Here we are, Here we go…
Learning to heal
Sean again! Last time we explored how we experience scaring and damage to our natural Lovemaps:
To recap: Most of us have grown up in a patriarchal world where we are exposed to skygod religions (Judaism, Christianity or Islam) which are invested in a patriarchal, omniscient, judgmental god. In addition, most of us have experienced rejection, loss, separation fear or embarrassment with regard to our bodies, our feelings, our affections or attractions at least in part to our environment and the people around us.
Therefore, most of us can relate to and/or empathize with feelings of isolation, inhibition, being misunderstood, and/or unappreciated. All of these can spring from real or imagined intentions and actions of others.
This blog-lesson will begin to explore how we can start to heal and recover.
So, how do we raise our awareness?
A good place to start is with an inventory. Therefore, the next couple of blog-lessons are going to be a bit more interactive. In other words, I am going to provide a frame/outline and you are going to be encouraged to fill in some of the blanks This will help you to get a better understanding of who you are, including how you experience and have experienced the relationships in your life.
The first step toward change is awareness. The second step is acceptanceNathaniel Branden (1930 – 2014), US-american Psychotherapist and Autor
People in our lives
Starting with an inventory of the people in our lives. These include our first relationships and influences and continues to the people we interact with today. In order to keep things in perspective I would suggest keeping it simple. Hence, I have developed a three-word system to describe the people in your relationship history.
The idea is that is to think of each person listed in the inventory. The person or people described can be added to or subtracted depeding on you. This means, you can adapt the list to mirror your relationships and the people in your life.
- First: you write down the name of the person you are thinking of.
- Second: write down the first word you think of in connection with this person.
- Third: think of a positive/plus/helpful/favorable/flattering word to describe this person. Write it down.
- Fourth: think of a negative/minus/unhelpful/critical word to describe the person. Write it down.
The inventory should only take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Do not over think it. Go with your gut, remember first throughts.
- My first infatuation: Redhead – sleepovers – lost
- My Boss: Independent – creative – critical
Person: First Thought – Plus – Minus
Earliest: First Thought – Plus – Minus
- Mother: ____________ – _____________ – ____________
- Father: ____________ – _____________ – ____________
- Grandmother: ____________ – _____________ – ____________
- Grandfather: ____________ – _____________ – _____________
- Close Family: _____________ – ___________ – _____________
Firsts: First Thought – Plus – Minus
- Friend: _____________ – _____________ – _____________
- Teacher: _____________ – ____________ – ____________
- Infatuation: _____________ – _____________ – ____________
- Romance: _____________ – _____________ – ______________
- Best Friend: ____________ – _____________ – _____________
Current: First Thought – Plus – Minus
- Best Friend: _____________ – _____________ – _____________
- Good Friends: _____________ – _____________ – _____________
- Your Boss: _____________ – _____________ – _____________
- Best Colleague: _____________ – _____________ – _____________
- Child(ren): _____________ – _____________ – _____________
Intimate: First Thought – Plus – Minus
- 1st Intimate Relationship: ___________ – ____________ – _________
- Significant HHIA Relationships: ____________ – ___________ – __________
- Current HHIA Relationship: ____________ – ___________ – __________
Once you have completed the inventory, it is a good idea to let it sink in. This means putting it away for a day or two and then revisiting it.
Upon revisiting the inventory, think about the words that you chose.
Do you still agree with them? Would you like to change one or the other? Why?
Go ahead and write down the new words. Be sure to keep the first ones and add the modifiers, if you wish. This is your private inventory. You can keep it for yourself and revisit it periodically.
“Who are we, who is each one of us, if not a combination of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopedia, a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly shuffled and reordered in every way conceivable.”Italo Calvino (1923-85), Italian writer, Six Memos For The Next Millennium
Feelings and Memories
As we look at the people in our lives and our relationships in this condensed form, we may remember experiences and feelings which have been hidden, put away or forgotten. These feelings and memories are key to our healing and learning.
This process is our first step towards understanding and enriching our relationships with ourselves and others; intimate, familial and platonic relationships as well.
Our memories and feelings are shaped by more than the people we knew and know. On the one hand we build relationships and create bonds with the people in our lives. On the other hand, people, we know and people we don’t create experiences and impressions that affect and inspire emotions and thoughts. Subsequently, these thoughts and emotions tend to color and inform our relationships and decisions regarding romance and intimacy.