"A bird sitting on a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because its trust is not on the branch but on its own wings."
Did you ever have the experience where so much was going on and you were either wanting something to happen and it just wasn't happening, or you were contemplating something and sharing it with folks and they had differing ideas, or you were in conversation with people you respect and you found yourself losing your own perspective in ideas and things? I think this type of thing happens to all of us at some point in time. At times like these, we lose touch with our authentic selves. How do we lose touch with us; what happens in our lives in which we felt we had to give something of ourselves up, or that we just couldn't trust us? I think it begins with just that; giving some part of us up. Our task becomes filling our holes with ourselves. Or, as I put it in the title, filling our wholes; becoming whole.
Many times in our lives we unconsciously fill our holes through other's thoughts and influences, not realizing that we are allowing them to have precedence over our own. Sometimes what happens is that in different times and places in our lives, it didn't feel safe to have our own opinions. We might have felt that if we even took some inner time to discover our own ideas and opinions and had the audacity to express them, that not only would we be discounted, but that we might lose someone important to our survival. It felt important to agree with our caretakers, whether we actually did or not. If we do that often enough, we can begin to believe and take on as our own their beliefs. To become whole, we then need to go back in time, so to speak, to the places where we gave up something of us, and to consciously reclaim that part of yourself, or that idea and belief, and even the confidence in us. We then need to learn not to doubt ourselves in most matters; especially in matters of the heart and soul.
It needs to be okay to be wrong about something and to know that even if we are wrong or if we are not agreed with or even believed, that we will be ok and we will do more than survive, that we will prosper. I have many patients who find their selves in the place where they often doubt their selves and don't know what the truth is about things. They lose their own inner knowing. We then have to help them to believe in their gut feelings again. Sometimes the actual details of events get lost or not remembered, but to trust the gut feeling and energy of what they do remember; even when others tell us otherwise.
I have a patient who was lied to so much growing up, that she doesn't know what the truth is. Important people in her life either continue to lie, or begin to believe their own stories that the truth of what happened is not able to be retrieved. The task here is to help her to begin to believe what she is feeling in her heart and gut to be true; even without knowing the details of the events. So she doubts herself and finds that she no longer is able to know her own memories; she gave them up. Our task is to help her to feel her own feelings and to own them as hers and have them take priority over anyone else's. She is in fact in the process of doing that and is learning how to become whole again.
Shift Your Story/Shift Your Life
Where in your life have you let go or given up something of yourself in order to be approved of, accepted, and to feel loved? Take a few minutes and let us do an exercise.
Close your eyes and breathe deeply two or three times. Deep, full breaths. Go back in time to a time and place where you can remember surrendering something of yourself in discussion with someone, or in a relationship with someone where you wanted to be approved of, or you were afraid you would lose something if you said what you felt or remembered or believed. What was happening at that time? What was happening and how did that make you feel? Were you afraid, or anxious, or feeling doubt, what was it that you were experiencing? Now, how could you do things differently knowing what you know now? What might you think or say to that other person or in that situation? Imagine your self-expressing your true thoughts and feelings at that time. Feel how that feels. Take it in. Now take two or three deep breaths and come back to the present and slowly open your eyes. Take two more minutes to write down what you learned and how that experience was for you.