Something that is amazingly striking is how vulnerable we are in all aspects of our humanness. And, how hard we can be on ourselves (and with others!) to top it off! In the stories I hear through the work, and also in plain old conversations with people, I hear the constant criticism, lack mentality, negativity, focus on what’s “wrong”, and the like. Gosh, it makes for an awful stay in that mental space rental. LOL
The self-deprecation, and focus on how our partner sucks, it’s so thick it can be cut with a knife. It’s interesting how challenging it is to bypass the Negativity Bias… It’s even more interesting that we love taking the concept to the next level (sarcasm). Obviously, we are not doing it on purpose. And, even the most evolved might still have moments where they succumb to the lure.
But what I work on for myself and teach our clients, is to be as mindful and intentional as possible, as consistently as possible, to counter this. But even embracing this practice can be challenging for some…
Have you ever noticed that you might have cracked the code on something, found a great life hack, or some other worthy morsel, but when you try to share the wealth it is not accepted, it’s actually not even received well?
The main reason for this is that we have a program running in the background that doesn’t allow us to deviate from it… Even if it’s good for us. The program doesn’t recognize it as good. If a deviation from the norm is detected, it considers it a bug, virus, threat and goes about eradicating it… It’s like having a firewall and malware installed in our server! Nothing will get through until we change the software, permissions, settings, or code…
This programming is subconscious, and it’s literally wired into our nervous system… All the messaging and experiences growing up impacted how we wired our (embodied) brain, which in turn informs our chemistry, personality, defense mechanism, sensitivities, etc… Not for nothing it isn’t easy to receive constructive criticism, feedback, advise and resources… We are built to protect ourselves from any threats to the status quo, from change!
I know this might sound like a lost cause, but if it was the likes of me wouldn’t have a profession! It is not hopeless, it is not impossible, it is not absurd. Change can happen. We just need to be smart about our approach. We can’t muscle our way through. We can’t solve it as a logical problem. We can’t ignore it in hopes it goes away on its own, it won’t. We just need to target the program… for once we get through, voila!!
The key is to be intentional and proactive about this… This approach to evolving ourselves is not for the faint of heart. If you want it you can have it, but you have to invest in yourself… And, therein lies the grub. This is part of the catch 22 and why not everybody is evolved already. It’s hard to invest in yourself when your programming is running ramped against change!
The trick? Be gentle. Sneak up on yourself… If you are in therapy, or other supportive service, you probably noticed that your therapist doesn’t beat you into change… That your therapist is loving, nurturing, accepting and challenges you just enough at the right time to get in… That they offer you a different experience, and techniques and tools, to assist the reprogramming…
Piggybacking on last week’s issue, on Nurturing is not just for mothers, here is a call to nurture yourself also… This is a reprogramming strategy (ReParenting Yourself, Mothering Yourself…). Evolving ourselves can be pretty simple if we mean it, if we really want to evolve and have our best human experience… This doesn’t have to be mysterious or difficult. A strategy can be as simple as Nurturing…
But do beware of the sentinel against change… Even do nurturing gently… Sometimes we go all gung-ho about a new selfcare routine, new service, new nurturing toy or such, to very quickly put it to the side or “lose interest”. Sneak in the goodness. Integrate it slowly. Take your time. Just know that nice and steady wins the race…
Assignment: Make a list of all feel good activities, gestures, treats, and the like. For example, getting a massage is pretty high on my list. They can be as simple as making yourself a cup of tea during key times of the day, to embracing a meditation practice, to taking yourself to a spa retreat in some obscure part of the world. This is your list, anything goes. Don’t judge, don’t sensor. Make a nice list. Then as your programming allows, integrate items to your hearts content…
Be gentle. Be kind. Be nice. Be accepting. Be loving. Be You to yourself!
Complete the Assignment below, and share your takeaway, insights, and results with a note in the Comments box at the end! I’d love to hear how you are using this content.
~ Some Related Issues
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Emma K. Viglucci, LMFT is the Founder and Director of Metropolitan Marriage & Family Therapy, PLLC, a private practice that specializes in working with couples, she is the creator of the MetroRelationship™ philosophy and a variety of Successful Couple™ content that assist couples succeed at their relationship and their life. Stay Connected™ with Emma and receive weekly Connection Notes in your inbox with Personal Growth and Relationship Enrichment insights and strategies, visit: www.metrorelationship.com.