The idea of seeking therapy didn’t scare me, it just never occurred to me.
Before I began my journey with The Quest Institute Training School, to become a Cognitive Hypnotherapist, the idea of seeking therapy didn’t scare me, it just never occurred to me. Then I had one of those moments in life where the proverbial shit hits the fan and everything just fragments, leaving you feeling entirely unstable. The sort of moment where most people would say, yep I think I need some help. The truth is most, if not everyone, goes through at least one moment like this in their lifetime. Many seek help as I did, some don’t, and that’s a great shame. There is no doubt that asking for help in your most fragile and vulnerable moments takes a level of courage. But embracing your vulnerability with the right person can offer gifts beyond your wildest imaginings, and that’s what happened for me.
But why wait? Why wait until the shit hits the fan, when we could have the benefits that come from exploring our vulnerability, our resources and power right now. And in doing so perhaps avoid the shit storm that is potentially brewing inside. That’s a pretty gross metaphor I know but let’s face it when we have these kinds of moments they aren’t nice, warm and fluffy. And despite the enormous potential that resides within any moment, it’s not what we see or feel when we are all consumed by it.
What I began to discover was that I was terrified of being seen.
To be me, all of me. I’d shut away aspects of myself from the world because I thought it would keep me safe because I thought I wasn’t strong enough or capable enough to stand my ground if people responded badly or inappropriately towards me. I didn’t think I would be accepted by others if I let them see, all of me. We all have parts like this, those parts of ourselves that when we notice them, we feel shame or embarrassment, or we feel guilty or weak. I’ve talked about these sorts of parts before, parts we disown, hide from the world. Unfortunately, hiding or disowning parts of ourselves comes at a hefty price and it doesn’t actually help us to be better people or have a better life. Every part has something to offer us, to offer the world and it’s just a question of finding out what that offering is and how we can work with these parts in a way that suits us more as a whole. I wasn’t even aware of how much this closing off from various parts of myself was impacting my life, negatively. In disconnecting from these parts I lost confidence, I lost connection to potential friends, to the world around me even, I lost my creative spark.
I’m someone who prides myself on being present, yet how can we be fully present if we hide aspects of ourselves from the world. I hadn’t even realised how lacking in presence I was, in fact, it was my mentor Trevor Silvester that kept pointing out how much more present I seemed to be. I didn’t get it to be honest, at first. Then something happened that temporarily threw me back into my hole of despair, suddenly I could see the thick icy walls surround me, and everyone and everything else was on the other side of what felt in the moment to be an impenetrable wall, and I was lost forever.
One of the best ways to know you have changed as a result of therapy is a moment like this. I easily could have been lost forever, but I wasn’t because suddenly I had an awareness I didn’t before, I could choose a different way of responding. You know the saying ‘If you keep doing the same thing, you’ll keep getting the same results.’
Finally, I had permission to be me, to really enjoy being me.
All the things I was doing because that was expected, that was the way ‘to do it’. No! I didn’t have to do that. If you are reading this blog, then you’ve probably noticed two things in the world. One is the immense number of self-help books there are and two how most therapists, coaches and trainers have written at least one as a marketing tool. If we get lucky, they write a great one that really touches home and perhaps you could comment on one of your favourites, but there is a lot of rubbish and repeated stuff out there too. Being a therapist, a coach and a trainer I felt obliged to do the same, write one of these books. But did I feel inspired to do so? Hell no!
I had rediscovered my connection to the world, my creativity, and my confidence.
By embracing my vulnerability, I found my power. Out of this moment of personal growth, an old idea came to life in a new way. I wasn’t going to write a self-help book. I was going to write a fictional book, one I hope will inspire positive change, personal growth and a way forward for the people who read it. In the same way that I hope to facilitate positive change and personal growth for my clients and students, for those of you who read this blog.
My book is still in the making, I’m 15 chapters in. I named it ‘I See You’ based on the idea that allowing others to see you, the real you, all of you, is a scary thing and requires acceptance of our vulnerability but offers so many gifts.
“In time, we shall recognise that we have everything we need within us to create our own reality; to choose our own personal legend. That by embracing our vulnerabilities and challenging our fears, we invoke the evolution of our own unique potential and the rippling effect that has on the world around us, on human evolution as a whole.”
Here’s a snippet that represents a turning point in my own journey
“In the darkness, I feel my way to the most vulnerable part of my shell and push. I keep pushing until I hear the cracking of shell and feel the air rushing in and over me. I am out, my senses overloaded by this new world, the beginning of my new existence.”
What parts of yourself do you hide from the world? How could your life change if you embrace wholeness? Who would you be without your fears? Get in touch if you’d like to discuss this further or if this resonates with you please share your thoughts here.