DEALING WITH PROBLEMS

by Ross Bishop

There is something about your childhood wounding that you have yet to learn. Now, what happened back then hurt like hell, and that hurt was real and came at a formative time in your development. But the wounding wasn’t as you have always imagined it – that it was proof that there was something wrong with you! 

Even if you had screwed up, it was only your behavior that needed correcting, not who you were! Those criticisms and judgments did not, do not, reflect who you are – unless you let them! And the sad thing is that most people do! 

Even though the wounding happened 30 or 40 years ago, you carry that negative interpretation around with you like it happened yesterday! And you are the one who keeps it alive by bringing it into the present. This is because those wounds form the negative part of what you believe about yourself. And the impacts of those beliefs can be devastating. 

Spirituality doesn’t get much solid scientific research, but I found one study to be almost breathtaking. In the 1950s, researchers at Harvard Medical School asked 21-year-old students a seemingly simple, multiple-choice question. They were asked to describe their relationship with their parents using the following scale: “very close,” “warm and friendly,” “tolerant,” or “strained and cold.”

Thirty-five years later, the researchers re-interviewed the same subjects to determine how they were doing. What they found was simply astounding. Ninety-one percent of participants who stated that their relationship with their mother was “tolerant” or “strained and cold” were diagnosed with a significant health issue such as coronary artery disease, hypertension, alcoholism, etc. This was compared to 45 percent of participants who had health issues who reported that their relationship with their mother was “warm and friendly” or “very close.” Ninety-one percent to forty-five percent!

Similar numbers were reported for participants who described their relationship with their father: 82 percent versus 50 percent. If participants had a strained or cold relationship with both parents, the results were really startling: 100 percent had significant health issues! This is the price we pay for hanging on to our childhood wounds!

I am not asking you to forget what they did, but also to recognize that short of a physical act, whatever they said, evaporated in the same breath that pronounced it. After all, words are only vibrations in the air – until you give them meaning! And the interpretation you gave them was, “There must be something wrong with me.”

Consider how a problem is created. We start out with the premise that you don’t love yourself (core issue). Because of that, either you will do something based in your fear or they will and that will trigger your fear and their reaction. And then you will likely get scared and react. And so the situation escalates and the stage is set for discord.

In reality, neither of your reactions will have much to do with the present situation. As children, both of you learned that being open and vulnerable was risky. What will drive both your and the other person’s responses will be the interpretation each of you put on what happened, based on your individual history.

Because you feel unlovable, when you get pushed on you get scared, hold back and don’t fully engage. You don’t move easily and fluidly with the challenges that life presents. You’re afraid of being judged, rejected, criticized or not measuring up, etc.

The difficulty is that most of us stop at this point and don’t go any further. We get so entangled in the situation, in the turmoil of the moment, in the hurts and slights, the shame, the wounding, the fear – and we stay there, being angry, feeing hurt, feeling attacked or criticized and being defensive. 

While we are on the subject, I want to acknowledge that there are a significant number of women today carrying around a good deal of pain from physical and sexual abuse. Physical abuse operates under different principles and requires a very different approach to healing that, in my experience, requires the guidance of someone trained and experienced in these matters.

You and the other person are at sword’s points and the last thing either of you want to do is to go any deeper and start investigating your own motives. Your focus is on them and what they are going to do next.

This is a personal story about my experiences with being wounded:

I was in pain. The reasons aren’t important, the pain was. I had asked for help, and the response came calmly, without emotion and with great compassion. Had these words come from a fellow shaman or even some guru, I might have paused, but this was not the time for that. This insight needed to be accepted with all the reverence and respect I could muster, because it was coming directly from The Creator.

Her four simple words would tear at the very essence of my being and redefine my years of shamanic practice. I had spent those years healing my own wounds and helping others to heal theirs and in a few words, The Creator would move me beyond my previous understanding to a more profound and insightful place. 

In four simple words She would challenge me to redefine how I saw myself and how I had seen life up to that point. The shift that She proposed could significantly impact everything that happened here on Earth. What was the insight The Creator offered me? In the face of my pain, She simply said:

There are no wounds.

She was not denying my pain or my right to have it, but the message was, it was my resistance, not the situation, that was hurting me. The Creator’s message was clear, the choice was mine. It was perfectly OK to go into pain if that was what I needed, but that would only postpone the inevitable.

I was clinging to a mythology, to a set of beliefs, that had no basis in reality. The truth is, none of us can be harmed. That is not to say that life can’t hurt, (I am setting aside physical abuse here, because that operates under different principles), but it is because we cling to our egos and our beliefs of victimization and vulnerability, that we feel hurt. Doing that is a choice. 

And dealing with that takes a good deal of work. Do I have regrets? You bet! I have hurt people that I care about. Yet today I can see the perfection of it all and know that things had to be exactly as they were in order for us both to learn what we came here to do. So here we are, all of us, locked in a grand embrace of perfect learning, and we all hurt! 

Whatever path you choose, recognize that your pain comes from your reluctance to embrace and move with The Universe’s greater truth. It isn’t about “them,” and it isn’t about God, your pain is yours. You create it. You are still clinging to the beliefs and behaviors that were created in your childhood. Even after you work on yourself, you probably still aren’t going to like the situation, but at the same time, it doesn’t have to cut you to the bone. After all:

There are no wounds.

You view problems in a negative light because of course, they are painful and stressful. And they also support the negative view you have of yourself. Said simply, having problems is a pain! But problems are also The Universe’s way of asking you to look at and change your beliefs, as a way to reach and deal with your unfulfilled needs. And at the core of every problem is an aspect of what you came here to do – and even the smallest problem holds a kernel of that truth. But you, in all likelihood, resist seeing that. But keep in mind:

There are no wounds.

So for the time being, do this after you have an encounter. Go deeper – go beneath the conflict to look at what fears and beliefs were driving your behavior. It means confronting your demons, realizing that the beliefs that underlie them do not represent the truth.

But you aren’t likely to want to do that. You fear that your demons are correct, that there really is something wrong with you, and that going deeper will only confirm that belief. What you really want is to get out of the situation! And you probably can, temporarily. But of course that only means that you will repeat the experience somewhere else in some more intense fashion. Remember, the Universe has gone to great lengths to create this particular learning situation for the benefit of everyone involved, and regardless of how it feels, The Universe never gives you more than you can handle. Suzanne Heyn wrote:

Healing isn’t about changing who you are; 

it’s about changing your relationship to who you are.

(from my new book: Finding Inner Peace.)

copyright©Blue Lotus Press 2019

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