“It is not what happened to you as a child that matters, it’s how you make sense of what happened to you.”

“Contempt is the weapon of the weak and a defense against one’s own despised and unwanted feelings.  And the fountainhead of all contempt, all discrimination, is the more or less conscious, uncontrolled, and secret exercise of power over the child by the adult, which is tolerated by society (except in the case of murder or serious bodily harm).

What adults do to their child’s spirit is entirely their own affair.  For the child is regarded as the parents’ property, in the same way as the citizens of a totalitarian state are the property of its government.  Until we become sensitized to the small child’s suffering, this wielding of power by adults will continue to be a normal aspect of the human condition, for no one pays attention to or takes seriously what is regarded as trivial, since the victims are “only children.”  But in twenty years’ time these children will be adults who will have to pay it all back to their own children.  They may then fight vigorously against cruelty “in the world”—and yet they will carry within themselves an experience of cruelty to which they have no access and which remains hidden behind their idealized picture of a happy childhood.”

– Alice Miller, The Drama of the Gifted Child

Hi everyone,

At one point or another, we all vow to never repeat the hurtful things that were done to us.  We think we can trust our strong will for change to meet with success, yet over-reliance on the ego, or some other form of cognitive discipline at best helps to occasionally keep bad behavior in check.  They fall short of being genuine instruments of change.

Our experiences create the very mind-body we live in, and our wounds keep us living in the past far more than we would like.  Even our first experiences, too early to be in our memory make or break us in how we form relationships with others.  Findings from attachment research show an astonishing propensity for parents to be only as successful in creating secure attachment with their infants as their parents had been able to do with them.  Our inner limitations live on in the next generation whether we wish it to be true or not, unless we devote ourselves in a deep and profound way to bringing repair into these places.  In order to interrupt the trans-generational patterns, we must heal our wounds.

“It is not what happened to you as a child that matters,
it’s how you make sense of what happened to you.”
– Dan Siegel

Trauma heals when we are able to make sense of what we have gone through and integrate it into our being.

I hope you will join us in October for – When we become the thing we hate: How our trauma and unhealed wounds erode empathy, fuel fear, and create “others”.  To create a safe, secure space, we can accommodate no more than 10 participants. If there is any financial hardship, please get in touch with us.  We will do our best to accommodate your situation.

All details are on our website.


Barbara English
Executive Director, Living Ubuntu
livingubuntu.org | blog | facebook | donate
(949) 891-2005

[Ubuntu] n. Every human being truly becomes a human by means of relationships with other human beings. 


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