When I started Psychotherapy in 1989 I made a decision to always look within myself for answers. At that time, a broken and deeply sorrowful young woman, I was curious to understand why I was the way I was. And, that curiosity has stayed with me.
Something I love to do is connect the dots between my behaviour, thoughts and feelings and a past experience that may have contributed towards them. During my time with my therapist this is what I learned to do and it's been such an incredibly valuable tool for my life ever since. Whilst reviewing an accommodation property earlier this year, feelings arose that surprised me, and it was the connection I made that gave me some answers. My first reaction was to avoid the situation altogether and not provide a review at all. I was quite taken aback by my reaction and wondered where it came from. But then I remembered that a few weeks ago I'd decided that I really needed to be more assertive in certain situations, and with certain people. Therefore it was important that I be true to myself. Off I trotted to the website and I nervously clicked the link. We'd enjoyed some aspects of the property so I wanted to make sure I mentioned those and did that first. Then came the stomach churning part, the parts we were not happy with. It was at that point I began thinking about why I felt so bad writing a negative, but very honest, review. Why was that? A few moments later realise what was going on for me. I remembered the harsh criticisms I have received over the years about some things I have shared on blogs and social media. This was the reason I was feeling sick to the stomach about speaking my truth. I know how incredibly painful I felt when I was harshly judged, and these memories were rising within me once again. I was very, very careful not to use harsh words in my review, but I was sharing things that could be taken the wrong way and I didn't want to hurt anyone with my words. I always find it fascinating how I can connect a current negative, angry, hurt, uneasy, sad or upset feeling to a past situation. And, the more I do this, the easier making such connections is. The power of knowing why I'm feeling a certain way is gold. Only then do I have a choice in the actions I take. So, what examples have you had of connecting the dots? Until next time,