Halloween is a time when ghosts and goblins are turned into fun. Haunting and being haunted are transformed into entertainment. But every other day of the year being haunted isn’t fun at all … especially when we are haunted by our own history. Haunted by our own histories personally. And haunted by our own histories communally.
We are haunted by our own histories when we carry the wounding we experienced long ago consciously or unconsciously into our adult life, and act out what we suffered on those around us. In this way we impact our partners, our children, our friends and neighbors, those with whom we work, and others with whom we come in contact close by and far away. In this day and age we can have an effect globally through the internet without even leaving our homes. For example, cyber-bullying can hurt people right next door, beyond country borders, or across the earth.
Bullying* is a helpful, though painful, example of how we’re haunted by our history. If we were bullied as children, it is traumatic. We struggle with the experience of the bullying and how to respond inside and out. We also try to repress the memories and feelings they evoke in us, often succeeding in pushing them away or numbing ourselves to them until someone can help us safely face them and work through them inside ourselves. That pushing away of the experience can save our sanity or even our lives originally. But there is a consequence: we will re-enact the original bullying experience within ourselves and with others. We may bully ourselves internally and sometimes even silently, or right out in the open. We may criticize or even shame ourselves inside ourselves or aloud for those around us to hear, perhaps never realizing we are saying to ourselves what our parents (or some other bully) said to us or even felt about us – as their parents said to or felt about them, and their parents before them, too, back many generations.
As we unconsciously draw to us or re-create the original scenarios in our current day lives, we may find ourselves bullied by others again and again, subtly or blatantly. Or we may become a bully and do to others what was originally done to us, whether in dreams, fantasy, or in our day-to-day reality, almost imperceptibly or audibly, visibly, and ever-so-palpably.
All of this can happen in our private lives right in our own homes, or in our public lives. Some but not all … spouses bully their partners … parents bully their children … teachers bully their students … clergy bully their parishioners … doctors bully their patients … police officers bully those in their communities … government officials abuse the citizens they are governing. And all of this because they are haunted by their own experiences from long, long ago.
Last month’s blog article gave examples of how presidents and presidential candidates may have been haunted by their histories – affecting themselves and others nationwide and even globally. Many of the posts in PoliPsych show how this occurs and discuss how to heal the haunting. Without the healing, we will keep being haunted, not only on Halloween, but every single day. Without doing the inner work to heal our past traumas, we will keep being haunted ourselves and we will keep haunting those our own haunting trauma impacts, both up close and personal and far, far away.
George Santayana’s wisdom could inspire and help us all at this time in history.
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”**
Please join me in the work of remembering and working to heal your own past that is still alive inside you, whether you’re conscious of it or not. Your own personal past. Your own familial past that gets passed down generation after generation. Please join me in healing your individual past and in so doing, join me in healing our communal past … the communal past that is showing up right out in the light of day, as well as the communal past that lives invisibly in the communal unconscious (also known as the collective unconscious.) ***
Every time we do our own inner healing work, we change our own inner lives, our own outer lives, the impact we have on those around us, and the communal unconscious itself.
Will you join me in healing the haunting we live with day by day by day?
Will you join me in healing the haunting that escalates until we finally heal it?
Will you join me in healing the haunting that is not fun at all – the haunting that multiplies itself until we finally heal, resolve, and transform it?
© Judith Barr, 2015
*To learn more about bullying and its roots, see Judith’s home study course for laypeople and professionals: https://judithbarr.com/portfolio/healing-bullying-to-the-roota-unique-approach-to-a-painful-epidemic/
**George Santayana (1905) Reason in Common Sense, p. 284, volume 1 of The Life of Reason.
***To learn more about the wounding and how to heal the wounds that haunt us, read Judith’s book, Power Abused, Power Healed, Mysteries of Life, 2007. (Available at www.Amazon.com and www.PowerAbusedPowerHealed.com.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO HELP MAKE OUR WORLD SAFE
FROM THE INSIDE OUT
This Halloween – and all year ‘round – you can begin or take the next step in the journey to heal the haunting within yourself … and help heal the haunting in our world.
You can read and reread this article … letting it help you find examples of being haunted by history in your own life and examples in the life of our world.
You can read other articles in PoliPsych that explain in even more depth and give even more examples of the haunting and the healing.
You can read Power Abused, Power Healed to understand and experience even more deeply and thoroughly the causes and the healing of the haunting.
You can find a therapist with the integrity, skill, and heart – someone who has done the healing of his/her own haunting and continues to do so – to help you go through the process of healing your own haunting.
You can help heal the haunting … for your sake, the sake of those you hold dear, and the sake of our world.