My client called me in absolute despair. The man she’d been living with for the past two years had told her he no longer wanted to be with her and he’d found someone else. She feels her whole world has collapsed; wakes up panicking in the night and says how incomplete she feels without him. Digging deeper it seems this fear of being alone has come from some deep rooted imbalanced childhood memories. Here is a beautiful, young woman who says she can only focus on her ex-partner, thinks about him day and night, and that life is no longer worth living. “Without him life makes no sense......” My client – let’s call her Jane – tells me how brilliant he is, a great speaker, with big goals and visions and how financially successful he is. How he makes her feel “complete” whenever she’s with him and how totally lost, unsafe and depressed she feels without him. Who has related to this at one time or another in their life? And this is the reason! Many people are looking for only pleasure in their lives, without pain. Searching for a partner that is always nice and kind and never angry or mean. This is one of the real causes of Jane’s pain at the moment. Looking for a one-sided person when we all have two-sides (kind AND mean, brilliant AND stupid, positive AND negative) is the cause of her stress and overwhelm. When I asked her to list the negatives and the things she disliked about him, it took her a while to find them. You see – when we say we miss someone, it’s not true! We only miss that which we fantasize about them, i.e. – only the so-called positive sides of them. When I asked her if she really missed the “mess he made in the toilet!” or “the way he criticized her, her son and the fact he never compromises or does anything she wants”, her eyes widened, her breathing slowed down, and she began to question her initial thoughts.
EVERYONE IS A REFLECTION OF OURSELVESHer partner – let’s call him John – was her greatest teacher. What we see in others is actually in ourselves. When I asked her where her own “brilliance” was, her body language told me she was shocked. She had never even considered that. The same when I asked her where her own goals and visions were and where she too was “successful?” She had never considered this before. Instead what she had done was compare and minimize herself to his form of brilliance, to what was important to him, rather than looking at where she too was brilliant, in what form it was in, and the same for her areas of “success” too.
HOW CAN I DEAL WITH MY OVERWHELMING FEELINGS OF PANIC?Jane woke up during the night and every morning with a huge sense of loss, feeling unsafe and panicking. Once again, when I posed the question “How is the panic actually serving you? How is it benefitting you?” her body jolted and her eyes widened. I could see the initial confusion as her brain began to consider the question. In the past she had only focused on what she perceived to be the negatives of panic. By posing the counterbalancing question, it opened up a whole new way of thinking allowing her to feel calm, slow down her breathing, and come up with new more empowering answers. What was the value of the panic to her? What was it enabling her to get, achieve, focus on, have to learn and discover? What skills, techniques, experience and exposure will it open for her? Who has she become closer to? What new questions is she now asking herself to make herself more empowered so that she no longer has to look outside herself to feel “complete”. The quality of your questions determines the quality of your life. With these new insights Jane no longer felt the loss of John. She is sleeping much better, focusing on her own business and is on her way to empowering the areas of her life in which she was previously disempowered. My question to you is : What imbalanced perceptions about your relationship do you have?