Friday, August 14, 2009

Arrows and Messages Revisited

Because of the responses to the Arrows and Messages post, I'm going to "put myself out there" So family members - you have been warned. Don't proceed if its going to freak you out. (For any new visitors, please read the previous post first, including the comments; otherwise this will not make much sense to you.) If I am more specific about what I discovered in myself, it may make the whole process less alarming to those considering it. You might remember I mentioned my over-the-top reaction to DH asking me if I had put salt in the food? The truth is if he even lifted the potlids while I was cooking, I could feel myself bristling. Any comment or suggestion from him caused me to erupt in anger. He protested that he was only trying to help me. I *couldn't hear* that All I heard was that he thought I couldn't do it right by myself. In fact, any time he corrected what I'd done - a warzone in an instant! The Arrows and Messages teaching came into this sad scene. As recommneded, I listed instances of painful experiences from years ago (they were surprisingly easy to remember) Primary school impressions; teenage rejections; adult traumas. . . Some people have gleaned a few different Messages - but All my arrows had one Message - which made it very powerful in my life. It was: *You are not good enough: you can't do things well enough"* Its pretty easy to see how people's attempts to help were translated by my ingrained Message to: "You can't do it by yourself because nothing you do is good enough." The impact on my life has been profound: not just in the relational disjointedness I have described but also in the way I have handled challenges. Because this can make you passive: "Whats the point of trying? I won't be able to do it well" "i will make a fool of myself if I try" Or it can make you aggressive in an attempt to hide your inadequacy Blah blah blah But you get my drift, hey? It is so empowering, so freeing, to look open eyed at this. To recognize what's been going on in your mind. Hidden things brought into the light always lose their power to hurt in the same way And healing and change can come. When I knew that I was knee-jerk-reacting to some faulty mindset, I was free to respond diffferently. Now I can believe DH when he says he just wants to help Or anyone else for that matter And if I ever feel that familiar surge of defensiveness, I know what it is and I know how to counter it And defuse it. The adventure goes on . . .


Kirsty said...

Thx for the clarification Allie! You know - I had a bit of this experience a week ago, but without the arrow/message knowledge.
I met up with a whole bunch of gals from our 'varsity days. The wine flowed and we chatted honestly. The conversation was enlightening, looking back at our young selves though our now mid 30's wisdom!
I will blog about our discoveries, and link back to you! Will do it next week, kay?
PS : Of course you're good enough!! You're FABULOUS! x
PPS: Thx for the award - will post it on my blog too! Once I've figured out the techno bit! x

Laura said...

I totally understand this - totally!

I have had many moments like this since leaving my ex. Moments where something small - like possibly not knowing where we are going will set off a mini panic attack.

Its taken alot of hard work to identify them, acknowledge them and deal with them!

Joanne said...

Can we get together for you to teach me the counter it and defuse it technique? x

Lynette said...

Thank you for inspiring us and sharing your wisdom...I don't think you realise just how much you mean to me.

Shayne said...

This is something I do need to do, as I've said before. but it's scary!

I think i may have to see you when we're in ct next and you can be my coach.

Gill said...

Brilliant post Allie, very thought-provoking. Thanks for sharing.

Meriel said...

Allie the message for me is "you can cope - so do"
which means because i am usually capable/indpendent/brave then i always get the short straw, when someone else is being needy.
thats why i back pedal. rather don't get close because if you show them vulnerable they will respond with "oh, please get out of here - you are strong" capable becomes a curse.
make sense?

allie said...

@ Kirsty - cannot wait to see your post!

@ Ah Laura, you have already walked this road then. And I'm sure, can tell others how freeing it is?

@Joanne and Shayne - only a pleasure!

@ Lynette - thanks Lynette. But actually just sharing my journey. All this talk about wisdom scares me (see my new sidebar addition :-)
And the meaningfulness goes both ways, k?

@ Gill - Be nice to hear what thoughts it provoked in you, Gill. You are faaaarrr too quiet these days!

@ Meriel - I have emailed you in response to your comment

Lynette said...

Allie, do you know what we have found in our ministry?

We have found that a lot of people get involved with other peoples problems because that takes their attention off their own...that way they don't have to deal with their own issues.

We all need to be needed...but this can be so counter productive when it comes to our own healing.

allie said...

Very insightful, Lynette
I can totally see how that could happen.
And how "masking" it could be.

I think we may all have some form of coping mechanism/mask we have adopted over the years.
It takes something out of the ordinary to begin the eye opening process.

As this did for me and others