Sunday, June 12, 2011

Have to's, Should's and Cant's; I Felt Powerless


I'm wondering if you've noticed how often these kinds of thoughts slip through your mind?

I can't....I should....I have to.....


Me too. ;)

And in the past I viewed my negative thinking as another thing that I couldn't do "right".

The big burden I was carrying was that I had to do all things

good enough

right enough

fast enough.

In other words - just doing my best was never 


So - what I've learned along the way was to use those negative thoughts as mile-markers in my journey - instead of the negative validation of the lies I'd been conditioned to believe that I truly was NOT enough and held no power over the miserable state of my existence. 

Did you catch that?


Existing is different that living and I was so very tired of only existing, coping, managing....surviving.

Yes; I had survived horrible things.

But I wanted more than the constant struggle where I lived in distress, where I managed symptoms and avoided triggering events, isolated, hibernated and felt as though my life was a complete mistake...

while I searched for someone or something that would make me feel better and make it all just

go away.

One key I found in my journey was in understanding that it wasn't helpful to simply brush those thoughts to the side, dismissing them as unimportant, wrong or bad...

but to use them to guide my healing journey.


Yes. Using the negative thoughts to guide my journey.

You see - when I was dismissing my own thoughts and feelings of inadequacy I was doing the same thing as those who had TAUGHT me that I - my thoughts, my feelings, my choices - held no value and that this was justification for the way I was treated.

I had been taught to invalidate myself by those who had invalided me first.

I had learned not to see myself as the creator of my life but rather to deny everything that made me an individual...

my thoughts, feelings, opinions, likes, dislikes, choices, behaviors...

I had learned to doubt everything about me that made

The side issue is that those who taught me this also saw themselves as invalid and this is how this abuse, neglect and dysfunction is passed from generation to generation. This became grounds for more healing in regards to putting responsibility back with those who abused me while at the same time learning to have compassion for their experiences. 

But I digress:)

The solution for me was to:

  1. Understand that these kinds of thoughts; the have to's, should's and cant's are thoughts that tell me I'm feeling powerless - not that I AM powerless
  2. Understand that those thoughts are my normal not because I'm defective or disordered but because it is how I was taught to view myself as worthless and helpless when my power was taken from me in the original trauma - that there is a REASON I felt powerless over my life circumstances 
  3. Understand that I can LEARN to claim my power and change my life and circumstance and that being aware of my own thoughts, feelings and recognizing that I was powerless and am no longer powerless was the foundation of it all

How did I begin to do this?

By understanding that by continuing to dwell on and use these kinds of statements...

I have to....I should....I can't....

That I was fueling that feeling of helplessness, hopelessness and powerlessness.

And - that by learning to change the words I used to

I could...I can...I want...I won't...

I began to see that I held the power within myself

to create the change that would in the end

change my life.

From the archives:

 I AM....and I am NOT Powerless

Site search: I am not powerless

Photo Credit

 Seek Knowledge, find Wisdom, live your Truth!


Tara said...

What a wonderful post! Thank you. I'm going to mark this one, for safekeeping and easy reference. :-)

Unknown said...

Good morning Tara! What a wonderful note to start my day with today! You are welcome...I'm glad to hear that this one resounded with you!

joy pachowicz said...

Hi Susan another great blog and I so often am guilty of missing all the opportunities because I get stuck on the negatives in my life.Thanks for continuing to inspire and also for allowing an connection to your blog from mine. You are such an inspirational glad I come to know your through Darlene's blog..(hugs) if ok : joy

Unknown said...

Of course Joy; hugs abound!

Ah...the guilting; yes - I am familiar with that and trust that you will find your way through that one too! It just takes time - and of course I wanted it and I wanted it all right now!

Of course! :)

It does come Joy;) Be gentle with you:)