Cleaning the Basement of My Mind to Enjoy the Spring of My Life
In the sprit of spring, somebody bring the Windex.
I feel held back.
Not by anyone or anything per se but by my own stifling memories housed in the basement of my mind.
And in the spirit of spring, the season of lovely, new experiences, fresh beginnings, and great shifts in perspectives, I felt that it was only appropriate to begin to clean the memories that have kept me in a perpetual bind.
After all, there can be no spring in my life without a purging season beforehand.
There are three significant clusters of memories in my life that I feel have been the origin that bred unfortunate and unfavorable experiences for me later on.
These memories brought with them feelings that I had great trouble ridding myself of. They became embedded into my personality and I slowly started seeing it as my identity. The memories became the flawed premise that I would think from, act from, and feel from. I was sabotaging myself everyday but kept telling myself that that was just who I was.
Dr. Bruce Lipton, an American developmental biologist would say that I’m not so special in that feeling. He claims that “95% of our life comes from our subconscious programming we receive as children from age 0-7”.
In other words, the experiences we have as a child shape us for the rest of our lives, unless we internally change our interpretation of those experiences.
As for me, I had a problem with heartbreak as a child. There were several meaningful, negative experiences that broke my heart and left impactful scars on me.
The Series of Heart Breaks and Their Effects
I think it was difficult as a child to accept that I was a different type of person than the rest of my family. I thought differently, I had different interests, different self expression, and a different sense of myself and my surroundings. This caused my family to call me "strange", "weird", and even question how I could even be a part of the family. I know, it sounds like the typical black sheep story but being such a sensitive and susceptible child, it made me feel alienated and like I didn't belong.
I started to believe that I was incredibly strange and that no one could relate to me. It sounds silly to me now but I didn't really know any better at the time. It's how my child mind formed beliefs. And this particular belief took an interesting toll on me as I grew older. It's really no surprise that I would have trouble connecting with others but the belief that I was too strange caused me to not even attempt to make any connections. I was too afraid that I would be shunned and not accepted.
The belief also affected my home life. I started becoming extremely closed off with my family; never wanting to share anything with them. This is still a problem in my life today that I struggle with.
My family and I were like nomads because we moved around an awful lot. In 23 years, I’ve lived in 19 different houses. I constantly kept switching neighborhoods, communities, and schools. And in concert with my absurd belief about my strangeness, it was almost impossible to make friends and keep them. So when I finally did make friends it was like a miracle to me and when I’d end up moving and leaving them behind, it broke my heart. And little by little I began feeling lonely and isolated.
As an adult, I still have some troubles maintaining friendships but I have been actively working on it. My struggles revolve around the fact that it feels somewhat unnatural to me to have long term relationships. The notion that friendships somehow have expiration dates was deeply ingrained into me. I would sabotage my own friendships by exacerbating small, normal issues within the confines of my friendships and use it as an excuse to run away from my friends. It was an awful habit that I had naturally picked up and one that I have been taking the time to undo.
Another struggle that had formed from incessantly moving all the time was the idea that I somehow didn't deserve stability. I'm at a point in my life where being stable in every sense of the word is extremely important to me. But because I don't really know what stability feels like, it's been sort of difficult to create it for myself. As of late, it has been my main focus; something that I am striving for.
Lastly, growing up I had a limited amount of resources available to me. My parents struggled a lot raising my siblings and I, and we often didn't have anything more than what was absolutely necessary. I thoroughly remember wanting to do things and have things that I couldn't. Watching in the background as my peers had experiences that I could only dream of was really heart breaking for me at the time. My child mind completely internalized the notion of never having enough. This introduced me to the idea of limits. I began setting the bar low for myself and the reasoning was because I thought I couldn't acquire any more than what I needed.
This carried over into my adult life and I find myself still breaking the mental barriers I had set for myself regarding never having enough. It feels like a battle most times but I am getting better and working at it everyday.
The Process of Reprogramming Myself
The process of cleaning up my memories and the ideas associated with them is quite uncomplicated. Every night before I sleep, I immobilize my body and relax completely. I take an awful memory, one that’s kept me in a crippling bind, and I walk into it like I’d walk into a market. Within the memory, I find my younger self and I console her. I offer her a beautiful new perspective; one that she doesn’t yet have access to. I gift her clarity and provide understanding. And most importantly, I forgive the situation, everyone involved, and myself.
This is such a simple process and yet the way I feel after is unmatched. I feel the grip of these memories loosen bit by bit and after every session I feel more free and lighthearted.
It's honestly mind blowing to think that childhood memories could make me develop such serious mental blocks. They stifled me, made me quiet, made me second guess myself, and prevented me from moving forward. I’d even psyche myself out of an opportunity before even trying.
But making an honest effort to rewrite the programming instilled in me since a child has been rewarding and worthwhile for me. Although I have not completely eradicated the struggles that stem from the memories of negative experiences in my life, I have made great strides. I feel my life improving in a significant way and I can't wait to enjoy the new life I am creating for myself. I am excited to bask in the spring of my life.