This is the third installment in my Core Story series. This series features the real life stories of my clients, as they uncover and dismantle their limiting beliefs. To read a little about Core Stories, and my personal shift, click here.
Rachel is fine.
Rachel will be fine. Rachel WILL be fine. Rachel will always be fine. Rachel ALWAYS finds a way. Rachel HAS to be fine. Rachel HAS to figure out a way.
And then Rachel FEELS some more. And she senses the needs of others. And she sees how little caring and time and energy there is to go around. So Rachel decides that she is not important. Rachel gets small. Rachel gets quiet.
Rachel doesn’t ask. Rachel doesn’t take up any space. Rachel tries to be helpful, in case by being helpful, there might be more caring to go around. Rachel hopes that by being helpful, someone might notice that she aches too. But Rachel might as well be invisible. No one notices.
But Rachel doesn’t get angry. Because she sees how little there is to go around and she knows that she doesn’t really need any of it as much as others do.
Rachel’s needs are not as important as anyone else’s. Rachel knows that she shouldn’t ask for help. This might take away from someone else getting the help they need, someone who is more valuable, more important, and definitely more lovable. Rachel has it better than 98% of the world. Who does Rachel think she is to ask for help? God has better things to do. People who say they love Rachel have better, more important things to do. There are other people, other causes that have more value, more worth.
No one wants to help Rachel. Even if Rachel musters the courage to say what she needs, no one will notice. Worse yet, no one will care. No one will respond. No one will bother. Because Rachel knows that she doesn’t MATTER.
Rachel believes that she only matters when she is doing things for others. This is what gets her noticed. Rachel does things for others because her heart aches. And she hopes that people will do for her what she does for them. But no one sees or understands. Even when Rachel says the words, “I need help,” all anyone ever hears is “Rachel likes to help,” and “Rachel is fine,” and “Just look at how well Rachel is doing!”
But Rachel isn’t fine all of the time. Sometimes she is, but a lot of the time she isn’t.
Rachel carries a big heavy pack around on her back. The pack is full of feelings and problems and burdens that everyone else seems to have set aside. Rachel can’t put it down. What would happen to it if she put it down? Who would fix the problems? Who would take care of the people? How would the world be saved? After all, when no one else will, Rachel will find a way.
But what if Rachel isn’t always going to be fine? What if she leans over the railing with that big backpack one day and the weight of it pulls her over?
This is what Rachel fears is true:
That she isn’t fine.
That she can’t actually do it. That she is charged with an impossible task.
That she will never experience ease, or peace, or joy.
That no one will come to help—even the people who say they love her the most—even if she yells at the top of her lungs, pleading and begging, desperately asking for mercy. Even if she falls right at their feet. Because no one will ever see her. No one will ever hear her. No one will ever truly care about what Rachel needs.
That she is alone. That IT IS ALL UP TO HER. That what is required of her is insurmountable and that she is the only one that can and will do it.
That all of her striving—all of her helping–is pointless.
That if she lets herself off the hook even a little bit, people would see or care about her even less than they do now.
That she doesn’t DESERVE help. That she is expected to carry that backpack around on her back forever.
These beliefs have helped to form my core story, the perspective that subconsciously directed how I interacted with the world.
It’s probably obvious how this core story might have impacted my family and other key relationships. But you may be surprised to hear that it’s also something I have wrestled with as a small business owner. In really tangible ways, learning about my core beliefs has fueled more success and joy in my business.
Gaining clarity about my core beliefs has given me the capacity to identify the actual source of my fears as they arise, empowering me to move past them with awareness and intention.
I’ve also become more authentic, cultivating more balanced and mutually-beneficial partnerships with my clients and colleagues, rather than reverting to unhealthy patterns of relating.
Thanks to the Breathwork Sessions, I’ve committed to over the last year, the grip these beliefs have had on my life has loosened dramatically. While I had done several years of therapy to great benefit, I knew that at this stage, these core beliefs had a hold on me that went beyond the emotional and cognitive. Breathwork gives your body the ability to release things on a physiological level—where deep-seated trauma is stored—and these sessions have been more powerful than I could have possibly imagined at the start.
I now see my core beliefs rise up and I can call them by name. When I know that they are clouding my vision, I can choose to respond consciously, based on truth, not according to my fictional storyline. I now respond to challenges in my personal and professional life in a way that results in far less pain and chaos. I can accept what is, and reframe what I believe to be true.
Of course, I still bump up against these tenacious beliefs every time the terrain gets a little rough. But they become less powerful each time they make an appearance. I can even laugh at them these days, as in: “Ha ha…there’s old ‘Your needs don’t matter, Rachel” showing up again, obviously because I am getting ready to take a big leap with my business.”
For me, the most visible result is that there are things I used to do without thinking that would cause all kinds of unpleasant fallout and now it doesn’t even occur to me to do those things. I can be clear and conscious and behave (mostly) the way I want to behave. I am still carrying around the backpack, but it has become decidedly lighter. Lighter is good.
I was ready for a new story and now I’m on my way. Are you?
To schedule your own Core Story Session and to find out more about the Breathwork Process, connect with Susan here.