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The Core Issues We Avoid, Return

The core issues we avoid, return. Sometimes with different faces, but still, we are brought full circle to them, again and again. Regardless of how we may try to skip over or sidestep what we need to face, we humbly discover that no other threshold is possible until we use our courage to open the door before us. ~ Mark Nepo

Oh, the siren song of the depths that invite drilling. Can you relate?



A client of mine recently sent me a message sharing an incident in which she had texted a friend and invited her to late lunch they could have during a break in her snowboarding day with her boyfriend. The friend accepted. The day of the lunch, however, my client and boyfriend, famished and needing food much earlier than anticipated, grabbed a meal. Halfway through, my client realized she had not updated her friend, so she reached out to let her know and then went about her day. Later, not hearing from her friend, she felt herself spiraling with worry. Oh no, what if she's mad at me? What if I hurt her feelings? Did I do something wrong? She quickly texted her and apologized for any rudeness. Next day, still nothing from her friend. The "what if's" spun her into a mental frenzy. What if she's so pissed that...


A few days later they were having lunch. My client discovers that her friend had been nursing a hangover after a wild weekend. She was not pissed, not mad, not ready to disown her friend for any sort of rudeness.


First, sometimes there isn't anything to figure out. "Why" questions can lead us into overthinking. My client expressed that over that week she wasn't getting enough rest and that is often followed by distractedness and self-centeredness (lack of sleep pokes the threat centers in our brains, and we start scanning for harms).


Second, sometimes there is something to figure out, especially if we notice a pattern. My client grew up with a highly sensitive mother, whom she constantly felt she needed to check in on, and with whom she always questioned her connection with. Was Mom okay? Were they okay? Checking the temperature of the relationship and her place in it became her primary motivation.


Could this incident with her friend be a door into her relationship with rejection? Sure. And it would invite her to another door opening to self-worth.

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