We like to think our behaviour is directed by our conscious awareness, that we do the things we intend to, and that we are in control.
My experience both personally and clinically tells me this is not always the case. We are not one fixed, unchanging personality, with conscious awareness of everything that is happening. Rather, we are a network, with different aspects arising at different times, and with more outside our awareness than is within it. Our conscious mind can simultaneously process less than ten things, our unconscious processes thousands at the same time.
Psychotherapy is often a process of coming to know more about what is beyond our current awareness, and beginning to integrate what we know with what we discover, creating more flexibility, grace and congruence in our behaviours and ways of being.
Listening and watching out for patterns in how you can act is a useful way to gain insight into your unconscious wisdom. Are there things you repeatedly draw away from or move towards? Are there people you are gradually distancing yourself from, or moving towards, without realising it? What do you do that surprises you?
So often change is not an event, but a process. There are many clues about what our whole system wants or is concerned by, if we only stop long enough to allow ourselves to notice them.
Next time you find yourself overriding your conscious will, check out where this comes from. Is it a grounded, centred place that is gently sharing wisdom, or a more heady, closed down sense of fear or anxiety? What is being communicated, and what would happen if you were to listen?
For psychotherapy sessions to assist you in coming to know yourself more deeply, get in touch.