Give yourself permission to have fun
Do you ever have a situation where you have a breakthrough conversation with someone? It's mind blowing for both of you.
Then two days later you find yourself in the same conversation with another person. Then suddenly another. The ah-ha moment happened, and you realise only then that it fits into so many contexts, like the missing piece of a jigsaw completing the hole.
This happened to me last week. Wendy and I were talking about the negative feelings that she experiences. Like a gaping hole in her stomach. Able to perform when she needs but then the feeling of overwhelm takes over and she cannot continue. Anxiety, insecurity, negative self-belief all rolled into one. Wendy was telling me about an amazing dance lesson that she had with some friends, sadly the fun of the experience dissipated upon hearing the perception of one of her friends. Wendy had behaved immaturely during the class.
Wendy was having fun!
As Wendy told me more about the lesson, I learnt that accompanying Wendy to the lesson were three friends that knew each other and an individual friend that was someone Wendy socialised with one on one. The two had not ever crossed paths. The relationships are different. With the group Wendy is playful, high spirited, ebullient. When she sees the individual friend, they discuss the negativity of their childhoods, the sadness they feel a lot of the time. They share their experiences of struggling to have fun, to enjoy life, serious philosophical conversations that focus on their past and the negatives of their lives today.
As I asked Wendy more questions, she explained that the Wendy that emerges when she is with the group of friends is the Wendy that she would like to be all the time, the negative feelings are not present when she is with this group. I asked Wendy why she does not spend all her time with the friends that she has fun with.
Wendy expressed concern, she believed that it was necessary to spend time talking about the parts of her life she feels frustrated with, the problem we have is that Wendy cannot change these things and cannot control them and even more prominently, does not have them when she is with a different type of person! The conversations are repetitive and focus on the negative. When Wendy is with other friends the conversation is positive, she feels vibrant, full of life and has fun. 'Spend more time with the playful friends' I wanted to shout at Wendy!
Not long after, I entered a similar conversation with another client, Anna. Anna does not have many friends and spends most of her time at home feeling down. There is one friend that Anna would describe as her best friend. She says that spending time with her best friend is like getting a drug fix. She feels happy, the negative thoughts not only leave her mind, but she feels like she does not ever have them. The world is bright and wonderful. Anna says when she is with her best friend, she can be her complete self. When I suggested Anna spend more time with this friend, she looked at me and asked, “isn’t that just suppressing the depression?”
I heard how Wendy and Anna feel obliged to spend time focusing on the negative experiences within their lives and the negative feelings. As a therapist I help people understand themselves and improve their life. We sometimes do this by focusing on previous experiences to get an explanation of certain personality traits. Beyond this, continually talking about it or focusing on it achieves little. An equal part of hypnotherapy sessions with me is letting go of the ego and finding your soul. By doing so your life can flow and is less of a struggle. You will find freedom and happiness, feel empowered and at peace.
It feels to me that both Wendy and Anna know their soul, but they do not let themselves be there very often.
If you resonate with this it may be time for you to give yourself permission to have fun. Ask yourself when you consider your therapy work complete how will you feel. Then ask yourself, are there any moments in life that you feel that way already?
Wendy and Anna know those moments well. It becomes so simple when all they need to do to feel the desired way more often is to have those moments more often. Wendy needs to spend more time with the group of friends and Anna with her best friend. Within our therapy sessions once we have an idea of the type of experiences that create the ideal, we can explore ways together to have the same positive feelings in other situations.
Know that you can choose to do the same. When you take control of your life and make the decision to choose the experiences in which you feel your best self, the best self will become the default self and the negativity will fade, appearing only now and again as is ordinary life.
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