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And sometimes, we are abused. Or we are surrounded by stories of struggle, misery, and sadness.
We grow into adults, carrying these lessons with us.
We feel shame about our love — which may not be "enough" to make others happy.
We feel shame about what we want in life — because if we deserved it, we would have it.
We feel shame around the body, its needs, its waste, and its breakdowns.
And we often repeat what we learned as children.
Patterns of shame have no place in childhood or in adulthood. Shame is a toxin in the body. But unfortunately, many of us don't have a choice. Our experiences in childhood or even during infancy force us to walk through life with a deep sense of shame.
The mental and emotional trauma that we experience as children — which is often at the root of shame — can actually influence the health of our physical bodies.
In 1998, a large study was published by the Centers for Disease Control Prevention (CDC). In the study, researchers from the CDC and Kaiser Permanente's Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego worked with over 17,000 people.
They looked at the relationship between early childhood trauma and health in adult life.
This trauma — referred to as adverse childhood experiences, or ACEs — included verbal, physical, and sexual abuse during infancy and early childhood. Family dysfunction was also accounted for. It included family members that have been incarcerated, that struggle with substance abuse, that have been diagnosed with mental illness, or that are simply absent from the home because of divorce or separation.
It turns out that mental and emotional trauma can significantly shape our health — even decades into the future.
Those tender years from infancy through childhood are not lost to us. Whether or not we remember trauma, the body holds a record of it.
Researchers now believe that when an infant or a child experiences stress over and over again, the nervous system and immune system are affected — pro-inflammatory patterns develop, which can later contribute to dis-ease.
Recent studies have shown that the communities of bacteria and yeast in the gut are directly affected by stress and trauma and that mood is influenced by the health of our inner ecosystem. Stress also inhibits our digestive function and thus our absorption.
While I always recommend the importance of nourishing the inner ecosystem with fermented foods and probiotic beverages, I especially do so when someone is exploring past trauma or overburdened by stress.
When enjoying these special superfoods that support emotional healing and physical cleansing, I recommend you think of the following:
As a child of the Uni-verse, you deserve fulfillment and joy.
You are light.
You are love.
You are perfect.
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