The Nature of a Child
Carrying on from where I left last time, what I have noticed is that there are other companions of soul happiness that just come along with it. Within me, I experience these companions as the sparkle and brightness in my eyes, a childlike enthusiasm, wonder and excitement for almost everything that life has to offer, a buoyancy of spirit (where, on some days I am not walking but almost bouncing due to the buoyancy!!) A purity of heart and seeing beauty that isn’t corrupted in life. Over so many years, life has never turned into a journey to be dragged; people have never become entities to be scared of and the world has not become a dangerous place. A resilience that comes from the faith that life is good and a happy journey!
Going down this road, when I look around to check where else I find these soul qualities, very often I see all of them in little children, especially the ones below 5 years of age. Whether it be due to their state of happiness or having memory systems that don’t hold on to negativity, or being in the here and now, or continuously growing and learning, all these qualities are there in a lot of children. So then, what goes wrong for us in our journey of growing up? If all of us are born Happy Little Souls, what happens to this soul energy and why are we not able to retain our default setting? How does our life spirit get dampened or personalities get dented?
The only way to answer this was, to look at my growing up years and what happened then.
- a) Babies and their Early Homes
I had read in psychology text books that the early childhood environment has a huge impact on personality development. Reading it was one thing and observing it in my own life story was another. You see, every soul needs a family to be born in, just like it needs a body to express itself. Similarly, my soul found a family and its own set of caregivers. As far as I remember, my parents did everything in their capacity and understanding to give me a loving, understanding and well-structured family environment. But even with their best intentions and efforts, the fact is that our parents are also human. There will naturally be things which are beyond their control, comprehension and/or conscious awareness. And while most parents try to protect their children as much as possible, all that is beyond control, comprehension and conscious awareness, does affect the child. You see children are extremely sensitive and perceptive, more than what most adults think they are capable of.
I, especially being an extremely sensitive and perceptive child, picked up in my body and being, a lot of things that weren’t useful. Why and how I picked them up, I will share in my articles to come. But the kind of things I picked were the propensity for sadness and loneliness, a pattern of being easily emotionally, financially and/or physically abused, a lack of clarity about who I was, no sense of my rights in any relationship, inability to take stands due to lack of courage, deeply entrenched insecurity and negative relationship with money.
Somehow, though all my soul characteristics were valued and celebrated in the first 10 years of my life due to factors beyond anyone’s control, my soul homeostasis gradually changed. Joy, mirth and lightness were taken over by excessive responsibility taking. Over the years, I became this extremely serious, over responsible, workaholic person. With no place for relaxation, or time for myself, friendships and light banter, without my knowledge, there came a heaviness in my being that started aging me before time.
- b) Childhood Dependency
As I have read in textbooks and seen it operate in me, we humans have very long childhoods. By design our long and arduous journey to adulthood necessitates complete dependence on our parents for a long time. The good part is that we get the most extended parenting time as compared to any other species but, the tricky part is that we also need our parents very strongly for survival. This need for them and our dependence, makes us give up on parts of us that might not be liked or blocked by them as any disapproval from our parents would mean a threat to our survival. Additionally, we absorb parts of them and the family environment that might not be ours, as our emotional separation and development of our identities as separate from that of our parents and our family of origin takes a lot of time. Till then, we have no clue about what is ours and what is theirs. As children, we are not even aware that we have a choice of not take into our being what we don’t need to take.
- c) Permanent Alteration to Soul Homeostasis
Peace, calm, joy, freedom and stability in the home environment are required for the soul homeostasis of the child to stay as they are and stabilise in them as they are growing up. Instead, if they get home environments that predominantly have scarcity, oppression, over control, blocking of spontaneity, fear, violence, anger or anxiety, these elements destroy and corrode into the life spirit and the natural homeostasis of the child. Due to the constant tension in their growing years, these children experience body states that keep on getting altered. They either get elevated and tighten up due to fear and anxiety. Or they they become sad due to the oppression or full of unexpressed unresolved anger. They could sometimes have all three plus a confusion about what is right and wrong, what is acceptable or unacceptable, what is abusive and non-abusive. As childhood is a long period, when situations like these are frequent or continuous, the child’s body constantly stays in the state of allostasis. Unfortunately, over formative years, this unhealthy allostatic state then becomes their new homeostasis.
The saddest part is that, not only is the soul homeostasis lost in the grown-up adult, many times, there is a complete loss of memory or being in touch with who they originally were born as. Thereby living lives in which their best parts were never lived and never known to their conscious awareness.
- d) Alteration in the Memory System
The neurological damage that takes place due to regular flooding of negative hormones, is that the negative memory pathways keep getting entrenched and strengthened. These become extremely difficult to forget later on. Plus, the brain becomes tuned to catching negative signals and storing them for self-preservation. On the other hand, the good memories are not only less, their pathways are weak. Therefore, the adult memory system becomes one of remembering wounds and ‘not letting go’, as a survival mechanism.
- e) The Vicious Spiral
Both these lead to the adult becoming a person for whom peace, calmness and happiness feel alien. Even though a part of them may crave for it, if there is peace for more than a couple days, they might go into a withdrawal for their altered bodily state. They might start either searching for conflicts and pick up ones where there may be no need for one. They additionally tend to be people who would keep reliving their bad past, collect negative memories and/or remain continuously worried about the future. With their capacity for ‘here and now living’ robbed off them and an altered homeostasis, this turns into a vicious and unending negative spiral all their lives. This could manifest in continued failed relationships, continuous lack of internal harmony or work shifts and would keep repeating itself. Only with a lot of self-awareness and conscious work on one’s self, does this get undone.
(To be continued…)
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