We don’t want people to abandon us; to leave us behind. When it happens, we’re hurt and can think: if I was more (fill in the blank) I wouldn’t be alone. It can be painful when someone breaks off a relationship and leaves us.
But what about the relationship with yourself? Before anyone else has a chance to abandon or break-up with you, you may be abandoning or breaking up with yourself. Rejecting the less appealing aspects of who you are, tossing out pieces of yourself like trash, only choosing selective parts while leaving the rest of yourself unclaimed can leave you in a position of partial self-ownership. As a result of disconnecting and leaving parts of yourself behind, are you feeling self-abandoned?
Picture this: I was leading a workshop for a group of women. As they paired-up, I instructed one woman of the pair to say something positive about the other woman and then switch roles. In two seconds the room filled with lively voices, laughter, and great energy. In the second part of the exercise, each woman was asked to share something positive about themselves with their partner. After my instruction, there was an uncomfortably prolonged and total silence.
I finally broke the silence with an explanation of why this part of the exercise proved so difficult for a room full of competent accomplished women. The contrast between the ease of sharing about their partner versus saying something positive about themselves was dramatic. Slowly and with obvious discomfort, the women began share one positive thing about themselves.
Not having ownership of your “self” can result in feeling an emptiness and loneliness that can’t be filled by anyone or anything else. Of course you can enjoy a good meal or have fun with friends but it can go right through you like water through a sieve. You may not even be aware of not owning yourself. The fallout of partial self-ownership can encompass not only the parts of yourself that you may view as distasteful and negative but also owning the positives. Self-ownership is the foundation that holds onto and integrates these experiences in the continuing growth and evolution of you. This is where Disruptive Self-Ownership™ comes in.
It’s experiences like the one in the workshop that motivated me to create Disruptive Self-Ownership™. We must disrupt and update our personal stories, the narratives of ourselves. We don’t put on shoes that we wore when we were eight-years-old but we carry ideas about ourselves that just don’t fit anymore. Disruptive Self-Ownership™ is a process that helps you dispel outdated beliefs about yourself, break through what’s holding you back, and claim the control and presence that’s yours. Of course you can’t change the past; but, you can change your understanding, relationship, and response to the past. When you bring all of yourself into the now, you can be truly present for yourself.
Here are 3 Steps towards Achieving Self-Ownership:
(1) STOP Believing This: “I’ve left that part of myself behind.”
Although it’s a common saying, from my expertise it is neither true nor real. You cannot erase a part of your life even if you wish you could. All of your experiences are part of your story and take up space inside of you. What you believe was left behind is still there, but keeping it “out of mind” requires energy.
(2) Identify a Part of Yourself that You Have Abandoned.
The second step is to identify a part of yourself that you have abandoned, that you “left behind”. You can’t change what is out of your awareness. There are old painful or uncomfortable beliefs associated with that part of yourself that are the reasons why you abandoned it. Ask yourself: How did I come to have this belief? Did someone make hurtful comments to me? Was I shamed? You can’t change what has already happened in your life, but you do have control of you relate to it moving forward.
(3) Connect With Your Power.
Disruptive Self-Ownership™ is like splitting the atom. It helps break the walls of disconnection inside of you and helps free you to experience your “wholeness”. If you close your eyes and envision this freedom, there’s an openness, lightness, and energy you can feel. It’s an opportunity to release fearfulness and replace it with confidence. Your courage stands with you. When you connect your pieces, you connect with your power.
I believe that not only are we built for change, but that “Positive change can happen at any point in your life.” So, take these steps to help stop abandoning yourself. Bring all of yourself into what you do, into your life. Even bring that snarky 14-year-old with the sassy talk. You might need her help today!
To learn more about Dr. Risa Ryger’s Disruptive Self-Ownership™ Process, visit www.drrisaryger.com.