Tag Archive: child abuse

The investigation into childhood and or past memories can be both good and bad—both a retrospect of anger, fear and frustration and hopefully also fond memories of compassion and love. We all have different stories to tell. All experiences, whether good or bad, shape us into the person we were in the past, who we are in the present, and who we will become in the future. I love the game of poker and surprisingly there is a metaphor to be drawn here. Poker is a challenging game because it requires skill, luck and some psychology. It reminds me of life in many ways. Even with all the skills to navigate this ever changing world, still there is the element of luck and probability. Some things we just can’t control. The game of “Draw Poker” can be frustrating when round after round you keep getting dealt bad cards. Our childhood and distant past are poker cards in the game of life. Many times, our history deals cards that do not help our proverbial chip stack, but in keeping with this playing card metaphor, we always have the opportunity to discard the bad and draw new cards. We can also fold our hand completely if we do not like what has been presented to us. We can reject what has been dealt to us but still have faith that better luck will come. Probability promises that…

When we look back on a shadowed past, we need to realize that these past childhood and early adult memories can be affecting us as individuals on many unseen levels. Everyone has witnessed a myriad of positive and negative experiences that have shaped us to some degree. We must realize, however, that the shadows of the past may be concealing an enigma that is influencing our future and perhaps even the futures of others around us. For me, I noticed that anger and frustration began to surface as an adult and later as a parent. This frustration born from ego and control patterns was directly related to how I was raised as a child. It took years to understand this. Negative childhood experiences are not just memories, but hard wired control patterns that unknowingly color our thoughts, actions and reactions. I recently wrote about the nature of awareness and clarity. After years of self-reflection, I gained an awareness of my childhood. I was able to separate myself from the memories and low self-esteem that used to define me. As a younger adult, awareness comes when I felt frustrated and angry. I used this as a trigger of mindfulness to stop and not react blindly. To stop, pause and ask myself in the moment, “why am I angry or frustrated right now”, tends to shed light and awareness on the moment; on the challenge at hand. Many times the answer is deeper than the moment that caused it. But it is the pause that stops us from reacting blindly and projecting something out into the world that does not define you.

Now, I have learned to make space for such control patterns that facilitate anger and frustration. When I realized I was heading down a path of dysfunction, I made a positive change in my actions. Instead of reacting blindly and reinforcing old patterns of behavior, I changed my actions for the better. I broke the chain of dysfunction by connecting to a higher level of awareness. Lets face it, there are some things in the past we just can not change. What we can change is the present moment which invents the future.

When looking back on your past, if feelings and memories feel a little abrasive; if this process feels uncomfortable, then you are probably heading down the right path. Feeling raw emotions is a level of mindfulness and it is an integral part of the overall process. Think about it, we need to know pain and suffering in order to know the difference between that and pleasure and bliss. Otherwise, how would you differentiate the two? Feeling an abrasive quality as you toy and catalog your past emotions is healthy and necessary. No matter what type of negativity wells from the past, the goal is to tie it all into a positive completion of the process. Feel the negative emotions of the past, but then settle in the notion that things will get better. That you are in control – not the past. Think of it this way: We are all writers of our own story. Someone else may have helped start your story but that beginning does not have to define you. Also great stories start with challenges and it is up to the hero or heroine to solve the challenges and create a happy ending. You are the writer now. You are the hero or heroine. The past has no power unless you give it power.

Pen a good ending…

John C. Bader is a photographer, wellness advocate and consultant specializing in spiritual self-evolution, meditation, and bio-energy healing. In his writing, he bridges science with spirituality and provides steps to encourage more mindfulness in daily life. His new book, The Responsive Universe – Illumination of the Nine Mandalas is a step by step process on how to begin your very own journey in Self-Discovery.

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We know toxins in food are bad for you. We also know that high levels of stress are bad for you as well. A new study released recently in the Molecular Psychiatry publication and written by author Idan Shalev, makes a startling revelation:  Violence ages children’s DNA.  I can recall that my childhood was less than perfect and trust me, that is an understatement. It makes me wonder how an abusive childhood could be affecting my life span.

Scientists are able to measure cellular aging by studying the cells of children’s chromosomes called Telomeres. Telomeres are special DNA sequences that act like the plastic tips on shoelaces, which prevent the DNA chromosomes from unraveling and degenerating.  These DNA chromosomes get shorter each time cells divide and each time a cell divides the sequence gets shorter until it cannot divide anymore – thus cellular death.

Several factors have been documented to shorten Telomeres including smoking, radiation and psychological stresses like early childhood abuse. Research shows Telomeres shorten faster in kids exposed to two or more types of violence or abuse. This is further evidence that shows we live in a Responsive Universe and the ability to wield the hand of God exists in all of us. In this case, maybe it is the hand of the Devil (if you believe in that stuff).

Point is, humans, children especially, are responsive creatures that need love and energy. The opposite is true as well. We all wield the power to take energy and life from others. There is hope though; in rare cases Telomeres can lengthen through better nutrition, exercise and stress reduction.  I guess it is a good thing I juice and exercise.

I think the long and the short is this – hug and love your children; live with compassion and know that every action you create does create a positive or negative reaction based on its source. Be mindful and create positive energy in every facet of your life.


John C. Bader


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