Addressing Root Causes with Ayahuasca

The human mind is an amazingly complex space, and no two people can have exactly the same mind or thinking. We can have a lot in common with others, and we might even think very much alike, but there are areas of our mind that are unique to us alone.

It’s in these unique spaces in our mind where the root cause of many of our daily problems take hold and flourish, shrouded in secrecy and hidden, even from ourselves.

The root cause of an issue refers to an event or events that caused us to adopt specific behavior patterns or reactions, positive or negative. When significant events happen in our lives, they become imprinted in our minds. We begin to develop associations, or attachments, from these events to similar situations that occur.

If the events were traumatic, our associations and attachments will result in an adverse reaction to anything that our mind identifies as similar. Our negative reaction is a means of protecting ourselves from the same trauma we experienced with the initial event.

The opposite is also true. If we are raised in a supportive loving environment and taught to express ourselves and manage our emotions reasonably, we tend to be happy as adults. The environment we are raised in and the guidance we receive as children has an enourmous impact on our adult lives.

From what age can we Develop Negative Root Causes?

From between three to four months old, a baby learns to distinguish emotions.
Babies start discerning emotions in the people around them from between three to four months of age, so we can experience emotional trauma before we’re even six months old. Many people think that babies don’t notice what’s going down around them, but it’s not like that.

Although children under the age of three won’t remember what they experienced, the emotional trauma of the events will become etched into their subconscious mind. A baby or toddler who lives through trauma of any kind will store that experience at a subconscious level. From there, the event can become a root cause of actions and reactions that can dictate the path of life for that person through childhood and adulthood.

For children aged three to seven, there may be some memories of traumatic events in the conscious mind, but the emotional trauma will also be stored as a root cause in the subconscious mind. As with younger children, the traumatic root cause can dictate the rest of the child’s life through to adulthood.

Older children and adults can develop root causes as a result of emotional or physical trauma as well.

Effectively, a root cause is the core of an unaddressed traumatic event or series of events.

If the root causes of our problems aren’t addressed, we’ll repeatedly respond or behave in ways that cause suffering to ourselves or others.

How do Root Causes Affect our Lives?

Because we’re all unique, we all store or information differently and react or respond according to our own experience and interpretation of events.

To understand this, consider an abusive and violent family situation. All the children in the home will witness and experience the same events, but each will interpret (and therefore store the trauma) differently. In adulthood, these children can live out their interpretations in vastly diverse ways. Where one can live a stable life, another can become submissive and insecure, while another can become violent and abusive. The same home environment, the same experiences but each child’s reaction and responses to their root causes are very different.

Root causes can impact our lives to the point of destruction, or they can become an issue that blocks progress in certain areas of our life. Either way, root causes have a negative control over our lives.

How do I know if a Negative Root Cause Controls my Life?

To heal anything in life, we must first acknowledge and accept that we have a problem.

That’s where many people get stuck with root causes. Because they lie buried in our subconscious mind, we’re not aware of them. How we react and respond to situations in our lives becomes automatic, and we accept our behavior as normal.

It’s this normalizing of our actions and the resulting outcomes that blinds us to the existence of root causes. We think that what we’re doing is working fine for us. If our lives are challenging, or we lack progress, it’s often easier to blame the world around us for our problems than to consider that we could be the source of our own suffering.

One of the best identifiers of root causes controlling areas of your life is to see if there are repetitive patterns in your life. These patterns are as diverse as we all are, but they're painful events that happen to you again and again.

Common patterns include:

  • Going from one bad relationship to the next, despite your wanting to be loved.
  • Unfounded fear of love and commitment, resulting in loneliness or isolation.
  • Setting personal or career goals and failing time and again to achieve them.
  • Irrational and unsubstantiated fears, like the fear of violent death or loss.
  • Phobias of any kind that cause you to adjust your normal lifestyle.
  • Feeling alienated and as if you don’t fit into the world around you.
  • Focusing on real or imagined flaws in yourself or your appearance.
  • Taking on other peoples’ responsibilities as well as your own.
  • Placing blame and being unable to accept responsibility.
  • Feeling powerless and like a victim in life.

These are just some ideas of how root causes manifest in our lives. These patterns happen over and over again because we react or respond to life in the same way, to protect ourselves from the perceived potential of emotional pain.

