Table of contents:
- Almost every client who comes to me in gestalt therapy sooner or later discovers a tendency to button himself half to death under the influence of one rather dangerous introject (a belief once received from a significant loved one and appropriated without critical reflection)
- Can I lie down?
- Allow yourself to rest
Video: Driven Horses, Or Let Yourself Rest - Quality Of Life, Self-development
Almost every client who comes to me in gestalt therapy sooner or later discovers a tendency to button himself half to death under the influence of one rather dangerous introject (a belief once received from a significant loved one and appropriated without critical reflection)
It sounds something like this: “You should not rest during the day, unless you are sick. You must constantly be busy with something useful. "
Can I lie down?
This is a very scary introject if you think about it. Not only because under his influence a person shames and scolds himself for lying down on the sofa with a book or ice cream after dinner. But also because he is able to drive himself, like a horse, to complete physical and mental exhaustion.
When our body is already tired of signaling that it needs a calmer regime, it has to “turn on” a regime of illness or physical injury. Simply because otherwise we cannot allow ourselves to lie down to rest. And here, please, there is a reason. And the reason is organized the more weighty, the more a person needs this rest.
We stumble on level ground and break our leg, accidentally cut our fingers instead of vegetables, we cannot get out of chronic colds. Our body is very resourceful when it comes to its safety.
Lying on the sofa or sleeping until lunchtime with such an introject is also scary because we were taught from childhood that if you go to bed, then you die. We are likening ourselves to a horse that even sleeps while standing, and if it lies down, then the matter is really bad. But even in nature, healthy horses can quite afford to sleep a couple of hours lying down if they know that they are completely safe (for example, other individuals are guarding their sleep).
To obey some person who lived in completely different circumstances, maybe now it makes no sense. Yes, his opinion was once authoritative for us and by now has turned into an indisputable law (even if it is unconscious). That person could have very good reasons not to let themselves fall. And at that time and in those circumstances, it really could threaten his life, safety and health. There was no one to guard his sleep.
Allow yourself to rest
We are not that person, we are different and we live in different circumstances. And it is important, having caught in oneself agreement with this or a similar introject, to ask oneself the following questions:
- Will I really die or will I be punished if I lie down to rest?
- Is it really dangerous?
- If so, how?
- What kind of reaction do I expect from loved ones?
- Do I believe that they are capable of punishing me for resting?
- Will they forgive me only if I fell from exhaustion, proving that I can no longer?
- What's the worst thing that could happen if I stop fussing and don't do anything for a while?
- Am I ready to allow myself to rest without reason and excuses?
As you answer these questions honestly, it's important to hear all the answers that can come to mind, including threats, reproaches, and accusations of laziness. Listen to yourself and try to understand whose voice is saying this. Yes, now it is already our voice, but once, when we were small and defenseless, it belonged to another person. The attitudes of this person still have power over us, because we agree with this. But now this power exists only inside our head.
Now we have grown up and can stand up for ourselves. Therefore, it makes sense to ask yourself a few more questions:
- Why do I still shame and frighten myself?
- What does it give me now?
- What is it taking me away from?
- Can I drop someone else's belief?
- Can I allow myself to be weak, not hardy enough and not very hardworking?
- Do I want this?
By allowing ourselves to be in a state of “beautiful doing nothing” with impunity, we can allow this to other people and stop being angry with them. But that's a completely different story.
The article uses illustrations by Herluf Bidstrup