"When you love you fall under the waves,
if you never fall you can never be saved—
sometimes it’s grace, sometimes luck
when a hand reaches out and you take it up."
—Kathleen Dunbar, from my album The Storm in Our Head
There is a wonderful therapist who was a leader in his field many years ago named Carl Rogers. When he was a boy he grew up on a farm. All winter the potatoes lay in bins in the cold basement, and there was only a small window far up on the wall in that basement. He was fascinated that even though the potatoes were given so little nourishment, that they nevertheless sprouted and sent their long tendrils upwards towards the light. He believed that the thirst for life in people is the same, that there is an inherent wholeness that seeks to grow and express itself.
“From the acorn, the mighty oak tree grows.” —Folk Saying
They might begin small, but seeds are powerful and grow into great things, the things they were always destined to be. When a client first arrives for sessions, I let them know I hear their greatest ache, and understand their greatest longing, and through the somatic work I do I give them an experience of their longing being met so that they can walk out the door with more of a sense of who they truly are. Then we continue to build on that.
"The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change." —Carl Rogers
People want to know how they can “fix themselves” and often have a whole gallery of internal critics telling them what is wrong with them. The problem with critics is that they are so toxic that they stop any growth. Our critics and “voices” miss the main point, that just as we are, we are a gem. As we grow to realize and accept our own unique and valuable nature, and that we are precious just as we are, then we become freer to express, learn, grow and thrive. When we recognize the amazing seed of our unique nature, then we can care for ourselves, and help ourselves to grow into our full expression.
The following are our birthrights. Which ones speak most potently to you? Likely you may find yourself believing the opposite. For example, you may have learned to believe that you have to do everything yourself, and you took on this belief because of experiences growing up where exactly that was the case. But if you sit quietly and go all the way under the belief, you will find a longing for just the opposite—that you don’t have to do it alone, that it’s okay to need. And—you made it this far! It’s your time now, your season right now—and just as you learned the limiting belief, you can learn to return to your birthright belief and experience. It may take a therapist or mentor or new community, and it will take some work on your part to let go of the old voices and the old belief, but you can learn to reach out, and you will be able to learn who are the very people who will reach back and give you a hand up. Healing and growth are possible!
So tell your critic to take ten steps back for two minutes, and then take a look at the following from your sense of longing. That longing is key. Longing is the seed of you calling out. It is a direct line into your essential nature. Your amazing self is awaiting you. Yeah you!
- You matter.
- You are loveable.
- You are welcome—there is a place for you.
- All your feelings are natural.
- It is possible to be safe.
- It’s okay to be powerful.
- It’s okay to have needs, and it’s possible to find others who will meet them.
- It’s okay to ask for help.
- You don’t have to be alone—there are others who will help.
- You can learn to ask.
- It’s okay to be real.
- Being vulnerable and authentic is a strength others will appreciate.
- You can say no and do it your way, and you’ll still be loved.
- There’s nothing you have to do to be loved—you are already loveable just as you are.
- There are people who will be willing to see you and hear you.
- You are a gem!