Are you self-absorbed, temperamental, prone to drama and at times feel helpless and hopeless? Do your moods change quickly when you are not appreciated, or your needs are not met by your partner, resulting in you feeling angry, ashamed, depressed, not good enough and likely to indulge in self-pity? If this sounds familiar, it’s time to stop blaming others and look within.
Everyone’s feelings and behaviours change regularly, that is not usually an issue. But if a person who is open, honest and creative one minute, but the next is consumed by overwhelming self-hatred, has frequent morbid thoughts, a tendency for narcissistic behaviours and might even use alcohol or drugs to stem their misery, there are underlying issues that need to be tackled.
Why does it happen?
This type of irrational behaviour is rooted way back to when you were a child. You might not have felt acknowledged, supported, accepted for who you were. You might have experienced a lack of attachment, felt rejected or abandoned, and lived in a chaotic dysfunctional household. Children are resilient and always find a way of coping. Sometimes the coping strategy is to escape from the turbulent environment and live in your own internal world.
Escaping into a fantasy world where everything is how you want it to be helps the child imagine their environment as perfect. These strategies are then continued into adulthood. As an adult you dip in and out of reality and the internal fantasy. Escaping into your inner world where you can play out entire conversations, love scenarios or achievements keeps you hanging on to the hope that life will be different some day. When reality hits, disappointment strikes, and conflicts erupt.
I’ve worked with people who claimed to have the perfect childhood with happy supportive parents and good family holidays. Yet, they struggle in their love relationship with self-loathing, severe mood swings, anger and sometimes depression. They often go into a pit of despair, helpless and hopeless. They then escape into their inner world of their making. Gradually the truth is revealed – the parents’ volatile relationship, at times physically violent, a mother who abandoned the children or a father convicted for child abuse. The escape helps you survive the brutal reality and keeps you detached from life in the present.
As humans, we’re born worriers. Scientists believe that our brains have evolved a “negativity bias”, meaning we’re drawn to threats more than opportunities. We’re likely to detect negative information faster than positive information.
Thinking can be very useful. But most of us spend too much time obsessing about things that have already passed or worrying about things that might happen in the future. What we need to do is quieten our brains. This is where mindfulness can help.
A great way of letting go of your past is to bring awareness to the present, and remind yourself who you are as a person, with all your wonderful qualities, attributes and talents. By living in the now, you can stay impartial to your surroundings. This helps you to deal positively with relationships, peace of mind, health and wellbeing.
In Eckhart Tolle’s book – ‘The Power of Now’ he shows us how we can live a healthier and happier life by letting go of the past, stop worrying about the future and live in the present.
I recommend that you practice mindful living daily. Doing breathing meditation for a minute or two several times a day, will help you to build self-confidence and self-esteem through establishing healthy routines with work, sleep, food and exercise. It will also enable you to block out negative and self-deprecating thoughts, so you feel cool, calm, collected and in control. When you feel like this, you are far more likely to be able to create and accumulate feel-good feelings, that will help you to be in the now and stay more present.
Live in the moment
Processing and dealing with a dysfunctional past is difficult to do on your own. Sometimes you need support from a qualified therapist. If you are ready to let go of the past and learn how to live in the moment, give me a call on 0121 745 9044 to book an appointment.