Life can have a way of eclipsing our true self, emergent from negative life events sometimes as far back as childhood. As a result of a bad experience, we become disconnected from our true selves and others. Such past wounds include: a parent that dies, is emotionally or physically absent, neglectful, critical, jailed, mentally or physically ill, addicted, inadequate parenting, family dysfunction, domestic violence, divorce, mistreatment, abuse (psychological, emotional, verbal, physical, sexual), isolation, being different, outside the box, teased, ridiculed, bullied, hazing, coming out, suffering a misfortune, loss, trauma, and the list goes on. So what does this have to do with you?
Population surveys indicate that 80% of people have experienced an event qualifying as traumatic. So these issues are everybody’s issues. As it turns out, there’s a profound relationship connecting the negative experiences in childhood (childhood adversity) to many of the mental, physical, and social problems we see adults having in our society today. Even though a traumatic event may have happened a long time ago, a childhood adversity can shift our bodies into stress overdrive for decades. And adding decades over a lifetime, the cumulative effects of this overload of stress has detrimental effects on our health and well-being, (even after controlling for the risk factors associated with the negative effects of self-soothing, unhealthy coping strategies such as overeating, smoking cigarettes, drinking excessive alcohol, illicit drug use, unsafe sex). The detrimental effects of long term stress include: fear, panic, anxiety, lack of concentration, sleep disturbance, impulsive and compulsive behavior, depression, suicidal ideas, anger issues, violence, substance abuse and other addictions, high risk behaviors, crime, low esteem and self-worth, self-destructive behavior, undereating, overeating, body image issues, self-mutilation, poor relationships, isolation, loneliness, psychiatric illness; In addition to: heart, lung, liver, and autoimmune diseases, cancer, diabetes, sexually transmitted diseases, chronic fatigue, pain, premature death, and so on. Surveys find 80% of doctor visits are stress related. Childhood adversity is therefore America’s most important public health issue.
All of this complex data is made quite simple when you boil it down to two truths.
(1.) Many people’s entire lives end up revolving around protecting themselves by never allowing themselves to be vulnerable again; and
(2.) What’s not being dealt with comes out in other ways. For instance, John was sexually abused as a child by his father during the night while sleeping. Today he’s a 300 pound nurse working the night shift, addicted to pain killers. When he sleeps, he sleeps with his eyes open. Unconsciously, he’s designed his life to be safe as best he could – he guards against any further sexual advances by being paid to stay alert all night and by keeping on excessive weight. Sleeping with his eyes open wards off any potential perps in the middle of the night, thinking he’s awake. John is always on guard, never really resting. Even when sleeping he’s watching. But he has life threatening health problems from: working the graveyard shift, insomnia, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, depression, and escaping his secret and emotional pain with food and drugs. In another case, Max always believed his father was ashamed of him for being “soft.” All he’s ever wanted in life was to gain his father’s love and admiration through his accomplishments. He became a high power executive with lots of money, developing severe stress and Type A Personality Traits in an unconscious attempt to win his dad’s approval. As it turns out, he developed severe anxiety/panic, dangerously high blood pressure, and ended up having a massive heart attack at age 54, almost dying. Like John and Max, most people spend their whole lives doing the best they can, but ultimately avoiding their pain, only to arrive to the physician half a century later with obesity, diabetes, and depression, or high blood pressure, clogged arteries, and disabling anxiety, not to mention failed relationships.
Research has shown that problems in your health and well-being today are connected to negative experiences that happened in the past. In short, even though something may have happened a long time ago, it can still be affecting you today. The ongoing effects of stress are bad for your physical and mental health, leading to poor quality of life, illness, and early death. The nation's worst health and social problems are rooted in adverse childhood experiences. Thus, linking adverse childhood experience to one's problems later in life is the most important public health issue of our time. Triumph over anxiety, depression, problems with relationships, addictions, shame surrounding sexuality or gender which blocks your true self, abuse or other trauma that eclipses your authentic self, mind-body ailments, adverse effects of poor medication therapy management, and so on.
What Angelo knows is that childhood wounds can be driving your life today. It’s only by courageously confronting our challenges and triumphing over them that we can reclaim our true selves. Once this reconnection happens, nothing can pull us away from ourselves again. When each man truly connects with himself – with who he really is in this way, he connects not only with his own humanity, but with the humanity in others. And once he feels this connectedness, human differences disappear, oneness predominates, he becomes anchored in love, and the world is a better place.
It makes sense you would want to distance yourself from painful experiences. Even though you have moved forward in your life, carrying a distressed past can get heavy. You may think that you can go it alone, staying strong. You might believe it’s unmanly, weak, and sissy-like to share your feelings for unfamiliar, woman-like benefits. You may think you should have been tougher and protected yourself. You may fear that one small leak might open the floodgates of unfamiliar emotion that won’t ever stop. But you know how sometimes you feel mad, sad, nervous, or confused? How you sometimes feel broken, different than other people, or like you don’t fit into the world, and you just can’t put your finger on why?
What Angelo knows is that there can be long term effects from childhood wounds. Even though they happened long ago, they can still be directing your life today. But Angelo also knows that it is absolutely possible for you to take your power back. You are not flawed, disordered, or crazy. You may have been affected, but you are not damaged, injured, or sick. You are capable of breaking through shame, self-blame, and insecurity; to feel safe and good again; to reclaim your true-self which was never tarnished; to have a fulfilling life with healthy relationships. You can harness the resilience you use to survive to help move forward. How does he know? Because he did it. He isn’t an exception and neither are you. If he can do it, you can do it too.
Recovery from childhood wounds has brought Angelo some of the most incredible anguish he’s ever known. But confronting his demons head on has proved to be the most worthwhile thing he’s ever done. He had the will, courage, and strength to work through his pain to get to the other side. His suffering has great meaning for him, as it’s helped him be a consultant / facilitator / author to assist other men. Pain isn’t the enemy. The enemy is fear. Angelo believes in your will, courage, and strength. He believes in you. You can face your pain, freeing yourself from it.
So what Angelo does is empower men like you. You can have greater health, happiness, love, confidence, peace, and success. You are resilient. Inside of you lies a natural capacity to heal & thrive, which is one of your greatest strengths. Nothing that has ever happened to you can keep you from moving forward to live an excellent life. You really can have more: health, happiness, love, confidence, peace, and success. Like the phoenix rising from its ashes, you can still triumph over any challenge in your life and realize your dreams. It's never too late for anyone who truly wants it and is willing to try. You have mountain moving strength. Become empowered to lessen your troubles, be your authentic self, and feel good. You are a courageous warrior.
Challenge brings us the opportunity to look inside ourselves and decide what we truly want. Ultimately, we are energy. Regardless of what happened to us in our past, the energy that each and every one of us emanates out into this world is our responsibility. Each man comes to recognize that no one is coming to fix, rescue, or save him. He alone is responsible for his life and for the energy he puts out today. And the energy he chooses to put out today is the same energy that will come back to him tomorrow. We have the power to choose. We can choose to move forward, to relate, to be compassionate, to love unconditionally and to be aligned with universal love consciousness. Once we understand this law, we are free to take charge of ourselves and our life. We can create an amazing life for ourselves and all that surrounds us.
Take that first step toward accomplishing your personal and professional goals. You will receive custom tailored skill sets and solutions based on your unique situation. Contact me to begin your heroic journey today.
Read more about my philosophy and overcoming a hard knock life by clicking Vlog for my article Champions Of A Hard Knock Life.