We live in a world flooded with coercive manipulation as socially accepted persuasions and selling techniques: whether through spiritual life, corporations, politics, consumer choices or today’s biggest influencer: social media.
This gets packaged as helpful tools or self-development techniques to improve the quality of our lives. Frequently we buy into this manipulative, repetitive, fear-based message. Why are we such easy targets? Do we need to look a little further: back to where we come from.
“When I discover who I am, I’ll be free.”
― Ralph Ellison
No, it didn’t begin with you. Those coming before have had a much larger influence on your life and choices than you realize. We can look to our parents and generations that preceded them for who we are. There are key family and cultural beliefs that become embedded in our core identity early on.
It can track back as early as conception or uetero. These implanted pieces including those from early developmental times to around seven years old can feel like they are placed in concrete. They feel absolutely who we are and represent a key piece of our identity. But is this real? Or, is it simply part of the unspoken family belief system that is carefully handed down from generation to generation.
How it Happens
In our families there are strong beliefs that have a brainwashing aspect to them. Although families may not use same processes as cults, corporations or the media to indoctrinate us there can be similar qualities.
We are not speaking of healthy families who encourage critical thinking. Where: individuals are supported to ask questions, test boundaries, foster exploration to discover your own identity under the guidance of tribe or family.
I am referring to unhealthy, dysfunctional, wounded family systems. They can be driven by excessive fear and control that worked to supress your own uniqueness and creativity.
Brainwashing can be defined as extreme thought, behaviour, emotional control and obedience with the spoken or unspoken threat or fear of withholding, punishment, or retribution.
There is freedom waiting for you. On the breezes of the sky. And you ask “What if I fall?”
Oh but my darling, What if you fly?” ― Erin Hanson
Some ways of thinking have been handed down families lines for centuries and are simple beliefs resting on a foundation of fear or self-loathing. Life has to be a struggle. I can never be enough. I will not succeed by following my own dreams. I need to conform and follow what the norm is.
If a verbal or implied message is repeated again and again eventually it is believed. Research has been done which shows this to be 90 percent effective. There is a glitch in our brain where the interaction of repetition and assumption makes us form our beliefs around whatever is most familiar
It makes a highly effective marketing vehicle for gurus, corporations, and media and could have been a covert tool that was consciously or unconsciously accepted within the family.
Through ongoing and repeatedly abusive, demeaning, belittling language there is a desensitizing and disassociation that may occur for individuals to survive the situation and continue to function in the world.
Guilt or Fear
Guilt and fear of real or perceived physical or verbal retaliation, being humiliated or rejected these are effective instruments used to control and keep someone compliant. Think back to your own childhood: was there some kind of message you repeatedly received that might have inadvertently been adopted as your own belief? But in reality was not of your own creating.
It may have been subtle or even subliminal. Or it may have been a brutal in your face experience. Both have the effect of unknowingly becoming fused into your identity. That is how it can be unintentionally passed from one generation to the next.
Changing the Recording
This entails not making merely the decision to leave the past in the past nor to simply think bright, sunny, positive thoughts. There is a little more to reclaiming yourself. First, consider that there may be a possibility some of what you think may not be coming from your own belief system.
Consider that there may be another way of thinking. Who you thought was you, maybe it is not you. Could there be room for new possibilities?
Emerging to Wholeness
Remember anything learned can be unlearned. This was something you experienced, not who you are. What a fabulous survival system you have that allows you to be who you are and where you are so change can take place NOW.
“This is a wonderful day. I’ve never seen this one before.”
~ Maya Angelou
Karen Johnson | 416.732.2661
Metaphysical ~ Shamanic Healer | Somatic Experiencing Practitioner | Intuitive Consultant | Trauma Therapist | Family Constellation Therapist