We are Shaped
Early life is quite a shocker. We wake up to being alive many years after birth. I have some memories of being an infant and toddler. Random events burned into my memory. As a whole, I really don’t recall much before the age of 5. Perhaps for you it is earlier or later. Regardless, there is a section of our life experience that is beyond our conscious memory access.
Have you ever looked at a photo or video of yourself before your point of earliest recall? What an interesting situation, to gaze upon the younger version of oneself and think ‘yeah, that was me.”
Imagine how many impressions were made prior to this point. Psychology and physiology are both still developing at a rudimentary level. A being that has yet to teethe or lose teeth. A mind that is still learning where they end and the outside world begins. Experiences are entirely out of your control in the early stages of life. Parents and guardians, siblings and strangers can all have direct impact on your emotional, mental, and physical development. Not every person is as safe as would be ideal, and often we are harmed from action, inaction, or simply by being exposed to traumatic events.
One of my earliest memories was an attempted kidnapping. It sounds serious, and maybe it was, but I am pretty lighthearted about it. I was preschool age, mabe 3 or 4.
My mother drove a powder blue dodge caravan. It was midday, cloudy but bright outside. We had gone to the bank on 36th street in Hampden, my hometown just outside of downtown Baltimore. My mother was putting me back into my carseat when a man approached from behind her. I remember his face clearly. He looked as if he had spent a lot of time outside. The type of face that says “I’m dealing with some shit.” His beard and hair were wild, screaming outward from his face like passionate fiery pain trying to escape his burning brain. His eyes appeared to be focused beyond the physical, a cocktail of despair and psychosis flooded his energy.
He grabbed my mother’s shoulder and tried to push her aside. Little did he know one of my mother’s favorite hobbies was working out. She struggled with him for a few seconds but felt like many minutes. He had his eyes on me, but my mother kept him from reaching inside of the open sliding van door.
Alas, my mother was able to scare this man off. I remember him lumbering away across the parking lot and my mother slamming the door shut before jumping into the drivers seat and taking us both back home.
To this day, this is the most vivid and early memory I have of my life. Thanks for reading through it.
I sat feeling everything. I clutched my fisher price cassette player. I remember knowing that I could swing it at his face if need be. Another thing I learned before I can recall was how to fight off violent or aggressive attacks. My brother was older than me by just over four years. He would often be left alone with me, we shared a bedroom, and he had quite an aggressive streak.
My mother shares a story of how my first action when I could walk was to grab his hair from behind and hang until he was pulled to the ground screaming… payback is a bitch I guess.
To this day, even in peaceful situations, I find myself preparing for attack. One of the greatest motivators for my personal and spiritual evolution has been the desire to transmute these defensive energies into something more useful.
Now let’s consider all of the things that I don’t remember. All of the experiences that just didn’t make it into my conscious memory bank. Clearly this had an impact on me, a bit of a traumatic event. Specific trust issues with men have plagued me throughout my life. It took until my early thirties to begin working on this. At the same time, I realized that I was expecting the women in my life to ‘save me’ from something.
Compassion and self love is vitally important. Without these qualities, revelations about how I work would be far too intense to face. Sometimes we need to change. Changes are always challenging, but they don’t have to be drudgery. Shifting habits, releasing deeply held beliefs and memories requires a new approach. When an infant is done bottle feeding, they move on to more solid food. In the same way, when you want to shift a negative or vestigial habit, you need to choose the new path for yourself.
Internal patterns which were embedded at the earliest stages of life will rule us.
“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.”Carl Jung
The Empathic Child
If you’ve read any of my work, had a healing or astrology session, or seen any of my videos, it is clear that I rate fairly high on the empathic scale. For those of you who speak the language, I was born 2 days after the full moon. The moon sits in late degree virgo soundly in my third house. I am quite sensitive to the thoughts and impressions of my environment. Everything from what is physically in the air to what is mentally or emotionally in the air. Adding to this sensitivity, the virgo moon was in a square to Neptune conjunct the galactic core.
When I saw the movie The Sixth Sense I was like “yeah kid, I be seeing shit too.” With the connection to Neptune on the Galactic Core, there is nothing outside of the realm of both influence and possibility. It took me until, again, my early thirties to realize that I pick up things from people and places. Television socialized me, as a kid growing up in the 80’s and 90’s. I even phased out my Baltimore accent by imitating the way people spoke on the television (mostly The Simpsons, MTV and ESPN). The influence of media also taught me to fall in lust with the idea of romantic love. Another concept I did not fully face until my mid thirties.
