Search Results for "childhood emotional neglect"

My mother left this earth on November 19, 2020. Marie Boos Filakovsky was 88.

There is grief. It’s showing up as lethargy, insomnia, fatigue, and sadness. I am always amazed at how strong the mother-daughter bond is.

Mom and I had a complicated relationship. The product of Childhood Emotional Neglect herself, she passed that on. She married a good man, my father, and lived out the 1950s script of a good Catholic girl, wife, and mother.

Mom and me, Aug. 2017

I never knew who she really was.

Until she was 78.

That’s when I started giving her custom Healing Codes. And I watched her change.

The changes in my mother solidified for me the power of The Healing Codes.

I can still remember the day she asked me how I was doing—and meant it. Before that, our weekly calls were mostly about her. It didn’t feel like she really was interested in me. Until that day.

From then on, she opened her heart more and more. I discovered to my astonishment that she had a tender, sensitive heart. For most of her life, she had hidden it under layers of socialization. Once she said to me, “You are giving me what I should have given you,” i.e. emotional support.

Then she had a stroke. And a second one, in 2017. After that, communication was very difficult. In a way, I lost the mother I’d just found.

A few weeks ago she was put on palliative care, and it was really difficult not to go out there. But with COVID-19, I just couldn’t risk flying out, for her sake and mine. I was told that it was too taxing for her to talk on the phone.

It was so hard, being cut off from her in her last days. Read More→

The 3 C’s of Healing

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Ever since I embarked on this healing journey, for myself and others, I have been fascinated, perhaps even obsessed, with what makes people heal (and, conversely, what prevents healing).

Since many of my clients are making great progress, I have been studying what they are doing. Are there any key ingredients to their healing that caused major transformation in just a few short weeks?

Turns out there are. I have boiled it down to 3 C’s: Courage, Compassion, and Commitment. Read More→

The Big Shift that Heals

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“Is life happening TO you or FOR you?”

When this question was posed to me, it stopped me dead in my tracks.

I had been trying to process the events of the past five years. They were a rough five years, and the recent “emotional inflammation” of world events and some new personal challenges had triggered still unprocessed issues.  It felt important to revisit the traumas of the past several years from the perspective of this question.

CC BY by uriba

It all started in 2015, with a dental crisis. Then my husband was forcibly retired, and the family lost our medical insurance, not to mention his income. We had to fight his employer to get unemployment insurance.

My son was also laid off at the same time. My husband’s sister, Connie, got cancer and was put on hospice. My husband became her Power of Attorney, and we discovered Connie’s caregiver had been stealing money from her. What was especially painful is the caregiver saw to it that the money Connie was going to send my daughter for her college education was taken, and it was uncertain how my daughter was going to finish college. Read More→

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Healing from “Not Enough”

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When I wrote last December about “settling into the energy of enough,” I had no idea it would be such a journey.

I thought it would be a simple process of figuring out what “enough” was, via reading a bit about Minimalism, clear some space physically, mentally, and emotionally. I thought it would be mostly about gratitude. I did not think it would not be a big deal.

After all, haven’t I been doing healing work every single day since 2007?

Well, it’s turned into quite an undertaking. Turns out, “settling into the energy of Enough” is a lot more involved than I thought.

First of all, there’s the becoming aware of how pervasive and deep “not enough” is for me. Who knew?

I began to realize that it goes all the way back to childhood (as most things seem to do—sigh). Because I grew up with Childhood Emotional Neglect and was so different from my family (highly sensitive),  “not good enough” became a big part of me. Though I excelled at school, the family was indifferent to it. My father often said, “I wish my boys had your brains.” I took that to mean they were wasted on a girl. All that mattered for girls, in the culture I grew up in, was that they be pretty and please others, especially men.

Also, there was “not enough” of other things in the family. Attention, love, interest, money. As an adult, trying to grasp this suddenly huge issue of “enough,” I realize I continued the process by denying myself so many things that are really “me,” in favor of doing “what’s expected” (which was a big value in my family).

Religion also plays a role in this “not enough.” Distorted or incomplete religious teachings can lead you to feel you’re not good enough for God unless you do X, Y, or Z.  Even if you do grasp the meaning of grace, which is what true spirituality is all about, there’s often the subtle pressure in churches to “serve.” This is fine, but when there’s the sense that you can never really serve enough, the needs are so great and you’re being selfish to think of your own needs when there are so many people worse off than you who need what you have—then, at least for me—it becomes very toxic.

