In those moments when things go bad, really bad, does your mind quickly reach for the worst case scenario? A sense of abandonment, betrayal, rage, injustice, futility, utter loneliness.
That is a sign of significant past trauma, likely normalized. It is an indication that those who damaged you, or stood by while it happened, have been unable to acknowledge their roles in your suffering.
It is a sign that, understandably, you have been unable in your adult life to reconcile the neglect or abuse.
The way forward is a kind of catch 22. It requires the recognition that those who hurt you didn’t do so purposely. Invariably, they were the actions of damaged, unconscious people who did the best they could while trying to make heads and tails of their own lives. In short, our own healing necessitates forgiving others because, despite what you may believe, they knew not what they did. However twisted their actions, they somehow managed to genuinely, rationally, justify their actions in some way. Because, if we truly felt the pain we inflict on others we wouldn’t be able to do it; it would be too devastating to our own hearts; if we actually allowed ourselves to feel it.
It is this understanding that opens the door to next level healing; that lays the groundwork for arriving at that seemingly faraway place where when someone hurts you, and when you hurt yourself, that you no longer end up touching into the abyss.
From this place, peace and contentment is possible.
“Beware the purveyors of one-minute solutions, who assure you that all you need to do is change your diet, manage your time more efficiently, exercise more, learn to relax on the job, adjust your priorities, communicate better, learn to enjoy stress, or think positively and avoid ‘negative’ emotions. Because stress is not simply a disease; it is a symptom that you are living somebody else’s life, marching to a drumbeat that doesn’t syncopate with your personal body rhythms, playing a role you didn’t create, living a script written by an alien authority. Depression is more than low self-esteem; it is a distant early warning that you are on the wrong path and that something in you is being pressed down, beat on, kept imprisoned, dishonored. Burnout is nature’s way of telling you you’ve been going through the motions but your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. And false optimism is like administering stimulants to an exhausted nervous system.” Sam Keen
Last night I watched an excellent documentary on the legendary Civil Rights activist, James Baldwin, entitled “I am not your Negro”. What makes the film really special is that in addition to his various on-camera interviews, every single word of narration comes from his own writings. As with Martin Luther King Jr., Baldwin was ahead of his time.
The extent to which Canadians have been, and in many cases remain, unable to meaningfully acknowledge, feel and remedy the crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Indigenous people is commensurate with the depth of trauma that is embedded in the fabric of Canadian society.
Nobody allows their children to dance and to sing and to shout and to jump. For trivial reasons – perhaps something may be broken, perhaps they may get their clothes wet in the rain if they run out; for these small things – a great spiritual quality, playfulness, is completely destroyed.
The obedient child is praised by his parents, by his teachers, by everybody, and the playful child is condemned. His playfulness may be absolutely harmless, but he is condemned because there is potentially a danger of rebellion. If the child goes on growing with full freedom to be playful, he will turn out to be a rebel. He will not easily be enslaved; he will not be easily put into armies to destroy people or be to be destroyed himself.
The rebellious child will turn out to be a rebellious youth. Then you cannot force him into a particular job; then the child cannot be forced to fulfill the unfulfilled desires and longings of the parents. The rebellious youth will go his own way. He will live his life according to his own innermost desires, not according to somebody else’s ideals.
For all these reasons playfulness is stifled, crushed from the very beginning. Your nature is never allowed to have its say. Slowly, slowly you start carrying a dead child within yourself. This dead child within you destroys you sense of humor; you cannot laugh with you total heart, you cannot play, you cannot enjoy the small things of life. You become so serious that your life, rather than expanding, starts shrinking.
Life should be, each moment, a precious creativity. What you crate does not matter – it may be just sandcastles on the seashore, but whatever you do should come out of your playfulness and joy. OSHO
“Do you remember as a child being told that if you wanted to make it in life you would have to work hard? That life involved pain and struggle, that you would have to earn love and acceptance and that you would have to put in an incredible effort just to come out on top? I certainly remember my mother saying to me, ‘Struggle ennobles the soul.’
Yet who says this is true? Look at nature. It expends a certain effort in sustaining itself but it does not struggle. Does the tiger get up in the morning and say, ‘I’ll struggle like crazy today and hopefully by supper time I’ll get something to eat’? No way. It just rises, has a little sniff under its tiger armpits and does whatever tigers do at breakfast time and heads out. At noon there on the path is lunch, provided courtesy of the Great Spirit. OK, the last thirty yards involves the tiger in a bit of rushing about. But that can hardly be construed as struggle. There is a great difference between struggle and effort. Our physical condition is effort laced with emotion and desperation.” Stuart Wilde
“As creatrix, woman addresses an inescapable challenge to a man to justify his existence. She gives birth to meaning out of her body. Biology alone assures her of a destiny, of making a significant contribution to the ongoing drama of life. A man responds to her challenge by simulating creation, by making, fabricating and inventing artifacts. But while she crates naturally and literally, he creates only artificially and metaphorically. She creates from her corpus; he invents a “corporation”, a fictitious legal body with endowed rights of a natural person. Her creation sustains the eternal cycle of nature. Each of his artifacts contributes to making history a series of unrepeatable events. (Sometimes I imagine that the hidden intent of technology is to create a perfect mechanical baby – an automobile, a machine that moves by itself, is capable of perpetual motion, is fed its daily bottle of petroleum, and has its pollution diapered.) In response to the power of the goddess, man creates himself in the image of a god he imagines has fabricated the world like a craftsman working with a blueprint to shape matter into meaningful objects. Much of the meaning men attribute to their work is a response to the question posed to us by woman’s capacity to give life.” Sam Keen