The influence of television was lesser than the influence of the people around me, and here is the reason. When watching a movie, I am participating in heavy projection and assumption. Indiana Jones wasn’t going to come to my house for dinner. He wasn’t going to share a bathroom with me, or feel that I was a safe space to share. No, he was a character on a screen. I could decide what I wanted to learn and how I wanted to learn it. I could choose to see the actors how I wanted to.
With my family members and the like, it was very different. I was constantly being exposed to the energy, the thoughts, the repressed desires, the emotional upheavals of those around me. Whether they spoke of it or not, I (and many other empathic souls) was subject to the awareness that they refused, refuted, or repressed. If you were the only person with the gift of sight in a room, others might lean on you to guide the way. At the very least, it would make a bigger difference to you whether it was light or dark within the room. A rough metaphor I know, but I think you get the picture.
Younger generations are simply different. I do not believe that we are extensions of our family. We are not designed to be like our parents or our grandparents. Yes, we do share DNA, and to this extent it is vital to process these familial relationships and get the most that is feasible out of them. If they refuse to accept you, walk away. If they judge and consistently try to change you, tell them to stop. If you speak up for yourself but they continue their old narrative, please do walk away and find your new family. Feeling unwelcomed, judged, and coerced is just a sign that you are ready to move on. You don’t have to be angry or bitter, it’s okay to just be DONE with something or someone.
I literally was shaped by the experiences that were outside of me, that seemingly happened TO me. From this viewpoint, I am a victim of consequence. A plight that walks with many. For years, I was in therapy telling stories of my early life. We believe that life happened TO US, instead of existing FOR US.
Faith plus Choice
Astrology has taught me so much. To this day, I have a better understanding of myself and a deeper faith in the universe because of my astrological studies and practice.
Personally, I have great faith. I believe that all that has occured during this incarnation is for a reason. I believe that I walked into this life, encoded with data that was ready to unfold. Like a .Zip file or a packet of sealed documents. Experiences in life, especially early life, helped to unpack my baggage that came with me. Every single tool, tutorial, gift, trait, and experience that you needed to get through this hectic experience of life was laid out on the cosmic table.
This doesn’t absolve me from responsibility for these experiences. But offers me a new and refreshing perspective on them. I brought baggage, plain and simple. There were specific things that I wanted to learn, process, and share with the world around me.
I feel infinitely blessed to have woken up to my own undoing relatively early in my life… before I undid myself too far. I have been cheated on many times, saddled with digestive problems that made it hard to do anything without pain, diagnosed with depression as a child, shamed for questioning Catholic dogma and expelled from 3 schools before teenage years, arrested multiple times, narrowly escaped death a few times in the wilderness, gone bankrupt, and experienced a lot of death. All of these things, from a victim perspective, become toxic and lasting bonds with a sense of disempowerment. My biggest gripe with modern religion (I was raised in the catholic church and catholic schools) is that it convinces people that God is something OTHER than them. That is the core of all victim consciousness, and it’s ills are still perpetrated on both adults and children worldwide. But that is for another discussion because I HAVE FAITH.
My faith certainly is not about the Lord up in heaven as it is my ability to see the LOVE in all things. The lessons are not punishments, they are gifts and assignments. The universe has perfect mathematical precision, and manifestation occurs when your thoughts and actions align to call something into existence.
So in light of these many revelations… that I asked for this, that this was built for me, that these seeming problems are actually gifts waiting to be unwrapped and reorganized… I make a choice.
Instead of allowing my issues to ferment in my unconscious cellar, I am choosing to pay attention to the messages. The subtle consistencies and inconsistencies in life that grab my attention. What is being said to me, in a language of possibility? Balanced by humility I see the God inside of me. Asking for a wake up call and a dose of reality. There is time to play but also time to work and both require each other for balance.
So each day, make space for personal work and play. Design your life to fit your aspirations. Align with an organized and empowered version of yourself and call it into existence with your thoughts and actions. When things seems difficult, acknowledge the urge to break down and then continue on with fervor and passion. You are limitless possibility, but some of those possibilities require substantial amounts of focus and intentional action. Because of this, be realistic with your time, with your energy, with your expectations. We can only ever do ONE THING AT A TIME, remember this. What is the ONE THING you are doing right now? Do you love doing it? If not, can you LOVE YOURSELF for doing it?
Give yourself rewards. Added bonus points at the end of each day or period of work. Play is essential, have fun. When you try to new things, you open up new parts of yourself, expanding what you are capable of. Get out there, be your number one proponent, and be grateful for your life experience.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James is a gifted astrologer and healer. He shares his gifts in a loving and practical manner. Everything that happens has a deeply powerful meaning. Our gratitude and perspective allows us to see these important messages. James is available for sessions where he can help you uncover your natural gifts and use them to move your life and soul forward.