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How can I learn new things and take care of myself when I don't like who I am?

heart to heart Question
I have struggled with cfs for over 6 or 7 years. I get better but I have relapses and each time I get severely depressed. I beat myself up constantly. I am codependent and have a perfectionist tendency. I know I have a lot of forgiving to do. I have had therapy in the past but it was too much for me to handle and sent me on a down spiral. With cfs it takes many changes to get well. I start but I can't continue because I don't feel worthy and my self-esteem gets in the way. I numb the pain out with addictions. How do I get past the resistance of learning new things and taking care of myself when I don't like who I am? I feel guilt when I do things for me and it gets to be too much, so I quit.
Reply by Coach Doris Jeanette Doris Jeanette
First let me address the physical and psychological significance of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. More and more studies are validating what many of us have known for many years--- emotional health is a major factor in physical diseases. Frequently, people do not admit they have an emotional health or mental health problem until their body sends them a louder message by creating a physical problem. Physical problems have a way of getting our attention!

It is best to listen to your body and quickly respond to what it needs in order to achieve holistic health. CFS provides a large warning flag, which can help you improve your emotional health and mental health so that your body heals. Being sick allows you to pay more attention to your body, your emotions and your energy. Use local, holistic body workers who are comfortable with their emotions to help you learn how to listen to your body and take care of it. The "Hear Your Body Talking" audio is also helpful in understanding and listening to your body needs for healing.

The bottom-line cause of any dysfunction in the body is a lack of healthy energy flow. One of my energy teachers, Jack Schwartz, author of "Human Energy Systems" said, "All physical diseases are caused by stagnant energy." Stagnant energy is what makes you sick in the first place. Stuck energy is what keeps your body from healing itself normally and quickly.

Therefore, if you want to create more health, you need to allow more healthy energy flow in your body. So the goal is to learn how to stop controlling your energy and allow it to flow naturally if you want holistic health. If you are like most humans, it is your emotional energy that is severely inhibited so you need to learn how to express your emotions in healthy ways.

Your question is an excellent example of how and where people get stuck in their personal growth. You are clever enough to open a new door of opportunity. Yet, just as you try to walk out the door to more freedom and fresh air, the door slams shut in your face. Your health improves when you open the door and deteriorates when you close the door.

You have the insight that this is due to guilt and know that you don't like who you are. Congratulations! You have great insight into your problems. Yet, insight is not enough to help you move forward. One part of you opens the door. Another part of you slaps it shut! Stopped dead in your tracks, which part of you is going to win?

You are stuck in an eddy and cannot get out of it. This is a place in the natural process of transformation where it is easy for anyone to get stuck. Think of it as the eddy in the natural flow.

I first noticed this trap many years ago with one of my depressed clients. As soon as we freed her from her depressed energy, she immediately became extremely anxious. When she became anxious she was most uncomfortable and quickly she dropped back into her depressed energy. She opened the door and then slammed her door shut. She did this over and over again. She was stuck in an eddy.

In physical reality "an eddy is a current of water or air running contrary to the main current." Eddies can range "from gentle changes of current," which are safe to hang out in and rest, to "violent, whirl-pool-causing obstacles," which can trap you. The speed and volume of the water current determines the type of eddy formed.

When you are moving toward health, your new energy runs into many obstacles. The degree to which you resist the new energy with "violent, whirl-pool causing obstacles" can create an energy eddy that is difficult to avoid or escape. You have learned how to shift out of your depressed energy but when the new energy comes in, your resistance to the new energy is stronger and more powerful. So you give up.

When you experience your next eddy, don't give up. Stay with yourself in the discomfort of the new energy and reduce your resistance to change. The best way to reduce your resistance is to develop the emotional and body skills that prepare you to cope with reality.

You have already found out that talk therapy and insight is not enough. You need practical, effective emotional and body skills that help you handle the eddies of energy transformation.

If you want the healthy part of you to win instead of your controlled ego, you need to take the correct actions. People who ride the whitewater successfully have instructions from competent teachers before they get in the river. People who ride their healthy energy flow also need instructions from competent teachers before they get into psychological trouble.

Don't give up, learn from those who know how to ride the eddies of transformation. Rest assured, you can learn how to avoid the violent eddies, relax in the gentle eddies and let your boat float on down the river when you are ready for a wonderful life experience.

Coaching copyright © 2010 Dr. Doris Jeanette

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