If my parent is confused. Or deluded. When I am four I can’t see that.

I am putting together the world - making sense of it. And what she or he says only registers as truth.

My parent's words are a key input into the sense-making I am doing. Because they are a primary attachment. Someone who matters a great deal.

Then I go to school. And my teachers become part of the sense-making process. The learning process.

And my classmates contribute too.

And my own particular understandings develop.

Do my parents and teachers facilitate a connection with myself?

Do they help me take in the inputs, digest them, and speak my response? Speak the sense that I make out of all of the input?

Or do they tell me how it is?

Sometimes it is astonishing how much we still, as adults, accept what we have been told. How much we are still repeating words rather than sense-making. Repeating thoughts rather than having our own.

This is experiential.

And I think it has a lot to do with very difficult experiences in our lives early on when our minds were putting it all together.

When the sense that others, who seemed so large and in control, enforced on us and we were forced to take it in. Memorize it. Repeat it. Agree with it.

Just writing this I feel upset as if I am reliving something.

We can do this differently though.

And it starts with ourselves.

We can take back our thoughts and have them.

It’s not easy at all. It was suppressed back then and we learned to keep our own energy inside.

And this isn’t about blaming. It’s about where we are right now and what we need to do.

We need to have our own thoughts.

So we can recognize when others do and when they don’t.

When we have our own thoughts we have choice. Choice about our response and choice to keep on thinking before we act.

When our thoughts have been scared out of us and we talk and talk or run or cry or drink or shake or freeze or perform…

When our thoughts have been scared out of us we cannot take care of what needs to be taken care of.

We can’t take care of ourselves.

We can’t see others and care for them.

We can’t stand up and speak when our voices are needed.

So now that you’ve read this let’s take a breath together - inhale and then exhale.

Feel what you feel in your body - physical sensations and emotions. Really feel it.

See if you can sense the thoughts you have in response emerging. What do you think?

What are you remembering?

What are you feeling?

Take another deep breath and let this response emerge.

And we’ll go from there.

This post owes a huge debt to Proprioceptive Writing and to my dear group with whom I just finished a week with at Kripalu learning how to lead transformational workshops. My heart is grateful to all of my teachers and fellow travellers. Thank-you.