As you can imagine, my job is filled with heartwarming moments. People working through something difficult and coming out better on the other side, changing behaviours that change their lives, finding love after a loveless childhood…..
And then of course there are the changes that happen with EMDR.
I must have been doing it for 11 or 12 years now and I’m still amazed at how fast and profound the changes are. But anyway, that’s another story.
This story is about finding a different way to see your worth.
Lots of people who (for various reasons) don’t see themselves as worthy will develop unconscious strategies to protect themselves from being hurt or feeling unworthy in front of other people.
These might be:
- Not letting other people get close to you
- Being a perfectionist
- Being a people pleaser
- Having a very gobby inner critic
- Being super independent
- Being invulnerable
Plus many more.
These strategies really make sense when you put them in the context of what the person has experienced.
Unfortunately, these strategies are often developed when the person is a child. That also means that the strategies are not as sophisticated as they would be if developed as an adult. They tend to be quite rigid, and are therefore sometimes not very helpful.
In fact, sometimes these strategies have the opposite effect of what they were designed for and are doing more harm than good.
Here’s the heartwarming moment.
One of my lovely clients who had been in the clutches of one of these unhelpful but protective strategies had the most beautiful insight.
She said “I must have really been worth it to have worked so hard to protect myself for all these years”.
I had never looked at it that way before.
But it’s just so true.
If you didn’t think you were a worthwhile, important human, you wouldn’t try so hard to make sure you weren’t hurt, shamed, rejected, or whatever your greatest fear is.
So deep (sometimes deep deep) down, you already know you’re worthy. That’s why you need to be protected with these strategies.
If you’re one of those people that has had to employ any of the strategies mentioned above this might be a good place to start – recognising that you wouldn’t be engaging with those strategies if you weren’t inherently worthy.
And for me, even after 20 years, I’m still learning from and being inspired by my clients.
Thanks to all of you for always teaching me and always touching my heart.