Colleen's thoughts on writing, directing and coaching, and her unique take on life itself!

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Soul killers

What is our soul?

Simply, who we are.

Our identity.

When children have that stolen from them - forcing them to be somene they are not, coercing them to have belief systems that are contrary to reality, bullying or browbeating them into being or doing what we want instead of allowing them to listen to their own hearts and souls, to develop as their authentic selves -- we literally commit murder.

Not in a way that is immediately apparent, but in a way that results in the death of a soul. The actions of people whose souls are destroyed as children become frighteningly transparent when they become adults.

Our soul is the epitome of who we really are - the being we live with - our feelings, our actions, our reactions - every nanosecond of the day.

If our souls - our identities - are imprisoned or pummeled or silenced into counterfeit personas during our formative years, the strength of our soul's spirit is so incredibly strong that it will move and grow and mutate anyway - only creating within us a state of fear, fury and bitterness, transforming from its original, pure and loving state into someone who can become demonic or monstrous, committing inhuman, inhumane or hideous acts.

I think this is why so many children raised by adults who infuse them with rigid, zealous, obsessed notions of behavior, extreme religion, political or bigoted viewpoints, accompanied with permission to behave ruthlessly toward any living creature can turn out to be those "quiet, unassuming" guys who end up being serial killers, child molesters and the like.

Or kids can be relegated to live in complete saddness and loss, wondering who they are, what their passion is, what they want to do, and how they can ever find real happiness.

Unless they find other ways to find the way back to their souls, their authentic identity, who they really are and take supreme comfort and joy in their delightful, real, spectacular selves - just being who they actually are - their experience can become more a case of surviving agony rather than appreciating every breath that is the gift of life.

Simply letting kids run free is just as dangerous. Children left to run wild have nothing to reflect who they are or how their actions are perceived truthfully as they try to grow and thrive with others. Left completely to their own devices, they can easily rely on sheer, simplistic, violent survival tactics.

When I coach kids who have gone awry, I try to help them see the reflection of who they are "in real life" by showing them how they behave on camera. And let them talk and talk and talk - without judgment.

When they see for themselves how badly or mean or offensive they come across as themselves, not just to others but to themselves? They tend to want to "self-regulate" - to find ways to adjust and change their negative behavior.

They go on to discover how much fun life can be when they are constructive and positive and authentically themselves; how great it feels to love and give - appreciating themselves and being appreciated by others just as they are.

When I hear from them as they become adults, they've decided to be better, contributing members of humanity! Their decision.

I've been told by a noted child psychiatrist that the road to becoming a healthy adult is to let kids talk about their feelings without judgment. If they have trouble talking, there are many ways to "prime the pump," because as many great parents know - once they start, it's impossible to turn them off!

I believe that's the reason so many adults are in therapy - they're talking about all the things they didn't have the opportunity to share when they were kids. Only now they have to talk about their feelings and experiences making their way through the maze of the baggage they carry with them from all the other years of living dysfunctionally.

For the kids who read this blog - find an understanding adult you trust to tell wassup with you, even if you think it's embarrassing. Seriously. You can tell us old farts. There's just about nothing we've not heard - or lived through ourselves. If you can't find a trusted adult in your family, you can talk with a counselor or call your local Crisis Clinic - it's listed in the blue pages of your telephone book or you can find them online.

You go, guys! Talk about what you feel and who you are - get it out! Recussitating your soul will change your life forever -in a good way.

I wish that discovery, that joy, for everyone.


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