Our childhood experiences can shape our personality and have a decisive impact on our current beliefs and our outlook on life. As children, we interpret stressful events to the best of our ability and do our best to survive. Our parents and friends negative comments can stay with us for a lifetime. A child’s defensive mechanism is to stop feeling his/her pain by numbing his/her feelings, hence creating a belief system (most likely a limiting one) to explain what they are experiencing.
Think back to your childhood and the possible filters you may have put in place. If you were an enthusiastic child and you were scolded for your excitement, you may have put a filter on your feelings to suppress expressing your enthusiasm to avoid criticism and judgment. If you were an imaginative person you may have been labeled by friends and family as “spacey” or “weird”, and you may have applied a filter to ignore and avoid expressing your creative imagination. If you have been criticized or ridiculed for feeling your sadness for the loss of a pet (grieving process), you may have put a filter on avoiding feeling sad and subsequently numbing yourself in order to survive.
In the context of Tending to Your Garden Within, we need to become conscious of the types of rocks (slows down our growth) that we have placed in our garden within. It is our responsibility as a gardener to evaluate the presence of those rocks and transform (remove) those rocks that no longer serve us.
Congratulations! We have survived our childhood. We are here to thrive. Our childhood filters placed on us by a five year old, under duress, may still be acting upon us. These filters show themselves in the form of our feelings, in our words, and sometimes in what we express our dislike for. It is necessary to do a housecleaning of our childhood beliefs to have a thriving life now. The poem below describes the concept of filtering further.
Imagine that a five year old child
who feels insecure and hurt
what you see, feel, listen to, smell and sense
as an adult.
Imagine he/she puts a filter on your senses
to censor things for
your own protection.
What you just imagined is most likely true.
We placed such a filter on our senses
five, ten , fifty or many years ago.
Do you know what you may feel
is a very small percentage of the range of feelings
available to you?
We place such temporary filters
when we were hurt for our own protection.
As a child it was necessary.
Why do we still let the five year old
control our experiences?
Why are we still giving away our freedom to
see, feel, smell and hear things fully?
Why do we trade our freedom to be fully alive
for the perceived security
of the small hurt child the we once were?
Do not let the five year old inside convince you
that it is still for your own good to be censored.
Perhaps your own good is to be
alive and vibrant without the filters.
Perhaps your own good is to
a concept foreign to a hurt five year old
drowning in fear and insecurity.
Perhaps we need to start asking ourselves.
What are my filters?
Why they were created?
How were they created?
Do I still need them
for my highest good?
Copyright @ 2010 by Shervin Hojat