Spiritual Boot Camp - Part Two
The first part was very productive but is getting a bit long for newbies to wade through so I will repeat the exercises here. If people are interested in reading the previous life stories, they can look back at the original thread here - http://www.tarot.com/forum/topic.php?id=12406&replies=777&totalitems=777
This and the first thread is about empowerment and strengthening your sense of self and finding your authenticity. Empowerment means loving yourself enough not to let other people infringe on your rights or walk all over you. I want everyone to feel free to express their deepest thoughts and feelings here. If you cannot be honest with yourself and trusting of the people here, then the secrets inside you will just grow bigger and worse. When exposed to the cold clear light of day, they will shrivel. No one will judge you here - we all have our regrets, weaknesses, guilt, and a share of bad experiences. Don't let secrets eat away at you. Expose them here and don't feel ashamed of the lessons you have been given. That's all they are - lessons to help us grow and evolve into better people. Admit to every negative emotion and release them all from inside you, no matter how bad or ugly you feel these feelings are. Rant, rave, cry and scream if you wish - you can even use capital letters here and it won't be considered an offence. Sometimes all we need is to know we are not alone in our pain.
This is a place of healing and acceptance - healing involves release and the acceptance must be of yourself. Feel free to be who you really are. For those who want to address any issues that may be holding them back in their life, here are some of the exercises that I suggested previously (you can do any or all and either post them or just reflect privately) -
1. The first thing you must do here however is to find the courage to bare your soul and admit you need help...what do you want to change or learn about yourself?
2. Let's go back to the beginning. Can everyone go back to their childhood and post every impression, feeling, issue or most vivid memory you have of that time? Tell me what you were like when you were young and how you think you have been changed by what occurred during your most impressionable years. What feelings did you have then for your parents and family members and friends, what feelings about them you have now, who influenced you the most, and how do you think you were treated back then? Do you feel positive or negative when you look back?
3. I would suggest that you write a letter to your siblings or parents or friends - whoever made you feel bad when you were younger - and read it over the phone or in person to them. Don't send it by post or email or text, as you want to get feedback and not have your words ignored. Or, if they are no longer around, read the letter aloud to the air and then burn it to release the bad feelings
The most important thing to realise when looking back into your childhood is that any bad things that happened were NOT YOUR FAULT. You have to get to a point where you don't take the past mistreatment by those around you at the time personally. You did not cause the adults to behave as they did. You were not unlovable or bad - your caretakers simply weren't up to the job and were acting out their own issues and problems - you just got caught in the crossfire. If they separated or fought, it was not your fault. No matter what they told you - that you were naughty or stupid or usless or ugly or whatever - it was NOT TRUE. They were in such pain that they wanted to make everyone else feel it, too.
4. Look into a mirror and tell me what you see - physical and any other impressions. Note where the lines on your face occur. Try to replicate the expression that deepens these lines. Are they frown signs or laughter lines? Does your face look more or less tense? These lines are a good indicator of the emotions that are most common in you and your life.
5. Throw away something that you have been keeping for a long time but that no longer has any meaning or represents you as a new person with a new life beginning. Declutter your soul.
6. Change something about yourself, preferably something you have lived with for a long time, like a hairstyle, a clothing style, the way you get to work, how you exercise or keep fit (or not), your eating habits - just change something (even if it is a small thing) about your routine to give yourself a fresh approach to life. Get more accustomed to change so you can more easily move forward.
7. Find out if you are ready to find your authentic self and begin to live by design. Respond to these questions honestly and thoroughly. There are no right or wrong answers; rather, these questions are designed to get you thinking about your authentic self.
a) Did you at one time listen carefully to your innermost voice? Describe this moment. When was it and what was the circumstance? Do you suspect that somehow, somewhere along the way, you have lost contact with it?
b) Is your behavioral life, your public persona, at odds with the values, beliefs, desires, passions and visions that define your authentic self? If so, how?
c) Do you know, today, in vivid detail, who the authentic you is? Or are you living a compromised existence?
8. Start seeing everyone as your equal - no better and no worse than you are. Be it a saint or a sinner, movie star or criminal, we all have our flaws and strengths. We should not judge each other. We should stand shoulder to shoulder. Be aware that everyone is struggling to survive on this planet, that everyone is screwed up in some way (not just you). Expand your awareness out from yourself and feel others' pain and insecurities. We all have them. Straighten your back, raise your chin and stride out in the world, confident that you are as worthy or valuable as everyone else and that the Universe supports you. You are LOVED.
