As a child, she was not safe. Lack of safety was the source of the child’s insomnia, sickness, and sadness, but their exact cause was uncovered only later in life. Imagistic healing fantasies, as she affectionately called the collie stories she invented, are known today as “guided imagery.”
In my family, angry feelings were expressed freely. But I wasn’t introduced to the positive side of anger in which conflicts are resolved in healthy ways. So I made the decision to disown my anger. I was too young to examine the costs and benefits of disowned anger
For many, the New Year marks a time of quiet reflection to review and reassess life choices. This year, I am focused specifically on "cognitive resilience."
Additional stress during the holidays can certainly challenge our ability to feel good. It also challenges our intent to actively try and remain positive. How did my mother do it?
As a child, I was told that I worried too much. My official family label was “worry wart.” That was my story. You, too, may have a family label as a worrier. Did that become your story, too?
Growing my stories has been a process, not an event. School was challenging for me from the beginning. I worked hard and did well, but it wasn’t always easy. I thought many times, “I shouldn’t have to work this hard.”
Actively changing our personal stories includes sweet periods of good feelings mixed with feeling bad. Aspects of our stories are life-affirming, while other versions play havoc with our healthy sense of self.
My daughter, Hilary, struggled with a heart condition from diagnosis at age seven till open-heart surgery at 28. As her condition worsened, so did our stories about her health and well-being.
One way personal stories originally develop is through life experience, and so curiosity tells us to look back and examine those experiences.
In order to change our thinking we must first know what we are thinking, right? From my perspective, observation without judgment is a great way to begin that process.