During my early years when I was being hit, put down and neglected, I didn’t know what was going on. The people who had brought me into the world were not behaving in a way that showed me I could trust them; they were behaving in a way that showed me I couldn’t trust them.
This was not something that went through my mind at this stage of my life, of course; nonetheless, deep down I knew that this was the case. There was not a lot that I could do though; I was a depended child after all.
I ended up turning into someone who did what they could to please others, with this being a way for me to protect myself. If I didn’t behave in this way, the chances of be being harmed in some way were high.
Still, doing what I could to please my family didn’t always work; at times, it was as though my very existence was a problem. What this also meant was that I lost touch with my true needs and feelings.
One First Step
The years went by, but even though I didn’t have a strong connection with myself, what I did have was a strong curiosity and the hunger to understand myself. I felt lost and I wanted to find out what was going on, why I was experiencing life as I was.
So, when I started to read my first self-help book in 2003, it was as though I was receiving something that I had been craving for many, many years. Once I had finished this book, I wanted to know more.
The Damage had been done
Many years had passed since I was hit and the verbal abuse had settled down, but it didn’t really matter. What had taken place in the past had caused me to create a false-self and to carry a lot of pain within me.
Reading this book was then the first step of a journey that would allow me to get in touch with my true-self and to work through the pain that was within me. What it also did was give me a new way of looking at life and myself.
A Different Outlook
When one of my parents behaved in a way that was abusive, the words ‘forgive them for they know not what they do’ would often come to mind. This was a saying that I had heard a number of years before and it didn’t really mean anything.
Yet, due to my own growth and development, it was something that had a big effect on me. This is not to say that their behaviour no longer affected me, as there were times when it did; when it didn’t, I could see that they were not aware of what they were doing and this stopped me from getting caught up in what had happened.
An Inner Change
When I was caught up in my own pain and unable to step back from what was taking place, I ended up being consumed by anger and hate. Rising above their behaviour and seeing the bigger picture was then replaced with the desire to experience revenge.
It was then as though I was fighting fire with fire, and this caused me to behave in an unconscious manner. After I had settled down, I would often think about how I had behaved and how I would try to behave differently next time.
From what I can tell, this saying has its roots in Christianity, but this is not something that really matters to me. I believe that this is a powerful saying, so I couldn’t care less where it comes from.
I’m not religious, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to disregard something just because it has come from a religion. You may find that this saying helps you rise above behaviour that is harmful or destructive, stopping you from being drawn in by it and losing your presence.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 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.