I Don’t Know Who I Am Anymore
I could feel Eva shaking, right in front of me. This is our fourth hypnotherapy session. We were having the catch up and about to get into hypnosis part of the work. I asked Eva, “Are you upset about something?”
“I just realized that this is it. I have to do it on my own, eventually.”
“What is it that you have to do it on your own?”
Eva looked at me, as if not sure what to say. After a pause, she said, “Life. I suppose. And all my problems.”
“Yes, you do want to do life on your own. It’s your life, after all. But aren’t we dealing with problems together?”
“The reason I choose hypnotherapy is that they say a lot of limiting beliefs, and low self-esteem, are because when I grew up, my parents put the stuff such as ‘I am not good enough’ to my head, and hypnotherapy can take them out of my head.”
“Yes. Hypnotherapy can take them out of your head, sometimes easily, as long as you have not taken an identity out of ‘the stuff’.”
When Eva first came to see me, her presenting issue was severe social anxiety. I am the third hypnotherapist she has visited. The previous sessions with other hypnotherapists have worked to a degree, according to Eva, but for variety of reasons, she chose not to go back to them.
Yet I can tell Eva is very committed to the “magic of hypnotherapy”.
Eva is a very successful entrepreneur. From her online presence, one could not believe what she has been going through internally. She grew up with a mother who constantly asked her to be quiet, not to brag, not to take up too much space; who constantly compared her with her cousins. Even though Eva manages to function well in her work, she always feels apologetic, as if she’s still taking up other’s space. Whoever around her is anxious or low, Eva would feel as if it has something to do with her.
I was sharing with Eva the mechanism of the mind. Eva started to see the truth, and realize that she did need to shift the mindset. In that realization, Eva was scared. The thought, “I’m on my own now” almost was too much to bear, thus the shaking.
In one of our previous sessions, Eva told me she couldn’t meet that younger version of herself, as I was guiding her, “I can FEEL the resistance in me. There is a block.”
“May I then speak directly with the block?”
Further we found there was an internal identification with misery, as if “when I am miserable, I feel safe, because no one can hurt me, and no one can be disappointed.”
It is true hypnotherapy, by simply giving suggestions to the inner mind, can quickly shift a mindset. I found, however, when a person, starts to identify with certain internalized voices, ideas, and images, it becomes scary to change.
I told Eva it was necessary to come to the point “I don’t know who I am anymore”.
“I don’t know who I am” is the neutral state one needs to come first. From this neutral point we will be able to build a new identity. The old identity is too painful. We need to unplug it first, and then we go to a limbo-like state where “I don’t know who I am anymore”.
It feels scary to be in that state, because it feels like death to that part of the identity, and because the mind is not used to the idea that change is the only constant. In truth, this is a state of freedom, where you can examine all the probable ways to form a new healthier identity. Which means, we can use limbo as a solid foundation – paradoxical, I know, but paradox is life – Then we can find the solidity within the fluidity and from there give ourselves a sense of direction.
I don’t know who I am anymore. This statement can be said with teary eyes and a shaking voice.
I don’t know who I am anymore. This same statement can be said with excited eyes and a smiley face.
The same statement, heaven or hell. A choice.