Self-awareness is the foundation for creating a safe, cozy home within ourselves and, consequently, outside of ourselves.
Some of us did not grow up with someone modeling for us how to honor our emotions, our behavior, without being shamed or scolded, punished, or, alternately, suppressing. Consequently, we did not grow up being very self-aware.
Trauma, depression, overeating/eating disorders, anxiety, addiction, attachment issues, codependency, mother wound…these are just some of the symptoms that can present themselves when we are, at the root, not aware of ourselves and what is happening within and, consequently, unable to meet our own deep, core needs. This list of symptoms are also some of the things I have myself overcome and still, at times, am in a position of, through my own experiences with them, seeking and learning, and growing in my understanding of.
The one thing that has gotten me through most of it is the willingness and commitment. This willingness and commitment has led me through countless searches, for the states of peace, joy, and connection that I have at times experienced and, thus, know are possible in life. They have led me to the study of psychology, among other things, and down a spiritual path.
If you yourself have experienced any of these things, such as trauma, depression, or any of the other things listed above, then, you know how vital being listened to is, like maybe you never were as a child, and how much positive attunement can do for you. If you have not experienced this type of listening, it is of utmost importance that you find someone who can listen to you in this way because it helps shape the relationship you have with your own self. Being listened to and really seen in your true essence, empathically, rewires your neurons and alters your own relationship with your own self. This is what I love about the therapeutic relationship which sets it apart from other modalities of healing and coaching: it is the relationship itself, the trust and the positive regard within it that makes it so valuable.
Therapists (and there are a lot of people who call themselves therapists but… don’t always do the best job) have to do the job that your parents were supposed to do which is rid themselves of their own private prejudices and judgments, and look at and listen to you exactly as you are, without inserting their own personal preferences. This is the deepest essence of what I would say a therapeutic relationship is, which is about healing or curing. When seen with this Rogerian (see Carl Rogers, founder of Person-Centered Psychology, in which instead of analyzying the person and being the one who knows more or better than them, like with Freud, the focus became the actual person and what they were saying and listening & attuning to them) perspective, people are wise beyond themselves and have the inner wisdom they need (i.e. all of the answers) within them. The therapist’s job is simply, then, to reflect the wisdom that is coming from the patient him or herself, to listen deeply for the emotions underneath what the person is saying, and to create reframes for some of what the person is saying. These things, though they sound simple, take skill. Through interacting with someone therapeutically, you can learn how to communicate with your own self more and more in this fashion, less judgmentally and, in this way, reduce anxiety, stress, anger, and more.
And this type of inner and outer communication really reduces itself to self-awareness. It’s about not judging so quickly and being reactive to what is being said, but rather listening to the deeper needs and feelings that lie underneath what is being said, because that is the true communication.
If you would like to experience being heard in this way, please book a Discovery Call with Tanya Dantus to see if deeper, longer commitment of time if working together would is something that your soul is crying out for. No obligation call, here.