As most of us advance towards the tenth week of the lockdown experience, we have created this little bubble of security around ourselves and our family.
Some of you may have taken an opportunity to just stop, to think, to reflect on life as it was. On the way that you had tumbled through the events and responsibilities and the stress of wanting to stop the train, wanting to take the time out of the challenges of your life and to be able to contemplate and re programme your thoughts.
This has been that time, this has been that opportunity. And now a new found panic erupts of how do you stop yourselves from moving back into that world at full pace. How do you change your thought processes and begin to take that slow and gentle step back to reality with the opportunity to hover your foot over the break and slow things gently to the speed that helps you to process your responsibilities but still retain that sense of harmony, that sense of self care. It is all about being in control. You and only you have the control of your destiny. Nobody can make you do anything, they can persuade you that you should act in a certain way, they can manipulate you to behave in a certain way, but ultimately you are the one with the control. You know what is good for you and you know what you need to do to make you happy. You make sacrifices that support others being happy and in a good place, but sometimes these sacrifices are at the expense of your own happiness.
So how do we change the way that we think, a lot of our sense of responsibility is learned behaviour from when we were much younger. A parent who did not readily recognise their child’s achievements or behaviour create within that child a need to please, a constant yearning to be recognised. A child that grows up with criticism will grow to criticise themselves and find fault with others. A child who grows up with shame will learn to feel ashamed and that child who grows feeling unimportant will have no sense of worth.
However that child who grows with encouragement will learn to be confident.
If a critical parent has wounded you in your childhood verbally or even physically, it is worth remembering that this was not really about you. It was always a projection of something your parent hadn’t dealt with in themselves. As with yourself, they are also a product of their past.
When we are able to identify with this we are able to change the way we think about ourselves and about others. Once we are able to understand why we behave in a certain way, why we feel this desire to constantly please, our strive to be the best, why we get angry or feel shame, we are then able to rationalise our behaviour and begin to even like ourselves. We may begin to change our approach to life and our responses to others and certain situations. Once we achieve this we then chose to look after ourselves as much as we want to look after others.
Sometimes, however, professional support is needed to help you to navigate through this journey and hold your hand while you process the details and recover from the impact of your past experiences. This is where a Counsellor can help, as a Psychotherapeutic Counsellor I use my skills to support my clients through their challenges and help them to re-think the details of their lives to alter their way of identifying with the negative influences from their past.