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The Eternal Recurrence Of The Same

01ALANA

Have you ever wondered why you belief what you belief? Are you aware of your beliefs and how they influence your experience? Have you ever been aware of the conditioning you have been exposed to?

Are you re-experiencing an emotion countless times? Do you keep on running into the same situations over and over again? Do you feel that a part of your life (such as career, self-realization or relationships) is a never-ending circle of negative emotions and unfortunate situations?

If yes, you are not alone. In fact, I know few people whose lives could be considered to be easy, happy or at peace. On the surface it might appear that way, but if you dig deeper, you discover that almost everyone is dealing with a big load of shit. Some show it more to the outside world; others are good at hiding it. But my god, when did we loose our ability to walk through life with ease and joy?

Do you remember when you were a child and played for hours without noticing time passing? How much happiness you could get from jumping into a puddle? How much joy you felt when you woke up in the morning?

What has happened since then?

We have learned to perceive the world according to filters. Those filters are usually created in childhood colored by the education we have received, our parents’ way of thinking and the behavior of the world around us. These filters are cultivated believes about how the world, our social order and relationships function transmitted to us with such a certainty that they become so deeply rooted into our subconscious mind that we accept them as normality.

As children we are dependent on the love of our parents and it is our natural instinct to keep this bond of love intact – no matter what form this ‘love’ may take – to assure our own safety and survival. It would be life threatening for us to think that our caretakers are idiots that don’t know what they are doing, because we would be living in a constant state of panic. We have no choice but to adopt our parents’ voices as our own (at least to a certain degree), copy their disapproval of certain aspects of ourselves and imprison parts of our being. As a natural result we let ourselves be conditioned to accept these believes as truth.

And man, this has been going on since… forever. We witness generation over generation how children trust their parents that have trusted their parents that have trusted their parents to know what they are doing. But you know what? We all don’t know what we are doing and we keep on repeating the same mistakes that have been done on us just because we don’t dare to say: I am messed up because they messed me up, because they have been messed up themselves.

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I am not saying that we take everything that they have said as the truth. Because our world seems to be changing every single day and the technological and scientific evolution is not deniable. I am talking about deep core beliefs about how our world functions and how we see ourselves. Even if we completely reject the behavior of our parents, the damage has already been done and can only be undone by becoming very conscious of our unconscious actions. You might have been hit by your parents, now completely despise the action and would never hit your own children. But the thought: “I deserve to be hurt” may still be circulating in your unconscious mind and then becomes the filter you perceive the world through. Because what you unconsciously believe plays a big part in how you create your reality, you will find yourself attract people into your life that hurt you.

It is just like the “eternal recurrence of the same”, a concept that Friedrisch Nietzsche has elucidated many generations ago. Behind it lays the idea that everything that has happened or will happen has already occurred infinitely many times and will occur infinitely many times more.

Chaos has become the worlds’ order and keeps on repeating itself over and over again. I don’t need to be a psychologist or a scientist to witness that. I just need to open my eyes and look around. On our planet Earth we witness unhappy people, poverty, inequality, wars, unhealthy competition, greed, destruction of natural habitat and most of all: a deep mistrust into life.

As young children we trust life just like animals do. We play as if there was no tomorrow, totally enjoying every moment. We don’t know what is going to happen next and are able to embrace uncertainty without fears.

Haiti earthquake aftermath.

So we can’t say that distrust into life is a natural human behavior. Therefore it must be a learned behavior.

Who teaches that to us and why? And when did it start? It has not always been that way.

Somewhere along the way humanity has lost touch with its connection to nature and with its inner voice. The inner voice is what I call intuition; trusting an inner navigation system that will lead us to everything we need. That is what I call “in alignment with the divine”.

When was it that we humans have detached ourselves from our surrounding and started to perceive one and the same as two separate entities: there is us and there is nature? When did we forget that all living creatures are interdependent? How come we don’t realize anymore that if we cut a tree in Africa, it definitely affects the whole world? We needed to cut millions of trees to understand that impact and even now we don’t stop.

Children walking through a trash side in one of the poorest slums of the country, village de dieu. Haiti, 2010.

We became focused on matter and started “owning” and storing things out of fear that there might just not be enough for everybody. We began to exclude other humans, animals and other living beings from our wealth – thinking that a deceptive security will bring us happiness. We also categorized people into being good or bad, disregarding that each of us is just a child trying to be seen and heard.

