Breaking The Tradition of Learned Responses

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Over time, we’ve observed various responses to many situations. Whether it was an angry outburst, crying, the quiet treatment, or throwing something, we internalized many emotions because we thought these emotions were “the right way to act.” Many of us are angry, fearful, resentment, and we don’t know why. Sometimes, when others inquire why we respond a certain way, we answer with the phrase, “that’s just the way I am.”

At some point in our lives, we may have heard those closest to us say things like 1. Children should be seen and not heard. 2. You should never let someone see you sweat. 3. Only weak people cry. 4. Don’t say too much. People may think you are weird. Okay. Maybe you haven’t heard the last one.

As you know, achieving self-awareness and overall wellness is not about blaming others but getting to the cause of why we do the things we do. The more we know about ourselves, the more we face our emotional triggers, choose the response that aligns with us, and transcend our experiences. We also start a brand new cycle of emotional responses. If you have children, around children, or remember being a child, then you know children record everything you do and say.

Much of the faulty programming we internalized as a child (and adult)is playing out right now and affecting our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being. When we are not expressing our truths (what we know is right), unhealthy emotions (anger, guilt, resentment, shame, and others) build inside us.

What are emotions anyway?

According to Merriam-Webster, emotions are:

“1a: a conscious mental reaction (such as anger or fear) subjectively experienced as strong feeling usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioral changes in the body

b: a state of feeling

c: the affective aspect of consciousness: FEELING

2a: EXCITEMENT

b. obsolete: DISTURBANCE.”

Go back and read the last statement in 1a. Our emotions affect how our body works. But the great thing about a healthy brain is that we can reprogram our brain and our body. As you know, when we change our responses, we change our actions.

To replace the programming mentioned in the second paragraph, we can say things like 1 how someone feels matters. People have the right to express themselves without others opposing them. 2. Sweat is a natural body response, and there are things I can do to prevent excessive sweating. Maybe my sweating will help people express themselves without obsessing about how they look. 3. People express their emotions differently, and that’s okay. 4. I only hurt myself if I hold my truth inside of me.

Does your image matter more than your truth?

Often, we steer away from emotions and feelings that contradict our image. If we present ourselves as smart and always have it together, we shove emotions showing our insecurity and vulnerability when trying new things. If others praise us for our looks, we will often do whatever we can to change our looks, steering down the road of self-loathing instead of seeing the beauty in growing older. Ultimately, we are saying, even though I feel this way, I can’t feel this way.

We cannot undo the past, but how do we break the cycle of inexpression to self-expression? How do we say it’s okay to feel what you are feeling?

The key thing to remember is our body is a wonderful machine, and its job is to alert us when we have an issue. The other thing about the body is the more we ignore something that consistently happens, the more the program is reinforced in our body. Hence, anger turns into an angry person. Of course, there is more to an angry state. But, the point is what originally seemed abnormal is now somewhat normal. The same principle applies to high/low blood sugars. The more you ignore high/low blood sugars, the less your body alerts you that your blood sugars are high/low until your body shuts down because it cannot properly function.

Can I change how I respond to situations? Yes!

So, when it comes to our emotions:

  1. We must realize that our emotions are a natural part of being human. After we accept things, then we have the power to change them.
  2. We must examine the root of our emotions. Did you pick up the emotion from someone else without checking to see if that’s how you really feel? There is something to seeking and finding (Matthew 7:7). All questions have answers. Even just asking once puts the question in the universe. I know the universe responds because I have received answers in passing conversations, observing animals and thoughts, listening to songs, watching television, and others.
  3. I encourage you to be open to the answer you receive, even if it is the opposite of what you internalized as a child or from someone close to you. Self-actualization does not mean you are a family tradition traitor. Humans evolve. If technology didn’t evolve, you wouldn’t be reading this post.
  4. Search within and measure your responses against your truth. Who are you? Who do you want to be? How do you want to respond to certain situations? Every emotion is a choice.
  5. Act on your truth. Practice your responses to situations. Use a mirror if you have to. Commit to aligning yourself with your newfound truth with as many experiences as possible.
  6. Please pass on the freedom of expression to the next generation. Instead of telling someone how to act, we encourage them to express themselves. We talk about emotions. The only way cycles are broken if someone realizes they need to be and takes action.

Make this lifetime great! You deserve it!

Thanks for reading my post!

Timika

MSN BSN RN, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, ACE Fitness Instructor, CDCES

P.S. I would love for you to join my community of being bent on using our experiences as stepping stones to our divine purpose, healing from the inside out, and achieving and sustaining optimal health. Subscribe to @timikaschambers.com by clicking the link below.