It’s not just religious communities who can send that message, either. Work environments can also foster this “not enough” mindset. “You won’t be successful if you don’t push harder, put in more hours than other people.”

You’re not enough. You don’t do enough. You don’t know enough. There is not enough. These messages are everywhere, aren’t they? Advertising is based on it.

Just becoming aware of how “not enough” affects you is the first step. Bring this unhealthy belief and the memories behind it to your Healing Code work! Using the Truth Focus Statement, I am enough, I do enough, I know enough, I have enough, there is enough has been quite a help. As I have worked with this, oh the freedom I’m experiencing!

If “not enough” is an issue for you, I would love to come alongside you on your healing journey and help you find the freedom to be you as well. Check out my coaching at HealingCodesCoaching.com.

Reframing Trauma

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I was talking with a client the other day and we were marveling at how far she has come in her healing work.

This client, whom I’ll call Debbie, has overcome severe childhood abuse, both physical and emotional, dealt to her practically since birth. What is so amazing is how well she can hear from God now, given that she actually had brain injury. And that hearing from God, plus her commitment to faithfully do The Healing Codes, is leading to much healing.

It occurred to me that it’s quite possible that her extraordinary spiritual attunement might have come, not despite the abuse, but because of the abuse. That God used the very changes in her brain caused by the abuse for his own good purposes. Sort of like how an ugly caterpillar gets transformed into a beautiful butterfly–after falling completely apart in the chrysalis first.

I can’t prove that’s true, but it’s in line with what I’ve experienced in my life and seen in the lives of others: God can take something harmful, and turn it around to accomplish something good. As I wrote about recently, God’s way is to find any small positive thing, and increase it until it overcomes the negative.

It’s also in line with many stories in Scripture. My favorite one is the story of Joseph from Genesis 37-48. At age 17, Joseph (whose name, by the way, means “increase”) was the youngest of 11 brothers–and also his father’s favorite. Out of jealousy, his brothers sold him into slavery and told their father that he was killed by wild animals.

Joseph went through all kinds of trials in Egypt, through no fault of his own. In fact, several times, things got worse for him because he did the right thing. But ultimately his fortune turned around and he ended up being second in command to Pharaoh in Egypt. When a famine drove the brothers to go to Egypt to buy grain, they met Joseph but did not recognize him. You can sense that Joseph wrestled with making his brothers pay for what they did to him, but in the end, he forgave him and reconciled with them.

Joseph’s turnaround came when he saw God’s big picture: that it was because they had sold him into slavery that the family survived the famine. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives,” he told them.

In my own life, I have pondered how God has used some of my traumas to bring me to the point I am now. Read More→

As I write this, many people from all over the world have been “sheltering in place,” to one degree or another, for at least a month.

In that time, we have all been thrown into collective grief and shock, because the changes have happened so swiftly, so totally.

Every aspect of our lives have changed—forever.

Things will never be the same.

We need to grieve that. There are some days when grief looms large indeed for me.

Grief not only for what I’ve lost, but as a Highly Sensitive empath, I also feel the pain of countless others who are suffering.

Suffering the loss of loved ones. Loss of work. Loss of a business into which they have poured themselves.

And I can’t even think of the children who are abused, trapped in homes with parents who formerly could not bear the stress, and who now are at the breaking point.

Or other victims of domestic violence.

For everyone, a way of life has been changed forever, more or less, in one way or another.

How do we cope? Is there any way to come out of this crisis stronger?

I believe there is. If we can embrace the hidden invitations of this strange time, we will develop strengths that we can bring into the “new normal” we will soon, we hope, be able to forge. 

What we need is resilience. Here are two steps  to develop your resilience.

Step One: Find the Joy Amid the Suffering

The first hidden invitation, and a big part of the healing process, is to learn to find joy even in the midst of the suffering.

Joy? In the midst of suffering? Is that possible? Read More→

Gifts from My Mentors

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From Thanksgiving to Christmas, I like to acknowledge the people who have enriched my life during the past year.

This includes, of course, my personal friends and colleagues. But you don’t know them. You can know and benefit from some of my “virtual mentors,” and those are the ones I want to tell you about.

