“Why do I keep sabotaging myself?”
“What is the matter with me that I …?”
“I want to have a different life, but every time I try to make a change, I end up falling back into my old patterns.”
Have you ever heard yourself saying any of these things to yourself? Or something like it?
Thinking your intentions were good but you were so weak and couldn’t follow through.
Actually, think about it. Those parts of you that you say are sabotaging you are incredibly STRONG- not weak- to keep you from doing what you want. The trick is to get all parts of you on the same page. Easier said than done for sure.
And why is that? Well, I was taught by my coach and mentor Fiona Orr that we have many parts of us and they all love us and want to keep us safe. But the problem is they are usually operating in our past, from old paradigms. And their primary goal is to protect us and keep us safe.
When we were abused, beliefs were formed and we quickly learned what is safe and what isn’t. And that definitely served us growing up but unfortunately aren’t serving us anymore.
I’ll give you an example. When I was young I developed the belief that men cannot be trusted. And that belief was confirmed for me as I was abused by 2 trusted men in my family and raped on a date when I was 18. So, I was very wary of any man. And then I met my husband. He was wonderful. Genuinely caring, loving and kind. We were engaged within 4 months and married 16 months later. But the problems came and built on each other when I felt I overwhelmed and burdened as I was doing everything myself. Because, after all, men cannot be trusted. I would check up on him, question his decisions, because, men cannot be trusted.
This went on for YEARS…with that belief being an unconscious, but motivating cause of much conflict. He might make a mistake, like take a wrong road and we arrived late at our destination-> PROOF- men cannot be trusted. We bounced a check-> SEE- men cannot be trusted.
Only when I realized these parts of me were actually making my marriage worse, even those they loved me and wanted to keep me safe, I needed to honor them for their efforts but ask them to work with me in a new way. I realize trusted men abused me growing up, but now, I am an adult. I have the ability to stay away from men that I don’t feel comfortable with, and I am stronger now to be able to defend myself.
So, I chose to believe that certain men can be trusted. I chose to believe that I can trust my husband. But I don’t have to trust every man. And I don’t have to believe every man should be trusted. I can use all of my faculties to decide who to trust and who not to trust.
So that realization has created great relief and allowed for much more ease in our marriage. And when Tom makes a mistake and I hear that part of me trying to rise up, “See, men cannot be trusted”- I immediately counter, in my mind, “He just made a mistake, and yes I can trust him.”
These parts, these inner voices that we hear in our heads that often sound very logical but we need to be aware if they sense our hesitation or apprehension, they feel we are threatened and they spring into action. It’s nothing like multiple personalities, it is merely a part of us that loves us and wants to protect us but needs new information that what they are doing now is hurting us and need to be guided to help us that way we need NOW.
It takes awareness and effort, especially in the beginning. But the effects are cumulative.
Your marriage is worth the effort!
What voices are you aware of and what do they say to you? Are they keeping you stuck?