Life Coaching: dominated by a parent’s critical voice

expression

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.

Would you be interested in a coaching session? Click here to read about the introduction session. For more information on Orchid of Life ~ Life Coaching, I invite you to visit my website, click here. 

Stop participating in the problem

problem

Have you been a victim of people who are projecting their negative energy onto your life? Stop being the victim and step out of the problem others have created. It is both awful and true, but some people just don’t know how to handle their deep rooted fears, anger and sadness. The only reason for them to project these emotions onto others is because they don’t feel and see a way out. When it comes down to family relationships which are the hardest and most challenging of all relationships we often come to question ourselves: are we the ones to help them? Underneath all that blame and pointing fingers is love. For sure.

The only problem is that blaming sucks up all the positive energy you have. It tires one out to the bone. No energy left no more to speak. How is it possible to speak to someone who continues to blame, play the victim and ignore your needs? I’ve spoken to some courageous people who stood up with their loving energy: “I will HELP my sister”, “I will keep on supporting my little brother financially”, “I will only express loving words and actions towards my mom” or “I will stick by their side, because I see the good in them”. Some of these people were strong enough to play it this way. Others succumbed to the negativity which was played out on them.

The key in resolving conflicts is first of all knowing which part you play in the conflict. Do you even play a part? As how I described it in the above situations, sometimes we play the part of wanting to help the ones who are driven by fear, anger and sadness, but ask yourself up until when you are able to do this without losing your beloved self in the matter. Secondly, after having defined your role and how and if you would like to participate in the situation, know that you have the possibility to “stop participating in the problem”. Have the courage to step away from the situation. Love yourself.

Positive reformulation creates a change mentally

Positivity

To what extent can we determine our life? It is this question my coach tried to explore in the last session. Sometimes you really need one person outside who points out the thinking patterns with which you are nothing but block yourself, your creativity, and finally your life. It successfully restricts you from achieving happiness…!

In my case, it was the incredible negativity of thinking and talking I had inherited from my mother. She complained about everything around, trees cut in the park, the cheap uncreative birthday presents of friends, or on a returning base about the choice of my boyfriends and friends what bad intentions they might have. Now, my coach is busy making me understand that perception of negative news change if just put in different words. Positive reformulation creates a change mentally, to discover a solution to a situation, or even to discover a possibility to become active – to CHANGE the situation! Well, this is what my parents never told me. They were so much involved into complaining that there was no time to search actively for a solution to a problem.

Chungmei chose to do the circle exercise (social panorama) with me. My anger and me again in the center. And how to transform this anger into a productive, not a destructive force, making me change the conditions of my life. I am always a bit afraid of this exercise because it demands that I get back to the past, think about the relations important actors on my stage of life had to each other.

She asked me to position my father in the circle, then my teacher, then my classmates. Where are they looking? I told her that the latter were looking at me from the front, the teacher just looking at them, having no eyes for me. He doesn’t SEE me!!! My father is somewhere standing to my back, not being interested in me, his eyes turned towards the outside of the circle, bored, instead towards me. This is the situation being… And it sucked. Anger rose in me.

She asked me now to think about how I can change this. Oh no… thinking about changing a situation!! This idea caused an unpleasant feeling inside me. But what other choice did I have? So I went for it. And just started to visualize a bit that my father would be at my side, protecting me from all the bothering of my fellow classmates. The teacher closer to me, recognizing me and my hurt feelings and scolding the pupils that they shouldn’t annoy me that much. And finally, the pupils stopping to josh me due to the strong positions of my class teacher and my father. Developing respect towards me….

Also read: Improve your Interpersonal Relationships with Social Panorama

Coachee: Ok. Let’s face it. Let’s face the anger.

stress anger

Anger mood (2)

I knew that this session might turn out to be pure stress. My coach wanted to locate together with me my anger – a search why this emotion is so strong within my person. Like crying, feeling anger can make you feel totally exhausted… Actually, this is not bad! Because if you find yourself in a restless position, with anger, the body allows you to tire you out completely. Which means your soul and worries can finally find rest in total exhaustion…

Ok, let’s face it. Let’s face the anger – again! Chungmei is with me, I don’t have to undergo it alone! I feel confident as this can never be worse than what I already went through in the past. Closing my eyes, I thought about a social circle around me, and where to see my parents in it… they were standing to my right side, a bit away from me to my back… and there was someone else standing behind me, in a growing distance… my former long-term boyfriend.

And there was the anger. I felt it in my belly, accumulated anger since childhood. I was furious on all three of them. But the anger didn’t feel so strong this time as my mood was quite good today…this helped me to focus on my task to come. My coach asked me where to re-position those three persons. I wanted to ban my former boyfriend from the circle naturally, as he doesn’t belong to my life anymore like I don’t belong to his. But my parents I wished so much closer to me, standing to my left and my right, arms linked with each other! I just imagined it, but I know, in reality, there would be so many hurdles to overcome the distance between us…

In this session, there was a lot of analysis. A lot about sitting with eyes closed, thinking, rethinking, imagining, reimagining… Feeling relaxed, just playing with the thoughts… focused on the future created from the positions of the past. Queen and king moving forward, while some Indian pawn is thrown out of the game… In chess, I felt most close to the horse… with its unusual weird movement, two fields to the front, one to the side, weird just like me! An asymmetry which always had fascinated me most in this game of pure strategy. It is the horse which creates great chances for traps, to make the opponent finally fall. But shall I be such a great human manipulator like my former boyfriend was? Chungmei reminded me that the positive thing about this is, to keep a distance between the emotions of other people and your own. This makes judgement easier as you are less involved emotionally. But do I want to be like that? Perhaps part of it is worth considering…

In chess, there is no mercy. But in life, there is. Waiting to surface if given the opportunity.