon without awareness.
How Does This Look?
This can be seen externally in different kinds of addictions and compulsions. Or it can just as easily be directed inwards; with the same emotional patterns constantly appearing.
It is often said that when ones emotions are directed outward one becomes angry and when these emotions are kept inside one becomes depressed. Although that is just one example of emotional expression, what is shows is that is does not matter whether emotions are suppressed or acted out; there is still the potential for problems to occur.
Some of the common ways in which emotions are dealt with is through the consumption of alcohol, drugs and food. What these do is allow ones emotional state to be momentarily and artificial changed.
Here, the painful emotions will be suppressed and this will allow for emotions to appear that will be the complete opposite of what one was originally feeling.
What we can see in the above example is that these external sources are being used to regulate ones emotions. The problem with using these substances is that there effects don’t last and that they will inevitably lead to long term health problems if they are consistently used.
And while these substances or any other thing that changes ones emotional state are being used, all that is happening to ones emotions is that they are being avoided.
Here I am reminded of a garden and what happens to a garden that is not looked after. One of the common problems here is that it is going to become out of control and what is likely to grow here is not flowers or fruit (Harmony), but weeds (Disharmony).
And these weeds will continue to grow and cover the whole garden, for as long as it is not cared for and nourished.
What Does This Mean?
So what has this got to do with emotions? What this shows is that the longer one runs away and denies their emotions the stronger and more powerful they will become. And as this happens, it will mean one will need more of the substances and other things to keep them at bay.
Until the day when one becomes completely numb and void of all emotional expression. Not only will one no longer feel pain any longer, but feeling all the emotions on the other side of the coin will also come to an end as well.
Why Is This?
Having emotional problems and perceiving them as troublesome may appear to be normal and how life is. But this conclusion didn’t just happen and has its roots somewhere. And these roots are usually firmly rooted in ones childhood.
It is here that one typically forms their relationship with their emotions and this is a relationship that can last for a life time. And whether one sees emotions as friends or enemies will be defined during this time.
The reason that one’s childhood is so important in forming one’s relationship and understanding of their emotions is because it is here that one is first exposed to emotional experiences.
At such a young age a child has no understanding of them and therefore has no way of regulating these internal processes; this causes the child to look to its caregivers.
And how successful the child will be in this action will depend on how emotionally intelligent the caregivers are. If the caregivers themselves are in tune with their own emotions they will be able to validate, mirror and sooth the child and as this happens the child will begin to feel at ease when emotions arise.
The child will then begin to internalise this ability and as time goes it will begin to regulate its own emotions. And from the experiences of being regulated by its caregivers, it will have learnt that no matter what emotions appear it can handle them.
However, if the Childs caregivers have no understanding of their own emotions then the child is going to have a completely different experience. This is probably because their caregivers were the same and out of being unaware ended up repeating the same patterns.
Here there is unlikely to be adequate external regulation for the child. An even if the child is regulated by its caregivers it will be irregular and unreliable.
The child will then have no way of dealing with these internal processes; all the child can do is sit with them. And at such a young age this will overpower the child and cause great pain and suffering.
So not only will these children grow up with the inability to regulate their own emotions in the present moment, but they will also have years of unprocessed emotions waiting to be faced.
And if one wasn’t regulated as a child, it is not a surprise that they will have emotional problems as an adult. That is not to say that one is a victim of the past. What this does is create awareness and out of awareness one has the ability to change.
When one was a child; emotions appeared for a reason and that reason was often due to one being in some kind of pain. And the emotions that one experiences today are no different. Ones childhood may have been many years ago, but unless that original pain has been faced and processed it will continue to appear.
These emotions may be classed as negative or positive, but they are often letting one know about what has not been looked at and what remains frozen in the body and mind.
Although one might have not been regulated by their caregivers, it doesn’t mean that this ability is lost forever. One can begin to regulate their emotions through self awareness.
Oliver JR Cooper
Teacher, Author, Transformational Writer & Consultant - With Over 2,000,000 Article Views Online.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.
A Dialogue With The Heart - Part One
A Dialogue With The Heart - Part Two
A Dialogue With The Spirit
Why Does He Behave That Way? Why Do I Behave This Way?