While one can have grown into an adult and therefore left their childhood behind them, it doesn’t mean that they have completely moved on from those early years. Ones childhood influences them in ways that are obvious and in ways that are more or less oblivious.
It is a time that plays a massive role in who one will become; either as a direct result of what happened or through or through one using what happened as a catalyst to be more. In one way or another, these years are fundamental and cannot be overlooked.
And these years become even more significant when one was abused as a child. However, just because someone was abused during these years, it doesn’t mean that they want to admit it or that they even realise that it took place.
There will be people who are aware of what happened and these people may find that although they do have fairly accurate understanding of what took place, they are still unable to move on.
So although each person is having a different experience, ultimately they are all in the same position. And either consciously or unconsciously, they are all stuck in the past.
We all have a body and a mind and these are often out of sync with each other. The mind sees what it wants to see and believes what it wants to believe; this is the world of illusions and ideas. Conditioning is a product of the mind and it can be programmed in a whole host of ways.
When it comes to the body, there are no illusions about reality. It is in the here and now and doesn’t have ideas about reality; it embraces reality for what it is. Although the body cannot be programmed like the mind, it can carry emotional baggage due to the mind not wanting to face it.
So the mind is not interested in the truth, the mind is more concerned with avoiding the pain that may arise through connecting to the body or about maintaining a certain identity. The body on the other hand is all about the truth and has no interest in lies or illusions.
And this can lead to conflict: with the mind trying to contain the pain that exists in the body and the body trying to break free from the minds control, in order to release the pain. It is then not possible for harmony to exist and for them to work together, they are fighting each other.
As human beings we have a wide range of emotions that can be experienced and the ideal is to feel safe expressing each and every one of them. But in today’s world, some emotions are seen as acceptable and others as unacceptable, so one ends up denying parts of their emotional nature.
If we were primarily thinking beings this would be fine, but the truth is that we are emotional beings first and foremost. So to completely deny ones emotions and to only pay attention to ones thoughts is going to create problems sooner or later.
And this is a big part of why moving on from child abuse can take so long. If one felt comfortable expressing their emotional pain in relation to what took place all those years ago, then healing could start to occur and this is not to say it will happen overnight, but it will happen at a rate that one feels comfortable with.
The body is then being able to release what has been stored there for many, many years. A bit like a stream that was blocked for so long, it can now flow and do what it is supposed to do.
But the mind can get in the way and stop this flow from taking place. And while the body wants to release the emotional pain and heal itself, the mind will stop this process from taking place. This can be due to the mind being conditioned to believe that some emotions are inappropriate.
One can have formed an identity that relates to them never being angry, having needs or being sad for instance. This could be the result of what their caregivers imposed upon them during their early years.
And although they were abused, they could have been made to feel as though they deserved it. So if one was to embrace their true feelings they would end up feeling guilty and ashamed. This guilt is then like a lock that stops them from embracing their feelings and in turn, keeps them stuck.
But while the guilt can feel legitimate and based on the truth of what took place all those years ago, it is irrational and was based on manipulation.
Another thing that can stop one form embracing their emotions is the fear of what may happen. To express them could cause them to regress to how they felt all those years ago; so to embrace them could feel like life or death.
However, all the time that one is controlled by this fear and unable to get in touch with that is going on in their body, they will remain stuck.
The emotional reactions that one had as a child during the abuse would have ended up staying trapped in their body. Without someone being there to acknowledged and validate ones emotional experience, they would have ended up being pushed out of one’s awareness.
So one’s mind may have moved on from what took place, but their body remembers everything and until these trapped feelings and emotions are released, it will continue to respond to life based on what happened many years ago.
The assistance of a therapist or a healer may be necessary for one to let go of what has remained trapped in their body. One will need to feel safe and that they are not going to be judged for anything they reveal.
There needs to be complete openness in order for one to really let go. If one feels judged or that some things are not acceptable, then they will hold on and this could sabotage the process.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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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.