It is an excellent basement you helped me to anchor

anchor
Of the impossibility of building a house starting with the roof

Chungmei, no, I am not lazy! I am just afraid to write a summary about the past months… Because it is strenuous! Every time you asked to me to write a reflection I had to touch the thoughts of past pain so directly, without any filtering.

Since we met again after years, since you started to coach me, I have been in so many roles: a whole- day-socializing-me, a hopeless loser, the owner of a permanent ticket for the emotional rollercoaster, a tissue which is cheap to get but of superb value, a naysayer, a bullied child, a person demanding understanding of others and a dreamer to change reality.

But after all, after all your “treatment” – is really something different now? 

Well, people change their character, outfit and personality all the time. Even pain either slowly quits the mind or becomes a routine to feel. Now, in my case, I am still socializing a lot. But yes, I do take a lot of time for myself! I tell people online so often nowadays – sorry, I am busy, I can’t chat with you right now… And I focus on work instead. I don’t waste my energy anymore with useless people who just want to exploit me with their moodiness… Moreover, I don’t think I am such a big loser anymore. Just a small loser. And according to some people, a cute loser. No, don’t demand of me so soon to forget my former pretentious “life-partner” – his actions and those of his followers struck me so hard, it engraved itself so deeply into my mind, as it had changed my life so profoundly, and from the happy medium self-confident person I used to be I turned into someone still doubting about being able to work as a scientist after all.

Recently, I was in El Salvador to hold a talk in Spanish. Fully paid. During that week, my former professor in journalism offered me a PhD position back in Germany. A full scholarship! Am I not lucky? Didn’t I finally get what I wanted, after 4 years of struggling for it? After being bullied and being unexpectedly unemployed for so long? I finally would have the chance to combine practical journalism work with scientific investigation. But yes, I am not happy inside. I can’t make out the joy and the passion deep within me I used to have in moments like that years back. Because I still feel so bad about how those friends of my former boyfriend call me names behind my back STILL! Because this really still happens and they tell so cheap things about me, and the real bad thing is that people believe them!

What should I do then? Correct me, if I am wrong. I guess I should feel my core self more. The circle exercises you have done with me inspired me indeed. The imaginative exercises, even though I partially felt like needing a nap immediately afterwards because I felt so much exhausted from feeling too much.

This is what helped me most. And this is where many psychologists simply fail. I am tired of analyzing my self. Somehow it feels like it keeps me away from life, from feeling the vibrating pulse of my surroundings. You followed a different approach, the one of making my emotional world tangible. I like that, as it shows me that there can be more than just my circulating negative thinking patterns. It made me understand that I might have the chance to determine part of my life myself…! Still it takes time for me to trust into my capacity to change reality. Yes, it is all in my mind…

I liked very much the non-cognitive approach where you focused as well on my emotional side. Because I am not someone who can just manage his emotions by the thoughts. I understood only now that I am hyper-sensitive being which means that I perceive anything more intensely than the average person on this planet. Which is a gift for creativity but as well a curse as it comes to emotional turbulences so quickly by overstimulation. I know how hard it is for me to regulate those emotions, I know now that many people just don’t have the capacity to understand how intense my emotions can become. Therefore, I learned from you that I need to protect myself from it. And there is no discussion about it.

Yes, during the last months, I found a job, I found a really nice flat mate, additionally, a good friend is now staying with me for a month and we both understand well, I found so many nice new friends, and perhaps there is even someone to share my life with soon. But it will take time to feel the real enjoyment about it. It is an excellent basement you helped me to anchor – but I am still away from reaching the roof. Knowing what is behind me and supposing what is still ahead of me.

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Can I determine my own life?

Who is in charge??!!

Can I determine my own life? Or am I just a kind of victim of the circumstances? Western liberal thoughts tell us that we are responsible for our fate and life ourselves. But what is in our hands and not? Sometimes it depends on our frame of mind how it reveals itself to us.

In our last session, after a break of some months, for the final time, my coach tried to set my frame of mind into a different direction than the usual one! So again I had a chance to create the mental map of life, visualizing the actors and situations…

Chungmei asked what would preoccupy me still now, after this long summer break. Well, people can last quite long in your memory, not ready to leave the space they occupy… My bosses… my former boyfriend… some other friends with whom I had some small problems over the summer…

Most of the hour I spent with eyes closed. Not like the other times when I saw into the eyes of Chungmei. This time, I had to focus – who was in which distance towards me positioned in which direction? And how did I wanna change this? Where did I imagine those people?!

I had done this practice before. It took some courage to go into it. But this time, I managed very confident, and very quickly. “It is my boss who is out of the circle!” I said, my former boyfriend banned too! Never ever I wanted to see or hear or feel them again. They were out of my imaginary circle!

But two other people were not out – my parents! I just thought of them so much, I wished they would be so close to me! I imagined them there, besides me, knowing that the only way to achieve this in reality would be to compromise so much. As they were just themselves. No one was about to council or coach them. They had their own rhythm, their own ideas of life. It is just left to me to
accept it.

This is the bridge from imagination to reality, from will to compromise. However much I love them, it won’t change the love they will feel towards me. And there is nothing left to accept it. It is a mixture of desperation and being ready to accept the things as they are. The best chance of any world! A new kind of realism. Which will work out perhaps in the long term!

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