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Blaming Yourself Is Not The Answer

I’m sure you have heard the phrase forgiveness is for you and not the other person. Sometime after my childhood sexual abuse secret was out, I realized anger, guilt, resentment, shame, and their magnetizing companions were a waste of energy and time.

Nursing school was one of my many signposts that confirmed there was a never way of living. After learning about resilience, I said, “I am resilient. I learned about conditioning my mind (Pavlov) and how to be my best self as possible. I was on my way to self-actualization, and many great people experienced unwanted events as a child. I learned I had a voice, and I could teach people how to be healthy and prevent things from happening to them. I also learned about the devastating effects of stress (anger, guilt, and other potentially toxic emotions if we permit them to linger.

Often, life teaches us theory before experience. Later in my 20’s, I experienced what the world calls survivor’s guilt after learning that many people who experienced childhood sexual abuse turned to external comforters (alcohol, drugs, sex, and others) and were suffering. I felt I accomplished many of my dreams and pondered why me?

Thankfully, life has also brought me full circle in understanding that we go through things to help people find their healing path. Thus, forgiveness serves as a win-win.

I realize again that there is no reason to feel guilty. As a child, I had every right to:

  1. believe what the two family members did was not my fault
  2. believe someone else’s pain is not my fault
  3. experience true love since I knew what love was not.
  4. Succeed in life (to do the things I love without feeling guilty).

There is no reason to imprison ourselves for something someone else did. We become so others can become. People need light to show them the way out of pain (darkness). We don’t need to struggle and keep carrying baggage (pain) into generations.

When we know we have a right to be free and experience love, we do not settle for anything else. We are not better than others. We are living our truth.

Thank you for reading my post!

Make this lifetime great!

Timika

MSN BSN RN, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, ACE Fitness Instructor, CDCES

P.S. I would love for you to join my community of being bent on using our experiences as stepping stones to our divine purpose, healing from the inside out, and achieving and sustaining optimal health. Subscribe to @timikaschambers.com by clicking the link below.

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What Treasures Did I Uncover From Early Childhood Disappointment?

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I loved playing in the streets as a child. We didn’t have to worry about a lot of traffic entering and exiting our streets, for at the end of our street was a large field extending for miles and an alley that ran alongside it. 

Sometime after the secret, several kids including myself, were outside playing in the streets. Somehow S, one of the two male family members who misused my body, made it over in front of me. All of a sudden, he turned around and wasn’t smiling anymore. He said “it wasn’t that bad.” For a minute, I stood there in disbelief. First of all, he denied his involvement in my sexual abuse experience since day one. Second of all, he downplayed what he already denied. But, in that moment, I knew his denial had nothing to do with me. I did the right thing in telling the truth. 

I didn’t know what integrity meant at the time, but I knew I didn’t want to spend a lot of time on either end (not telling the truth and causing someone to think something so big was so small of an issue). No child should ever experience sexual abuse or ever feel that being forced and manipulated to do something is no big deal. 

How did I turn S’s denial and minimization of my experience with childhood sexual abuse?

  1. I faced what I didn’t like. I was more grateful about J showing me who I didn’t want to be. Then, I knew who I wanted to be.
  2. I practiced telling the truth as much as possible from something simple as the color of grass to my emotions and every day situations. 
  3. I remembered how it felt to have someone minimize my emotions, feelings, and body (mental construct). No one should ever feel like an outcast for telling the truth. I tried my best to include others (classmates, friends, new kids on the block, to coworkers)in whatever I was doing. 

My childhood sexual abuse experienced uncovered several treasures, including:

1. The “what I say to you. I say to me” principle. If I encourage you to do something, I should be doing it myself.

2. As a child, I prayed to see the innocence in people. I did not want my heart to harden because of what someone else did. Oh man! This one hit me again. It’s easy to judge people when you feel like they have disappointed you. 

As I focused on the treasures of the disappointment, I continued to chip away at the guilt, shame, and other emotions and feelings lingering from my experience with childhood sexual abuse. 

We do not have to live with anger, blame, guilt, shame, resentment, and vengeance. Embrace the experience and know there are treasures waiting for you. 

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (Matthew 7:7, NIV)

Thank you for reading my post!

Make this lifetime great!

Timika

MSN BSN RN, Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, ACE Fitness Instructor, CDCES

P.S. I would love for you to join my community of being bent on using our experiences as stepping stones to our divine purpose, healing from the inside out, and achieving and sustaining optimal health. Subscribe to @timikaschambers.com by clicking the link below.

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