When the search for approval drains your career, your wallet and your heart . . . you might begin to ask yourself, "How did I get so lost? When did I dump myself like a bad date? Where did I let go of the reins of my life?"
by, Therese Bogan, MFT #45643
When the search for approval drains
your career, your wallet and your heart . . . you might begin
to ask yourself, "How did I get so lost? When did I dump myself
like a bad date? Where did I let go of the reins of my life?"
Asking people to reflect is a big part
of my work with people, in my private office, and in organizations I
visit and serve. So many people use conversation with their
therapist as a jumping off point, to restart their own
self-reflection process; and, they can find real sanity and
reconnection to their original values or goals. We also use so much
of our reflection process in our most important relationships ~ from
our partners to our boss or colleagues, and our children. Its the
little ones who are relying on our powers of reflection, as they grow
their own. They do as we do, without question or reflection.
“Go think about this and get back to
me,” is a phrase you might hear at work. But, how do we do that?
Do you shrink down and get scared? Do you immediately know that you
have no clue or answer to a problem, so you run to someone else?
Knowing how to reflect on your own is a skill that is often left to
12-14 year-old girls who are told they have “problems” and they
need to journal. But really, we all have the power to reflect and
use our critical thinking and best self when setting the stage for
reflection and then connecting the results to our actions. Many also
think that reflection is prayer or a private pity party that leads to
solemn nights and no outcome. Many people do both prayer and pity
with limited results. And, this can be true if we lose our habits
that please us and makes us feel rejuvenated, nourished and ready for
the actions that need to be taken in the world.
To begin again try:
Know how you reflect ~ not anyone
else ~ and make a juicy menu of options: do you need to
walk/run/dance? Do you write works? Listen to music? Do you chat
and then think? Do you take pictures? Draw? Collect objects?
Arrange spaces or rooms until you are in that “special state”
To set the stage: use what you
know works for you and set up a space in your life that's private
and for you ~ only you! Sometimes the dog or cat is invited.
Set a date with yourself: make
the time and keep it.
Start with asking yourself the
right questions, ask from all angles: What is my situation or
relationship that is bothering me? What is on my mind that won't go
away? What am I wishing for? Why? What's missing? Then begin to
chose to use your critical thinking to hone in on one issue and give
this issue or wish all of the ability to study or analyze a problem.
How did I get here? What are my options? Where, exactly, am I
stuck? Why did I let myself get stuck?
Get honest with your self first:
You can deal with your dishonesty with others at some other time.
This time is for you to reflect and forgive yourself first. Get
clean with yourself inside and then consider safe ways to heal.
Make the distinction between
feelings and actions that you can take: Feelings change about every
10 minutes and they are happening inside of you. Actions come out
of your mouth, off the ends of your fingers, or from movement in
your body and they have direct consequences outside of you. Think
about the difference and look at where your feelings push you into
Get into a decision making
process: enter into our style of decision making. Get to know how
you make decisions by looking at how your bought your car or chose
your current job. Ask yourself if you like that process, and if
not, change it.
Be accountable to yourself about
resetting your decision when your action fails or you don't follow
through: if you blow yourself off, try again. If you blow yourself
off again, try again.
Forgetting or letting go: The
difference between the decision making process and art is
creativity. The element present in creativity is the unconscious.
When we let go of the outcome and forget about our “issue,” our
unconscious goes to work on it. This is where our inner gold
resides. Letting your unconscious do its proper work completes the
cleansing cycle. Let go of the idea, problem or wish and your
unconscious will do the work.
So many new fruits can come when we
start again with our unique power as humans, to self-reflect. We can
get stuck in old obstacles like our questioning of God or spirit,
haunting threats from past failures, mental clutter, distraction, TV,
your substance of choice or differing into someone's opinion or
threats. Ultimately, these obstacles can be moved or stalled, with
practice. When we arrive at a healthy reflection process we can
listen deeply, and with the intention of being honest in our actions,
we can find our way. When we follow through for ourselves, the
satisfaction from at least trying can be more deeply nourishing than
our success in one action or another.
Simply, we have the ability to fall
apart and pick ourselves up, everyday. When we take the small
moments to reflect we are giving ourselves the chance to pick up
where we left off, try again, or see our situation in a new light.
Getting clean inside is a simple task. Often, people clean their
dishes or their hair more often than their inner space. Ultimately,
our self leaves a shinning mark brighter than our gold or jewels. We
do not need to reserve our discernment for new shoes, picking out
other peoples problems, or the endless list of grievances from daily
life. We can apply high levels of skill to reclaiming the power we
can use and leaving the rest of life to tend for itself. Being clean
and new, with ourselves first, is our deepest way to get ready for
“Never by reflection, but only by
doing is self-knowledge possible to one.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Labels: Authenticity, Awareness, Emotional Health, Falling Apart, Self Care, Self-Soothing, Therese Bogan