Sometimes in life our childhood traumas are the most devastating things that we go through. In order to protect ourselves from the pain, some of us block out what happened to us. Unfortunately, not dealing with it head on only delays the inevitable. The pain that we hold inside will surface eventually.
Chances are that it will occur, when we least expect it. I went through some horrible things as a child that I tried to block out. I tried to kid myself and state that they most have been nightmares or just part of my imagination. Looking back I remember wishing for someone like who I am now to come and save me, but no one ever did. I went years without remembering what happened. Recently, I recalled what happened and the emotions came gushing out. What happened to me explains a great deal about other problems and fears that I had and it was the beginning of a viscous cycle that lasted for many years.
Growing up, I was always an outcast. I was shy and reticent from past experiences which made things even worse. I experienced a lot of racism growing up which was a real shock. You see I am half Indian and half white. I always thought that I was white and was shocked when people treated me otherwise. Think about every racial slur that is directed towards African-Americans and you will get the idea of what was directed towards me.
It was also really shocking considering that I am not African-American. However, for some racists, any minority will do. For many years, I thought that I was the problem and I often wished that I were white. I wanted to fit in, as the ridicule was a heavy burden to carry. What I went through growing up just reinforced the lack of self worth that I already had from what happened earlier in my life.
By the time that I made it to high school, I took refuge in alcohol and drug abuse. I wanted to forget who I was and getting blasted out of my mind seemed like the way to go. It allowed me to live the illusion of being another person and helped me forget who I was temporarily. My parents did not realize what was going on as I kept my grades up. As long as my grades were up they did not think that there were any problems.
Little did they know that I lived for losing myself. There were many times that I cheated death and I am just glad that no one else got hurt from my destructive path. Looking back, I realize that I did not care whether I lived or died and in an unconscious way maybe I was just trying to commit suicide. Unfortunately, no matter what I did, the pain always remained and just transferred from one destructive outlet to another.
When I was in college, I started studying the history of racism. I soon found it easy to blame white people for all of my problems. In fact, the hate was addictive and I sought refuge in it often. I even took a job as a bouncer at a local dive for the opportunity to take my frustrations out on other people. Oddly enough I was studying Buddhism, Hinduism, and Sufism to work on spiritual development at the same time. I felt like an internal war was going on at all times.
Part of me wanted to be compassionate and help others and the other part of me wanted to be evil and take my frustrations out on other people. The hate never made my life any better and slowly I learned how to let it go. I never wanted to be a hateful person and it was never in my nature. However, the pain within often consumed me.
I graduated from college and went from one job to the next without much direction. I wanted to help other people, but was not sure how. I ended up trying to change myself and fit some role to avoid dealing with what was going on internally. I was like an actor that uses his or her work for therapy. I just played roles that were not really me in order to forget who I was. As a result I became even more closed up than ever. I was able to fake it and hide it from others. Yet, internally, I was a mess. It was not until I met a very special lady years later that things would change.
My soul friend taught me to open up more and was there for me all the time. Regardless, as hard as I tried I could not open up about everything and still kept some things inside under lock and key. It was not until recently that the childhood trauma I experienced came up. I could no longer keep the tears back and had to let it go.
Fortunately, my soul friend was there when I needed her and helped me through the trying time. Feeling abused and weak is a horrible thing. I was ashamed of myself for what happened and thought that there must have been something wrong with me. When I experienced what I went through as a child, I always wished for someone to come and save me. I have realized now that I have become the hero that I always needed and with the help of some others saved myself.
The Obstacles In Your Life
It is simply amazing how we can overcome so many obstacles in life, yet the childhood traumas stay with us and break us down when we least expect it. Moreover, it is amazing how childhood traumas can crush us later even when we are much stronger and empowered.
No matter what happened to me in my life or what people did to me, I am still a good person. I am a compassionate person that genuinely cares about others and I always go out of my way to help others. The side of me that was consumed by my lower soul no longer has power over me and I will always be a good person. Is the lower soul gone? Of course it is not. The lower soul is a part of all of us and to deny it only makes it stronger. Life is about balance and without darkness there cannot be light.
I know now what I need to do in life and understand the value of pain. Sometimes, we need pain to become compassionate people. Sometimes, we need to suffer to develop character. Sometimes, we need to lose ourselves in order to find ourselves and become leaders. Sometimes, we need to forgive others, and ourselves in order to free ourselves. Sometimes we need to face our fears, in order to become emancipated.
If you are following a self-destructive path now, just ask yourself one question: Is your life better due to your actions? There is no in between, the answer is yes or no. If the answer is no, you need to get the help that is necessary to carry forward. Not everything can be dealt with alone and some burdens are too big to carry. You do not need to be alone as there are caring people out there like myself that can make a difference in your life.
Someone once told me, that who we are has a lot to do with whom we meet in life. I am grateful to all of the good people that I have met and have helped me along the path. Every moment is a chance to change and turn suffering and sorrow into compassion and joy. Every day is a new beginning to release the person that you were and become the person that you need to be. May you find the strength that you need to become the hero that you need to save you.
About The Author
Mike Mahler is a strength coach and a certified kettlebell instructor based in Santa Monica, California. Mike has been a strength athlete for over ten years and designs strength training programs for trainees all around the world. Mike has a regular training column in Fightscene magazine (www.fightscene.tv). Mike is also available for strength training workshops worldwide. For more information and rates, visit Mike's site at www.mikemahler.com or e-mail Mike at email@example.com.