This Ted Talk with Brene Brown helped me understand how vulnerability and transparency are the keys to healing. I’ve always tried to approach my writing and work with clients with openness and humility because I think it helps people understand that they aren’t alone in their struggles, insecurities and challenges. So, I’m sharing more of my own process and journey here, in the hopes that it will make it easier for you to open up and share your deepest fears and vulnerabilities with the people in your own life.
I’ve had a deeply transformational year on many fronts, but today I want to focus on how my sense of purpose was deepened and how a relationship in my life uncovered an egoic need to be important. I hope you can relate.
This particular pattern of my ego really began to show it’s ugly head when I began seeing a man that works overseas for long periods at a time. We’re talking six to eight months of being nine thousand miles away from the one you love. Compounding factors made that separation and the subsequent reunions extremely painful and difficult for me to navigate. I fancy myself a fairly strong, grounded and independent person, but in this situation, forces conspired to push my buttons in ways that took me beyond the limits of the spiritually-mature thinking and reactions I’m accustomed to seeing in myself.
Given my spiritual bent and a dedication to always seeing where my ego is being activated and clearing said influence; I took a long hard look at myself and came up with some stuff that I knew was getting in the way of seeing with clear vision and being able to act in the mature, compassionate manner I strive for.
The first layer was about feeling threatened by other women. I’m sure many of you can relate. It’s kind of hard-wired into our hind-brain to feel threatened by women that we perceive as being able to turn our man’s head. Whether that’s because they are better-looking, more successful or more charismatic, or just because they are THERE, it can trigger deep, subconscious fears about our own survival. After all, in the days when we lived in caves, some other female coming along and luring our protector and provider away was BIG TROUBLE. The kind of trouble that makes you want to scratch her eyes out. 🙂 Thankfully I was able to clear those patterns in myself with EFT before I was charged with assault.
After doing some work on the hard-wired fears, I realized that I had some conditioning from this lifetime that may have contributed to the pattern as well. One day I was doing the dishes and a Patsy Cline tune popped into my head; “strange, how you stopped loving me, how you stopped needing me, when SHE came along…” BINGO! Patsy Cline was a favourite of my mom and she played her records repeatedly when I was a kid. Music lyrics that you sing over and over again act a lot like affirmations and can have a pretty significant impact on your belief systems, especially when you’re young. So there I was, from the time I was old enough to sing, affirming the heart-breaking truth of a woman’s reality: “CRAZY for thinking that MY LOVE could HOLD you!” . Those songs seemed to have contributed to a fear that men are untrustworthy bastards that’ll leave you for any little twinkie that comes along and I’d be left broken-hearted and walking after midnight, ALONE. Damn you Patsy.
With EFT, contemplation and journalling, I’d say it took me a good six months to get clear enough of that pattern that I’d now be comfortable with my man having a friendship with his ex-girlfriend; although I still think there’s potential for trouble in that situation if both parties aren’t completely on the “friend” page, but that’s not irrational in my opinion. I want to make it clear that working through our egoic patterns doesn’t make us doormats. It simply helps us own what’s ours to own and helps us see with greater clarity what’s right and proper in any situation.
Then things got REALLY interesting. After I was clear of the other women thing, a need for male attention and approval made itself known to me. Now, I have to give credit to my own EFT practitioner for helping me navigate this stuff. I would show up for our sessions knowing there was junk to clear, but I often didn’t become consciously aware of the patterns until after our sessions. Having that support was invaluable to me in this process.
I have to say, owning the part of myself that wanted male approval wasn’t easy at first. that’s the thing about egoic patterns. They are rarely flattering. If you know me AT ALL, you’d probably just as shocked as I was when I uncovered that little gem. Needing a man’s approval is completely foreign to a strong, independent female in this day and age. Why would I need a man’s approval? PFFFT! What a load! But I had to own it. It was in me for some reason and until I owned it and worked with it, I knew it would remain a shadow aspect of myself that could have a negative impact on me for the rest of my life. Becoming conscious of a pattern like that can be comical if you let it be. Yeah, you need to own it, but you can also recognize that it’s part of the human condition. It’s not a reflection on your identity or who you are at the deepest level of your being. In my case, I began to notice the thoughts I’d been thinking all my life that had been completely unconscious, about needing some nebulous male approval. It wasn’t even specific to a certain man in my life. It was crazy shit. I’d be driving and I’d have a thought; “he’d be impressed with the way I just passed that car”, or I’d be making dinner and think “he’d love that I’m a good cook and I’m so domesticated”. UGH. They seemed to be EVERYWHERE. They were in my meal choices, my clothing choices, my writing, my make-up application. EVERYWHERE. The only place they didn’t seem to be was in my business. Small mercy.
It didn’t take a genius to figure out where that crap came from. I was the only girl in my family, the baby no less. I looked up to and sought attention from my older brothers and my Dad all of my young life. Then there was my grandfather, a strong, opinionated type that lovingly referred to me as his favourite granddaughter. It took me a few years to get the joke; I was the only girl amidst nine grandchildren. How I got through that piece of the pattern is shocking and interesting, but I’ll save it for another day.
In the interest of summing up here, the pattern had even more layers and after the better part of two years of work it has now come to rest on a layer of needing to be important. I’m embracing that one. There are many different aspects of needing to be important, for example, the ego needs to feel important and it will find all kinds of creative ways to convince us that we are important. That could show up as a superiority complex, an inferiority complex an illusion of self-importance in any area of your life. Much of my need to be important was being focused into my primary relationship. A relationship in which I felt anything BUT important. I can actually remember thinking as a kid that I wanted to find that someone that would make me the most important person in their lives. Not a bad goal really, and one that I’m sure a lot of people can relate to. But here’s the thing; if life had given me that, I wouldn’t have had the conflict (read: emotional pain) I needed to do the work that lead me to find a much more meaningful and real level of importance. Being important to another human being is fine, but it’s pretty here and now. It’s fleeting at best and it certainly doesn’t inspire us to look at a deeper layer of importance. No, the aspect that I was asked to embrace, and that I’m encouraging you to embrace as well, is the knowing of our deeper importance in the evolution of the universe. I want us all to embrace the part of ourselves that IS source, or the evolutionary impulse. The part that is focused in a physical body with an ego, personality and power IN this physical world, on this planet. The part that can see human suffering, that can see our Earth being pushed to it’s limits, that can see we have a role to play and we NEED to use our power of influence in order to evolve consciously into the humanity that we most want to be. We’re not leaving it to random mutation anymore, it’s time for us to be involved in the process of our own evolution.
So far, my path of claiming my importance is to write about the ideas and beliefs that I’m passionate about and begin to claim my space as a healer and a leader in as humble a fashion as possible. Will you join me in claiming your importance?
Leave me a comment!
I’d love to hear how you’re claiming your importance and doing your part for conscious evolution on our planet! Maybe you’re involved in environmental pursuits, or coaching others to be the best they can be, or showcasing the beauty of our natural environment so that we may all be inspired, or raising kids with a strong foundation of conscious evolution. What’s gotten in your way? What do you see as the challenges we need to overcome? How can we overcome them? Are you afraid to be as big as you’re being called to be? Be vulnerable! It’s safe!