Did you ever play hide and seek as a kid?
I bet it’s a YES. Please don’t say no… because that would be a little bit sad.
If you did – and you did, right?.. then your hide and seek shenanigans could be responsible for some head trashy challenges you might be experiencing as an adult.
My kids LOVE playing hide and seek and I’m pretty sure it’s something we’ve all played as kids. I sometimes join in and my favourite time was when my daughter and I hid under the blankets that cover the sofa in our lounge and my other half totally missed us. Like, how did he not notice the huge lumps under the blanket??
TOP HIDE AND SEEK TIP: Hide in plain site.
But I’m afraid I bring bad news; all is not fine and dandy in the world of hide and seek.
Playing hide and seek could be bad for your health
Hide and seek could actually be bad for your mental and emotional health. Shocker, right?
Recently I’ve started to realise that it might not be the innocent and fun game we imagine it to be. I know this because games of hide and seek are coming up quite a bit during my client sessions. And, no, I don’t PLAY hide and seek with my clients! ?
When you’re clearing head trash around something, you are often reminded of memories and experiences that relate to whatever it is that you’re clearing. Some of these memories could come from way back, and you might not have even thought about them until now in the midst of a clearance. This often suggests that they could be responsible for planting the roots of the head trash in the first place (not always, but if it’s a memory of you as a kid, then it’s pretty likely).
This means that games of hide and seek could well be the unlikely culprit that’s responsible for some pretty specific head trash that many people are wrestling with today.
It’s pretty obvious when you think about it. But let’s see if you can figure it out…
Not all games of hide and seek though!
Let me just be clear about this…. the dangers I’m referring to don’t come from ALL hide and seek games.
I’m talking about the times when you hid – let say in a box or a laundry basket – and then no-one came to find you.
So you were left trapped in a box or cupboard wondering if anyone was going to find you.
At first you’ll be sitting there smiling smugly at your wonderful hiding place thinking things like;
I must stay hidden and not be seen … because those are the rules of the game, and I’ve got to stick to the rules.
I don’t want to be discovered … because I want to win the game.
The quieter I am the better … because then I won’t be found out.
I must make myself as small as possible … because then it’s easier to hide.
What does playing hide and seek teach us?
Let’s pause a moment to explore some of the powerful lessons that hide and seek teaches us:
Winning = being really well hidden
Winning = not being discovered
Winning = being quiet
Are these really lessons that we want to be teaching our kids?
And, you starting to get a sense of the head trash that I’m referring to?
Now, let’s say quite a bit of time has passed and no-one has come to find you. Perhaps your older brother or sister has decided to play a joke on you and leave you in the laundry basket…. ha ha hilarious!
But it’s not really, not for you.
The longer you’re left there waiting, the more you’re going to be thinking things like …
“If I come out, I’ll be breaking the rules. And I might lose.
“How come no-one has come to find me?
“Have I been forgotten?
“Perhaps they’ve abandoned me.
“They don’t care about me.”
“I don’t matter.”
“I”m not worth bothering with.”
“I’m not worth it”
Now you’re going be conflicted.
Hide and seek creates inner conflicts
You really want to win, but, if you break the rules then you’re definitely not going to win, so you wait.
You might be tempted to break the rules and come out of your hiding place to see what’s going on, but, you’ve been told that breaking the rules is bad.
You want to peek your head out even just a bit, but, you might be seen and then you’ll definitely lose so you decide not to.
Oh the conflicts!
But you REALLY want to win…. which, let’s face it, ALL kids want to win at EVERYTHING! Whether they’re getting the biscuit tin out of the kitchen cupboard, racing back to the car in the supermarket car park, or playing hide and seek.
Now remember, this is the child version of you interpreting all this. The memories could be of you aged anywhere between 2 and 10 years old so your capacity for navigating conflicts and rules is still being figured out. You experience situations very differently than if you were faced with the same situation as an adult.
But one thing is sure: this is all a VERY BIG DEAL for you. And you’re taking your game of hide and seek very seriously indeed.
Childhood experiences can be defining …
When we have events that are accompanied by strong or high level of emotions, these events are often imprinted within us.
They might turn out to be significant or defining moments for us. But not in a “oh that day I won the Nobel prize” kind of defining. More like “I’ll never forget the day my brother left me in the laundry basket for hours and I feel asleep” kind of defining.
The intense emotion experienced will leave a trace, either because of a strong impact or simply if the emotion was trapped. These are events are like mini traumas which means they can feed things like anxiety or fear as long as they are still in place.
Getting awareness of them – and then clearing them – is a great way to let these events go, and reduce their hold on you.
… but also the source of head trash
If you have clear childhood memories about certain events that have a slightly negative tinge, the chances are that those events could be the source of some adult head trash that you’re wrestling with today.
There’s a kicker though: there are probably tons of events you experienced as a child that you no longer remember, that are also doing the same thing. You are probably wrestling with stuff today, that was imprinted as a child, and you have NO IDEA!
Anyway, back to the dangers of hide and seek…
What head trash does hide and seek create?
As I said earlier, games of hide and seek have been coming up a lot during client sessions recently. But what makes this very interesting is that they’re coming up when I’ve been helping my clients address something very specific.
Have you figured it out yet?
The clients were all women who wanted to be more visible and ‘seen’. They wanted to speak up and be heard.
Now, let’s just let that sink in for a moment.
Hide and Seek teaches us to HIDE and STAY HIDDEN
All of these women were struggling with being seen and speaking up.
All of them recalled times when they played hide and seek as a child during the clearance work. But these weren’t pleasant hide and seek memories. They were times when they had been left in their hiding place, either because they’d been forgotten, or a sibling had played a joke on them.
A strong desire to be hidden and quiet had embedded itself and created a life-long pattern of struggle.
The conflicts created by playing hide and seek
The conflicts I mentioned earlier will be running patterns of behaviour silently in the background sabotaging them whenever any instance of being heard or seen confronts them.
Being quiet or hidden = winning
… which means that being heard or seen = losing
Sticking to the rules and being compliant = being a good girl
… which means that breaking the rules = being a naughty girl
This means that whenever any instance of being heard or seen confronts them, they will subconsciously choose to do The Thing that will enable them to achieve the thing they value the most;
Winning [achievement, success]
Being a good girl [peace, harmony, approval, avoidance of conflict]
Playing by the rules [being helpful, being accommodating, being compliant, avoiding conflict]
These conflicts are familiar territory for many women who suffer with the toxic side effects of kindness and ‘being nice’. And who knows, perhaps playing hide and seek as kid is to blame.
Healing the conflicts can stop the patterns of struggle
Wherever these conflicts have come from – because hide and seek is not the only culprit in town – the important thing is to heal these conflicts so that we can stop running these unhelpful patterns of self-sabotage.
Thankfully this is easy to do using Head Trash Clearance.
Your Head Trash Clearance To-Do List
Once you have got hold of the Head Trash Clearance method, here are some suggested items to add to your clearance list;
- Being seen or visible
- Being hidden
- Being loud
- Being quiet
- Being small
There could be additional conflicts getting in the way of your visibility and ability to speak up but these would be a good start.
Especially if you played a lot of hide and seek as a kid!