When I was at school I was friends with someone who wouldn’t put up with being treated badly by others, and this meant that he ended up having a lot of fights. It didn’t even have to get to this point for him to harm someone though, as he would end up doing this even if he thought that they were going to harm him.
In a way, it was as though his very survival was constantly under threat and this was why he had to behave in this manner. If he didn’t behave in this way, his life might soon come to an end.
Compared with most of the other children, he could have been seen as someone who wasn’t very civilised. Most of his fellow students were scarred of him, as were most of the teachers who taught him.
A lot of people were surprised that we were friends, especially as I was very obedient. But although it seemed as though we had nothing in common, this was nothing more than an illusion
A Similar Upbringing
We were both lived somewhere that wasn’t safe and secure, where we were treated badly by the people who were supposed to look after us. One of the big differences was that while he expressed how he felt, I generally kept it in.
What definitely made a difference, in how we responded to what was going on at home, was that we had a different temperament and physical structure. So, as I generally kept my pain in and he revealed it, it would have seemed as though he was the only one who needed help.
Naturally, this was a time in his life when it was up to the people around him to give him the right guidance and, more importantly, his caregivers should have realised how destructive their behaviour was and to put an end to it. While the story above relates to someone who was very young, this is exactly what can during our adult lives.
Through being wounded early on, we can end up causing harm to the people we come into contact with. And the people who are on the receiving end of this are usually the ones we are closest too.
It won’t be necessary for us to physical hit another person to cause harm; we can do this by verbally abusing them, for instance. When this happens, we won’t be aware of what we are doing.
This can then cause us to feel guilty afterwards or we might not even realise how destructive our behaviour is. What this shows is how hard is to be behave in a conscious manner when we are carrying pain.
One way of seeing presence would be imagine that it is like a fire that will never go out and to see pain as a type of water that will almost put this fire out. When someone carries a lot of pain it will cause this fire to just about go out and this will stop them from being able to embody a lot of presence.
Yet, as they begin to work though their pain, it will allow this fire to gradually come back to life. This fire won’t have gone out overnight and this is why it won’t end up burning brightly overnight.
When someone faces their pain and works though it, they will be helping themselves and they will be having a positive impact on the world. This will allow them to be more loving and supportive.
The assistance of a therapist or a healer may be needed.
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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.