Another side of consciousness is the ability to recognize the negative patterns and thoughts that creep into our minds and look for their roots. Once you understand these things, you can stop the playback reel. When I was eighteen and nearly failed out of my first year at the University of Alabama, I was “forced” by my dad to go to a psychiatrist. At the time, I believed it was something that only sick or weird people did. I felt embarrassed and resentful. I should have used it as an opportunity to explore and discover the patterns that had led to my poor academic performance. (Hint: a lot of it related to insecurity and a desire to fit in).
Now, more and more people are realizing that mental health and physical health are two sides of the same coin and that therapy and self-work are just as important and acceptable as hiring a trainer and going to the gym. As part of this growing awareness, more and more people are learning to identify and face the traumas and negative experiences that have shaped them and deal with negative patterns that result from them. Here are four good books about this process:
The Body Keeps the Score by Bessel Van Der Kolk
Internal Family Systems Therapy, Second Edition, by Richard Schwartz and Martha Sweezy
The Presence Process by Michael Brown
How to Do the Work by Nicole LePera.
All of these books provide help in healing trauma and negative childhood experiences. Don’t be afraid to dig in and begin the process yourself. Of course, don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist also.