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Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Adult Face of Childhood

Many of the clients that schedule a session with me come in with a very specific area of concern seeking external answers for what are often very sensitive internal conditions. Frequently, the areas of challenge are in their relationships, both personal and business. But, aren't most relationships of a personal nature? People do not leave their imprints, views, belief systems and personal lens at the office door.

Most of our views are formed at a very early age. Often, before we can even consciously identify when we began to believe something to be true.

In the astrological chart early upbringing shows up in the 4th house of home and family and the 12th house of the family inheritance. The 12th house symbolizes that which went on before we were even born. Planets positioned in these houses and the relationships they make to other planets in the chart give strong clues as to the emotional inheritance passed on from the family to the client.

Saturn in the 4th house, 12th house and difficult aspects to the personal planets, shows some level of restriction in the developmental process and is often associated with the father's emotional limitations. Ideally, childhood is about the formulation of ego, safety, self-expression through creative play and testing boundaries. But many people experience less than the ideal. Alcoholism, abuse and psychological illness within the family greatly alters the childs development and enmeshment is often the result.

Enmeshment occurs when the child is not allowed to emerge and express herself as a unique individual. When emotions arise that are not pleasing to the parent such as anger, dependency, or fear and they are met with punishment, rejeciton or shame, then the child learns that they can only have feelings which correspond to her parent's wishes or feeling states. She is not allowed to develop a separate identity grounded in her own emotional experiences.

The enmeshed child grows up taking her cues from outside of herself living a false sense of self. She believes that her well being is dependent upon others reactions and support as she is "highly" aware of everyone's else's feelings. This is a pattern that was learned very early and that she carries unconsciously into her adult world. This constant dependence on other's positive opinions of her often leaves her anxious, disappointed and frequently depressed.

Often, the parent who is herself disassociated from her own feelings of special and unique expression passes this down to her child and hence, the "family inheritance."

The good news is that people can revisit these earlier times and pick up where healthy modeling left off. Imprints can be cleared and new emotional skills developed.

Pluto in the 4th, 12th houses, or difficultly configured with the personal planets point to an early upbringing that did not model a healthy use of power and where the child felt they didn't have the "right" to say no. Boundaries are usually unhealthy or non-existent in the case of emotional and sexual abuse. The child never "learns" the development of boundaries as they were constantly invaded by people abusing their use of power.

In the case of sexual abuse it affects one's sense of trust, the experience of power (or lack thereof), future relationships and often, because of the secrecy involved, the ability to communicate. Frequently, these survivors go on to perpetrate this misuse of power and live with a "get them before they get me" orientation that keeps them in a constant survival mode.

Again, a family inheritance that was unasked for and not the person's fault although the deep feelings of shame and guilt continue to permeate one's orientation to life, love and conflict.

For me, I see a world of people walking around with the unhealed imprints of the past and the beautiful potential of the creative and authentic child within.

The child is always there underneath the veils of family and social conditioning. The authentic child is creative, loving, honest, playful, trusting and interested in feeling good..

It's not about being a "better person" it's about clearing the imprints and stepping back into the beautiful you that you already are.