As I reflected on those whose work has enriched either my spirit, soul, mind or body through sharing their expertise, several people came to mind.

Spirit. The most influential–and healing–approach I have ever come across is the Immanuel Approach, developed by Dr. Karl Lehman, a psychiatrist and the author of Outsmarting Yourself and The Immanuel Approach (which we Immanuel Prayer ministers, and he, refer to as “the big lion book” because it’s exhaustive at 759 pages!). From Outsmarting Yourself, I learned about “implicit memory” and how we get triggered, and how to calm body and mind. Dr. Karl Lehman’s work is all about how to let God come in and be with you in the pain, and thus heal it.

I was trained by Margaret Webb and Jessie Handy from Alive and Well in Immanuel Prayer, and continued with training from Dr. Karl Lehman through his Advanced Training seminar and monthly meetings in which local prayer ministers gather to watch and discuss a video of Dr. Lehman facilitating someone in Immanuel Approach. I also meet every other week with other prayer ministers to give and receive Immanuel Prayer. Read More→

I did.

For a long time, my body was trying to talk to me.

It was trying to tell me, ever so gently, that I was pushing it too far. That I was not paying attention to the signals that I needed to rest.

I was good about giving it nutritious, clean  food, and my body was grateful. It showed its gratitude by keeping me pretty healthy all my life, and at a fairly even weight all my life. During those times when I ate a bit too much junk food, Body put on weight, making me uncomfortable in my clothing. I didn’t want that, so I quit the junk food and my body shed the pounds. Effortlessly, I might add.

I was also good about giving it exercise. My body was happy about that, too. It obliged by keeping me energetic and fairly flexible.

(If you listen to your body, you see it is totally on your side. Your body is all about you surviving and thriving. It is always striving to keep everything in balance and functioning according to design.)

Now my body is desperately trying to tell me there was one thing I lack, one important thing that could make or break everything else.

I need more rest.

Not only more sleep, but more rest.

I hardly knew what that meant. I was used to go, go, go. Wasn’t that why Body was giving me so much energy, after all?

For years Body has patiently tried to instruct me that that energy needed to be restored periodically. Body was very patient with me, reluctantly obliging my pushing through the fatigue by pumping out more adrenaline and cortisol. It tried to tell me there would be a price to pay down the line. Read More→

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Sometimes a client will mention that they had a past life memory, or some psychic discovered thus and such about a past life.

This used to puzzle me, because I believe we only get one life to live on this earth.  Yet, it was clear they were remembering something.

When I learned about how memories can be passed down the generations in the DNA, it all began to make sense. Researchers are now cautiously admitting that such generational memories do exist. For instance, in one experiment, mice were given a shock in the presence of cherry blossoms. The researchers measured the stress responses in the mice. The next two generations of mice would show stress responses in the presence of cherry blossoms even without any shock being administered.

Traumas in one generation can get passed down to subsequent generations, it seems. Read More→

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How to Fully Process a Feeling

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Do you know how to fully process your emotions?

I sure didn’t, for most of my life.  I grew up in a family where emotions were never talked about. (I now know it’s called Childhood Emotional Neglect.) Sometimes people were angry or sad (hardly anything else), but I never saw anyone work through any of it, not even when something really tragic happened. I got the sense that feelings were a great inconvenience to other people. So I just stuffed them.

Making things worse, for me, was that I was born with the trait of High Sensitivity Processing, shared by 15-20% of the population. One of the four main aspects of the trait is “emotional responsiveness.” As a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), I was literally wired to be emotional. Yet it was a language that wasn’t spoken. No wonder I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere!

It wasn’t until I met April, in my twenties, that I got a clue that emotions might actually be useful. April was the first truly emotionally healthy person I had ever met up to that point. 

I got to know April really well from being in a small group at my church with her and her husband Bob, among others, for many years. She would regularly ask, “How do you feel about that?” or “How are you really?” And you knew she really cared, so you opened up to her. No surprise that she went on to become a licensed social worker, and a very successful therapist.

I recently saw April, and she spoke openly about what it’s been like to grieve the loss of her wonderful husband, Bob, with whom she had been in love since they were both 13. Bob was very special to my husband and me, as well.

Talking to April again, seeing how thoroughly she was processing her grief, reminded me how important it is to know how to feel and work through emotions so that they are fully processed. I hope what follows will help you in your own healing work. Read More→

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