You have a great job, you’re a leader, a professional in your field. You’re highly respected and highly paid. People admire you. They go to you for advice and listen attentively. You’re confident in your work and good at what you do. There’s only one place that still shakes you up.
When a colleague criticizes you, “You know, you really came off a bit arrogant in your presentation.” You respond graciously outwardly, but inwardly, you vehemently disagree and your stomach goes into knots. You contain your emotional reactions, but you feel shaken. At first you discount the feedback, then you get angry at the person who delivered it, then you feel insecure that it might be true.
You run it by a friend but minimize the impact it had on you. So your friend minimizes it too, “Oh, yeah, you’ve heard that kind of thing so many times, forget it, you’re great at what you do.”
This feedback doesn’t take away the pain. All of a sudden you find yourself doing nervous over-eating and having a drink. You feel emotionally needy but afraid to reach out to because you’re an adult yet you feel like a ten-year-old.
That’s not an accident that you feel ten years old.
At ten, you had a critical mother. When you accomplished something you were proud of you were criticized. “Don’t get a big head, others can do better.” Mom meant well, but you went from an expansive, joyful state to instantaneous contraction in a matter of seconds. Mom meant to challenge you to excel further but ten-year-old spirit felt crushed. Now when you present brilliantly to rave reviews, you can’t take it in or trust it. You fixate on the one person who criticizes you instead.
Intellectually you get it. You’re an adult for goodness sake, but your entire being races back to ten years nonetheless. You try to rationalize it away but start obsessively cleaning your house, and eating potato chips.
Your girlfriend just broke up with you. She didn’t tell you, she just stopped answering your phone calls. She’d been tapering off for some time but never said why. When you tried to discuss the relationship, she dodged the topic. You got afraid to be too demanding, that you would drive her further away so you became more loving and more accepting but it backfired because she left anyway. Then you felt betrayed, abandoned and angry. In fact, you were the one doing all the “work” for both of you in the relationship and resentful about that too. Inwardly you felt out of control, helpless, rejected and like you’d never be loved again. You felt like a 5-year-old.
That’s not an accident that you felt five years old.
At five, dad was busy being an alcoholic. His behavior was erratic. Sometimes he was so fun, in a great mood and playful. Other times he would disappear on a binge for a day or two, or become emotionally withdrawn. When he withdrew, you knew just what to do, you reached out, you became “extra good” by doing all the chores and things he liked, even though you were only five. It was overwhelming but you learned how to become the responsible one. You learned, if I become the good boy, and reach out even more, he’ll be happy, stick around and love me. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, he continued to repeat the pattern.
Fast forward to adult land and you find yourself attracted to married women. You don’t want to be but that seems to be invariably what happens. You find women who are temporarily available, then leave even though you work extra hard to keep them around.
How do we get “unstuck” from repetitive patterns? No amount of intellectualizing brings about the “growing up” process we need. We’re repeatedly stuck in our blind spot using wishful (childlike thinking) convinced there is some potential in our present relationship that will manifest if I just do it better.
We can’t learn to speak Chinese by reading a book. We need a teacher who knows how to create the sounds of the words who can help us formulate them with our own voice until the light of awareness dawns in the mind.
The same is true with getting unstuck. Here are 3 actions to help you get started:
- Consciousness expands when you open your chakras. Getting unstuck has nothing to do with your level of intellect. It has to do with expanding your consciousness.
- You can’t do it alone. You can’t go within to create what doesn’t yet exist. You can learn how to have that experience with the one who has it.
- Become willing to be temporarily uncomfortable. This is counter-intuitive. It’s natural to seek comfort. A leap of faith will be required that the right professional will guide you in a way that does not re-create your childhood hurts.
Lionheart Institute offers a personal growth training dedicated to getting you unstuck from self-sabotaging patterns. Walk with us through The Doorway to Transformation. Our next class is November 13.