“I am not what has happened to me. I am what I choose to become” Carl Jung
When something that is painful happens, it is natural for us to feel hurt, even to feel offended, wounded, or under attack. Depending on our learned patterns we have default ways of reacting, and they pop up sometimes, try as we might to respond mindfully and overcome habitual ways of feeling and acting. It might be we shrink away, or come out fighting, or look to others to act for us. We may be overcome with emotion, or be detached, or we may over-think and ruminate.
Whatever our habitual reactions, Jung reminds us that we have choice. We can, of course, repeat the patterns of our past and react as we usually do. If we do, the same responses from others will occur, and it will be yet another example that confirms to us the way we perceive the world and others to be. And so, our pattern deepens.
Alternatively, we can acknowledge and make room for our thoughts, feelings and body sensations. We can experience them, and finds ways to stay in touch with the idea that we are more than just thought, or feeling, or sensation, and that the aspect of us that is aware of all this can perceive the patterns, and notice what is happening relationally.
It might take some time, and a whole heap of deep breaths, but it may be that we can experiment with doing something different, and therefore, having a different interaction and outcome. This is not easy to do. It takes courage. It calls for vulnerability and living with uncertainty. It is a process of change.
The benefit though, is that when we try something new, we learn. We have different experiences, and perceive new perspectives, and have more flexibility in the way we respond in the future.
If you find yourself stuck in ruts, rolling through the same pattern just with different details, then perhaps psychotherapy is for you. For online therapy to explore what you want to have happen, including evening and weekend sessions, email email@example.com or call confidentially on 0191 3720318.