Finding my way back home
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Tracey Revell MBACP
25th March, 20160 Comments
Why have I found myself marooned on an empty island, where there is no joy or beauty around me? The sun is warm yet I don't feel it. The birds fly above the island and I watch them fly away. What freedom they have… They are the bridge, a connection to a better place. That beautiful place where I was born. I know it's there, yet I can't reach it. So near yet so far. How I yearn to be home. Home where everything stimulates my senses. Where I feel alive and in touch with the vastness of the universe. Connected to the matrix of everything. Where I know I am unique and loved – simply who I was born to be. Where love is everything. Where nothing can dilute love. Nothing can taint me, demand from me, or want to change me. I'm loved for who I am, nothing more nothing less. Just loved. (Revell)
We can all find ourselves lost and far from our true selves. We drag ourselves through life with the weight of our conditioned selves firmly attached to us. It can just be a feeling of unhappiness -- or maybe depression or anxiety. That depression and anxiety is often caused by our true and conditioned selves pulling in different directions, pulling us apart. Both competing to exist, both competing to survive. It's an inward struggle, a constant unease within. Ask yourself am I truly who I want to be? Does the world see the true me?
You see, the unease within is there because your true self has been buried beneath a lifetime of conditioning. We lose touch with our true selves. That true self wants to breath and truly experience life again. Have you ever felt moments of pure bliss or joy? Are these perhaps moments when you are able to be who you really are? Or when you feel, briefly, that you are at one with the world? Reflecting on these moments can give us clues to realising that our true self is buried somewhere deep down inside and wants to surface. The onset of depression and anxiety can be clues, too.
If we are born to experience our true selves but are unable because life has hindered us with a multitude of conditions, rules and expectations from others, what are we really experiencing? Do we go through life behind a veil where no one truly sees us fully and we cannot experience life fully? Lifting the veil takes tremendous courage. The veil protects us in many ways. It can be easier to stay behind the veil because it is familiar and ironically comforting. So why would anyone want to 'rock the boat?' Indeed many of us opt for the easier option and choose not to. Some of us are not even aware of the veil. But when depression and anxiety become overwhelming, this can sometimes be a sign that your true self is trying to break through. The depression because your true self is not experiencing life fully and the anxiety because the two sides – conditioned self and true self -- are competing with each other. It may feel scary and overwhelming. It can feel as if something has to give, that you are been torn apart emotionally.
To lift the veil is to be brave. It can feel scary but something deep down is telling you to act. It feels necessary. Anxiety can feel extreme in these moments. Is it any wonder? Powerful forces are competing inside you. What feels right also feels extremely scary. Can we dare to be who we truly are? The fear can be overwhelming so we push it back down. But it rises again and again. It is a battle within. But exploring these two selves can provide a first step towards easing the emotional turmoil. Only you will know whether it's right for you to lift the veil. It may not be today, or tomorrow but maybe one day. Or maybe never. It's important to know you are in control of how far or how fast you lift the veil. There is no right or wrong way. Trust in yourself. You will know.
Sometimes, just being aware that these two selves are present is a gateway to exploring yourself further. But remember, both sides need to be held and respected at all times. They are there for a reason. They are both part of who you are. But knowing they both exist is an advantage in itself. You can start to recognise when the two are in conflict with each other. Observe and watch the dynamics that occur. Learn when they surface and when they hide.
Observation of one’s own emotions provides that bridge to a better place - an escape route off the island. The birds will guide you, they know the way home. Trust in yourself, listen to your body and your heart. Find your birds within and fly. Find your way back home.
About the author
Tracey Revell MBACP has witnessed and realises the importance of these two powerful dynamics within the therapeutic room. If you recognize these feelings within yourself you don't have to be alone. Sometimes the internal fight feels too much to cope with alone. Counselling can be your anchor, until you steady yourself enough to set yourself free.
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