Sometimes we seem to find ourselves totally alone in the world, and unable to cope with our lives – unsupported. For most people the reality is more likely to be that our solitude is a result of choice – our choice not to allow others to assist us. We do this in many ways. Perhaps we pride ourselves on being self-reliant, so we never express a need for help. This comes back to the point we discussed earlier, that we expect others somehow to read our minds, and automatically know what it is that we need – or that in fact we need anything at all.
Perhaps we honestly do not believe that we are important enough to warrant a fuss being made. We feel that we ought to be able to cope – a mother struggling to meet the needs of her family and as well as fulfilling her obligations to her job; a husband struggling to fulfil the expectation that he earn enough to support a growing family on his own – the examples are endless. We do not live in isolation, and while it is often easy to reach out and help others, it can be difficult to allow others to do the same for us.
A common area that we express this inability to accept support from ourselves and from others is in the way we treat our physical bodies. We often drive ourselves to illness, and then still keep on going, insisting that we are ‘okay’, when we are clearly not! Some of us play the game the other way. Unable to cope, we express constant neediness, and demand support from others to such an extent that they withdraw, frightened by the force of our need. We are left without support, and the message we set ourselves up to receive is the same. We do not get support because we don’t deserve it!
The way to break this cycle is once again to cultivate an awareness of the way we act and interact, and as we become aware of our patterns of behaviour, we gain the power to change.
The common theme running through all these examples is clear. We invest a great deal of energy in maintaining the image we have of ourselves, even if this involves deeply destructive cycles. Our belief in our worthlessness sets up a pattern of reinforcing events, and we find ourselves in situations with predictable outcomes. The key to changing this process is awareness, and ultimately, choice. Change is seldom comfortable, but one thing that it does for us, is that it builds awareness – and we find that we have initiated another cycle – this time a positive cycle. All we need to remember is that ultimately we do have the choice, and, that no matter how hopeless things appear, there is a moment – perhaps only a split second when we can choose to change things, this time.
There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”. Download chapter 1 free now!