9. Imagine how you would feel if everyone around you disappeared or left. Would you feel afraid/insecure/gutted? What exactly do you fear happening if everyone (which is very unlikely) suddenly didn't want to know you? Is this fear about feeling unlovable or unwanted, or being abandoned, or simply fearing being left on your own because you feel uncomfortable in your own company or don't really like yourself (and if so, why)? Or is it something else? Could you live well by yourself if it meant forever?
I will definitely be a part of this one....just need a little time to get some info put together to see where I want to start! Thanks for the new thread....
OK...here's round one:
My childhood is one that I look back on as being fairly normal. I was loved by my parents although they weren’t necessarily lovey-touchy people, I think they loved me, even though there were times that I felt that they didn’t.
My earliest memories are of being glued to my mother’s hip. If she went to the store, I had to go to the store. I remember if I was told I had to stay home, I would beg to go with her but truthfully, that rarely happened. It was automatic that I went with her. My brother and sister stayed home but I always went with her. I remember being a typical child that would want something from the store and be told no. For the most part I accepted it. Occasionally, I would whine but not very often. I learned quickly after being slapped across the face in the store for whining. I remember being humiliated by being slapped in front of people. Also, sometimes when we would go to the store people would tell her what I cute little boy I was. I hated that. I’ve always hated the fact that because I had curly hair, she decided it needed to be short because it was easier to take care of. By having it short, people thought I was a boy. When she would correct them, I would get the pats on the head and a sorry…thought you were a boy. I think this was the start of my being self-conscious about my looks. I was maybe 5 years old.
I remember a time and I brought this up recently to my Reiki master…my mom was forcing me to go get my hair cut again and I didn’t want to do it. I was upset that I had to get a haircut and I remember telling my older brother (whom I idolized) that I had to go and he comforted me and said don’t worry, it will be ok. So…I leave, get my hair cut and when I got home, I ran downstairs to show him my haircut and the first thing he did was swipe me up side the back of the head and yell “butch” at me. I was devastated. I know he was only teasing but at the time…I can still hear the echo of his words in my head. I think this really just confirmed how I hated having my hair short. Needless to say, I have spent much of my teenager/adult life with long hair. If I have had to cut it off, it was because I messed it up so bad I didn’t have a choice.
My next memories were of childhood friends and their treatment of me. I hated being on the outside of a group. I remember times that my brother/sister would gang up on me and it would be two against one. It didn't happen very often that I was part of the two that ganged up on one. I have accepted that this is just stuff that siblings do to each other but I remember I didn't like it. My parents were sticklers about food. They didn't like it when you wasted food. I swear, I was always the one that was eating a part of something and putting it back in the fridge and then getting in trouble for it. Lied my way out of it every time but I think they actually knew who was guilty of the behavior. I was extremely attached to animals at that point. We had two dogs and a cat and the cat was "mine." Before we got her, I would bring home every stray I could find and beg to keep it but my parents always said no. Finally, a cat showed up at my dad's work and he brought her home and let me keep her.
Then I had friends that would do the same thing with the ganging up on one person. I would be best friends with someone and then something would happen and all of a sudden I would be on the outside again. The siblings left for school since they were 13 months apart and I was five years behind them but the pattern of this would happen over and over with kids in the neighborhood. When I was friends with them, I remember being happy that I was part of the group and when they switched friends and left me out I hated it. I felt unloved. My mother wasn’t very good at comforting me when that would happen. She would just say you are better off without them. You can play well by yourself. What do you need them for? Asking my father's opinion was never even an option because I loved him and spent time with him but I was essentially scared to death of him. I hated it when he yelled and he yelled a lot at times. My mom was a yeller too but if you ask her now, she didn't do that. She always just talked to us. She did talk to us and I remember the messages from her being "good girls don't do that." There was definitely an expected type of behavior as a child and having an opinion or whining wasn't acceptable. They grew up on the world where children were seen but not heard. Anyway....back to friends...
I remember a time in elementary school that most of my friends turned against me and I was all by myself in class and they would spend their time making me miserable. They would follow me around school during recesses and pick on me. I remember I reached a final point one day and turned around and slugged one of the boys following me. I ended up leaving a scar on his eye that was still there the last time I saw him 35 years ago. I spent a lot of my teenager years trying to fit in. I was very subject to peer pressure. If someone was going to jump off a bridge I would too. I had to be a part of it. I tried very hard to be part of the popular kid groups and ended up being friends with that group but actually hanging out with another group. The start of my running with the “bad kids” stage in Junior high. I was always part of several different groups after that. I had classes with all the popular kids and since I was pretty smart, I was in advanced classes too. So, I ran around with the group of kids smoking and drinking and then I was also an honor roll student and friends with most of the popular kids.
