Friday, June 22, 2018

Are you from a bad or a good family?

Isn’t the concept of good and bad families just the most ridiculous thing you have ever heard of?

When some people talk of ‘good’ families, they’re not referring to members of that family treating each other, and others, with kindness and empathy. They’re referring to living in the ‘right’ neighbourhood, being white, having money, having a formal education; though if you have enough money, they might make allowances for you about the education part.

Being from a ‘bad’ family means living in a financially poor area in the ‘wrong’ neighbourhood, where most people who aren’t white live, and there is usually addiction, violence and abuse in the home. Rather than these things being seen as signs of unresolved trauma, they are viewed as badness, laziness, good for nothingness and maybe most of all, a sense of they being inferior to 'good' families.

How many times have you heard someone, usually a man having committed a sexual crime, getting off scot free for being from a ‘good family’ and being a so-called upstanding member of society? Are we joking? Why on earth is that taken into account in a court of law? He has committed a crime and as the saying goes, he must do the time. Actions have consequences, it isn’t about punishing someone, because as we know, that doesn’t work. No one can be rehabilitated if they or we don’t hold them accountable for their actions.

If you’re sexually abused by your father and your mother is complicit in that abuse and therefore it continues, you are utterly and totally betrayed. Your childhood is gone. To add insult to injury, much of society judges you for having a father and mother who not only didn’t love you, but abused you. But your parents’ actions and behaviour say absolutely nothing about the person you are. Talk about isolation. When you grow up, maybe you have to make the choice to cut contact with your parents for your own sanity and maybe even not see your extended family because there is collusion and secrecy. A double whammy if ever there was one. We, as a society can do so much better by people who have been hurt so terribly.

As Oprah said recently when she reported on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) study, we should be asking “What happened to you?”, not, “What’s wrong with you?”. The awful thing is, most people don’t even have the courage to ask “What’s wrong with you?” straight to your face, they’ll act it out in the most unkind ways instead.

The truth is, people who have been traumatised at the hands of their caregivers are often shamed for the very abuse they have had to suffer. They already feel bad because a child will never ever blame their parent because they need them to survive. Children already feel at fault and responsible for the abuse, and society, instead of showing compassion and understanding, heaps more shame upon them by saying that they came from a ‘bad’ family, not a traumatised family.

Friday, June 15, 2018


I don’t think we realise just how important and transformative acknowledging how we feel is. We don’t have to like what we’re feeling. We don’t even have to like our self for feeling what we’re feeling. We just need to acknowledge the feeling is there for whatever reason and tapping can help us enormously with this.

There is something really powerful about admitting exactly how you feel and tapping on it. One of the biggest core beliefs that blocks the feeling of so-called negative emotions is feeling like we’re a bad person for feeling a certain way.

Typically, this will be anger for women and fear for men. But remember, you can tap on anything, for example:

Even though I’m feeling angry at … and it makes me feel like a bad person/disloyal/guilty/ashamed, I deeply and completely accept myself anyway.
Even though I feel jealous of … and I shouldn’t feel this way because … I completely accept how I feel about this and myself
Even though I’m afraid of … and I’m weak for feeling this way because … I completely accept myself anyway

You’ll find you’ll start to shift in your attitude towards “negative” emotions and how you feel about yourself when you tap. You could also ask yourself where you picked up these messages about certain emotions and tap on that too.

There really is no such thing as a negative emotion, just emotions that are difficult to feel. Once you start to acknowledge how you feel and allow yourself to feel it, the emotion will have done its job and won’t get stuck in your body or mind as dis-ease. What we don’t feel, we act out or in. Feeling is one of the most important things we can do to improve our life and health.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Healing presence

Unresolved trauma dysregulates your nervous system. Every organ in your body is affected by your nervous system, therefore a dysregulated nervous system can cause dis-ease in any part of your body, including your brain.

As the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE) shows, unresolved trauma, especially early or developmental trauma, can cause many chronic health issues later on in life, both mental and physical. This is the reason why psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk says that unresolved trauma is one of the biggest public health problems in the world. Just look around you to see the evidence of that statement.

The key word here is: unresolved. We humans have lost touch with the many ways we have resolved trauma in our past. We would never have survived or evolved to this point, had we not been able to resolve most of our traumas.

Everyone is different, there isn’t any one technique, exercise or tool that works on its own, it’s a unique combination of what works for you at different times. There is one thing that is non negotiable though, and that is the support/connection/love/presence of our self and others. It is the one ingredient that is transformative.