Sunday, 27 January 2008

Understand the Past to Prepare for the Future...


Another excerpt from Joel Nathan which I want to share:

"As your Doctor takes note of your medical history in order to work out how to treat you, so you need to examine your past to help you live in the present, without fear of the future. It's like learning to walk again; you have to learn new skills.

When we were children we wanted to be loved by our parents, and remain the focus of their constant attention. We learned at a very early age that it was more rewarding, safer and far less painful to do what we were told, even if it meant doing the opposite of what we really wanted to do. We also learned that the benefit of not answering back and doing as we were told was to be called a good child. These tactics saved us from every child's worst fears: emotional and physical abandonment.

We accepted, without question, that everything done to and for us was for our own good. And so the pattern was set for us to go through life acting out a a part, a role, according to a script written by our parents, our teachers, society at large. Afraid of the consequences of revealing ourselves, we keep the wise child within us hidden from view, and in the process take on an inauthentic role and remain out of balance, out of sync, no longer whole. The result is that we are split into three: the person we have become by adjustment, the person others think we are, and the one we really are and have now forgotten. It may be that our yearning to find the divine source of everything is an attempt to connect with who we once were - a wise child, full of understanding and intuition buried under a mountain of expectation.

Our bodymind is aware of the tear in its fabric, between who we are and want to be and who other people want us to be. And so the conflict begins. The seeds of disquiet and the dis-ease are sown. Think back to anything that has happened in your life, and you will recall the accompanying feeling of unease you felt when you were asked to do something that 'didn't feel right', 'went against the grain' or 'rubbed you up the wrong way' - and how you never spoke up, never said, 'No'.

If you can imagine that you have spent your whole life doing what didn't feel right, holding in your feelings and making compromises, you will realise how right the words are of Albert Schweitzer, doctor and Nobel Prize winner, when he said, 'The tragedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives.'

The difference in the ways we were raised as children reveal themselves in so many ways. Those who were 'dumping grounds' for their parents' failures rarely have a positive view of their own lives. Those whose dreams were nurtured - no matter how far-fetched they appeared to their parents' vision - rarely flinch from life's challenges. Those who were constantly reminded by their parents of plans scuttled and 'sacrifices' made on their behalf often feel guilty, and hardly ever succeed in life: to achieve success would be to accentuate their parents' lack of success. Those who have been told by their parents from an early age to 'grow up' and 'stop acting like a child' lose their childish spontaneity, find life a grind and, in deference to their parents' caveats, find little joy in anything they do.

There is a myth that maturity means surrendering your youthful fantasies and ceasing to dream. I believe we bury the very life-force our dreams engender from the moment we stop asking and seeking, put occupational success and responsibility ahead of personal growth, find it easier to 'take it easy' rather than to demand more of ourselves.

I speak from the heart on these matters. They are what I had to contend with, and are common threads running through all the dialogues with people I have counselled. You can start the healing process of your bodymind by recovering your dream and listening to the 'wee small voice' of your wise, inner child - the voice of the divine The process may take years, and it often does, but if you are committed to its pursuit, you could survive long enough to realise it.

A life with purpose is one in which you respect each level of your being - from the child at your core to the nervous 'about-to-be-reborn' person you now are. Life is much more interesting when you seek to fulfil your dreams because they reflect what you want - not what others expect of you. Life is rarely humdrum - more likely to be extra-ordinary - when you follow the irrational calling of your spirit from within, or in the words of Carl Jung, 'Anyone with a vocation hears the voice of the inner man.' Perhaps the easiest way to understand yourself is simply to be yourself." Written by Joel Nathan. The name of his book is "What To Do When They Say It's Cancer." I have found this book an invaluable tool in my journey thus far and so feel very strongly about sharing some of what is contained within it with you. He suffered cancer himself and indeed almost died, a very wise man I believe.

Reasons to Smile Today:

I have turned 39 and my family are coming to celebrate with me.

My pain is much less today. Hooray!!!

I have both my sons at home with me.

I have dear, dear friends whom I love.

1 comment:

  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY DEAR JEN
    HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU.

    Hope that you had a great birthday with your family around you.

    You are always in my thoughts and prayers.

    Love Deb xxxx

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