Behind every smiley family picture there are untold stories of trauma, secrets and pain.

Weekly Journal August 30 2021, Galina Singer

The above image I posted on my Instagram the other day – it was a fragment of life. It’s easy to love those moments. They come so close to what it was all “supposed” to feel like.

We know how fleeting they are.

Faces with smiles that the next moment shift into something else, because underneath our poses for a family photo – there’s life boiling and sputtering, and there’s pain…

As soon as I posted this photo – the actual mood and circumstances moved on quite quickly for me.

And that is what I’m going through and learning to hold and love: the complexity of all the feelings in relationships.

The fact is: the only way to truly live this life lies in our capacity to hold beauty and ugliness, connection and loneliness, love and pain, life and death.

The full range of human experience.

No black and white people, no good or bad experiences. Each of us whole, containing shadow and light, capable of anything.

I am learning to keep the heart open, while I accept all of it – the endless merry-go-round of life. Treasuring those fleeting but precious moments when we are together and happy.

Everyone hates a liar.

And yet, when you think about it, a liar is just someone who tries to control and manipulate our perception of them.
That is any people pleaser.
That’s a good majority of us.

We breed liars within our families.

As a child I learned to lie for survival.
It was happening on every level.
Outside, I had to lie and hide my true nature to avoid persecution.
At home I had to do the same: lie and hide my true nature to avoid criticism and judgment.
I also found myself lying to my mother about my father to prevent their conflict or my father’s withdrawal of love.

We lie to avoid rejection.
We lie for love.

Every family has secrets.
So our intolerance of liers is our inability to accept the liar within.

It’s a trauma to maintain family secrets and being lied to.

I was raised on keeping secrets.

My ability to know when to remain silent or when to lie was among my most useful skills.

One way I’m alchemizing my trauma is through transforming silence into language.

This is what am here to do.

To give voice to that which I’ve been trained to keep hidden.

Step by hesitant step.
Layer after layer, I accept the fractured “unallowed” discarded pieces of who I am.

I unwrap the protective packaging, weaved from fear and coping mechanisms.

To reveal the essence of what it means to be human.

I give myself permission to feel worthy to talk about all that I am.

To talk about my experience, even – especially – when it does not fit into the prescribed definition of what is the sterilized societally sanctioned normal.

To accept myself so much that I speak about the darkness, the sadness, the pain.

I want to give voice to the silences, the secrets, the unspeakables.

Our families have become incubators for perpetuation – not only for species but of ideologies, traditions, traumas and dysfunction.

To use language to reveal to the world the nature of who we are.

The love we’ve received was conditional. Given as a reward and withdrawn as punishment.

I still receive messages from my parents where they find it normal to rather aggressively put me down and judge, all while proclaiming that they always loved me.

I am 55, but they haven’t shifted their perspective that I am not “theirs”, that I am a sovereign being, separate from them. That we are no longer in a relationship where they can punish me, to influence me to behave a certain way.

Luckily I’ve worked on freeing myself from the dependence on their validation some time ago, so today I’m just amazed at the toxicity of the environment in which I was raised and the completely confusing messages I received about love.

It makes me understand my coping mechanisms and why I kept myself so small and invisible for most of my life.

It is of course the baggage I brought into my own family.

When we do not know what it means to love, nurture, and be in compassion to ourselves, we will not know how to love, accept and nurture others.

As we break the inherited patterns, reparent ourselves and understand where love comes from – we clear the dynamic and free our children.

It is not easy nor straight-forward.
But it’s never too late to repair and heal.

We are the ones who are invited to break the inherited toxic dynamics.
It wasn’t our parents! We are the ones.

So let’s stop wishing they modeled to us better what love feels like.
It’s in our hands.

The time is ripe for change.

The society which we’ve inherited is built on wars: internationally, nationally, in our neighborhoods, in our own homes.

Many centuries of toxic programming and structures have reduced the complexity of human experience to simplistic judgments of good/bad, black/white, right/wrong.

No matter the culture or geographical region where we’ve been raised, we’ve been lead to believe that there’s “us” and “them.”

Nurtured on stories from previous centuries, we are conditioned to think that we cannot love a person from the “them” camp, as it would make us disloyal to “us.”

This same tribal loyalty teaches us to love our own children in such a way that—to protect them—we must be prepared to kill children of people from the “them” camp.

The society which we’ve inherited is built on wars: internationally, nationally, in our neighborhoods, in our own homes.

We forget that we have a choice of how to react.

How we normally react to the outside world is filtered through the prism of our past experiences, a unique subjective emotional spin of who we are and how we value ourselves.

When we live in mindful awareness, we learn how to process our feelings and let go of the need to defend some false identity we used to feel compelled to uphold.

When we free ourselves from having to control how others perceive us, then we understand that their words are just sounds – neutral, when we no longer assign meaning to them about our value.

Freedom is the realization that we have a choice of how to react.

The pain we feel in relationships is not caused by the other.

When something difficult happens in relationships – there’s a breakup or an argument – we tend to put the other down.

Suddenly there’s a need to deconstruct their behavior, assassinate their character – often with people who had nothing to do with the relationship.

I find that a big waste of energy.

A more constructive way to process the pain of our triggers and relationships is to look within and try to understand what exactly we are reacting to. Often our painful feelings arise in response to the stories we create about the situations, our perception of disrespect or rejection.

Often what we are actually reacting to is something that has hurt us in the past, way before we met the current partner.

In the process of becoming an observer, I was able to see that so much of my suffering was coming from my perception of the situation and not the actual situation.


How have I changed since I had my six sessions with Galina?

I have changed in so many aspects that it is difficult for me to put them into words.
The most significant aspect is the change into my assertivity and into expressing myself.
I used to be a spectator of my life: my energy turns inwards and sometimes can be taken as
a sign of passivity. Which for sure some times in the past happened. To be drowned was
easier than taking steps or my responsibilities. I would blame myself afterwards, for not
having the courage to manifest my thoughts or opinions.

Now I take responsibility, I can express in a nonviolent way my meanings and most
importantly, I am an observer of myself and my process.

In the past I would just swim into my emotions, I would feel wrong for feeling in that or this
way, I would feel like I don’t belong and wouldn’t feel understood.

Through Galina’s coaching to reparent myself, of being my own authority, once I have a low
moment, it takes very little effort to recognise the pattern, to see where it comes from and my
response to it. I learned to not judge it and to feel without being lost into it.

In my relationships with others, I can be really present and manifest in my authenticity. I
don’t feel anymore like I need to play a part in order to be accepted: my conversations with
my friends have become deeper, a stronger connection has developed, I can feel and create
a safe space with them and manifesting as I am. In the past I was the listener, now I am
actively participating in the conversation. Some friendships have grown stronger and some
new connections have been created.

Once I discovered my true nature, it became impossible to stand in situations or
environments where my values are not met: in the past I would stay and swallow bad
feelings until my body would become ill. Now I can proudly set my boundaries and not see
them as being selfish.

I wish all of us could experience being our own most important authority, and I will gladly
recommend Galina for those who are ready to start the process and to welcome magic in



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