I don’t think this statement was originally intended to frame what I’m going to say about it, but it does apply to a very important aspect of how we, as adults, perceive and react to the world around us.
Corinthians 13:11New King James Version (NKJV)
“ When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”
While the often-quoted Bible verse is basically understood to mean that as an adult, you stop thinking and acting like a child, it doesn’t account for what may actually occur to someone in a stressful situation where that person might automatically revert to a child’s perception of the situation, and simply react to the perceived threat in behavior more in line with a child’s defensive posturing or avoidance.
If you’ve never had it happen, that’s great, but many of us have slipped back into seeing a latter-day situation through those child’s eyes and feeling through that child’s fears a few times in our lives.
Unfortunately for ALL of us, many of our present-day perceptions were first forged in our early days of childhood where we had limited comprehension of what was actually happening in our child’s worldview—limited knowledge of the often-staged situations around us and the unstable characters interacting within them—limited knowledge of the ulterior motives of others who told us what to do and how to think—limited knowledge of some folks in our lives perhaps being less than trust-worthy.
As children, we were unaware of our parents having their own biases and solidified views on life and on how the world functioned for them. We may have been drilled on replicating our parents’ opinions of where they stood in that world with us tagging along behind them.
As a vulnerable and moldable child wanting so much to simply be loved and appreciated by those who were supposed to be caring for us, we were like blobs of wet-clay awaiting their sculpting; walking around mimicking mom and dad, and repeating the same preferences and biases that we heard them say, because they seemed to like us better when we said it their way.
We saw in the very ways that they taught us to see, either in very inclusive, broadly-encompassing viewpoints, or we learned to perceive the world and everyone in it, with very exclusive views, and limited considerations for the welfare of others.
Back then when we were first forming our basic self-concepts, the world may have appeared to us as a very wonderful and inviting place open for safe exploring, or as a very dark and threatening place where we had to watch our every step for fear of backlash and pain. Our childhood perceptions simply depended on our known environment—the people, the places, the day-to-day experiences that we learned to call “my life.”
Then to all those child-perceptions of whether or not the world was a safe or a dangerous place, add the early attitude and behavioral influence of the parent’s own neuroses, and their personal issues within themselves and with each other, not to mention all the general media mania wherever the child turned for distraction.
The result: Confusing childhood environments create likewise confused adults who often can’t shake that childhood viewpoint that the world around him or her is unreliable and often unsafe, and her only choice in any questionable situation is to react as she has always reacted from childhood onward to survive. The problem is that the child’s natural reaction isn’t always helpful to the present-day stressful situation, and that leads to even more problems for the adult.
I don’t think I’m alone in believing that many perceptual and behavioral problems in today’s adults stem from their childhood environmental influences—from those earliest times when they spoke, understood the world around them, and thought as a child.
While that present-day adult may well be a man or a woman who is trying to put away all those childish ways of seeing and acting in the world, the perceptions and information filters of how threatening or how wonderful the world presently seems to that person, was created long ago in that child’s early-learning environment by caregivers and parents who made the child feel either safe or unsafe, and may have set the stage for all the child’s expectations on life to follow.
To successfully deal with the world around us, including our existing relationships as well as for achieving our personal life-goals, we need to make sure that our present-day perceptions match our present-day adult reality. We need to know that we’re not still reacting to whatever appears before us with the viewpoint of a more fearful or insecure child who simply wants to feel safe and loved amidst the turmoil around him, or to feel acknowledged and supported wherever she or he is.
That child’s reactive mind simply wants to experience the kindness and appreciation of others, not have to rely on adult-learned coping skills when stressful situations arise. But for the adult who is still using the child’s perceptive filters and reactions, what comes out instead is the child’s learned coping skills, which are far more limited and usually inappropriate at the time.
So what is the solution for better facing life’s difficulties when you find yourself still seeing, speaking, and understanding as the child?
Well personally, I don’t think you have to put away those childish things that you once enjoyed, because I think some of those childish things are kind of nice to keep, as well as the ability to see again through those more innocent and openly receptive eyes—to be able to believe again that the world has infinite possibilities for niceness and joy, because, as it turns out, that belief is merely a perspective. It is a choice of how one can view life.
However, if your actual childhood experience has NOT been one of love, joy, hope, compassion and generosity, then we can’t really change the historical content of your life, but I can help you reframe it through hypnosis to gain greater understanding from those previous situations—soften the memory’s harshness, so to speak.
And if you desire a better life based on maintaining a more hopeful and positive point of view by developing a core belief system that values love, joy, hope, compassion and generosity, I can also help you do that by creating those very images in your mind and help to provide NEW memories for you to resource during times of stress.
That is the value of hypnosis—it can not only change an attitude or a perspective. It CAN also improve a life.