Darbella’s Articles — Give your head a break and listen to your body!

A friend from Haven wrote the fol­low­ing in an email.

I think that what I am try­ing to do is inte­grate things that peo­ple say to me (the good stuff) on a body lev­el. I am try­ing to believe, in my body, that I am as great a per­son as some have told me I am. I cer­tain­ly believe in my body the oppo­site very easily.

I’m glad that my friend is work­ing at inte­grat­ing the good stuff that peo­ple have said and are con­tin­u­ing to say to her at the body lev­el. Some­times it takes a long time for these ideas to get through. We so often give our­selves such a hard time.

I dis­agree with her, that at the body lev­el, what she describes as “the oppo­site” is true. It is pre­cise­ly at this lev­el that the good stuff is. I believe it is a mat­ter of aware­ness and accep­tance at the body lev­el. We sim­ply need to get out of our own way. 

The “believe” part is your head work­ing. At the body lev­el we sim­ply know. At the head lev­el, we think or believe. If we could only get our heads out of the way — our bod­ies would do a won­der­ful job of tak­ing care of us. My friend knows at a body lev­el what a won­der­ful per­son she is and how much she has to offer. Her head just needs to believe this to be true.

This is an area that I strug­gled with for so long. My head did a won­der­ful job of send­ing me neg­a­tive mes­sages. I was no good. I could not get any­thing right. When I walked into a new sit­u­a­tion, I imag­ined every pos­si­ble thing that could go wrong. Nobody was ever going to like me. They might put up with me ’cause they liked Wayne but they would nev­er like me. Nobody would think I had any­thing valu­able to say.

I nev­er under­stood how I was so lucky to find Wayne, and be in rela­tion­ship with him for so long. (That one still amazes me!) When I told Wayne that — he would say the same thing to me - about being so lucky. I could not under­stand how he could con­sid­er him­self lucky cause I did not feel like much of a prize. (That one I am over!)

I imag­ine that last para­graph sound­ed quite famil­iar for you, too. In my strug­gles with learn­ing more about me in the last few years, I have gained a great accep­tance for who I am at the body lev­el. I’ve dis­cov­ered that this accep­tance was there all along. It was my head I had to con­vince. I was my own worst ene­my — bet that sounds famil­iar too!

Those thoughts keep com­ing back into my head. The sad part is, I imag­ine they always will. I don’t think that pat­tern will ever go away. The dif­fer­ence now is that I can see both sides. When those voic­es get loud enough in my head for me to notice, I lis­ten for a bit then respond with “wait a minute!!!” I then take time to remem­ber the pos­i­tive com­ments that I have heard. That was a big one — learn­ing to hear the pos­i­tive com­ments. I also kept a book of proof in my head of the times when I felt good and things worked out for me. That was a dif­fi­cult book to cre­ate. It helped to make some writ­ten lists to read over when I need­ed to. I now can just con­sult the lists in my head. I’m notic­ing that I don’t need such a long list any­more. Some­times I just have to remem­ber that there is a list.

Keep notic­ing the good things peo­ple are say­ing and keep a list for those times that you need it. Our bod­ies do know and our work is to “remem­ber” that we do know. Keep­ing a jour­nal is an excel­lent way to do this! Keep a spe­cial jour­nal of the pos­i­tive com­ments you’ve heard and the times when things worked. Make a habit of re-read­ing this one regularly.

My friend also com­ment­ed in her email:

I am amazed at how the same stuff still keeps com­ing up for me. I have been tied to the dock of being aban­doned for so long it’s like my whole life is reflect­ing this. And I want to grow up now. I real­ly want to let go of this dock. And yet it seems that the only way to do this is to reach out to oth­ers and risk being aban­doned (or reject­ed). Kind of a catch 22. And I am will­ing to risk it.

