BECOME YOUR THERAPIST
To get to know oneself, one has to ASK questions. For every WHY there is a BECAUSE.
Nothing we do is without a reason. No action we take is without an intent. Although obscured, there is always a reason for us to say YES or NO to things. Unless we ask ‘Why?’ however, we can never understand ourselves, destined to live the CONCEPT of who we are which is based on our current 'likes and dislikes'. We will remain the prisoners of our 'dos and don’ts', our past. To free ourselves from the straight jacket of our childhood conditioning, to release ourselves from the prison of our past, we must ask lots of questions. Similar to how a detective or a counsellor would work.
What struck me after couple of my counselling sessions was that, although my counsellor skilfully asked questions, it was ME who held all the answers. I realised there and then that if I can learn HOW to ask myself the right questions, if I can OBSERVE my thoughts (being able to investigate their validity), if I become skilful in EXPOSING assumptions/lies in my thinking processes, I can become my own counsellor! I knew there is no one better informed about what is happening inside MY head, no one better qualified in understanding MY thoughts, than me! From that point onwards, I knew I am capable to become my own psyche healer...
I felt so empowered by this experience (knowing I can help me) I firmly decided to do so. I felt EMPOWERED as a wave of new determination and confidence in my own ability arisen from within. It was a deep, inner knowing, an unshakable certainty coming from my True Self - the wisdom within I have tapped into as I have aligned with my true purpose. And if it wasn't for my intuition, you would not be reading this.
Deeply analytical mind (similar to being highly empathic) is like a double edged sword however...
It can be very helpful if you rule it, or pretty destructive if you don't know how it works and where it can deceive you. You can be taken off course, lost in an endless cycle of compulsive thinking, driving yourself mad, eventually falling into depression or suffering from panic attacks and anxiety.
Not to get caught up in the mind's deception one needs to learn much about it, particularly about its belief structure, and how is this is affecting his or her way of thinking.
False, long standing beliefs are buried in our subconscious. Although we don’t perceive them consciously, they are very much influencing the direction of our thoughts and actions. Our thoughts, although FALSE, bring about very REAL feelings. As a result, our feelings (a real reaction to our false thinking) only re-confirm the validity of the original thought.
Our mind deceives us with our thoughts running on a loop, out of which certain part is hidden.
The thinking loop starts and ends in our conscious mind. It, however, passes through our subconscious - for us an ‘invisible' base, which ties the loop in. Since we are not aware of this hidden portion of our thinking, we tend to think about a problem repeatedly many times a day with no real resolution, internally ending up in CONFLICT. Our conscious line of thought goes against our subconscious beliefs, and we are stuck with no way out...
Thoughts which cannot be cleared from our mind, those which we haven’t 'investigated' (meaning questioned and put to bed), are running in cycles before they get finally pushed into our subconscious. It is a clearing mechanism our mind ensures space for things that matter the most. The glitch here is, that those unresolved thoughts are still rulling our thinking and behaving, without us knowing about it.
Our false belief structure grows silently in size...
Imagine that we have many of these 'thought loops' running in our head, in proportion to the number of our false beliefs, tied to current issues our mind is trying to deal with.
For example, if someone treats us badly but we unknowingly, believe we are bad, we get first really mad at them. Yet, in the end, we end up blaming ourselves for their behaviour. On a conscious level we don’t believe its OK to be treated badly (hence our anger), yet subconsciously we condemn and blame ourselves for their behaviour. We are in conflict with ourselves, unable to assert ourselves. In time and with repetition our actions bring on anxiety and/or depression. Although we are truly unhappy, we stay with our abusers, feeling as though we deserve what they serve. We try to move past it by 'forgetting' the injustice, subconsciously growing a monster which is killing us on the inside. That same monster will one day come out and hurt others in line with what we believe about ourselves...
The only way to resolve and untangle our thought loop is through journaling.
Writing things down, we have a chance to expose the loop entirely, shining the light of our consciousness onto its false parts: either a long standing false belief, or our current assumption. Best approach is writing a thought down as we think it. Asking ourselves' How do I know this? Is that really true? How much of that thought is me assuming? Could this also be untrue? What does it mean to me if this is true?' Once we know that thought is partly an assumption, emotions (such thought evokes) recede. This points us in a new direction. It corrects the course of our thinking towards the truth.
This process needs to be repeated with every thought we deem to be true!
It is often easier to find lies and assumptions in our thoughts about others. Thinking about ourselves, it becomes trickier. There are multiple false beliefs we hold about ourselves which tie 'our truth' down, keeping it locked in place much more firmly. To release a false thought (and with it our resulting emotions in order to heal), we have to commit to see ourselves with a new set of eyes. With CURIOSITY, shifting ourselves into a perspective of a third person. Not many are keen on this as many unpleasant emotions inevitably surface. Read more on how to deal with your emotions here.
Facing the truth about oneself needs bravery and absolute honesty in the presence of non-judgement.
Non-judgement is necessary to move us into a direction of helping ourselves with love and compassion, as supposed to shaming and condemning ourselves. Our conditioning lies down the foundation for our INNER CRITIC AND JUDGE - our Ego. Which more often than not looks like a court hall full of screaming people, naming and shaming us for how we are being and what we are feeling. This is how we get caught up, being on our own case, soon sentencing and locking ourselves into a prison with no way out...
Who is to condemn you for what you think and how you think about it? It just IS! And if you don't deal with it the way it is, it cannot be changed, nor solved.
Our feelings are purely a result of our thoughts. It's that simple. So if our thoughts are false, so are our emotions - although they FEEL very real! Many of us suffer so much as a result of believing in lies. We often torture ourselves, enmeshed in endless negative thought cycle, only later finding out our thoughts were untrue. One can then feel like a fool, but this is again our Inner Judge condemning us for how incapable we are. This is where Ego slips through the back door. And it always tries to do so! The Judge is relentless, well trained since childhood, always ready to take us down. We cannot escape it by engaging in his case against us though, because that would mean he has already won...
The only way forward is to OBSERVE him/her at work. Having a conscious realisation, awareness of this happening, we can shift ourselves from the hot seat of an anxious convict, and into a calm, non-judgmental seat of curious by-stander.
Our curiosity has been given to us to explore not only the outside world. It would be a real shame to close our case and not explore it any further. There are plenty of surprises and wonders inside each and everyone of us, awaiting to be discovered if we dare so.
Thank you for reading. If my article contributed to understanding yourself, please be generous and share it with others.
Copyright © 2016 Michaela Patel