Thoughts About Childhood Stuff, And Listening
We talk about childhood not just because thats what you do in therapy. We talk about childhood as it relates to your life and relationships today. And I am a believer that you can talk too much about childhood. Too much about anything for that matter. Your childhood and past are a needed reference points to your current life, but it can become counter productive.
There is a fine line between knowing and understanding the context (our past) of our experiences as it relates to our current lives, (including grieving losses and feeling feelings), and staying stuck in overtly or covertly naming who is to blame for how we are today. So there is a balance to be had with this, as with most things.
Even outside of past experiences, I believe sometimes I have lead people in talking too much, and not paying enough attention to feelings, the here and now, and our bodies. Nervous system regulation is a key part of emotional healing. If we become stuck in talking too much, we sometimes miss the feelings that our stories evoke. Often there is no magic bullet for us to feel better, and it is more about feeling our way through an experience that is most helpful.
Taking the time, having the willingness, courage and strength to do this can be a challenge. And also, there is much in our collective cultural values that says that slowing down is a waste of time, and boring. I have felt this too. At times buzzing from the list of things I am in progress with and still have yet to do- it can be hard to choose to be here, now. And particularly when something emotionally needs to move through or a hurt to be healed. I know I can be stubborn at points about keeping the radio on, sloshing the to do list around in my mind a few more times before I decide give attention to what is calling me. Meaning what is calling emotionally, what is the bother, what is the rub, the pain thats yet to be worked through?
Whether we talk about childhood, other past experiences or current day, it is a helpful practice to notice and stay with what our body feels. As we share our story, its also good to listen to what our bodies tell us about our story.