Do you ever feel like you have a problem in your life, it could be a health challenge, a difficult person, a situation at work and it drives you crazy because you can’t change it? You almost have a charge on the situation or get revved up and emotional about it. And it doesn’t matter how hard you try, nothing seems to work.
Let’s take a real example….
You may be in a challenging relationship, but everyone is telling you to be happy about what you have, the house, the car, the job, whatever. But you are still regularly wound up by what your partner does or doesn’t do. And your words become along the lines of…. “if only he were like that then everything would be ok and I’d be great”. You put your happiness, your sense of self and make it totally dependent on someone else.
Or it could be you have an injury, you’ve hurt your neck for example. You’ve tried massage, you’ve tried phyio, you’ve tried chiropractic, you’ve been to the shamanic healer, and nothing works. They are all useless and it’s their fault you’re not better.
Equally, you may have an injury and you’ve found the most amazing chiropractor (this was me 20 years ago by the way), and he can fix anything. So every time you do something stupid or injure yourself, he puts you back together and you carry on with your life. No impact on you, other than the time and money you part with.
So what is going on?
I could give countless examples, but there is a common thread here. There is a problem, it’s affecting you at a physical or emotional/mental level, and you are searching for a solution outside of yourself. Whether you are blaming someone else for how you are, or are searching for a solution outside of you be it a healer, money (which rarely solves anything by the way, just amplifies the situation), a person or a change of circumstance, the solution is always dependent on something outside of you.
What happens without, happens within…
I still hear people who don’t believe this, they don’t believe that your outer world reflects your inner world. And I must confess I wasn’t a believer for many years. Yet I’ve come to see that our internal state is almost always mirrored around us and vice versa.
Stages of Healing
So in Stage 1 we are pretty helpless and not much is going to change. In Stage 2, we know we need to heal but we are not yet resourced enough to do it ourselves. Whilst I believe that much healing and/or does require outside input, we also have to play a role in it. If you are in this stage you are usually putting almost or all of your focus outside of you and giving the responsibility for your wellbeing and your state to an outside force.
One of the personal benefits of this is it’s much easier to put the onus on someone else to change, because then it’s not our fault. We don’t have to take responsibility. The problem with that, is often the person we are putting it all upon either doesn’t want to change, can’t change or doesn’t know that you’re relying on them to do someone. Or in the case of a healthcare professional, they may be brilliant at what they do, but it’s still you that has to heal and change.
So it’s quite a skill to recognize when you are not taking responsibility, because it’s not something we like admitting to.
Some tips to help you recognize this stage include:
· You are charged emotionally about the situation
· You are alternating between helpless and I’ve found the perfect solution
· You are blaming a lot
· You are over praising someone else
· You are relying on circumstance to change and feel like you’re waiting and in limbo
· It’s never your fault or it’s always your fault (absolutist language)
So What’s Actually Going on?
When we polarize outwardly, we are actually separating from a part of us. And these are usually the parts of our persona that we don’t like, don’t own or are ashamed of. It’s much easier to blame someone or something else, than to admit we feel scared, or inadequate or that we are angry, ungrateful or just nasty. But it’s not just the negative emotions and states we avoid, some people are just as challenged in admitting that they are talented, gifted or capable. Instead they play small, deferring to others.
Stage 2 is a great way of avoiding responsibility and our society runs on it. The media feeds it. I challenge anyone to watch the news and there not be at least one reference to who’s fault it was. Because it’s there in every aspect of our lives. If someone get’s sick, we look for why, if someone is not performing at work we blame them or someone else. There is so much in our culture, do be kind to yourself when you see it in you. And being British myself and knowing how to do the “stiff upper lip”, the Brits are expert at cutting themselves off from the parts of themselves that hurt and don’t feel good enough.
What to do about it
The first step of moving through stage 2 is to recognize that you are at least partly in this stage. So it’s good to observe when do you give your power away? When do you say “if only it were like this or if he did this, I’d be fine…” and to catch yourself blaming and ask – do I have a part in this? Is it really 100% their fault?
Once you’ve recognized it, I suggest doing a Stage 2 on your body and observing what changes