From the moment we are born we are taught to repress our true emotions. We are told to smile when we want to cry, to say sorry when we are angry with someone, to laugh when we are sad and to be silent when we want to shout. Is it any wonder we grow up not knowing what our real thoughts and feelings are?
Basically every emotion we have ever felt has been tampered with in some way, with even the most loving of parents teaching us to hold back our emotions so that we become happy, pleasing children.
And whilst this conditioning maybe part of our culture or an acceptable aspect of our family upbringing, for some of us this conditioning or suppression of our “true” emotions, can lead to us losing contact with our greatest source of expression and survival. Our intuitive senses and feelings.
One of the hardest things my clients have difficulty with is accepting that their parents may have done them harm in some way. And what I see time and time again, even in cases of severe abuse or neglect is an adult who will defend and protect their parents to the very end. In lots of ways this makes sense, as why would anyone want to admit and live everyday with the awful truth that their parents didn't look after them or love them the way they needed. Yet accepting the truth of our childhood is actually one of the most powerful forms of healing, as when we accept the truth, we are speaking directly to the parts of us that need our love and attention.
Often it is the case that people find it difficult to accept that their childhoods may have had any negative impact on how they are feeling as adults, as they associate having a bad childhood with either physical, sexual or emotional abuse.
Yet actually just the very basic truth of our parents not accepting us as who we are and the choices we want to make is enough for a child to withdraw emotionally from the world around them and create a false reality based on others opinions about who they are.
For instance, I see lots of clients who felt they were forced from a very young age into hiding their true feelings and expressions because it just wasn’t acceptable within their family. And even in my own parenting I can see that I didn’t always allow my children to express their true emotions, as like I was brought up, I also brought my children up to be people pleasers and taught them from a young age to suppress some of their natural boundaries and emotions which has unfortunately taught them to allow other people to treat them less than they deserve.
So whilst it is easy to see that abuse, neglect and other forms of mistreatment can have long-lasting effects on how we behave and feel as adults, it is also true that not being recognised or loved for who we really are or being taught to suppress our anger, fear or anxiety is also enough to lead us into negative behaviour and thinking patterns that form in childhood and have consequences for us as adults.
This is where therapy and mindfulness makes some of the most positive impacts on our life. Because with therapy we work with “the truth” of what your body and mind knows to be true and not the conditioning of what society or your upbringing expects you to feel.
This deeper level of understanding then allows you learn to recognise and understand the real truth of your sensations and where they came from, which in turn allows you to break free from the negative loops that you now live within as an adult.
And whilst Mindfulness Therapy doesn’t try to alter the fact that what has happened to you has happened, it does allow you to see that the patterns of thinking and behaviours you learnt from your childhood can be changed and transformed.
Zara Cordella has been practising and developing mind-body therapy for over twenty years and is a pioneer in her understanding of how the body connects us to a deeper understanding of our-self, our relationships and the world around us.
Through her workshops and private practice, she has developed a methodology and ideology that has the capacity to transform the way we feel, experience and live.
Appointments are currently available one to one with Zara in her practice at Whitley Bay, Tyne and Wear and can be booked by clicking here.