Thursday, July 8, 2010

Roots In A Tree

'You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never leave or lose.'

I've been exploring my family of origin, going back to my roots in hopes of reconcilling some of the issues that are holding me back at this very point in my life. Anxiety, depression, anger, fear and recurrent relationship problems are often a result of unresolved issues from the past. This is not a new concept, but it certainly feels new when you explore it from a very personal angle. When you face it head on and demand to yourself that you make an attempt to resolve it, rather than pushing it aside and ignoring it as you have done thus far. It is easy to remain in that 'safe place' of delusion and denial. But I'm tired of being there, being stuck and in a constant haze.

I can definitely say I've grown immensely over the past few years, especially having 'left the family' and branched out on my own...moving to another province altogether and having to rely mostly on myself to meet my own needs. I still struggle with getting my needs met, or should I say meeting them. I'm not the most reliable person to myself. I'm further along from where I've come from, but not as far as I'd like to go. Obviously this is an ongoing endeavor. A lifetime of exploring, growing and discovery of the self. This should never cease.

I read this quote recently and it's kind of stuck with me: "Emotions are energies in motion. If they are not expressed, the energy is repressed. As energy, it has to go somewhere. Without our emotions we can't know where we are with our basic needs. Without our basic needs we cannot live as functional human beings. To deny our emotions is to deny the ground and vital energy of our life."

These repressed energies are a dark blanket of death on our souls. They eat away at our very heart, killing us slowly. You can try to ignore them, but they won't go away. The only solution is to fill their place with something brighter. Let the light in. And I'm not talking God here, though if that's what works for you by all means.

Healthy families allow for the expression of emotion. Dysfunctional families squash them. We develop survival behaviors in response to stressors - which can be in the form of an addiction (alcoholism, drug addictions, violence, abuse, rage, work addictions, etc) or things such as a divorce or death in the family. Each member of the family adapts to or attempts to control the stressor. The fight or flight scenario. Survival (denial, dissociation, repression, withdrawal, anger, reactions, reenacting behaviors or acting out, etc) often becomes the norm. And these patterns continue throughout life. Back then they were protective, now they are destructive.

Our families have a huge impact on who we become. However, we are constantly becoming and we don't have to be stuck in the same damaging cycles. We can change.

There is a ton of good information out there, some of which is very interesting...on the family system as a whole, what we learn as children and carry into our adult years, and of course the power of the mind.


Anonymous said...

hmmm - interesting piece. Recently I read of two different types of psychotherapy: One reverts to the why we are the way we are - and the other focuses on the here, now. The second focuses on the "what you do affects your thoughts and feelings". Although I do find discovering the cause(s) an important concept, I think the Cognitive behavioural approach could be more useful to some degree - as regardless of the cause, being aware of what you do currently, and 'teaching' yourself different approaches is the 'actions speak louder than words' concept. But what do I know...

Trouble.Thinks said...

Yes, I agree...the here now is obviously where we want to focus our energies as you can't go back & change anything in the past. We only have the now. I like the "teaching yourself different approaches" aspect of this... and the fact that we are the ones with the power over how things turn out rather than other people or situations happening throughout life. Definitely have to cover all angles though, to really understand the entire picture. Bits and pieces make the whole. Thanks for your comment, CBT is interesting & I would like to explore that further.