While a balanced ecosystem is composed of natural cycles based on abundance, love and sustainability, humanity has created cycles based on fear and perceived limitations.

Today’s society has been driven completely out of balance and is based on many different ideas; for example that men can own things that the universe provides for free, that the creatures on earth exist independent from one another and that there is not enough for everybody, so we have to protect our treasures from others.

These are widely accepted consensuses that turn into our so-called “reality” because the majority of us believe in them. In fact, “reality” only exists because we as a collective put so much faith into this specific perception of the world, which I call a big fat colored filter. We were raised in fear and have adopted the concerns of our ancestors as our own.

For countless generations we have been handing over traumas and unhealthy believes from one generation to the next, which caused a lot of dysfunctions in our family systems. Most of us don’t think anymore about how we felt as children. The image of how we perceived the world back then has faded in our memory. In order to fit into the existing social group we were born into, we disconnected from the child’s naturally ability to comprehend our existence. We heard the sentence: stop dreaming and get real. Little did we know that the adult teaching us that life lesson had no clue what it actually meant.

And because we then become adults who also don’t know better, we continue teaching our own children the stuff we learned. We try our best to tame them in a way that they can function as “good people” in a dysfunctional society.

We teach children that they need to stop playing in order to study, instead of letting them learn while playing. We punish them for making a mistake instead of celebrating the lesson it can teach us. Adults prioritize that children obey the rules to such a degree that that they overlook how much imagination is lost in the labeling of wrong and right. We educate our children to fit into our present social order instead of letting them create a new one.

Most of the so-called grown-ups approve of some aspects of their offspring and disapprove of others; certain emotions are okay to feel but others are declared as bad. And last but not least, our school system does not care much about bringing out individual talents but manufactures conformity.

We don’t trust children anymore because we think that we know what they need better then them. With so many of our actions, we suggest that they are inferior to us and have to earn their significance. Within our societies collective unconsciousness, children are looked at as low-grade beings that need to be educated to become humans of value.

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And why the hell do we do all of those things?

Because they are agreed upon as normal and it feels comfortable to stick to the status quo. Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t.

We participate in this normal abnormality to keep the illusion alive that this is how it is supposed to be. That way, we don’t have to face the truth that this is what has been done to us. That truth is painful. Our inner children are crying.

We continue to ignore them, because we have learned that pain must be avoided at all costs. The victim becomes the perpetrator. Now we are the ones who imprison our being.

And if you do realize what is going on, it may be really scary to be the one who stands out of the crowd shouting: we are making mistakes. Because we have learned that mistakes are not good, mistakes hurt and oftentimes result in punishment.

The circle goes on and on until somebody wakes up and takes the conscious decision to break it. And that takes a lot of courage.

It takes guts to remember yourself as a child, to remember the wounds that your loved ones have caused you unknowingly and to throw them off the throne you might have put them on. It is brave to face the possible truth that you might not have been loved in a healthy way by your parents– because they themselves never experienced what unconditional love actually is. And I am not going to tell you that it is easy to analyze your own thought patterns, go into your pain to release the emotions that are stuck there for ages and unlearn all the unhealthy behaviors that our society has valued highly since many generations.

But I can tell you from my experience that the journey is worthwhile. You will (slowly) start trusting yourself and the world again, and play a part in the creation of a more balanced environment for human beings and experience the ease of a child again. You will free yourself from the ropes of your past.

Let me share a poignant metaphor with you that I have found in one of Paulo Coelhos books: When still a baby, the elephant is tethered by a very thick rope to a stake firmly hammered into the ground. The elephant tries several times to get free, but it lacks the strength to do so. After a year, the stake and the rope are still strong enough to keep a small elephant tethered, although it continues to try, unsuccessfully, to get free. At this point, the animal realizes that the rope will always be too strong and so it gives up. When it reaches adulthood, the elephant can still remember how, for a long time, it had wasted its energies trying to escape captivity. At this stage, the trainer can tether the elephant with a slender thread tied to a broom handle, and the elephant will make no attempt to escape to freedom. 1

We are no different than an elephant. As we grow up and gain experience from this world, we absorb assumptions and whatever information comes to us in a form that we can digest; we file appropriately into our belief system. This is the same as an elephant’s thin rope tied to a post, which then drives our life and limits our choices.

