What’s in your glass?
When I sit with my clients, I will often take my glass of water that I have sitting on my window sill next to me, and explain our internal emotional world like this;
“This glass represents our emotional fullness, we are all full, it just depends what we are full of. Imagine that the bottom two inches, this belongs to you, its your own emotional stuff,
But think about the rest? Who do they belong to?
Could they be the expectations and introjects of other people perhaps?
I remember trying to make my dad proud of me five years after he had died. A part of that was my own grief for the loss of my dad, however a big part, was me trying to achieve his expectations, the expectations of a father whom I longed to hear say that he was proud of me.
How about people who blame themselves for the bad things that have happened to them? Do you blame your self for things that were not your responsibility, you were perhaps only a child when it happened?
Because others could not take responsibility for their own feelings, they dump them on you and say you have to carry it. You may have become all things to all people and, try to rescue everyone else from their own feelings, and loose yourself in the process. We end up living a false sense of self, wearing masks that you have learnt to adapt to suit the situation, which in turn creates internal emotional distress for you, and symptoms that often get diagnosed as mental illness.
What could happen if you could sit and talk to someone who will not judge you, who will hold and value your feelings, and work at your pace so that you can begin to unpack your history, to understand what is yours, to value and validate you, and make some choices as to what you might want to do with everyone else’s stuff that you are carrying? What happens if you could begin to make sense of what you have been experiencing? and empty some of those things that you have been carrying, would that give you greater emotional capacity to cope with everyday life? Symptoms can change.”