Have you ever faced an emotional teardown?
Far too often the stories of our life are based on this very act.
What an emotional teardown means is basically having your inner critic/mental voice tear you down emotionally. And usually this is the time when we most need a comforting inner voice to build us up and stay by our side.
As a simple exercise, just take a deep breath, get into the silent space of your mind and recall the last time a major event occurred in your life which led to a breakdown. Or maybe even the very situation that could’ve been playing repeatedly in your mind over the past few days. What was the exact emotional inner dialogue? Rather, was there even a dialogue, or was it just a barrage of emotionally distraught thoughts that were playing like a monologue as you just reacted in its wake? Breathe through this as you have discovered something very vital about yourself – that you are constantly accompanied by this inner self.
This brings us to another vital question – what is your relationship with this self? Are you having conscious dialogues with this part of you? Or is it just a one-way conversation with an unconscious part of you talking to you in a way that tears you down?
It might be revealing to spend time contemplating on how we talk to ourselves…or rather, how we are talked to by our own inner sub personalities. As a part of doing Inner Child work, I have spent significant time understanding, and thereby healing, the various sub personalities that work within me. What is not commonly known is that we ALL have multiple sub personalities. Of these there is a dominant personality as expressed by your inner voice especially in those moments when you live out your fear, for example, when you set out to learn a new skill, when you are facing a crisis situation at work, when you have to make tough decisions in your relationships for your own well-being, etc. What are the first thoughts that run through you? That is your dominant sub personality. Examples of these could be:
– Critical Self – a part of you that jumps to criticism the moment you have a thought of changing something in you
– Pessimistic Self – a part of you that immediately writes off whatever you decided to change by telling you that will never work
– Perfectionist Self – a part of you that tells you that you have to be perfect at what you do, even if it is the first time that you are attempting something
– Comparer Self – a part of you that already has an idol to compare yourself to when you are doing something for the first time
– Poor-Me Self – a part of you that pities/sympathizes with you or complains the moment any change takes place in your life, etc.
There are many such primary selves that are functioning in us due to conditioning that we have been raised with. It could be largely based on the dominant sub personality of the adults who you grew up around, which you unconsciously took on as a child.
How to catch it?
I recently read about this exercise that Eckhart Tolle teaches in his book “Power of Now” –
Do this exercise when you are meditating. Sit in a relaxed position bringing your awareness completely in the present moment. Slowly as you watch your breath, ask yourself the following question – “What is the next thought I am going to think?” It is the cat watching the mouse hole exercise! 🙂 Keep asking yourself this and watch which thought comes in. This very watchfulness is enough to bring you into the present moment. Also, did you notice how much space you have between your own thoughts?
If we could take this exercise further and ask ourselves, “What is the most creative and random thing I would like to do right now?” what counter-action thoughts rise up between receiving the answer and practicing that idea which came to us? That is our emotional wear and tear.
Emotional healing forms 70%, if not more, part of any healing process. Rather most of our so-called problems are just emotional wear-tear rising from an unhealthy mental chatter. So the best way to heal this is by beginning the Inner Dialogue. The best way that worked for me was to consciously ask myself this question –
“What are you feeling right now?” every half hour or so. In fact the author of this idea, Cheryl Richardson, also mentions keeping an alarm that goes off every hour or so for you to sit back a couple of minutes from whatever you are doing, and ask yourself this question.
It helps asking oneself these questions to build an inner dialogue –
1. “What are you feeling right now?”
2. “What can I do to make you feel better?” – if at all there is an emotional discharge needed
3. “What do you want/need right now?”
Having spent a considerable amount of time understanding myself I have realized that the way you support yourself emotionally impacts not only your emotional and physical health, but is also the deal-breaker in your relationships with people, the decider of your career path and even the commander of your expense sheet in terms of your finances. A revealing fact is that most of our expenses / savings structure is built around supporting ourselves, and most of them can be realigned into more efficient structures if only we realized that the way we are being talked to within ourselves is the way we are trying to build comfort zones outside by buying certain things.
I encourage you to start building your emotional being, because it is a partner we have that lives and breathes within us every moment, closer than our parent or spouse could ever be. The better this partnership, the freer you are while actively functioning in this world.