From Self-Fragmentation to Wholeness-of-Being
It is easy to seek love as a solution for our own shortcomings. Popular songs and romantic stories encourage people to believe the fabrication that another person should generate their feelings of fulfillment. Songs such as “Someday my prince will come” or “You are my reason for living” promise solutions that keep us in a state of longing or waiting for another to soothe our longings. Media, entertainment, and family values seem to guide you to “give yourself away in the name of love.” This implies not taking care of your own needs for Contact in order to meet another’s expectations and desires.
Seeking love as a solution involves self-surrender, often to the extent of not knowing where another person’s emotions end and where yours begin. It involves a loss of self-awareness because it is so entwined with your partner’s.
But love also involves a healthy state of connection, communion and rapture. It is a transpersonal state because it extends beyond transitory personal feelings and needs. It is an innate, inborn quality that exists in each of us and that grows with the right support. Just as when the infant felt attuned to the mother, this love is experienced as a body based experience of oneness, union, and wholeness-of-being.
Through socialization processes such as prescribed parenting practices, education, and religious views of original sin, you forfeit your body-based relationship to life. This happens when the people who are important in your life only focus on that which they find pleasing about you and ignore or even reject that which they find undesirable. The natural gifts that you were born with may not be the kind of gifts or abilities that your particular parents, or society, wanted you to have.
As an infant you felt this when you picked up on the parental cues that communicated how acceptable your behavior was. You adapted in order to receive love. You unconsciously fragmented, you repressed and forgot that which was not supported or mirrored positively, and you enhanced those kinds of gifts that made you pleasing to others. You learned to focus on being productive and accepted and repress the rest.
As a result of these unsupportive childhood or social experiences, your body feelings of well-being, wholeness-of-being and “at-one-ment” failed to develop. Even if you’ve worked for years to change, it is likely you lose touch with these body based experience under duress. One of the most common protective response to injury is to mentally dissociate (Levine 1997). A primary consequence of this dissociation is a loss of body awareness. We’re distracted or simply aren’t present enough to feel body sensations. This way we don’t feel the full impact of our emotions. Another way we might respond is to feel the impact of the conflict all too much. Our emotions consume us.
Either way, you will find yourself unable to access the core experience of wholeness-of-being that develops as a result of the right kind of emotional support. Who has not been judged by society, family, or even a significant other, over and over again? What parts of your self did you have to deny that is a significant part of you?
Somatic (body) psychology and ancient yoga principles are particularly effective in cultivating wholeness-of-being. Both have a “bottom up,” body-to-mind approach about health. This is especially important because all personal growth involves the emotional aspect of the right brain (Schore 2003). The part of the right brain that controls emotions, the limbic system, is governed by body sensations. Understanding and effectively recognizing body sensations and intelligently guiding your body’s energy system is vital for rapid recovery from unexpected events, and for supporting self-empowerment.
Somatic (body) psychology and ancient yoga practices help you effectively address the underlying body expression of any injury, such as repetitive physical sensations or movement inhibitions. They help you manage sensory overwhelm such as intrusive images, sounds, smells, constriction, and numbing. And this dynamic combination of experiences is particularly effective in supporting your inability to modulate your panic response, so typical of unresolved emotional injury.
I integrate traditional psychology’s analytic approach with cutting edge mind-body practices of somatic psychology and yoga because this brings together the intelligence of the mind and the wisdom of the body. I have found that by actively incorporating the body into therapy, my clients achieve a more wholeness-of-being experience in the treatment of emotional injury and the ultimate manifestation of their full potential. My approach awakens a tangible experience of unified body-mind-spirit, stimulates each person’s innate ability to love and be loved, and helps build an inner life that safely self-supports the warm, dynamic response of your heart to the world around you.
Emotional injury is best explored within a respectful, supportive, emotionally attuned relationship. In this context, you can learn how to inhabit your self by cultivating your essential nature as a tangible body experience, and overcome past hurts that you relive in your current life. You learn ways to change your responses so you can more easily adapt to the challenges that face you in your daily life. In order to cultivate safety, it is important pay special attention to pacing, boundaries, and honest contact.
To learn more about those denied aspects of your essential nature:
Like "Dr Zeb" on Facebook, check out www.DrZeb.com, call for a free 30 minute conversation, or come to my on-going, drop-in Monday 5:45 pm Ashland class:
Mindful Embodiment for Emotional Health.