Our insecurities and wounds tend to show up in ways that limit our humanity. This makes sense, especially if we never felt like our needs and emotions were valid to our loved ones. The things we pushed away take up large spaces in our inner world, longing to be accessed, acknowledged, and released. It’s so painful to be locked in this box where….
…I feel like a failure becomes I am a failure
…I feel alone becomes I am alone
…I feel scared becomes I’m weak
…I feel attacked becomes I’m not good enough
When we’re stuck in this pain we tend to do the same to others, often making all encompassing statements about someone’s character or person instead of seeing the pain behind their actions or perspective.
We are never just one thing. We can be scared and brave. We can feel alone and still reach for connection. We can feel like a failure and be good enough. We can keep others at arms length and desperately need them. We can feel safe and unsafe all at the same time.
Learning to use our experience as data instead of defining ourselves by it is a crucial step towards healing. When we’re feeling scared, we probably need comfort. When we’re feeling like a failure, we probably need reassurance or encouragement. What questions might you need to ask yourself to find out what you need instead of defining who you are by how you feel? We must learn to become the leader of the chaos that occurs within, caring for and nurturing all parts of ourselves. As Bessel Van Der Kolk says in The Body Keeps the Score, “The Self is like an orchestra conductor who helps all the parts to function harmoniously as a symphony rather than a cacophony”.
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* The information provided is for self-enrichment and not intended to replace any necessary mental health treatment.
Jonathan Dixon, LMFT
Alpha Omega Team