This story is funny, there is no denying that, but it also got me thinking. How was she being described that she did not recognise herself? At its most basic if they described the clothes she had been wearing before she “freshen up” why did she not recognise them?
So thinking along these lines, how do you see yourself? If I was to ask you to describe yourself, not physically, but as a person, what would you say?
This is something that clients often bring to the therapy room, sadly a lot of them define themselves by things that have happened in their past. It could be a moment from their childhood and yet it is defining them in their present life and beyond. So is it accurate to use a description of how you were as a 7 year old “you” to express the 35 year old “you”? Indeed should it, because no doubt a lot has happened in between and yet so many of us do this.
I had a client with terrible stage fright, something she had struggled with all of her career and as she became more successful it became worse. During our sessions we found the core of this stage fright came from a comment a teacher made when she was 12 years old. So here she was defining herself in her present life and career based on something that had happened over 30 years previously.
But it had become her identity, that she “did” stage fright and just as the teacher predicted it was something that happened and would only get worse as she got older. This thought had become her truth until we worked on it together. Because all memory is plastic, what I mean by that is all memory can become what we need it to be. Memories, as thoughts, only have the power we give to them.
Whilst I can’t change your past I can help you to change the impact it has on your present life. The impact it is having on your identity, upon the person you are now and the person you want to be, because it is good to remember that nothing has to be the way it has always been.