“Your present circumstances don’t determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”
We are in the heat of the summer in August. For many of us, our children or grandchildren are getting ready to go back to school, and the days are still hot and long. We can feel the warmth in the wind and air around our skin. There is a summer haziness to the horizon, making our visual perception not so clear. Does that not happen to us in life also? Sometimes we just don’t see things so clearly.
As we are moving together on a journey from the past to the present and into the future, all interwoven, we have taken a look at what holds us back and also what helps us move into the present. I also find that certain emotions hold us back, protect us and keep us from feeling more primal feelings. Guilt is one of those emotions, and anger is another. Without realizing it, we sometimes hide behind anger and/or guilt so we don’t have to feel things like sadness, loss and disappointment. Yet, as we can recognize what we are doing we can move into feeling the primal feelings presently in front of us. Another way of saying this, for example, when we gain the ability to see a greater truth hiding underneath the anger, we can then have a new clarity. What keeps us from moving, literally and figuratively, is the lack of being able to see a greater truth, which allows us then to gain enough clarity to move forward.
I was working with a client recently who had a difficult winter. She was in a state of indecision about literally moving to a new home; does she move with her husband or alone? So we took a look together to see what is underneath her indecision. We used a set of footprints to see an image which has been unconscious for her. We are looking at what keeps holding her back. I asked her to place footsteps for herself, her children, and her husband. She had shared with me that she and her husband had decided to abort a child a few years ago so I asked her to include that child also. She placed herself in the same line, right in the middle of her two live children, with her little aborted child right in front of her. Then she placed her husband behind them all and to the side. What became very clear to both of us was that there was no room for her husband as she was surrounded by all her children. There are many dynamics at play here, and we looked at them, but for this blog I am going to focus on one major one. I asked her about this child and if she felt complete with her decision. She said yes, she had worked a lot with it and she is ok. I told her that her placement of the footsteps tells me there is probably another piece to look at. We talked about this for awhile, and she realized that she had a little guilt, which she hadn’t owned. This kept her angry with her husband. Her husband had been the primary advocate for the abortion. She had laid the anger on him, and hadn’t truly owned that there was a part of her who also thought it might be a good idea for them at this point in her life. I then had her speak to the little child she aborted and name her and tell her this bit of truth that she too in some ways felt it was the wrong time for her to have her. And she had felt guilty. Then, she spoke words to her husband’s footsteps telling him how she hadn’t owned her full feelings and had placed her anger with herself on him. I then asked her if she would change the placement of any of the footsteps, and she put the little girl to the side of the family, and she stepped back to be behind her other children; still slightly in front of her husband, but close. And she turned her husband so he was now partially facing her. The two of them now have access to each other. She is no longer hiding behind anger and guilt and shielding herself with her children.
As she faced a truth in herself, she could see how things between her and her husband became clearer. What direction she now moves in is in the future. Now, she is able to be in the present with her truths. The question still remains about her move…and time will tell. The same is true for all of us. As we face a truth, we become free to move forward.
Small Lifestyle Changes that Promote Big Results:
As you might be able to tell if you have been reading my blogs, I love using paper and pen as a tool to help us see things more clearly.
So, take out a piece of paper and pen. Ask yourself is there any place inside where you don’t have clarity or where you might not be facing a truth in you. On the paper write out 4 categories: home, relationships, work, and lifestyle. Lifestyle includes exercise, and food and nutrition and eating habits. Relationships includes your friends, children, family and colleagues and peers.
Next, under each category ask yourself is there any place in your home where you might not be seeing things clearly and not looking at a truth of your own? Do so with each of the four categories. When you think of something write it down. If nothing comes to you in a category, leave it blank.
Come back to this sheet of paper once a week and look at it and see if anything has changed. Have you addressed a place where before you hadn’t? Has something popped up in a category where before it hadn’t?
This is an ongoing exercise. You keep adding to it and changing it as you have changed. I love how things just begin to show up, and how other things resolve. I look at mine about weekly…yes, I am human too, and don’t always go back to it on a weekly basis. By using it as a working tool, it helps keep me honest.
If you feel like it, I would love to hear how this works for you!