We carry many emotional wounds and unhealed shock experiences in us, of which we are usually unaware. Nevertheless they have an influence on our lives. Unsettling and painful events are forgotten, but stored in our body and they repeat themselves in this life, or from one life to another. So again and again, we are further entangled in a loop of suffering as we keep on attracting what is imprinted in our system, our subconsciousness. This post is about the potential hidden dynamics of dysfunctional – and functional! – relationships.
For example, split-off soul parts due to childhood traumata have a massive influence on our behaviour as adult. The stage on which our fragmentations show up is usually the relationship with our life partner. We experience an emotional roller coaster, a dance on the volcano – alternating between fiery and frosty.
What is splitting off, and what does it mean exactly? When we experience a shock during our formative years (conception, childhood, adolescence), like abuse, being left alone, hospital stay, divorce of parents, violence, stress in the family, difficult birth or issues at school, usually the affected soul part ‘shock freezes’ and stops continuing to develop together with the rest of our system. This withdrawal is a human self-protection mechanism and does not happen consciously. So if there were disturbing experiences at the age of 1, 3, and 7 years, then the adult carries isolated aspects of himself of exactly the age when the dissociation took place. And depending on the current life situation, the 1-, 3- or 7-year-old self responds. The resulting regressive behaviour in adults is an indication of those split-off parts which call for attention to get re-integrated.
Withdrawal and sulking in a conflict situation amongst adults are typical childhood patterns that may occur, as long as the grown up has not yet integrated the inner child facets. Helplessness and uncontrollable tears associated with a feeling of powerlessness belong also to a child, not to an adult. Equally characteristic is the eternal need for proximity, attention and approval.
A common attempt to compensate for a wounded emotional body is an ‘exaggerated’ physical body, for example through extreme efforts to strengthen and perfect the body (extreme muscle training, surgery) and outer appearance (clothes, make up, sex appeal) or to increase one’s status (education / knowledge, job title, accumulation of possessions etc). Whatever appears to be the right band aid for feeling safe, powerful and in control.
A fragmented emotional body can also lead to distractions with spiritual activities. Spiritual escapism to avoid confrontations in the mundane world and therewith an examination of one’s unresolved emotional wounds and painful memories linked to this Earthly reality. Distractions can include ceaseless visits of workshops, conferences and retreats as well as books, webinars and guru hopping. A more subtle form of spiritual bypassing are defensive attitudes: either spiritual snobbery (leading to isolation) or exaggerated niceness and optimism which sugarcoat everything with ‘love and light’ as we are ‘all one’ and ‘bigger than our story’. All these are strategies to hide from a self-responsible and honest reality check. They prevent us from truly feeling what’s going on inside of us, and shield us from healing.
More often than not, the rootcauses of health problems lie in an inner separation that is connected with experiences of distress as a baby or child. Experiences that left serious wounds and dents in the child’s psyche, self-image and cell memory, and began to influence his thought patterns, his understanding of himself and the environment, and even his breathing pattern (therewith affecting various other body functions).
Healing: re-integrating the ‘wounded child’ aspects
We have to re-member the split-off parts and bring them back on board. Anyone who merges with these long forgotten childhood fragments can feel a profound healing and completion, and comes closer towards embodying his true self. It is fascinating that the subconscious mind of a human being knows exactly when something has been cut off and why (at what age, in this or a past life). Energy work that can facilitate such aha-moments, cognitive shifts and consciousness expansions is highly effective for healing the root cause of an issue and completely closing a timeline.
Our childhood experiences can really determine the quality of life we have as adults, whether in our professional life or in relationship with ourselves and others. Every unhealed trauma and oppressed emotion has a consequence to our being. Namely in form of limitations, that are anchored in our belief system and thought structures, which prevent us from embodying our full potency. When we grow up, the collective consciousness field has a significant influence on us but above all, our parents’ attitudes. As children we absorb ‘unfiltered’ the behaviour patterns of father and mother. Which brings me to the next point:
The wounded man and wounded woman in our society
Everyone holds male and female principles. Both are part of every human individual. And the more a man and a woman are balanced within themselves and in their relationship to their own male and female aspects, the more balanced and easier become their interactions. But when the inner harmony of the male and female (and the associated world view) is disturbed, we see dysfunctional relationships and impulsive-reactive behaviour patterns, which attract ever more disturbances. If an individual avoids to constructively searches for healing and solutions, s/he risks to enter a downward spiral. Tension, dissociation, depression, illnesses, addictions (eating, shopping, alcohol, medicine etc), control issues, fear, anger, belligerence and losses. In society, for example, this manifests itself in crime, objectification of bodies (genitalia) and brutalisation (lack of compassion for other beings).
How many people carry the virus ‘I’m not good enough’ in their software? A program that leads to a sense of inadequacy, deep emotional frustration, latent rage, and the feeling of moving through life with the handbrake on.
How many women have a distorted image of the female principle and negate or disassociate themselves from the feminine – the exuberant, intuitive, encompassing, compassionate, creative and life-giving aspects of existence. But is this surprising in view of the state of consciousness, patriarchal norms and the world events of the past centuries? Which mother was truly fulfilled, self-realized and perceptive, and could understand and support her daughter optimally in her development?
Dissociations in children can happen because of abuse (physical, mental, emotional, energetic, psychic), neglect, lack of safety, rejection, lack of love – caused especially by the behaviour of their own mothers during childhood and puberty. Mothers who are unhappy and frustrated about their own incapacity to express their feelings, needs, but also talents and powers, hold an unspoken grudge. Resentments, even if suppressed, nevertheless find their way out and show up in form of manipulation: subtle or open criticism, blame, jealousy, entitlement, narcissism. This has an enormous impact on the child, especially the daughter, whose perception of her own female wealth gets distorted. Maternal envy, criticism and expectations undermine the daughter’s self-confidence. And it erodes her confidence in women in general (rivalry).
