Humans are social beings and we need connection to others in order to thrive.
Ironic then, that almost every convention and social norm we’ve established, serves to disconnect us from ourselves. The more disconnected we are from ourselves, the more we seek connection from others and the more difficult I believe relationships become. The only person who can fulfill all your needs is you.
If we’re lucky, our needs are met when we’re very young. Babies and toddlers are great examples of beings that are in touch with what they need and feel completely justified in getting their needs met. They have an inherent selfishness which is admirable and because they’re small, helpless and overwhelmingly cute no-one seems to think there’s anything wrong with their autocratic ways. (I’m of course, speaking of babies and children that are fortunate enough to grow up in a stable, loving environment.)
But by the time they start toddling, we already start letting them know what they can and cannot do. Of course boundaries are necessary to keep children safe but often we impose rules and strictures on them that are more to keep societal norms safe than to keep the child safe.
We learn when our parents are pleased with us and when they’re displeased with us. We learn good manners so that we can be accepted by other people, we learn to play by the rules or how to break them. In the process of all this, we learn to disconnect from ourselves, from our own needs. We stop doing what we’d love to do and start doing what we ‘should’ do.
As we grow, this disconnection from ourselves is encouraged by the adult authorities in our lives – our parents, preachers and teachers.
We get told what is healthy, what is good for us, what we should and shouldn’t eat. We become so used to being told what we need, that we lose touch with our inner voice.
We start eating according to mealtimes rather than hunger signals, we sleep according the time tables that are no our own, we make everything outside ourselves our authority.
Then, when we start exploring personal development we get told that we create our reality, that we’re in control of our destiny, that we can be anything we want, that the body is a self-healing mechanism and that we can have it all. The problem is that by that time we are so disconnected from ourselves that we don’t know what we want and even if we do, we don’t believe we can have it.
Before we can embrace this ‘new’ way of living, we have to unlearn or at least become aware of all our programming! Is it any small wonder that there are thousands of us who have read all the books by all the experts and attended countless seminars trying to improve ourselves but are still feeling stuck and unfulfilled?
Knowledge is great but without the ability to apply it, it cannot lead to wisdom.
For me the path to health, vitality and happiness has been illuminated in the past few years by the realisation that a deep connection to myself, through connecting to my body, is where it all starts. Once I tune into my inner signals, the next thing is to trust that I will know what’s best for me. Trusting myself is one of the most difficult things I’m learning and the reason it’s so hard is that I’m scared of getting it ‘wrong’. I’m having to become aware of years of programming that tells me that an outside authority knows more about what I need than I do myself.
What a load of bollocks!
I’m done with that. Instead I’m choosing to trust my intuition and freeing my boundless imagination and curiosity to create what I love. I’m not only nurturing my inner child, I’m allowing her to choose what’s best for her and while I’m open to suggestions and willing to consider the advice of others, I’m claiming my right to be my own authority.
And if you think this sounds childish or selfish, I’ll remind you that if I connect to myself and give myself the freedom trust my intuitive voice, I connect more deeply to others and give them the same freedom.