A new home

Alberto Villoldo, Cuba

Medical anthropologist and psychologist.

(Submitted by Eliza Schmidts, South Africa)

A man I knew lived for a time in a house that was built from a kit sold by a Sears and Roebuck’s catalogue many decades ago. It was solid, small, and practical, and it suited him for a time. But as the years went by and his circumstances changed, he outgrew the little home. Its charms were lost on him, and he longed for a house more appropriate for the life he was living and the life he wished to create.

Should he find another home he would surely outgrow someday? Should he build a new one? And what if that one turned out to be unsuitable years later when his life changed again?

Just like this man who lived in the “kit” house, we have the capacity to choose a new destiny, rather than the one dictated to us by the events of the past and the DNA we inherited from our parents, grandparents, and ancestors. Often, however, we're so mired in our pasts that the “what ifs” of an unknown (and probably better) future keep us from moving forward.

Trauma in childhood is associated with social ills, from drug abuse and sexually risky behavior to psychological problems which range from depression, anxiety, and schizophrenia, to deficits in attention and impulse control. Recent research shows that adverse childhood events can even affect gene regulation and expression, because long-forgotten memories can remain etched in an individual’s Light Energy Field (LEF) and the neural networks in our brains. Even experiences that occurred when an infant was still developing in an oceanic womb can affect the LEF and neural networks.

The LEF serves as a blueprint for what happens within the body. Disturbances in the energy can manifest as cancer, auto-immune disorders, pain, inflammation, or other imbalances and ailments.

Neural networks are often like blueprints as well, dictating the forms and structures of the psyche. The anger we feel in response to a missed airline flight or a perceived slight by a coworker may be a very old anger that lays dormant in our neural networks and expresses itself in the present whenever it's triggered by a too-sensitive warning system for danger. The threat is not to our person, but to our pride and sense of self. Yet, we shout or retreat with the intensity of a rabbit running from a coyote or a ram attacking a rival head-on.

Brooding, retreating, and scheming become art forms as we learn to respond to life as if it had a personal vendetta against us. We all do this, although some of us develop better mechanisms of denial than others, a favorite being to blame our circumstances and other people: “If only he didn’t … if only she wasn’t … if it weren’t for my terrible luck ...” We write stories to support our sense of entitlement to resentment, jealousy, or depression about the gap between what our lives were supposed to be and what they've become.

When neural networks determine our emotions and the thoughts that surround them, a mildly irritating situation that should frustrate us for only a few moments can become a source of rage and aggression or fear, repression, and depression. Our future becomes dictated by the past as we become caught in the web of cause-and-effect.

If we are to break free of suffering from the same old problems we’ve struggled with for years, many of our neural networks - the blueprints for structures of thought, feeling, and behavior - will need to be replaced. But who will be the architect who draws up the new blueprints? And will this architect maintain a fear-response system that serves us well in times of physical danger, without constructing a palace of pain that traps us in old responses to new situations?

We have the capacity to choose a new destiny, rather than the one dictated to us by the events of the past and the DNA we inherited from our parents, grandparents, and ancestors.

We begin to draw a new blueprint when we consciously recognize that we've been using blueprints that no longer serve us.

As we begin sketching a new blueprint, we’re actually generating new structures in our brains as we start to detoxify our bodies, our thoughts and our emotions. The sketch is filled in further when we employ shamanic practices for communicating with the invisible world, the realm of all creation where every tool is available to us.

The old habits and stories of persecution begin to fade, as we draw new lines, imagine new rooms to inhabit, and conceive of an entirely new structure for our lives. With the invisible realm of Spirit nurturing, guiding and inspiring us, we feel confident in what we are building for ourselves.

Just as we choose to live in one house or another, we live for a time here, and then there, letting go of the familiar and stepping into the unknown with faith and curiosity.

We can learn to be like the hunters and gatherers of ancient times, the nomads who trusted in their abilities as builders, creators, planners, and dreamers. Their faith came from knowing they could rely on more than their wits or the structures created by those who came before them. They could speak with the force that moved the rivers and pushed the seedlings up through the soil. They could listen to the advice of the clouds and the sun, the tides and the herds, and find wisdom at the intersection of the visible and the invisible.

And on that spot, they could build a new home.

Image credit: Marsha Rosenzweig Pincus. http://www.marshapincus.com/

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