The damage that takes place in childhood stays with us FOR LIFE unless we can heal it. Insistence that we should “just get over it,” let alone the insistence of the abuser and enablers that it didn’t happen at all are phenomenally destructive to children, and the adults they become. Let alone if that child then later gets into an abusive relationship with someone who “gaslights” them, swearing that there is nothing going on. Forcing you to doubt your own perceptions and memories. “Don’t trust yourself. Trust ME…”
And if you haven’t noticed, I believe the exact same thing happens on the “Macro” level, with social issues and the history of groups. A group has its own mythologies and experiences and interpretations, and while individuals within those groups can do beautifully, it is the average you have to look at.
This is very similar to someone abused in childhood who is VERY competent in business (for instance) but carries severe wounds on the level of relationships or the physical body. It is the OVERALL performance that tells the story. Drugs, alcohol, sexual issues, overeating, inability to sustain a meaningful career, inability to maintain a loving relationship, self-destructive behaviors…all are potential by-products of having been damages in childhood, inappropriately touched or stimulated, abuse, neglect, and lack of support.
Babies who are not nurtured DIE. Children who are not supported and nurtured can be warped for a lifetime. Generational trauma takes generations to heal.
The damage is bad enough. The gaslighting insistence that “nothing happened” when it did is even worse, and whether on the personal or social level, it is one of the most vicious and destructive things a person or society can do.
The key to healing is to START with the belief that you are precious and loved. To connect with that sacred Buddha baby energy: “Earth below, heavens above, no one in the world like me!”
And then…to begin to march up the “chakras”, the model of what a healthy human being does in life.
Take responsibility for your actions, emotions.
Learn to protect yourself, and perform those functions that lead to security and power.
Satisfy our needs for pleasure and intimacy with integrity.
Master the physical body
Find a mate to share life with
Create your world, reproducing memes and/or genes
Learn to create goods and services to exchange with your community for mutual support (Make money!)
Learn to speak your truth without letting fear stop you
Create a map of reality and test it constantly, to refine
Grow old with dignity.
Die at peace.
That’s all that Milton Erickson did for his clients–get them on that “train.” That’s the path Maslow saw. That’s the path that the oldest psychological model I know of, the chakras, says exists at the core of our being. The path of “self-directed human evolution.”
The path between these levels is The Hero’s Journey. Damage on ANY level can be best healed by organizing your resources to leverage their power in a very specific order. Here is a generalized tale of a disruption in this process:
Once upon a time there was a little boy who loved his family, and life. She dreamed of growing, and opening the doors to wisdom one at a time, as his body and spirit were ready for the changes. But then one day something happened that damaged this flow: opened a door inappropriately soon, replaced fear with love, damaged his belief in himself.
Although on the surface things seemed fine, those who knew him closely saw that he could no longer function with full love and joy in life, and struggled to handle some basic things, although in others he excelled. He said “just look here, at the thing I’m good at! Don’t look at the man behind the curtain…”
But inside, he took no joy in his accomplishments. Inside, ALL he could see was the “man behind the curtain” constantly leering at him and saying “you are worthless.”
Then one day, the boy realized that there were others who had been hurt, and managed to find lives of balance and love and joy anyway. And committed to do the same. He didn’t know HOW he was going to do it…but committed anyway.
Because to act, moving toward being a healthy, happy person BY HIS OWN STANDARDS. And acted, gathering allies and new abilities, constantly testing and working, and loving himself. Using everything, love AND fear, to motivate him to keep moving. Keep moving.
And one day he met a woman who was also wounded by life (as he discovered everyone was, really) and their wounds complemented rather than reinforced each other, and by bonding to her, their partnership became stronger than either could have been apart. And they created things in their life, children of their minds, hearts, and loins, and by nurturing these various creations they stopped thinking about their wounds, thought only of how they might contribute more and more every day to the people around them…and it was safe to do so because they NEVER allowed anyone to hurt them, and supported and protected each other.
And one day…that boy looked around and realized that, by every standard he had once set, he was healed. That his mentors and companions and teachers and customers and friends and students and all the experiences of his life had taken him deep into the part of himself that had NOT been damaged, found that eternal essence, and allowed it to sprout, until he was strong…stronger, perhaps, than if that original damage had not taken place.
THAT is what we’re programmed to do, if we have the right nutrients and guidance along the path. THAT is what we cannot do without those mental and spiritual and physical nutrients. Or if we let the monsters behind the curtain whisper to us that we are not worthy without snarling “you shall not pass!” in return.
He saw that his adult self had stood at the gate of his inner garden, a place where his child, and the child of his beloved, could play safely…and heal together.
And realized that he was now able to teach what he had learned, and did so, and became as the teachers and mentors who had led him. And saw, in that moment, one of the secrets of life.
We heal by focusing on our wounds, and the path we might have walked had we not had them. But once healed, we progress even more by helping others. That is the only way we can repay those who came before us.
That little boy was me. If he is you as well, what I say speaks to you. If as an individual, or as a member of a group, you were lied to, diminished, damaged…and especially if the monsters afterward asked you to doubt your perceptions, asked you to believe a story about your past that places them higher in life or closer to God than you…
Wake up. Stop letting the monsters whisper in your ear. Take adult responsibility.
And then stand between those monsters and the other children of the world. The other sleepers. And when they become restless in THEIR dreams, whisper to them: “this is the way out. Tell your own story, in which you are the hero. Remember that the very people who hurt you will try to convince you that they are your friends, and that you are a spear-carrier in their story, rather than the hero of yours.
AFROFUTURISM is the healing of a cultural breach. The mythologies of any culture place them primary to existence. The children of Africa had all of that ripped away, and replaced with myths that empowered their captors. For the first time in our history we are taking control of the mechanisms that control this process.
Watching the way it is happening with the children of the Diaspora can show you the strategies to affect change in YOUR group, however it is defined. So long as you come from love, and respect for the spirits and hearts of others, and believe in the equality of human groups, I see no harm that can come from GOING FOR IT 100%.
And what works for groups…works for individuals. The Micro in the Macro.
Its all right there.
What is the story YOU tell about your ability to rise, to overcome, to find joy? What would happen if you change it?
THAT is what we are investigating. “Lifewriting” is the science, the overall theory, the application of Joseph Campbell’s “Hero’s Journey” not just to myth and story but to life itself. “Afrofuturism” is a specific exploration of this process applied to cultural history.
Everything is connected.
(A replay link for yesterday’s webinar: https://app.webinarjam.net/login/19618/55dc7a2932/0/replay)