As I was signing on to my email a few days ago, a story caught my eye about a shockingly heinous crime. Usually I’m able to ignore those types of stories – but not this one. A precious 7-week-old baby girl had been severely beaten by her parents and had been on life support for 3 months due to a brain hemorrhage and numerous broken bones – until a few days ago when she was removed from that support. A photo was shown of her before the beating and she was so beautiful and innocent. It broke my heart.
Most of us have instant reactions of shock, horror and rage when we read about such a crime – especially against a child, in this case a baby. It’s good we feel that way; it shows we’re human and capable of empathy for the victim of such a brutal attack. We ask ourselves how such a tragedy can happen to an innocent baby.
It’s apparent to me as I see increasingly horrific events occurring in the world today, that we’re facing an existential crisis of monumental proportions. Murder; rape; sexual, physical, emotional and other abuse of children; racially-motivated murders – often by law enforcement; child pornography; children sold into sexual slavery; children forced to work long hours in an unsafe factory building; terrorist attacks that kill hundreds of people; spousal and child physical abuse – the list goes on ad infinitum.
What is disturbing and heartbreaking to me is that more and more people are turning blind eyes and deaf ears to these tragic events because the pain of their own unresolved issues and experiences is triggered. Even now, as adults, they don’t know how to deal with that, to be happy and create lives they love. And so it escalates. The suffering continues because most people cannot bear to feel their own misery – and seek to numb it in various ways, to distract themselves from feeling it. I won’t list them here; we all pretty much know what they are.
Through my own personal experience of feeling and healing these emotions, I’ve come to see that the core emotion we can’t bear to feel is unworthiness. We’ve all been conditioned from a very early age about how life “is supposed to be” and what is “acceptable” or “unacceptable” to feel and express. Common variations on the theme of “unworthiness” are “I’m not important,” or “I’m not good enough.” Not all of this programming has been verbal – a lot has been nonverbal and hard to access with our conscious minds because we were so young when we received it. Those messages became part of our “implicit memory.” The impact of this conditioning – whether conscious or unconscious is huge! We start believing it’s true. Self-doubt creeps in and we start believing that what we want is unattainable and thus, why bother – and on it goes. So we’re walking around with an empty feeling inside like a big hole that we can never fill no matter what we do or how hard we try – because we’re trying to fill it with something outside ourselves. I’ve never known that be successful – for me or anyone else. I’ve learned on my own journey that true peace and happiness are sourced from within – never from without.
Some of you may be tired of hearing me write or talk about “shadow emotions.” You say things to yourselves like, “Why does she keep “harping” on this? That’s the past and nothing can be done about it.” That’s only partly true – we can’t change the events that occurred, but we CAN experience and release the emotions and memories that still have such a huge impact on our ability to live happy and fulfilled lives.
So why do I keep “harping” on shadow emotions? Because a precious 7 week-old baby was beaten to death as a result of her parents’ unresolved shadow emotions. My heart hurts for EVERYONE still trapped by them.