Posted April 1, 2002
Is It Safe To Change?
As I'm working with my clients, I encourage them to feel safe. When I lead them in imagery to find a special, safe place, a few clients cannot imagine a place like that. Some of them don't even feel safe enough to allow the relaxation process to occur because, in their whole life, they've never felt safe. There are many parts of the world where an individual's life is threatened as a result of war, famine and other violent issues. But there are many people in the west who feel insecure because their family was internally war torn.
Only when a client feels safe to make the changes that they want will those changes actually occur. The problem they want to change served some purpose in the past. By the time they come to consult me, it's become a problem. The subconscious will many times resist the change because it's still trying to protect them. Overeating, smoking, excess drinking are some of the ways the subconscious uses to safeguard an individual. These habits serve the purpose of stuffing, holding in or numbing emotions because those emotions were unacceptable to their family. It may also help them by keeping other people away so that the person avoids further hurt.
Self-judgement and self-condemnation might have become coping mechanisms to avoid excessive criticism from the family. Not being successful as an adult may be a way to avoid breaking a family rule about "Not getting too big for your britches." Health issues could be an attempt to get positive attention or even avoid negative attention as a child. Seeing a parent who was ill could create an unconscious model to follow to be like that parent. If you're like the parent, there's a better chance of being accepted by him/her.
All of these are ways the subconscious has found to help you in the past. That help is probably outdated, but your inner mind doesn't realize it. The subconscious doesn't feel safe enough to change the pattern. Your first step is to find a way to allow the subconscious to feel safe enough to change to a better experience.
If you have an intractable challenge, write down how it might have benefited you in the past or present. There's always some advantage to it, or the subconscious wouldn't be holding onto it so hard. How did it make you feel safe? Now, find a way for the subconscious to feel safe so it can release the challenge. It may be something like discovering another way to achieve the benefit.
A person wanting success might give themselves permission to release the family's attitude about success. For health issues, recognize that you don't need a parent's acceptance now. The subconscious won't change until it feels that you'll be safe. When you're able to make a new pattern feel more secure than the old one, the subconscious will mobilize its resources and accept the new idea.
Contemplate your connection to the Universe. The Universe wants the best for you and will keep you safe when you rely on It. You are an individualized expression of the Universe, and It has given Itself (as you) all you could ever desire. You just have to feel safe enough to accept it. The old patterns were just outdated ideas that helped you at a time when you needed them. You've outgrown them just as you've outgrown training wheels on your bicycle. The Universe provides everything you need for the full, joyful experience of life.
When you're able to recognize how and why it hasn't felt safe to change, address those subconscious concerns by realizing that you're in a different space and time, and feel the security of the Universe, your subconscious will cooperate with you to expand into a greater experience of life.
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Copyright Ó 2002 Linda Ann Stewart