Why We Can Never Move Past Our Childhood Until We Face It

 

Most of us find little use in dissecting our past and dredging up old childhood memories. We wonder, “What does that have to do with the mess I’m in today?” “What good can possibly come from talking about my childhood?”

 

For many, their family life growing up was less than ideal, and brings up painful memories that have long since been buried. Or so we thought.

 

Much of our life today, from how we handle stress, how we interact in relationships, to the things we believe about ourselves, about others, about God is directly shaped from our experiences within our families growing up.

 

We cannot outrun it, we cannot forget it. We are powerful to heal the wounds from our past and move past them as we learn to come face to face with them. Here is an excerpt from my new book, Peace For a Lifetime, that shares the importance of dealing with our childhood wounds so that we can build a life for ourselves and our children, that is uniquely different, emotionally abundant and peace-filled.

 

From the time we open our eyes in the morning, we are constantly coming into contact with people—whether they share our bed, our house, our neighborhood, our office, or our church. At the point we make contact, something unique happens. A spark ignites, a reciprocity of energy is exchanged, and a dynamic is created.

Our best understanding of relational dynamics comes from the system of dynamics set up in our family of origin. The family style where we were raised carries a powerful force where individual members learn to connect with one another in unique ways that are mutually affecting. Patterns evolve whereby each member adopts a certain role within the family that allows the system to function as a whole.

Family systems form the basis for all our human interactions and relationships because the role we adopt within the family system is usually carried into all of our future adult relationships. These roles become a stable, though sometimes unconscious, part of our identity. Because family systems are driven by a process called homeostasis, the tendency to maintain stability or equilibrium, they are therefore usually resistant to change.

Have you ever had the experience of going back home to visit after having been away and feeling as though you were fifteen years old again the moment you walked through the door? That is the power of homeostasis at work within the family system. Some people might resist returning home because of the incredibly strong dynamics that leave them feeling child-like, helpless, weak, or even angry. Avoiding home may seem to provide the best solution.

While there are some extreme situations where home was physically, emotionally, or sexually abusive, and being cut-off provides the option of last resort for survival and health, most of us experience the fullness of our relational healing by returning home, figuratively speaking. This means our healing becomes complete the more we can understand our role in the family system, learn how to unhook from the homeostatic force that wants us to stay the same, and begin to differentiate ourselves well enough to interact with others, even our family of origin, from a place of peace and EA. The power of returning home frees us from our historical role in the family system and allows us to carry this freedom—this new, solid self into all of our adult relationships.

Interestingly, we can at any time, from any place, with any person begin to exercise EA in our relationships. No decision for EA is ever wasted. The muscles that we strengthen in one relationship can be translated into other relationships. Please note, the goal is never to change or fix someone else. The goal is to heal, understand, and grow ourselves so we can engage in any relationship and experience peace for ourselves as we connect with our loved ones.

 

It is never too late to heal and to grow. Our relationships will flourish as we are able to understand our childhood influences as well as feel and manage our emotions effectively so that we are better able to express them in a healthy way to the people around us.

 

The results are worth it. You are worth it. You don’t have to remain chained to the same old ways of dealing with life that you’ve been using. You are not destined to “be” just like your father or mother or others from your childhood. God has a unique plan and purpose for you. He wants you to be free from those chains so you can embrace your God-given identity and destiny.

 

In my book, Peace For a Lifetime, I share simple, practical life steps that can help you understand the life God desires for you. This material can help you create and experience an indestructible peace – not just for today, not just for tomorrow, you can experience peace…for a lifetime!

 

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9 Comments

  1. Mary Dolan Flaherty

    February 20, 2016 at 8:11 AM

    Congratulations on your new book, Lisa! I agree that dealing with the past is the only way forward. I had to face a lot of unpleasant memories many years ago in order to get on the other side of emotional healing. It was the only way for me to move forward in freedom in Christ. Important topic. I’m sure it will bless many. Visiting from Word of God Speak.

    • lisamurray

      February 22, 2016 at 7:10 AM

      Thank you, Mary, for your kind words! With Christ, we can face our past and become freed from it. We can find hope, wholeness, and abundance that will change our lives forever! Blessings, friend!

  2. I’ve had to work through childhood wounds a lot in my life. And you are right, they really do shape who we are today. So thankful for God’s Word, that continually reminds me that I am chosen, that I am His and that I don’t have to be perfect.

    • lisamurray

      February 22, 2016 at 7:12 AM

      Barbie,
      Always love having you here! Yes, our wounds do shape much of how we see the world and how we learn to respond to it. Yet God is faithful to remind us that we are chosen, we are His Beloved. There is nothing better! Blessings, friend!

  3. There are times when I believe i have dealt with my childhood and other times I’m not so sure. I had so much hatred for my step-mother during those years. I have reached out to her for my own benefit to start the healing process. Not so I could get an apology more to let myself open up those wounds and start to process them with a loving God by my side. I pushed him away for so many years, it was time to start letting him help me heal spiritually and emotionally. The hatred has to turned to pity for her. I’m working on the forgiveness part each day is a journey toward freedom from the abuse that I lived through. Thank you Lisa for your insight and your godly guidance. It is not an easy journey but with tools like this and a loving God it is possible to heal and move on.

  4. Lisa, I have been so blessed by this book and recently recommended it to a friend. Yes, I tried to bury the scars of my childhood for years, but it only brought bitterness and further pain. Thank God I finally confronted my pain so I could move on. And thank you, Lisa, for a powerful message that many people need today.

    • lisamurray

      March 5, 2016 at 2:53 PM

      Abby,
      Having you on the launch team has meant the world to me! Thank you for your kind words!

  5. Congrats on your soon-to-be-released book, Lisa. 🙂 The childhood family dynamic is a hard pain to escape, isn’t it? It sometimes feels like it’s burned into your DNA, making you who you are, in many ways. My family of origin is one of dysfunction, and it definitely affects who I am. It’s a powerful force — whether for good or for bad. I’m trying to make it a good one for my children. 🙂 I wrote your book on my books-to-read list. 🙂 Blessed to be your neighbor at faith filled Friday today. ((blessings))

  6. Yes, Lisa, it is so important for us to allow Jesus to heal those wounds of the past. Just like a real, physical wound – if we just ignore it and cover it up, it will fester and become infected. I’ve had to work through A LOT – I still am! I teach my kids to run to Jesus with their hurts right away instead of hiding it. Thanks for linking up with Grace and Truth.

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