Similar dynamics can be observed in the sons of dysfunctional fathers. Fathers who never healed their emotional wounds. The two world wars alone caused a lot of trauma – individually and collectively. Unimaginable how much soul splitting must have happened, in the victims as well as in the perpetrators. Associations with male energy conveyed with the war events: violence, conquest, devastation, competition, control, terror, abuse and murder as attempts to solve problems. It is not surprising if subsequent generations of men consciously / unconsciously dissociate from male strengths in order to avoid potentially negative effects.
The destructive capacities of male-dominated power structures in our still patriarchal culture are evident. And this can motivate men to ignore their feminine / intuitive / creative side and to become enslaved to mainstream ideals and performance models. But above all, can lead them to repress their healthy male energies – and potency – the courageous, loyal, persistent, resourceful, focussing and explorative aspects of existence. Suppressed energies, however, always find a valve and ultimately manifest in seething frustration, impulsive aggression, control issues or tyrannical behaviour, and a variety of bodily symptoms.
There are hardly any role models. Just look around, whose grandfather or father was balanced, healed, authentic, natural and exemplary in his male power? Many boys grew up in a wounded energy field with their dads’ bottled up emotions (rage, shame, guilt, sorrow), soul splits, reduced involvement and self expressions. Factors which contribute to the erosion of the sons’ confidence and potency. Only few men of our grandfather’s and father’s generations began emotional healing. Usually it is the younger generation (in German called ‘Kriegsenkel’) that does all the inner clearing work – for themselves and ultimately for the entire family.
The parentified child (role reversal) is another phenomenon in this context. Typically a daughter plays the role of a mother for her own mother. Often a parentified daughter must grow up very fast and loses the chance to be a child. Similarly, the young son can be pushed into an adult role (through inadequately big responsibilities or the position of a surrogate spouse). These twisted parent-child-relationships are a form of abuse. Good news is that we can heal these wounds.
What can be done?
First, opening up to an honest review and a sober realisation (no melodrama!) that not everything was perfect during those childhood years. This is the entry into the healing of one’s emotional database and the early relationship with the mother (and her manipulations) as well as with the father (and his absence), which left deep imprints in the subconscious. Important in the process: to forgive, and to forget eventually. The focus should be on self-acceptance and unconditional love for oneself. And this is indeed a great task as the mind is very good in sabotaging one’s own abilities, through fear, doubt, insecurity or even boredom. Fortunately, we all got a free will that we can use to make new choices and reprogram ourselves.
As long as our choices and actions are not done consciously and aligned to divine order (cooperative, holistic, loving), we will create further entanglements and block our connection to our true essence (higher self) and our source (higher consciousness / god).
Basically, ignorance keeps us in a loop of dysfunctional relationships. If your are familiar with the meaning of reincarnation (cycle of death and rebirth) – an important subject in the ancient scriptures of Buddhism and Hinduism, in Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah) and among the Gnostics and Cathars – then ignorance bring us back to dysfunctional parents and partners, until we wake up.
When our emotional wounds are healed and our blockages cleared, automatically our resonance field will change. We will attract other people, places, circumstances and opportunities. In addition, our distorting perception filters clear up and our receptors for finer life impulses expand. We perceive ourselves and our environment consciously, know how to interpret what comes our way, feel awake, inspired and in the flow.
These inner processes of healing, awakening and self-realisation not only help to optimise one’s personal life, but also pave the way for the creation of an environment which allows future generations to grow up emotionally and psychologically balanced and be authentically happy humans.
“Millions of people never analyze themselves. Mentally they are mechanical products of the factory of their environment, preoccupied with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, working and sleeping, and going here and there to be entertained. They don’t know what or why they are seeking, nor why they never realize complete happiness and lasting satisfaction. By evading self-analysis, people go on being robots, conditioned by their environment. True self-analysis is the greatest art of progress.”
– Paramahansa Yogananda
Life transformation is to high degree about our conscious emergence from the cycle of suffering, blind acceptance, powerlessness and self-sacrifice, liberating us into an alignment with our inherent divine navigation system, our spirit, soul plan and with nature. And this naturally includes the harmonisation and integration of the male and female aspects within us, the connection of heart and head, intuition and ratio, and the deep connection to mother Earth and the heavenly realms.
When pieces of our soul and self expression got lost during childhood, the grieving about those losses (release pent up emotions), followed by the reintegration of those parts will lead to reconciliation and inner contentment. This completion is an essential element in the foundation for living as a healthy, mature and authentic adult human being. And then it is possible to also have mature, truly loving and potent relationships.
The way for men (and meanwhile also for many women) back into their integrity includes also to consciously put away the weapons of competition and aggression. The way for women (but also for men) back into their integrity involves the conscious connection to their body and inner knowing. Thus grow self-respect and self-esteem. And through the recovery of their dignity, both men and women, gain momentum to increasingly make choices that serve their highest good.
Images – 1: Love & Respect, unknown artist; 2: Lava candle in a sea of roses: own archive; 3: Bear and bunny: own archive; 4: Venus falling: unknown artist; 5: Birth of Venus: Boticelli’s painting; 6: Shiva statue in Rishikesh: unknown photographer; 7: Shakti illustration: unknown artist; 8: Ardhanarishvara: unknown illustrator; 9: Yin & Yang: unknown illustrator; 10: Sacred union: unknown illustrator
This article was originally published in German, September 2014
‘Einklang des Weiblichen & Männlichen’