Escaping Emotional Imprisonment
If you struggle with rejection and abandonment concerns, then you undoubtedly understand the term “Emotional Imprisonment.” The feeling of being rejected or abandoned is often developed in childhood, typically resulting from the actions or inactions of primary caregivers. Having your basic needs for food, shelter, love and safety not met or met inconsistently is a trauma that sets up mistrust within the early relationships that set a course for the future. Once the chains of mistrust have been shackled onto the unconscious mind, an individual is sentenced to a lifetime in the brig repeating a destructive pattern within all his or her relationships.
Think about life as a journey at sea. The unconscious mind is the ship, and the conscious mind the captain. At times the sea is calm, but can often be rough and frightening. Unless the captain steps in to navigate the ship, it can drift aimlessly, unaware of its destination or its course.
The beginning of a new liaison is wonderful and invigorating. It can seem easy to trust. This is because the hope that we all carry—things will be different this time—is activated by a new start. As time passes, we learn that the other person isn’t perfect; something that we might have known in theory but hadn’t yet seen in practice. Their human flaws wake underlying fears. We become hypersensitive to words, tones, behaviors and actions. This then triggers anxiety and the gnawing worry that the trauma will be repeated. We unconsciously search for evidence to support our belief that the event that started the rejection and abandonment is an essential part of our life, our “fate.”
Children see the world in very stark terms: whatever happens is due to good or bad luck, their parents’ problems, or an unjust society. If their universe is one of pain, they withdraw emotionally. As adults in a new relationship, the old coping mechanism kicks in sabotaging love by creating doubts and uncertainties. Once again, the relationship pattern has been repeated.
Recognizing this pattern within your behavior is essential for changing it. As a counselor and hypnotherapist, I guide clients in understanding their unconscious behaviors by asking a few simple questions.
1. Can you describe your childhood?
2. Can you relate your current feeling of mistrust to your childhood?
3. Can you identify your relationship patterns?
Why is it imperative to connect our emotions to our childhood?
The unconscious mind is developed in early childhood and is responsible for all emotions throughout your life. Whether positive or negative, everything learned in childhood is etched very deeply on your soul and will be unconsciously repeated throughout adult life…until, that is, you decide to alter course.
Change can be brought about in the conscious and/or the unconscious mind. I assist clients in bringing about transformation by utilizing both aspects of the mind. Through the power of hypnosis, I can interact directly with the unconscious mind, helping to create change while the conscious mind sleeps.
Self-hypnosis is a powerful tool for healthy transformation. Find a quiet, relaxing place for meditation and incorporate soft lighting, music, and a candle. Have a positive affirmation memorized to guide the unconscious mind toward the desired change. Something as simple as “I am willing to trust” is sufficient. In a sense, you become your own parent, reassuring the frightened child within. You take on the role of the wise, loving authority.
Make sure the affirmation resonates with you. After your surrounding is conditioned for meditation, clear your mind and begin to focus on shallow breaths. This will create a path for self-hypnosis. Begin repeating your affirmation slowly as your conscious mind starts to drift, allowing for direct communication with the unconscious mind.
Transformation also occurs when the conscious mind wants to change an unhealthy habit or pattern. Examples are committing to weight loss after many years of unhealthy eating or being determined to rebuild trust. Each individual has experienced a time within their lives when they …HAVE HAD ENOUGH…and, therefore, change was made. This is a different way of asserting authority. These moments reflect that the captain has just altered navigation of the ship and steered life in a new direction.
Rebuilding trust is about a shift in power. When mistrust is present, you are powerless, although you believe that your suspicion is a tool that protects you. Reflect back to your childhood and try to make any necessary connection to your current fears. Identify and acknowledge patterns within your relationships. Let go of negative past experiences while reminding yourself that you are and always will be safe and in control of your life.
Understanding that trust is not about finding the perfect and most trustworthy person that will never hurt you, but about being empowered by freeing yourself from the past. Do not permit your mind to manipulate you by sabotaging your relationships and continually leading you into a dangerous sea. Permit the captain to gain control by steering you into tranquil waters, allowing you to escape emotional imprisonment.