Being aban­doned is a “rock” belief for my friend. Wayne wrote about this in his book, Liv­ing Life in Grow­ing Orbits. It will be with her for life. These “rock” beliefs are cre­at­ed in our child­hood expe­ri­ences. Aban­don­ment will colour every­thing in her life. How much she will allow it to do so is up to her. Mine is sim­i­lar. It is more rejec­tion that I tend toward. My fam­i­ly did not go away. They were just not there for me emo­tion­al­ly and did not seem to care about me. Actu­al­ly they were just all tied up in their own stuff and I thought it was all about me.

In The NEW Man­u­al for Life, Ben­net Wong and Jock McK­een describe life like a voy­age on a riv­er. Events in our lives are like docks that we stop and vis­it on our jour­ney. Some expe­ri­ences are more sig­nif­i­cant than oth­ers and peo­ple often refuse to untie their boats from this dock. When faced with anx­i­ety, they pull on the ropes and return to this dock. These are the docks that my friend is refer­ring to. A dock for her from ear­ly child­hood is aban­don­ment. It hap­pened once and it was sig­nif­i­cant for her so she has latched onto that dock and has had some trou­ble let­ting go of the rope.

This issue will not go away for her. It will always be there. She is cor­rect (in my opin­ion) that the only way to get past this is to con­tin­u­al­ly put her­self out there and risk being aban­doned again and again. And yes, some peo­ple will aban­don her — at least in her eyes. Like my fam­i­ly though — it will have only to do with what is up for them and real­ly noth­ing about her. That is her learn­ing in let­ting go of the rope that con­nects her to that dock.

We all have our docks, our hooks, our old pat­terns. The only per­son that mat­ters in all of this is you. You are a won­der­ful per­son and when you accept this about your­self — then every­one else’s opin­ion goes away, as does the field depen­dence. Being the per­son that some­one else wants you to be will nev­er work. That’s a game where the rules con­stant­ly change and it is set up for you to fail. Rather play the game of being the per­son you want to be and be con­tent with that.

This is not to say that my friend will not feel resent­ments when, in her eyes, peo­ple aban­don her. With peo­ple she choos­es to be in rela­tion­ship with, these resent­ments need to be shared. It is the way that we draw clos­er to our inti­mate friends - through the reveal­ing of our­selves. In shar­ing the resent­ments, you are reveal­ing how you felt in the sit­u­a­tion. If there is some­thing spe­cif­ic that you want from anoth­er per­son - then you job is to ask specif­i­cal­ly for what you want. Oth­er peo­ple can’t read minds and know what you want - any bet­ter than you can. Also - the oth­er per­son has the free­dom to com­ply with your wish­es or not. Their choice in this mat­ter is all about them and has noth­ing to do with you. The line - If you loved me you will always be there for me - does not work.

I have learned a lot about this in the past cou­ple of years. My hook is rejec­tion. I looked at a sit­u­a­tion and fol­lowed it to its log­i­cal con­se­quence - and if every­one would just see it my way - they would see how much anoth­er’s per­son­’s behav­iour was a rejec­tion for me. I was total­ly con­vinced that every­one would see it my way - ’cause that was the way it was.

Through con­ver­sa­tions about my resent­ments, I learned for the first time in my life that my way of think­ing how things are only worked in my world. Giv­en the exact same sit­u­a­tion, some­one else saw it as com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent. They did not have that rejec­tion dock in their life so they did not per­ceive the sit­u­a­tion as being reject­ed. I now have that mes­sage at a body lev­el for the first time in my life. It has made an incred­i­ble dif­fer­ence to my views of life.

All this to say that what I see as rejec­tion will not be seen as rejec­tion by every­one else. What my friend sees as aban­don­ment, will not be per­ceived that way by every­one else. In shar­ing my resent­ments, I opened the path­way for an incred­i­ble learn­ing experience.

Take time to exam­ine your “rock” beliefs or your docks in your life. Share your resent­ments with peo­ple you are in rela­tion­ship with, and remain open to lis­ten­ing to their point of view. Be open to learn­ing more about your­self. And give your head a break and lis­ten to your body!

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