I would never want to belong to any club
that would have someone like me for a member.
Have you ever gone on a date only to realize that you never actually showed up, let alone the woman of your dreams? You were all caught up in looking good, presenting a credible image, acting important and impressive. You never really listened to what she was saying, even when you tried your best.
Your fears may have been so pressing that when you looked into her lovely face, you couldn’t for the life of you see her as she is, just an idealized image, or possibly even your mother. If you told her you loved her, in all likelihood you were speaking to someone other than her.
Having bad childhood memories should carry no stigma, as all of us have carried them at one time or another.
True, some of us have very good memories, growing up in an affluent neighborhood with loving, well-adjusted parents and considerate siblings.
Should you probe deeply enough, however, you will realize that we have all undergone moments of fear, disillusionment and feelings of abandonment.
If you are like most of us, you swiftly came to the conclusion that you weren’t good enough for what “they,” whoever they are, expect out of you.
It is just that some of us have more severe bad memories than others, such as dealing with separation and divorce, violence, incest or even rape. If you consider yourself shy, you are in good company.
Forty percent of us feel shy. It may surprise you that most actors, even celebrities, identify themselves as shy, whenever they are not performing on stage.
Eckhart Tolle, author of the perennial best seller, The Power of Now, is so very popular because he is speaking to so many of us on our central problem of just being present with an open mind and open heart, uncluttered by unwanted intrusions from the past, which lead, like a trail of crumbs, all the way back to infancy.
For men, the monkey mind of scattered thoughts disrupts us. For women, emotions play a more direct role.
In fact, Eckhart refers to the “pain body” that women often experience, correlated with their emotions. They feel the past in multiple ways, where they physically hurt, caused by an event decades earlier.
Tony Robbins mastered a neurophysiological technology that snaps people out of negative states that act much like a witch’s hex. He got so good at this that he could cure a lady from a lifelong phobia of handling frightful-looking snakes in just 10 to 15 minutes. The woman might actually caress the snake like a newfound friend.
In my own case, I had to choose between my parents early on as the family was split right down the middle. I was a little bit older where I needed a father figure, and so I chose my dad over my mom.
I soon developed powerful feelings of guilt, betrayal and shame. This all happened when separation and divorce carried a severe social stigma. During the holidays, I was just with my dad, and was at a loss to explain where was my mother and sister, let alone invite anyone home.
I was fortunate that both my parents loved me; so I had some basis to maintaining my sanity. I developed nervous twitches and was shy of girls for at least a decade thereafter.
It led me to overcompensate when picking up women and dating them. It took me literally decades to be authentic with attractive ladies. I remember one instance where my throat when literally dry when I tried to talk with a stunning blonde.
Given this was all such a challenge for me, and love was a non-negotiable item on my personal agenda, the lessons that might have taken days weeks and months stretched out to entire decades.
This type of shadow can follow you around for the rest of your life… unless you take action and do the root-cause analysis early on.
We are all actors and actresses on the stage of life. Newly born, it was up from total helplessness all the way.
We didn’t dare question mom and dad. If we got up to rebelling against them in our teen years, we had no true freedom. We were simply acting out the opposite of what they told us, not what we really wanted.
In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Eric Berne broke open new territory in psychotherapy by modernizing Freudian analysis, using contemporary terms, such as Parent, Child and Adult.
His best seller, Games People Play, went into great detail cataloguing all the ways we avoid intimacy with each other, because we are so thoroughly convinced that we would not be loved and accepted for what we really are.
Eric went on to write Scripts People Live, which shows that we are unwittingly acting out our own fairy tales, very often in a lover triangle of Victim, Villain and Hero.
If a man appears to a beleaguered princess at the right time, she may instantly choose him, even though at bottom, he might be a real cad.
In recent years, we have seen the emergence of both the human potential and transformational movements, which take people beyond their total preoccupation with the lower three chakras of fear, sensuality and power, and bring them into love, cosmic consciousness, divine consciousness and unity.
In the process, they have opened up crucial insights in therapy, which could be readily grasped in workshops and seminars. While Werner Erhard with his original est training opened up the floodgate, it didn’t stop there, not even with his successor organization, Landmark Education.
Now these same self-defeating patterns and thoughts having become widely known throughout society, easily diagnosed through peer counseling and clergy, among others.
The support available for taking responsibility for your life is immense. Even the corporate world recognizes these inner dynamics and has brought in coaching and professional mentorships.
If you want to have a love life, if you want to start making real money, if you want to make a difference in the world, there has never in history been so much opportunity and so many options.
You don’t have to do it all alone, and you don’t at all have to go the traditional route.
You may have not given much thought to a quick assessment of how much of you lies in the past, and to what degree your innermost desires are being systematically thwarted by negative patterns.
It may be a lot easier than you ever imagined to take a quick look at this and see where you stand.
Bad childhood memories no longer hold a stigma.
People now value authenticity and the power to live fully in the present moment, to be fully alive.
The people who truly love you already believe in you and would do anything for you to show up for them.
Can you really afford to do anything less?