How do Root Causes Happen?

How we process traumatic events impacts how we’ll live our daily lives. Psychologists know that many of the troubles we go through as teens and adults come from events that happened before we were seven years old.

In our early formative years, we learn many ways of facing and coping with the world. If we experience our environment as a frightening, confusing and an unfair place, our minds learn a variety of mechanisms to defend and protect ourselves so that we can feel safe.

Remember, it takes many years for an adult mind to develop and mature, and babies and children lack the ability to process information realistically and rationally. An immature little mind will feel the pain of the situation and counter it with the best defense it can think of at the time.

Babies and children use defense mechanisms like controlling, escaping, hiding, suppressing, projecting, blaming and masking painful events. A child could build a whole arsenal of defense tactics to use to protect their emotions in different situations.

As the child grows up, these defense mechanisms mature into behavior patterns that are rooted in the pain of the past. All the energy and emotions of the confusing and painful events that happened are carried into the adult’s present reality, without us knowing.

Over time our reactions and responses to life become part of us as we try to cope with our lives. Our coping mechanisms become instinctive and we continue to attract repetitive patterns into our lives. The pent up energies that result from our behavior patterns can lead to disillusionment, anxiety, depression, detachment, disassociation, emotional blockages, emotional numbness and a multitude of other dis-eases.

But root causes aren’t only formed from childhood trauma. Severe emotional trauma and fear caused by living through violence, disaster or death can cause older children and adults to suppress their pain to blot out what happened. When we do this, we risk developing behaviors based on subconscious root causes because we haven’t dealt with the events and our pain.

For many people, negative self-talk as a result of root causes becomes a constant habit. We berate ourselves constantly, strengthening ingrained beliefs that we’re less than others, not as important, flawed or damaged.

Negative self-talk not only wears us down; it can lead to us re-enforcing our coping mechanisms or developing new ones to ease the pain of self-retribution.

How does the Subconscious Mind Work?

Think of your subconscious mind as a storehouse of stimulus-response programs. This is where the data of painful and traumatic past events are kept. If something happens in your environment that you interpret as a threat based on past experience, your subconscious automatically recalls the stored data associated with the stimulus. As your mind processes the data, it spontaneously triggers your coping mechanisms.

Our coping mechanisms are triggered in a split second! Our subconscious associations and attachments to past pain and trauma are sparked by anything that looks like a similar threat. The need to protect ourselves kicks in, and we react with the same behaviors that we believed have protected us in the past.

Whatever sparks off our reaction doesn’t have to be a real threat; it could be something really small. Have you ever found yourself going ballistic over a trivial thing like the cap being left off the toothpaste? Or, does your mind automatically tell you “I can’t” when presented with a chance to do something new? These are simple examples of subconscious programs running automatically.

The subconscious is also where our belief systems are stored.

Most of the contents of our subconscious mind is acquired in our early formative years when we couldn't reason or choose what was stored there. Many of our beliefs are related to events that had a strong emotional impact on us.

Considering that early childhood teaching or traumatic events mostly populate our subconscious mind, it’s no surprise that we have a lot of garbage stored there! But most of us don’t realize this, so we keep on holding on to beliefs and habits that are counter-productive or limiting in our adult lives.

Neuroscience has established that the programs acquired by the subconscious mind shape 95% or more of our life experience. The good news is that the programs in our subconscious mind can be erased and rewritten. We don’t have to hold on to them! Our harmful or limiting beliefs, behaviors and habits can be overwritten with positive and productive ones.

Facing our Inner Self at an Ayahuasca Retreat Center

To free ourselves of repetitive and limiting patterns, emotions and energy we have to have the willingness to journey inward, to examine our inner landscapes. We need to acknowledge, experience, integrate and ultimately release the energy of the negative emotions and memories we’ve been carrying before we can be free of them.

It takes courage to embark on an inward journey and see ourselves exposed and vulnerable. Many people never get to the stage of considering an ayahuasca retreat or any other type of healing because they fear reliving their pain.

Having reservations about taking responsibility for your own healing is normal. So is fearing what you might find when you see your inner self stripped down and unprotected by your beliefs and coping mechanisms. That’s why you need to have the willingness and courage, but you also need ongoing helpful support, and that’s what a good ayahuasca retreat center gives you.

