It’s been five months since Brenda’s boyfriend of two years broke up with her. Brenda still can’t get him out of her mind. She went through counselling for four months. She says still thinks about him every day and cries every day.
Before she met Peter, Brenda used to like time alone a lot, so her current situation longing for Peter feels strange to her.
It was not love-at-the-first-sight. Peter had been interested in Brenda for a while before Brenda began to see the sparks in Peter. But when she saw, it brought out everything in Brenda. The best and the worst, depending on how you see it.
After listening to Brenda, I say to her that it is the inner insecurity saying, “I cannot find anyone else who will love me” that made her anxious got her into this depression.
In hypnosis, I ask Brenda to objectify this anxiety.
Brenda says it’s located in her head, reddish orange colour, quite liquid, feeling like a wave. I ask her the shape of it. Brenda says it’s like a teardrop.
Since the teardrop is creating the sensation of a wave, as if it has life on its own, I call out the teardrop to speak to me directly.
“What do you do inside Brenda’s head?”
“For the obsession.”
“Obsession? You obviously do a good job. What’s your purpose for that?”
“To remind her of everything.”
“Okay. She lost her boyfriend. What else are you there to remind her?”
“The lifestyle. Her dreams – dreams of travelling together, dreams of moving to his home country, dreams of another promised life. ”
“So you have to remind her, again and again, to punish her?”
“Was it her fault that Peter left?”
“What else could she have done differently so this might have ended differently?”
“She didn’t speak up enough. She thought too much.”
“So now Brenda is grieving, but you are the one who’s not making this easy for her, because you think she needs to be punished, am I right?”
‘You know, teardrop, the awful breakup might be because Brenda didn’t speak up enough, but she didn’t because of certain habitual thinking in those moments. You keep punishing her for spilled milk. This will make her even more fearful to take any action in the future, including speaking up.”
Brenda’s Teardrop is her ego. The ego is the mind-made entity that consists of a bundle of thoughts that occur frequently. In the bundle of thoughts are all the things that we’ve identified with ourselves – job positions, relationships, accomplishments, disappointments, our successes and failures, what other people think of us, all those thoughts form in the mind. They come together and congregate in a bundle. These congregated bundles of recurring thoughts become the place where we derive our sense of self. It is a story-based entity – The Me and my story. And the story is called “My Life”. My life becomes a mental construct. The way we interpret memories.
Brenda’s Teardrop has a self-appointed job that sounds noble but really isn’t. It actually doesn’t care how much Brenda suffers. In a strange way, it wants Brenda to suffer more, using a strange logic – You need to suffer now to avoid suffering. Or, you need to be obsessed with thinking about past failures to avoid future failures through overthinking. When the ego is in charge, it twists everything. Even though the purpose is to lessen the suffering, it continues to create a deeper trance of suffering.
We just can’t get to peace through war. Teardrop will not set Brenda free.
But freedom never needs anyone’s permission to be free. Certainly not a teardrop’s permission. By definition, if anything needs permission to be free, it’s not freedom.
I spoke to Brenda that freedom is her true nature. Maybe Peter has promised her many wonderful opportunities and a certain lifestyle. But for some reason, he has withdrawn. It’s like receiving a lot of cheques from Peter only to find there was no money in his bank account. It’s better for that relationship to end now, rather than later. The reason she is without Peter now is that she does not need Peter to have that lifestyle and those opportunities. She is meant to live the way she desires and deserves. It’s just now she can do it without Peter.
With that, in hypnosis, Brenda used her breathing to change the shape, the colour and the quality of the objectified feeling in her head, until she felt free.