The Challenge of Spirit in Flesh
Hi everybody, it’s Anna. Welcome to our first video in this series “Making Peace with our Past.” In this first video I want to focus on our very early past, when we’re very little children. I like to think that we come into this earth as Spirit. I particularly like the concept of the Chaya, which I’ve read from the Jewish Kabbalah. It’s the idea that we are in the spiritual realm and we look down upon the physical realm and we see some work that needs to be done. So we volunteer to go into the physical realm as an incarnate body to do that work. So we know exactly what we’re getting into and we agree to do it.
We are sent to earth, we are born into a body, and for a while we are more connected to the Spirit than we are to the physical. We’re still feeling limitless and powerful and exuberant and abundant. Then we have the first traumatic moment in our lives, and it’s like we’re jostled into a realization of the limitations of the physical body. It’s the moment where we discover that things are not as free or as open or as safe as we thought they were.
Ego-Mind to the Rescue – Sort Of
Our ego-mind is given to us to navigate the physical realm, so it’s doing its job. It’s supposed to get us through this world safely and avoid danger and make things safe. When we have this traumatic moment the ego-mind kicks into gear and says, “It’s my job to make sure we’re safe, so I’m gonna come up with a strategy or a coping mechanism to avoid further trauma.”
The original trauma can be something that all of us would recognize as trauma. It can be that were abused or that starved or something relatively big in our objective way of seeing things. But it can also be something that an adult would think is minor. For example, let’s say you’re skipping down the hall in your household singing, and someone smacks you and tells you to be quiet. Until that moment you thought you were fine. You thought you were perfectly free to sing and dance. But in that moment you get the message – something’s wrong with me. Your ego-mind says, “I don’t want to get hit again. I need to make sure I stay quiet from now on. I’m gonna make myself small and invisible and tamp down all that energy.”
The Unbalanced Journey
The ego-mind will start creating coping mechanism and a pattern that it will it will put upon us – a structure or rule system because its purpose is to keep us safe. A big problem with the pattern is if we are avoiding, for example, conflict or avoiding rejection, that means our ego-mind is constantly looking for rejection. Because that’s what it most fears, that’s what it sees all the time. And by seeking it out, it accidentally draws rejection to us.
Not only are we not in our native energy just being ourselves, we’re actually drawing to us the very thing we most want to get rid of. At some point hopefully we realize we’re stuck in a pattern, we can’t find the way out, and we have to ask ourselves, “Is this who I really am?” That’s the invitation to rebalance the equation. For a while we’ve been really in the physical realm. Our ego- minds been running things. Now we start getting back in touch with our Chaya, our spiritual truth, he part of us that’s here to do a work on this planet.
Regaining Our Balance with the Chaya
That’s when we realize that we can’t just change our behavior. We can’t just decide, for example, “I’m gonna be loud now.” We can’t just decide we’re gonna change the pattern. But when we try to change the pattern and fail, that’s often when we get really hard on ourselves: I don’t have enough willpower, I’m not committed enough, I’m hopeless.
But we can’t change that original pattern because the ego-mind’s purpose is to keep us safe, and as long as there is danger present the ego-mind’s not going to release that pattern. The truth is that danger is still present. There’s still a part of us still trapped in that trauma moment, and the ego- mind is continually trying to solve the fact that this child is still shocked and horrified. Until we take care of that original trauma the ego-mind will not release us to do something new.
Healing the First Trauma
Much of the work I do with people is getting in touch with that little child that’s still scared and rescuing them, resolving that problem. This is so the child can then be free to go back to her or his natural ways of being. It’s important to realize that when we are trapped in a pattern it is not because we are obstinate or foolish or hopeless. It is because there is an actual misalignment that needs tending to. The way of spiritual growth is always compassion and love.
There is always pain attached to stuck-ness in this work, and we can either beat ourselves up over it and get mad about it and try to white-knuckle our way through a change. Or we can say, “A part of me is hurting, and I’m gonna take care of that.” In this case there’s a child that’s in need. Once the child is taken care of then the mind can be retrained. When it comes to the little child trauma or anything else, it’s important for us to nurture compassion and kindness with ourselves. We are not foolish people. We are not weak people. We are people who have a magical powerful Chaya within us. It is trying to lead us, and it can if we are kind and gentle to ourselves. That’s our first video. See you next time!