Instant gratification. The symptom of the 21st century, it seems. When I grew up, I was taught that "money didn't grow on trees" and that "good things came to those who waited". These are things that have stood me in good stead throughout my life. I still have the belief that I have to save up before I can have some luxury item I want. So often, nowadays, the gap between people wanting and getting has narrowed until it can barely even exist. We are taught by the advertising execs that we want just about everything there is. We are shown that items will make us cooler, more popular, more successful and, as the ads have been created in such a way, we buy in. We were then sold credit on a massive scale, so the excuse of "I can't afford it" becomes less and less viable. And finally, we've been inspired by the personal development industry that we deserve the good things in life. All in all, it can be very hard to resist.
I love creating the titles for all my blogs, but this has got to be one of my favourite. Firstly, when I talk about rescue, I'm not referring to rescue from massive environmental disasters, or the sort of essential help we receive when we're ill. What I'm talking about is the need some of us have to rescue people from their problems - the sort of problems they go round and round in circles with - the sort of problems that can impact on our lives by the very behaviour others exhibit - the sort of problems that the other person doesn't recognise as a problem. The thing is, no-one can fix another person. Their journey is just that - their journey. As hard and as painful as it can be to see someone suffer, nagging them to change or rushing over to make everything as painless as you can is often not the best of most constructive help you can give. I'm going to focus on some of the consequences of doing this. Firstly, it can be very annoying. I remember when I was struggling with various things in my life, people would offer "helpful advice" and then get annoyed with me when I explained why it wouldn't work. The truth was that, although the advice was logically sound, I wasn't ready to make that step. I needed to sort other stuff out first and no-one else but me could possibly know what order I needed to heal areas of my life in. Secondly, it can be very dis-empowering. If you're rescuing someone who laps up the help, it can lead to reliance on the helper. Also it can lead to low self-esteem if the person feels they can't fix things his or herself and this can lead to a reluctance to even try. This something I've been taught all the way through my professional training. Do not encourage clients to become dependent on their therapist in the long term. Thirdly, we need to be aware that rescue might be fulfilling a need in ourselves to be useful, to be appreciated, to be the one who's indispensable. If these needs are left unchecked, what will happen if the person we are rescuing gets better. Will we suddenly have a gap in our lives? Does part of us need them not to on some level? Or will we transfer our rescue on to someone else? Some people have a pattern of helping good causes. This is fine if it's in balance, but it can also mask a problem of not wanting to focus on ourselves. If you find yourself in this situation, I invite you to think about the following questions. Is the help you're offering life saving? Obviously this is a no-brainer. We're not suggesting leaving a loved one to die or have serious injury, but are you the best person to be dealing with it. It might be more relevant to phone the emergency services and leave it to them if it happens repeatedly. Are your worries for the future realistic or are you considering the worst case scenario? Often our fears surpass what is likely to happen. If you're not sure, reach out to someone else for an opinion that isn't clouded by the emotion of the situation. What would you choose to do if your fear wasn't there? Did you already have plans which the rescue would interfere with. Maybe someone else go to help this time or maybe they could wait a bit until you're free to go. What kind of help do you think is expected of you? Is the person even asking for help or are they just letting you know what's happening with them? If they are wanting help, do they mean they want you to drop everything and rush over to fix their whole life or do they want something a lot smaller from you? Remember the best help is that which is given for our greatest and highest good. Sometimes things have to get worse before they get better. Sometimes it's in the low points that we find the courage or the reason to change. I know that I often have low points when I don't want to face something about my life, or I don't want to take some kind of action that would be beneficial. No-one is a higher authority on our journey than ourselves, so be careful not to seem to be taking that authority away from another person. The best thing we can do for another person is to support them in their journey with love, whilst focusing on our own needs.
We heal when our buried past surfaces and can be released. We all have some buried blocks as we've all had stress in our pasts which we couldn't resolve, but for the most part they stay buried. We carry on with our lives, our often very busy lives and we tell ourselves we don't have time to relax, let alone be ill. However sometimes that's exactly what we need to do. When blocks start to surface, they often feel uncomfortable. Sometimes we don't understand why we're feeling that way and even find that we can't actually pinpoint our exact symptoms. We're not exactly "ill", but we're definitely not feeling ourselves. This is often the time we reach for our addictions: a bar of chocolate, a cigarette, a glass of wine or even a pattern of behaviour. These addictive behaviours may make us feel better in the short term, but what they're doing is numbing us to what's happening and pushing the blocks back down into our bodies. Be warned, however, our bodies want to heal, so they will resurface again and again until we release them. Space also encourages our blocks to come up. This is why some people feel uncomfortable when they find themselves on their own with a whole day to fill and no clear objectives. We may moan about the pressure we find ourselves under in our lives, but it keeps us safe from having to deal with our past and having to feel the discomfort that can arise. However, I find that this discomfort is usually worse if we resist the process. If we give ourself the day off, listen to our body and address its needs, whether that's a day in bed, or a long walk, or curling up with a good book, the process will progress all the more easily. If we can't give ourself a whole day off, an hour each evening when we do nothing can be extremely beneficial. Also, it's important to remember that these emotions can't hurt us. It's our associations with the feelings and our resistance to the emotions that cause the problems. Also our panic that we don't know what to do about them. The word emotion comes from energy in motion and the motion bit is important. In fact, all we have to do is notice them, breath and watch as they flow through us, probably changing a few times on the way, and eventually go. And to do this, all we really need is time to heal.
What do these three things have in common? The answer is fear. Phobias are pretty self-explanatory. We fear something to such an extent that it causes us problems in our present lives. They may have come from a past trauma. Maybe we were bitten by a dog when we were young and still become very frightened when a dog barks or bares its teeth. They may also be inherited from another person. Maybe your mother screamed every time she saw a spider, so you learnt very early that spiders were something to be scared of, even though you didn't know why. Addictions are habits we have developed in our lives, that produce a negative emotional response when they are taken away. Often they are something we take into the body - common examples are cigarettes, alcohol or drugs. However we can be addicted to patterns of behaviour or to people. What happens here is that we are blocking a negative emotional response by seeking so-called "pleasurable" behaviour. However, what that does is push the negative emotion down into our body, so it isn't resolved. Every time it re-surfaces, our bodies tell us we want the addiction. This gives us a positive "hit" and the pain is pushed aside for a while. The trouble with this is that the pain will keep trying to resurface in order to be healed. So often we need bigger and bigger "hits" to keep it suppressed Alongside that, we can have a physical response to addictive substances, but this is much easier to deal with if we've dealt with the emotional residue. Obsessions are fears projected into the future. This time there will be an initial negative experience from our past which we worry about happening again in the future. Like the phobias or addictions, it could be experienced by us or learned from another person. Things like believing we'll get ill if we don't clean things several times a day or worrying we'll forget to do something. Often we create rituals to cope with these things; checking something several times or obsessive cleaning. Alternatively, we avoid the triggering situations altogether, for example, not being the last to leave the house so we don't have to check the door is locked several times. Superstitions also come into the category of obsessions. These are usually learned from another person. Like addictions, if we treat the underlying fear, then the ritual becomes a simple habit which is much easier to break. So, if these patterns are causing you problems in your life, kinesiology can help you find and clear the root cause and take back control of your lives, even if you have no conscious idea of where they came from.