When we hear the elephant story, we see how easily he could free himself from this tiny rope but his past experience tells him otherwise. He has tried so many times, he has failed often enough for him to lose faith in his own strength.

If we think a thought long enough, it becomes an automated belief that we are not aware of anymore. We can’t know what we don’t know. We will then perceive our reality through the filter of this thought, and attract situations into our lives that prove that this is actually true. Like this it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Let me give you an example from my own childhood. I have experienced that my parents disconnected from me emotionally when I felt sad or angry. That is because nobody had ever taught them how to process and express their own sad and angry feelings. Witnessing me in that emotional state triggered the emotion of helplessness within them that they were not ready to face. So without being consciously aware of what was going on, they did the same that their parents did to them: they sent me the message that I have to deal with these negatively loaded emotions myself, that they are not welcome and therefore I am not welcome whenever I feel them. They disapproved of that aspect of myself, which left me feeling even more pain and formed my core belief that ‘I am alone’ whenever I feel low.

Once I figured out that this is the way it works in our family and that sadness and anger are not acceptable emotions, I suppressed as much of these feelings as I could. But whenever these sensations would come up despite my efforts to hold them back, I disconnected from my parents before they had the chance to disconnect from me. This kept me from falling into total powerlessness and feeling abandoned by those I loved the most. This way ‘disconnection’ became my protection mechanism.

Miriam never gets the affection that her 6year old stepbrother gets from his mother. II In Haiti are over 300 000 “Restavek. The Restavek are children of Haiti living in a family different from their family of origin and often used as domestic servants or as slaves. From poor families in rural areas, they are placed by their families in urban families. Often the economic situation of host families is not very different from those of biological families of these children. Also orphans often end up as Restavek. Miriam is a little 7 year old girl who lives in Port-au-Prince and is a restavek. Her father died 4 years ago. Her mother went to the countryside to organize the funeral and never returned. Today, she lives with her neighbors, who have a 6 year old son. When he is outside playing with his friends, she does the cleaning, dishes, and shopping. In return for her work Miriam has the right to sleep on the floor and eat the remains of the family meal.

This pattern became so ingrained, that it still influences my life today. Luckily I have unlearned to suppress my sad and angry feelings by now. Most often (but not always) I allow my tears to flow and scream out my anger. But until today, I am terribly scared that people don’t accept me when I feel low and punish me for it with disconnection.

I try to protect myself from the disappointment of abandonment by being the one who withdraws first from them. Then I judge myself for feeling this way and turn the emotion into my enemy. Therefore it builds up and becomes even stronger. This results in a downward spiral of negative emotions. I direct the sadness and anger towards myself, distance myself even more from others and without knowing I become the perpetrator keeping my inner child isolated. The way I treat myself, I then project into the world and that is what other people are going to mirror back to me. This is how the Law of Mirroring functions.

And as much as my ‘disconnection-pattern’ keeps me in power (in a weird way), it also keeps me from making the new experience that other people might want to connect to me and be there for me when I feel low.

If I were not aware of that pattern going on inside of my mind, what would be the logical consequence?

I would treat my children the same way.

I don’t want to go down that road. I don’t want to continue the pattern of fear, disapproval and disconnection of my ancestors.

I know that to break the circle, it is important that I reconnect to my heart that holds my inner voice. That can only be done if I focus on my emotional body and all the pain that is stored in it. The way towards the light leads through the pain. To say it in the words of famous poet Rumi: “The cure for pain is in the pain.”

Whenever I dare to let go of my judgments about certain emotions and surrender to them, I find out that my ideas about them were worse than actually feeling them. Every felt emotion leads me towards a hidden message, a core belief that needs to be seen and transformed, and in the end it reveals my authenticity. In the authenticity lies the joy and fulfillment we are all longing for.

If you decide to go on this journey, you will get the chance to care for yourself the way you would have loved to be cared for as a child. You can become the parent you have always wished for and that way you can re-integrate and heal all the aspects of your soul that are stuck in unhealthy patterns. You can be the one who sets yourself free and by doing so, all the generations that will come after you.

Let’s dive deep into our beings together and transform whatever needs to be transformed! I am ready, are you?

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