I lay in my bed listening. I heard the small still voice inside me speaking guidance. It said that I can reconnect with my sacred freedom. My inner voice told me that everything was going to be okay, that it is okay to trust myself, and that growth is welcomed.
In the past, I have struggled with control. When I feel out of control, I grip more tightly onto the situation and people around me. I tend to become overwhelmed by my thought patterns and insistent on my way of doing things. I heard my guidance telling me that it doesn’t have to be this way.
I am interested in a better understanding of my controlling nature. I know this tendency of mine is a coping mechanism from my youth. My ego chose thoughts and behaviors, in response to stimuli in my environment, so that I could be more comfortable and secure. As I become aware of the purpose of my behavior, I can appreciate my resourcefulness and move forward.
To liberate myself from unwanted behavior, I like to work with the NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming) Reframing exercise shared with me by Drs. Ron and Mary Hulnick. I studied Spiritual Psychology under their tutelage at the University of Santa Monica. They shared that first I am to identify a pattern I seek to change. The next step is to lovingly ask that the aspect in charge of the pattern please communicate with me. Yes, this is talking out loud, to myself. The aspect in charge of my controlling behavior stated that its name was ‘unworthiness’. I thanked the aspect for communicating with me and asked if it would share its purpose with me. I know and trust that under every purpose is a clear positive intention.
We are all doing our best, even when it feels like a paradox. I ground into my awareness that my aspect’s purpose is derived from positive intention. I heard myself say out loud, “My purpose is to keep Andrea safe, to help Andrea feel accepted by the world.” I then acknowledged and thanked the aspect for being so diligent in honoring its purpose. Gratitude opens the heart during this process.
It felt true. Unworthiness, expressed as control, had kept me feeling safe and accepted for many years. Controlling how my body looked, how my house looked, how my food was prepared, how my children behaved, etc., kept me feeling safe from judgement for most of my life. But it was an inauthentic life. Pema Chödrön expresses this when she says, “When we protect ourselves so we won’t feel pain, that protection becomes like armor, like armor that imprisons the softness of the heart.” My ego fought so long to protect me from feeling pain, but the protective armor became a prison as I moved into adulthood.
Does the purpose still feel appropriate? For me, yes, feeling safe and accepted by the world is still appropriate. If I did not feel that the purpose of my aspect was still pertinent, this would be the time to go within and discover a new purpose for the aspect. Were I to consider a new purpose for my unworthiness, an example could be ‘attuning to love’.
The goal of the exercise is to release behaviors that no longer serve my higher purpose. So, I went inside myself to consider new behaviors. I sensed that my unworthiness story desperately wants to commune with the understanding that it is lovable; I am lovable. This step is about identifying three new alternative behaviors to satisfy the purpose. The purpose of my unworthiness is to feel safe and accepted in the world. My inner guidance revealed to me that I can satisfy this purpose by taking five deep breaths when feeling triggered, moving my body through exercise, and seeking out positive aspects of myself and others.
I then consulted with myself and the aspect to ensure that there was agreement regarding the new behaviors aligning with our purpose. We reached agreement. I then committed to one of the alternative ways to satisfy the purpose and thanked the aspect for helping me. I love all of the alternative behaviors I reviewed that day. Deep breathing, exercise and positivity help me attune with my sacred freedom, my acceptance and feeling safe in the world.