“I had been steadily gaining weight and unable to start any kind of regular exercise program for about a year, using work and a busy schedule as an excuse. Finally the scales hit a number I could not stand, and Amy and I went to work on it.
We talked about an incident that had happened in the recent past, where I had felt very attacked by a woman about how I dealt with her pregnancy. The incident made me feel like I wasn’t a valuable person or woman because I didn’t have kids, or didn’t understand her plight. She actually used the word ‘inhumane’, and it made me feel like everyone saw me as some sort of bitter, twisted, barren woman who was jealous of those with children.
I thought I had come to terms with my decision to not have children. I have a wonderful husband and life, and having children at 40 (or later!) does not make physical, financial or emotional sense. I don’t have the broodiness that I had 10 years ago. But this incident really brought some emotions to the surface, and Amy, through HBLU, helped me clear them. We realized I was stuck in thoughts about not being a true or real woman because I did not have kids, that life was “over” and I might as well give up.
After one very intense session, I went home already feeling better. By the time I went to bed, I had made the decision to sign up for my fourth half-marathon. I signed up the next day and told my personal trainer (whose efforts to that point were for naught, since I had only been going through the motions) she needed to help me get ready for 13.1 miles.
Since that day, about two months ago, I’ve lost eight pounds, gained muscle and tone, have changed my eating and drinking habits and can fit into clothes I haven’t even dared try on in over a year. (One pair of pants was covered in dust on the fold!)
What I love about HBLU is that WE do the work, not just Amy or not just me, and I feel in control of my progress and healing. When I started, I couldn’t run one mile without stopping. Eight weeks later I am completing 8-mile runs without a problem. I feel lighter in my soul as well as on the scale thanks to Amy and HBLU! Thank you, thank you!”
This will begin a series of articles on GRUDGES. Yes, I write that in capital letters because that is how big they are in terms of self-sabotage. When someone violates your values you feel outraged. It is normal to feel this way. This emotional reaction might be expressed as “How dare you?” or “Who do you think you are?” or “Are you kidding me!?” It is what I call “anger plus” with a flavor of righteous rage. On one hand, this energy can propel us to decisive action, standing up for ourselves, “getting in someone’s face” to set a boundary, or otherwise explaining very clearly that we never want that to happen again.
All too often, however, when someone violates our values we actually withdraw in some way. This might sound like, “Whatever!” or “I don’t care.” or “What do you know?” accompanied by a hand wave or turning away from the person. This is the real problem that sets a grudge in cement—the behavioral reaction of withdrawal that actually occurs within 15 seconds of the violation. Thereafter, every time the person tries to get what s/he values, s/he is unconsciously triggered to withdraw, making it impossible to ever get what is valued.
So in the case above, we had what we call an interlevel grudge, where one level of the client’s being was offended, another level then withdrew in some way. This what happened: When my client decided for many sound reasons not to have children (i.e. in her conscious mind), her unconscious mind thought: “That’s it. It’s over. I am not a woman anymore and my youth is over.” This violated her soul-level values of:
1. Her relationship with her husband who is “The One”
Then she felt like “maybe he’s not the one.” She also felt “done” instead of having energy and “worthless” instead of her value of worth. So, the soul withdrew by “going into hibernation/hiding.” No other levels of her being grudged the soul for withdrawing its energy into hiding.
But, she did grudge her husband. She unconsciously deemed that he violated her values of:
2. Creative production
All by “being old.” (He is 15 years older than she is.) In reaction, she felt stuck rather than active, non-contributing, unproductive/stagnant in opposition to her value of creative production and she felt void, which is in sharp contrast to the value of motherhood. She withdrew by sloth, withdrawing her own determination, giving in to whatever she felt like doing—essentially she withdrew her own will.
As we can see in the first grudge, when her soul shrunk into hiding this goes against her own values of feeling connected to her soulmate, energy and worth. In the second grudge, withdrawing her own will and discipline violates all over again her own values of activity, creative production and motherhood (in the sense that she could not creatively produce or “give birth” to much if she went into sloth mode).
As you can see, the reason that grudges are so dangerous is that the very quick, knee-jerk reaction in the heat of the moment of rage turns a person against her own values and makes it impossible to get what s/he wants. That is why we call them the most self-sabotaging pattern a person can run.
The key to healing a GRUDGE is to come up with a new behavioral response that is not a withdrawal behavior. In this client’s case, her soul’s new behavior was to contradict the idea that she was old and it was over. That’s all it took and instantly in her mind, she saw herself outside running again. To heal the GRUDGE she had with her husband, her new behavior was to embrace her youth and willfulness instead of going into sloth. She then said to me, “I am contributing because I want to, not because I have to make up for not having children. My life is not over. I am still young. I can generate my own energy. I can be a mother in other ways and I am truly okay with that now. I did not even know that I was not okay with it before!”
As you can see, these new insights, or what we call “learnings”, then played out immediately in her own life as she got off the couch and registered for her half-marathon and began training in earnest. She lost the weight she could not stand any longer and is feeling anything but old and “done.” Hooray!
Next week, see how Grudges can aggravate health issues.
Has your behavior changed after an important or even a seemingly unimportant incident in your life? Or has an encounter or argument with someone made you withdraw into yourself? Do you feel like you are “stuck” in your life even though you want to move forward? HBLU is a very effective method to help you. Please email me to arrange an appointment, email@example.com, or call me for a short consultation at (949) 929-5470.* The information provided on this site, including text, graphics, images, is for informational purposes only. It is not to be construed as medical care or medical advice and is not a replacement for medical care given by physicians or trained medical personnel. The Center for Integrative Therapy, LLC nor Amy St. Hilaire do not directly or indirectly practice medicine, nor do they dispense medical advice, diagnosis, treatment or any other medical service as part of this free web site. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider(s) when experiencing symptoms or health problems, or before starting any new treatment. Neither The Center for Integrative Therapy, LLC nor its members are to be held responsible for any inaccuracies, omissions, or editorial errors, or for any consequences resulting from the information provided. By continuing to view this site, visitors indicate acceptance of these terms.