Problems that are rooted in our childhood have come a long way with us, so they’re well entrenched, and often we’re totally unaware of them. Many of the issues we go through as adults that are linked to these roots causes are as a result of our misinterpretations of life and the resulting actions we take.

Until we’re willing to journey inwards and identify the root cause, we’ll continue to feel confused, frightened and anxious. Our need to escape our lives will grow, and we’ll never make the progress we want to or reach our full potential.

Unless we’re able to face what lies within us, stepping willingly into the darkness and pain, choosing to feel it, so that we learn from it, integrate the lessons, and release them, we cannot be free.

This is where ayahuasca ceremony in the safety of an ayahuasca center can help you.

Don’t worry if you feel daunted; it’s normal to struggle through the processes of change to find healing and deep transformation. Just the decision to visit an ayahuasca retreat takes courage, and we understand that, but that decision can be the catalyst to lifelong change for the better.

During this journey it is important that we learn to be gentle with ourselves.

How Ayahuasca Helps Us Heal

Ayahuasca opens us up to our inner selves to facilitate our healing. It brings our subconscious to the surface so that it can be exposed and we can work with it.

A truism with ayahuasca is that whatever we carry inside us tends to be experienced in a magnified way during ayahuasca ceremony. Of course, the process can be very uncomfortable, but it allows us to clearly see the effect of our problems and understand it in ways we never did before.

Through ayahuasca ceremony, we get insight into root causes. We see how they came to be in our lives, how we may have chosen them ourselves, and how we keep choosing them. During this process, our minds can get very tricky. We automatically tend to analyze and interpret our experience, and a common inclination is to put the blame on something outside of ourselves. We can feel very uncomfortable, angry, sad, fearful, and resentful.

It’s important to realize that all the discomfort you might experience on an ayahuasca retreat is part of the healing process and is temporary. Your distress and anxiety is a passing effect of the blockages within being brought to the surface.

In the safety of an ayahuasca center, you’re always supported, so you can just allow the feelings to be present without running or hiding from them, and without acting on them. The support that you get on your journey with ayahuasca will help you build the trust to see that this is a natural part of the healing process we all go through. As you accept and surrender, you’ll know it will pass on its own as the blockages inside you are released.

Revisiting Childhood Emotions

As we work with ayahuasca, events and emotional challenges we face as adults will be exposed to us at their root cause. Many of them are anchored in our childhood, so we’re taken back to the emotional and mental state of our child-mind.

Because the child-mind and emotions are immature, their capacity is limited, so it can be difficult for us to make sense of the arising thoughts and feelings we experience. In an effort to form meaning out of the experience, our minds may project the discomfort and confusion onto some external cause.

With ayahuasca, those external causes may appear to be negative spirits or dark energies coming to trouble us, and they can seem very real. The presence of negative spirits or dark energies is highly unlikely when you’re working with a skilled ayahuasquero in an ayahuasca center.

What we’re experiencing is almost certainly the manifestation of something within ourselves. It requires courage, strength and commitment to the healing process to stay calm in the presence of this phenomena, but on a Hummingbird ayahuasca retreat, you’ll get all the support you need.

Early in our journey of healing, a common externalization is drama. A reactionary projection that may be emotional and internal, or behavioral, and often displayed through inappropriate behavior. Drama is frequently characterized by a strong sense of need for some external change.

If you find yourself feeling or saying “I need ___”, it’s a good sign to look within and not blame external circumstances.

Know that no person or event can make us feel anything!

All of our emotional responses come from within and are the sum total of the conditioning of our lives. Looking outside of ourselves for relief will never bring lasting results. The change must come from within ourselves.

Ayahuasca ceremony can help us to clearly see this dynamic and enable us to take responsibility for our own emotions. Once we’re better equipped, we can learn how to make better choices so that life flows with more peace and tranquility.

The secret to getting the most from your time on an ayahuasca retreat is actually quite simple. Trust the medicine and allow it to do what it wants. Trusting your ayahuasca experience is a necessary part of the process of healing.

Your time at the Hummingbird ayahuasca center may not be easy, but the resulting freedom and peace are worth the challenge of the process.

Learn more about our responsible ayahuasca ceremonies or browse our upcoming ayahuasca retreat dates.