Nowadays, things are very different indeed. As a FELDENKRAIS practitioner, I work with healthier ways of shaping and molding the way we perceive ourselves in relationship to our environment all the time. Now if that sounds like jargon, it’s because in the abstract it is. Without relationship to something actually happening, it’s theory. But within myself, or within the people I work with, it’s a tangible shift in perception. It’s a way of relating to self and the world as if I matter. It’s connecting to the sense that what I think and feel is important on both an internal and an external level.
What I sense IS how I notice that I am thinking and feeling. For people living in the trauma of a constant crisis, either in the occupied territory of a war zone in a foreign country, or, in the war zone of their own home if violence is the norm, sensing and feeling is INTENSE. So intense, in fact, that it’s common to turn it off, tune it out. It’s the only access to any sense of peace internally, even if it is illusionary and temporary - until the next predictably unpredictable outbreak erupts.
The problem with this is that if I turn off my ability to feel anything, I actually make myself even more prone to being taken off guard, to being hurt, to being a target. So victims, family members and war veterans alike usually more than compensate with developing a heightened sense of awareness to the ‘vibe’ around them.
And, so the process of healing the pattern of choosing destructive relationships, is to learn, slowly and gradually, to give credence to the possibility that what we ARE matters. Thinking my needs are completely insignificant is a learned behavior, and unconsciously shaped by the environment of emotional blackmail and manipulation that is pretty much the norm in the dysfunctional family dynamic. The good news is, you can unlearn it.
It actually takes a leap of faith that it’s possible. It takes a leap of faith in the process, because the process is often uncomfortable. It takes an ability to be with not knowing and to allow that by hanging in there the path will be made clear, eventually. And, if it’s really challenging, it’s going to take a leap of faith that you could find someone trustworthy to support you in the process.