Adults who grew up in troubled families torn apart by abuse, violence, and constant turmoil carry within them painful memories. Yet during that childhood, they may have developed survival strategies which are fundamentally spiritual in nature, such as attentiveness, empathy, and compassion. Wayne Muller, a therapist and founder of Bread for the Journey, explores this intriguing subject in this illuminating work.
Using illustrative material from the Old and New Testaments, Buddhist and Sufi wisdom, the author reveals how "family pain broke us open and set our hearts on a pilgrimage in search of the love and belonging, safety and abundance, joy and peace that were missing from our childhood story." Muller uses 12 chapters to probe how specific wounds of childhood can be positively appropriated for spiritual growth. In addition, he presents mindfulness meditations designed to deepen and expand the links between each psychological wound and the renewal of the soul.
While many individuals who suffered greatly remain enslaved to the past or "still wait at the doorstep for the understanding, love and approval that never came," others have moved beyond the pain through forgiveness and self-acceptance. Muller shows how to cultivate mercy, simplicity, humility, unattachment, and loving kindness as resources for personal renewal.