It’s Just You in There

Its-just-me-in-thsere-001Welcome to my new blog “Change You Can Feel.” I am so excited to be sharing some of what I am learning about this amazing transformational process of change and to explore with all of you what it is that really helps us make the changes we so desire… I am hoping this will be a place we can all share our growth, our struggles, our process and our journey together. Where we can learn from each other and support one another as we develop the courage to create the life we were meant to live!

“It’s Just You in There”

Are you afraid to look underneath and really get a handle on what’s inside??

Do you move away as fast as you can from feeling some of the “nasties” – those dark and scary feelings that haunt you – that creep up and grab you in the night if you’re not so busy they can’t catch you, or lost in some form of medicated stupor, or so exhausted that you fall asleep before your head hits the pillow. You know the ones I’m talking about – those feelings of self-loathing that wash over you like a bucket of hot water, or that metal taste in your mouth kind of fear that leaves you limp and afraid of your own shadow, or the kind of loneliness that makes you head for the fridge and stuff your mouth full of whatever is left in the Thai take out box, just to try to soothe your soul.

If it helps – most of us have some of those lurking in our psyches so you’re not alone… and most of us do whatever we can to hide from those “cut us off at the knees kind of feelings”. But what if there was a way we could take those feelings on – move into them and root around in them a bit and gain a bit of clarity about them and actually “shift” them into something different – something important and powerful and actually maybe even useful.

Now mind you it’s not a process for the faint of heart – nor do I recommend taking it on alone. But what I have found time and again, is that if we can find a safe place to explore, and we can capture a bit of that feeling and experience it in the here and now with someone we trust and feel safe with, and if we can ask that feeling a few questions and look at it from a few different perspectives and really sink into that feeling and know it from the inside, a miraculous shift can occur. Something new and different can emerge and pretty soon some of that shame turns into self-compassion for that little girl that wasn’t given what she needed. Or that fear turns into “righteous anger” that the young child wasn’t given the protection that they deserved. Or that stuck blaming place turns into healing grief that moves us into reaching out for the lost source of comfort and connection.

Many of us look at our feelings as our enemies… something that takes over and controls us and has the power to hurt and mortally wound us. But actually our feelings are our greatest assets, a powerful connection to our deepest needs and most poignant longings and perhaps more importantly, they hold the key to the path for our greatest happiness. But we mask them with our “shoulds” and we talk back to them, and push them away and drown them out with our inner dialogue which tells them they aren’t valid or welcome or even true. Now I KNOW that feelings can hurt, and they can hurt ALOT… but when we move into that hurt and ask it what we need, we can move through it to something better, something that will soothe that hurt and give us what we really need.

There’s a story I tell about going inside and having the courage to take a look… When my son Tucker was about 4 years old – he went through a phase where he was terrified of costumes (long story – but you know it’s the clown idea) a party that was full of people dressed up like “power rangers” that scared him to death…. well Halloween was coming and in our neighborhood we literally have hundreds of kids that go door to door dressed up as princesses and pirates and goblins and ghosts and I knew this would be a problem… So I bought Tucker a Lion suit and I put it in his room and told him that it was his to do with whatever he wanted… that he could play with it or get used to it or throw it under the bed or hide it in the closet, whatever felt right… I went downstairs for a bit and when I came back up, he was standing on his little stool in front of the bathroom mirror with the lion costume on and repeating to himself.

“it’s just me in there, it’s just me in there”…

He was talking himself down and convincing himself that he could face his fear and go out into the night and get that bag of candy he was longing for and his older brother was sure to come home with and not share!

When I get afraid of a feeling or want to run from the shame or loneliness, I take out that picture and remind myself – “it’s just me in there”. Not some outside force that’s going to knock me down and leave me there… but rather an important bit of information that, if I can muster up the courage to let it out, will give me some bit of truth that is important to my well-being… that is important for me to know… that has the potential to guide me on a path that might just be a better one than I am on right now.

If you have a story about facing a feeling that was difficult or overwhelming or seemed “too big” to handle and can share with us what helped when you faced that feeling and what happened when you “looked inside”… please do so… it helps to know we are not alone… it helps to know that if we go inside, we won’t get stuck there and we just might come out with a bag of treasures to share with others!

Here’s to change you can feel!

Meet Cynthia Benge

A therapist for over 20 years, I guide people from their own “stuck” places to a life full of adventure, meaning and satisfying relationships.

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