In order to realize our potential we must come to know the ways we are sabotaging ourselves and holding ourselves back. This is done by recognizing our defenses and making them flexible rather than rigid.. This involves healing the past so that we can fully inhabit each new moment in the present. Defenses include:
- Impulsive or addictive behavior
- Compulsive assertions of dominance and control,
- Submission and co-dependency,
- Or social withdrawal, all of which impair functioning in the arenas of work and love, family and friendship
- Freezing, avoidance or rigidity in the face of conflict and difficulty
- Living in fantasy and constantly comparing one’s life to an imagined perfect one thereby robbing you of acceptance and appreciation for the life you have
- Numbness and apathy where the will to live life goes to sleep.
- Cynicism and hopelessness about connecting with and manifesting your life dream
As these negative adaptations (developed to survive childhood and/or modeled by family and society) are identified, real change becomes possible. A stronger sense of self emerges, one that honors boundaries, responsibilities and commitments and cultivates attitudes of zest for life, creativity, care, connection and love. This is the journey that therapy supports by teaching the habit of listening and honoring oneself, cultivating joyfulness, providing help in building a new life structure and encouraging fervor for involvement with the world. When the core wound of despair and disconnection is healed, then faith in life is restored and the power of the self to transform obstacles is renewed. Our fate, the life circumstances we find ourselves in, is no longer experienced as a trap but as the opportunity in which we grow.