This will have to be enough to start on….your thoughts?
Okay, my childhood:
Overall I had a very happy upbringing. I have very fond memories of school and in looking back, my school days were amongst my happiest. I had a great group of friends that always included me in their games/activities, I had a carer that was like a Grandmother to me, and my teachers never treated me any differently despite my disability. That is to say I never felt excluded or singled out or made to feel like I was less than the other children.
My parents were and still are very supportive of me and never questioned what I wanted to do with my life. They have always said I can do or be whatever or whoever I want to be. They never interfered with my friendships, always giving me space to do my own thing.
However, my mother has a massive guilt complex over my disability, she blames it on herself. Also, seeing her first born close to death so many times has changed her drastically. She is not the same person she was when growing up. She is very protective over me, overly so. She worries about me constantly.
In retrospect, I picked up on these feelings of worry and self-doubt and guilt and I think it may have contributed to my sense of self. I have always been hyper-aware of my image, my disability and my voice. I have never liked any of them.
My mother is also the taskmaster, the decision maker, the head of the family in many ways. More so in growing up than she is now, but I always remember whenever I wanted something I would ask my father because he hardly ever said no. He must have wised up to it though or was reprimanded for it, as he then started telling us (me, my brother and sister) to go ask our mother instead lol. This usually shut us up because we knew we wouldn't get what we wanted!
These days I look back fondly on my childhood. I wish I could go back to those days at times. But I spend too much time reminiscing about the past. I don't have any real regrets and I don't hold any grudges or have any bad feelings towards anyone.
AuntBuck, it sounds like from the very beginning you have never felt you fit in anywhere, not even in your family. It's like you have been searching for a place all your life where you feel accepted and safe. Have you ever found such a place or people who accept you completely? Do you even accept yourself and treat yourself nicely?
PisceanHealer, what do you see as the biggest differences between your childhood days and the present? The things you want to have back the most?
Peace of mind, contentment, trouble-free times, relaxation. A simpler way of life. No worries, no regrets.
PisceanHealer, why do you not have that now? What has changed? Why did you lose it?
I treat myself much better than I used to but I still catch myself with some negative talk about my weight. Otherwise...I'm completely ok with who I am. I feel completely safe in my home.
I have been in relationships where I felt safe...accepted for the most part. Of course...my marriage became something that I wasn't safe in but for a while it was safe. My last relationship I felt safe in and was more like myself than I ever was before with someone. I feel fairly safe with my family now but I do still hide things from them with regards to money. I have never made the money they wanted me to make so while I do take care of myself...I don't tell them the struggles I have with money. I will admit that I can't afford something but I would never tell them the status of my bills or anything. It would bring too much disapproval from them. Everyone makes way more than I do and can afford things that I can't.
AB, what is the difference for you - in a relationship or life - between being safe and not being safe? What changed in your marriage between these two states of being? What does it take for you to feel really safe - anywhere?
Security...it's always been security. The stableness of knowing that I have that what I need to take care of myself and my kids. My ex-husband was secure for a while until he started using that against me. He pegged it although I guess it wasn't until this point right now that I realize it...but he told me once that I was only in the relationship for security and he wasn't going to be my security blanket. He was very unconventional in that respect because he never grew up with any security so he as an adult didn't want anyone around him to be secure with him. Yes, he has his own issues to deal with but that constantly yanking the security out from underneath me did a big number on me. Always walking out or threatening to. We were planning our wedding and getting to a day or two before and he told me he wasn't going to go through with it and I could go "f" myself if I thought he would. Leaving me to explain to friends and family why...but it was just a threat again. H did marry me. A couple months after we were married he had his first affair. After that was resolved...we went on to have a kid and he did it again during my pregnancy with the yanking my security from me. Whenver I didn't conform to his wishes, he would threaten to leave or walk out and leave me to raise the baby alone. My final was when I was pregnant with my daughter. He ended up going out and having an affair while I was pregnant and then six months after she was born told me about it and I ended it.
Needless to say...I stayed single for 9 years after my divorce due to trust issues....then came the boyfriend that I thought I could trust who treated me really really good. He never did the messing with me and my self esteem like my ex husband did. But...you know all about that one...no sense in going over that one again.
