I’m going to go a bit deep and hippy on you all for a little bit as something has been on my mind for a couple of weeks and I’m going to do something about it after I’ve written this all down…
I have been considering Elsa a lot recently and thinking about how she is slowly changing into an older girl who will soon enough be a teenager and then an adult. It worries me that experiences she has had as a child may affect her as an adult and was wondering if any of you had thoughts on the matter. We all have experiences both negative and positive in our lives and actually and I would argue that having a fair share of both is healthy; it helps you learn to cope, how to deal with situations and people that may not be such a positive force of energy.
In particular, today I was reading about internal and external experiences; internal being things we physically experience and external being things we observe and take in. Needless to say they can both be positive and negative, it depends on what we allow ourselves to a) acknowledge and b) take in. So for example, if every day you sit and watch reality TV, soap operas and trash such as all the people on benefits bashing shows Channel 4 keeps plowing out then this is going to impact your lives negatively as you’ll believe that drama of this kind is how life really should be. It isn’t.
We are the person we choose to be, formed through day to day witnessings and situations. I have had several rather traumatic experiences in my life and as such, I think I can cope with pretty much anything. In fact, I can’t think of anything that could happen that would dramatically faze me. Is this good or bad? Am I damaged now or just a strong individual? I like to think I am strong because I’ve coped through these ordeals and risen up virtually as a different person. As I read in one book, we all have scars in our memories but can choose to use these scars in creating new and positive familiarities and happenings or we can use them to perpetually feel sorry for ourselves and victimised.
I’ll give you an example; several years ago Jude, Elsa and I were forced to leave our home for almost nine months because their father refused to move out. Literally the minute we walked back through the door I felt like a new person. I had my life back but it was an entirely different life that felt like a new start, I could literally see white light and clarity all around us. It’s funny because I don’t really remember life before that special moment; a man came to change the locks for us and that is now pretty much my earliest adult memory. I think my mind has locked all the bad exposures away somewhere in my brain because they are now entirely irrelevant but has first used them to make me who I am today.
I feel it is now my responsibility to help Elsa to use her experiences in a positive way. As a toddler, she witnessed things I’d never want anyone to see and sporadically she mentions things she remembers, even to this present day. Yesterday she reflected on when she occasionally had to sleep over at her paternal grandmothers, I had completely forgotten about this episode (see above!) and in reminding me she said “don’t you remember? When Daddy was forced to get out of our house?” She’s got so many scars that I want to heal but I think it’s going to take help. I read that we can use our internal and external experiences to influence people, create understanding, feelings, induce love and memories and therefore initiating as many positive interactions as possible through every word and communication we form. This is where I need to encourage Elsa and find positivity influences that she can employ in her own way.
Mindfulness – something a couple of friends of mine live by who I will be calling upon to suggest readings for Elsa and possible groups or activities.
We are taught to process our thoughts and deal with emotions by witnessing the actions of stable adults in our lives, those who allow us to feel safe and secure in our decisions. I think Elsa is lucky in that she has a good basis for strength around her so we just need to channel that energy in a way that further helps her. I want her experiences both past and present to be used positively but it’s a topic I know very little about so will research and get back to you with information. I may actually ask one of my friends to do a mini interview on this blog as this is a subject that could help everyone.
I’ll leave this image for you – it’s one that has been frequently shared online but it was the first thing that really made me think about mindfulness, initially as it made me laugh but secondly because I am most definitely the person on the left!
Are you mind full or mindful?