Some people walk around through life dictated by a dominant voice. This could be a voice from their mother or father or even worse from both of them. The voice surfaces at critical moments in life. For example when you have just finished organizing your wardrobe. You feel slightly proud of yourself and happy to have done the work. You walk out the bedroom and suddenly a voice appears which tells you to organize it even better. It wasn’t done properly, you should give it more time and start organizing your clothes again. That feeling of being proud and happy was vanished as soon as this voice appeared.
Many people I coach are being tortured by a voice which they have come to see as a part of their own identity. Recently a man in his fourties came into my practice. His life was negatively influenced by a sexual abuse incident when he was ten years old. He never once mentioned this experience to his parents nor bigger sister. He was indeed traumatized, but felt the need to keep it to himself. From then on he dealt with many fears towards men and woman. He wasn’t even sure about his sexuality. During our fourth session I guided him through an exercise in which he could feel and acknowledge the anger towards his abuser. I let him stamp his feet and move his whole body as how children show emotions with full strength and conviction.
During the next session he mentioned he still felt anger. Based on our talk it wasn’t the anger towards his abuser, but feeling frustrated, because he was held back by a voice who told him he couldn’t blame his abuser for everything he had experienced in life. Hmmm…that voice, it didn’t sound like his voice. Whose voice is this? I asked. The immediate answer came: ‘My mom’s voice. It’s the same voice who held me back during the releasing-the-anger exercise of last time. The voice who said ‘be careful now, don’t stamp to hard, otherwise you will ruin the floor of the coachingpractice’.
Even though his answer came immediate, quite intuitively, his power of reason was a bit slower. He was in tears, because up until this point he believed the voice was a part of him, of his character. The voice who would make sure he would do things the right and socially accepted way. He was confused; so he was angry at his mom and also disappointed and sad, because as a child he felt his parents and especially his mom couldn’t deal with his sexual abuse experience. That’s why he tried for decades to manage the inflicted pain and related fears and sadness by himself.
During this session he expressed his anger as a child towards his mom. While expressing the anger, again with stamping feet and wildly moving arms with his head bowed, the related sadness surfaced. Then he cried and screamed as a child who was in severe pain. Afterwards he sat down and tears rolled down his cheek. This time the tears came from a well of gratitude and love. The course of his life was already changing into the desired direction, but with processing these heavy-weighing emotions linked to saying goodbye to a voice no longer needed, his life even got a better perspective.
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