So to be safe....to know my bills are taken care of, I have a roof over my head, family and friends that want to spend time with me. The relationship would be great....but it's not a necessity anymore. I think that is the big one. I've been alone more than I've been with someone I think and I've become self sufficient but it's always nice to have a partner. But...I have given up on any expectation of that too. If it happens...great...if it doesn't...it doesn't. I'm in this by myself so I need to take care of me and forget out the idea that I will have a partner to be there to support and love me. It may never happen so there's no point in waiting for something that may never happen....you know what I mean?
I have no idea where relaxation went. I am so restless and fidgety these days, If I watch something on TV I have to get up every time there is an ad break. Even if I have nothing that needs doing.
Everything else seems like a roller-coaster ride. It's been like this for a few months, but this month is particularly bad. There are moments where I am utterly happy. Pure joy. No concerns in the world. Everything feels good, everything feels "right". Then I hit a flunk. I worry about the future, I think too much about the past. I have huge regrets. I get depressed, I cry.
I know a lot of it is of my own doing, but I also know a significant part of it is me picking up on my ex's emotional state. Take today for example. Today I am feeling very nervous, apprehensive, worried. But, I have nothing to worry about. I am not planning on doing anything nerve-racking today, it's just another day for me. So I'm thinking it must be my ex. In fact I have images in my head of her turning up on my doorstep.
Again, these thoughts don't make me nervous or worried. I know she needs my friendship right now and I know I will be there for her. If she wants to reconnect, fine. If she doesn't, also fine.
These slumps, these walls I keep hitting head on these days are constantly to do with my romantic life. I'm either obsessing over my ex or worrying about the future. I know there is a lesson in here for me somewhere, something along the lines of "out with the old and in with the new". And patience. I am being slammed with messages of patience.
In retrospect, other than relaxation, I probably haven't truly lost anything I wrote previously. I just wish they would last longer these days.
General question for everyone: Do you know how many fears you carry around with you that are not actually yours or are not based on any personal experience? I know we all understand vaguely that we inherit attitudes and beliefs from our parents but do you know specifically what they are? For example, I had a revelation this morning that the fear of being abandoned and left without support, financial or otherwise, was not really my fear at all but my mother's, because of how my drinking, gambling father was disinclined to share his paypacket with her and us kids and how he escaped life and responsibility through his addictions. It was as clear as day how I was carrying around someone ellse's fears. For my mother, it was a very real threat but I have no such irresponsible person in my life - so why do I have the fear?
Answer: I shouldn't have it at all.
If you can identify any baseless or inherited fears you have, it becomes so much easier to 'hand them back' to their originator.
Because even though we inherit fears, if we buy into them, they become our problem.
I am learning that myself. I inherited my mother's sense of worrying too much
So give it back to her and start off afresh.
This is interesting! definitely food for thought!....I think I have inherited my Mothers inability to "cope" with lifes "dealings"......I was aware of it from a young age but I think I am still "feeling" and trying to rid myself of the crippling effects of it in my life!!..... I see you are unable to sleep to PH, it's 1.45 am....hope you are ok my friend
i wasn't ready on part one, but something pushed me tonight to write on this thread...
OK, here i go without a long version though...lots of yelling...abuse,sexual,physical,alcoholicsGamblers,suicide brother and sister...,a family of 12, 6 girls 6 boys..same mom and dad though...hearing my mothers cries at the age of 4 and not being able to do anything about it..Cries that i will never forget, i have forgiven though, my father has passed now and i learned to love my Father for the first time when i was 38, he lived with allot of guilt...i also learned about his childhood and in the end...i forgave my dad and i miss him terribly...I inherited the alcohol,the gambling the abuse to myself, being unworthy,looking for love in all the wrong places...THANK GOD, I'VE BEEN SOBER OVER 13 YEARS...LOST my partner in 2006, 4 months after my dad passed away...i found my partner in an abandon house unconscious and he never regained conscious he died that next morning..i never knew he was on herion.living with guilt,betrayal,mental abuse,physical abuse,sexual abuse again as an adult...But the happy part about all of this i am capable of loving myself, and letting others love me...truth is i have a ways to go yet:) well thats good start for me...actually i had some tars for the little girl inside of me that are still left....
Thanks captain, you always get me to think...:)
love and light everyone..
tears should read
I refered a fellow member here to your bootcamp but i do not know whether she will show up. I hope that was okay. Please maybe take a look at thread "In need of help...so alone."