Life is a mirror. I have always believed that. To be more exact, the external life always represents your internal state of being, which is largely unconscious. This may sound like spiritual babble, but I have had some overwhelming examples in my own life. In my situation, the memory retrieval process makes it easy to pinpoint my unconscious thoughts, emotions and physical responses, since they directly relate to the memories.

Since this concept is somewhat esoteric, I will share some experiences that show the correlation between my external life and my unconscious. When I was retrieving a memory about being hit by a car (and then blamed for it), my dog was almost hit by a car. It was terrifying. My memories are not the kind of experiences anyone wants to relive. I spent that entire night working through that memory, so I would ensure I would not need any more “reminders”.

That was bad, but a couple months later, it got worse. I retrieved a memory about a childhood friend who shot himself in the head with his mother’s gun. It was very disturbing and it took me some time to work through my guilt associated with that memory. As a child, I had blamed myself. The following week, my ex-husband committed suicide. Although these were two very difficult and unrelated events, I am grateful that I was able to work through the unconscious guilt I had felt about my friend’s suicide prior to my ex-husband’s suicide. It was as if my unconscious was preparing me for the event before it happened.

Most mirrors are much more subtle. They are everywhere, but very easy to miss. When I want to know my current state of unconscious health, I don’t have to look very far. I have two little mirrors running around my house. It is utterly impossible to create an energetic separation between my children and myself. When I am sad, they are crying. When I am anxious, they are bouncing off the walls. (This makes for some beautiful parenting moments.)

One of the primary symptoms of my trauma is muscle tension. I have been tensing my muscles for so long, I don’t even realize it. This is where my little mirrors come in handy. Unfortunately, they don’t mirror me in a pleasant way. In my life, change and suffering go hand in hand. I am willful in that way. In the case of my twins, they have done a very nice job of splitting the responsibility, which is good for them.

My son has mirrored my muscle tension in the hips and pelvis by developing encopresis. This is not a pleasant topic, so consider yourself warned. He can go days and days without pooping. This is not because he is constipated. He is not. He is just tensing up his muscles and refusing to let go. He will let it build up so long that it can actually make him sick. I cannot overestimate the stress this causes me. I have literally tried EVERYTHING. Do you want to know what has worked (very slowly)? I have had to relax my own hip and pelvis muscles. Over time, as I have relaxed, he has been able to do the same. The motivation has been significant. There is nothing like poop problems to make a mother address trauma … nothing.

And then there is my daughter. She has issues with her teeth and jaw. When she was little, she talked later than most kids. She started to stutter which I promptly ended by allowing her additional time to talk (her brother never stops talking). She sucks her thumb, even at almost seven years old. Her teeth are so crowded that they are almost piled on top of one another, and they are prone to cavities (just like mine). So, I work hard to find my voice. I go out of my way to say what I need to say, and I let her say what she needs to say. I feel my jaw shifting and loosening almost every day, and I can see small spaces starting to form between my daughter’s teeth. I am not sure if it will be enough to spare her from braces, but I will do my best to make it better.

Some people tell me that I am reading more in to these issues, or taking more responsibility than I should. However, if it is true that we are all energetically connected (and I believe we are), the energetic connection between a parent and a child is something that cannot be denied. It is hard to think this way because it requires us to admit that we may be responsible, but there’s a good side. If we are responsible, we can change it. We can make it better. There is nothing that motivates me to change more than my children’s well-being. The beautiful thing is that I get to feel better too. Everyone wins. There are no losers in this scenario … except for trauma … and that’s alright with me.