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R- REMIND YOURSELF

Step 2 – REMIND YOURSELF

 “It’s about the journey not the destination,”  Holding My Breath – Letters to the Father I Never Met, excerpt

Remind yourself is the second step toward wholeness. Our perceptions of the hurt we’ve experienced can prevent a sense of peace. Our thoughts about a person, or event determine our perceptions. And, we just learned our feelings lead to our thoughts. We can’t change the past, but we can change how we look at it. Problem is, trauma fogs up our emotional lens. This distorts our perceptions.

Psychological Aspect

Our feelings, or beliefs create our perceptions. Albert Ellis, Ph.D. created Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). REBT is a type of cognitive behavioral therapy where we pay attention to what we think about. Ellis created what’s referred to as an ABC model: A represents the event/something happensB is our belief about the event – C is the consequence of our belief demonstrated in our actions. [i] Truth increases our sense of well-being. When our beliefs create false perceptions it can block us from the truth. Exploring the ABC model may lead you to discovering greater truths. When something happens, like having a fight with your friend practice this model. Go to your place and draw a circle. Make a diagonal line on a piece of paper. At the top of the line write A and the event that took place (the argument). Write B and list your beliefs about what happened. Then below B on the line write C and write out what your actions were that your beliefs drove you to. Increasing our awareness helps us take control of our thoughts. Being mindful about our feelings/beliefs gives us power to change our perceptions that drive our behavior.

Analogy

When we look in the mirror we only see certain parts of ourselves, others are hidden. This is why I choose Picasso’s Girl Before a Mirror for the cover of my book, Holding My Breath – Letters to the Father I Never Met . Her perception, or belief about what she sees in the mirror is inaccurate. The truth is distorted by her beliefs about herself. Trauma can increase our negative beliefs and perceptions about others, the world and ourselves. These thoughts distance us from reality. Paying attention to what we believe about situations lead us towards reality. We need to see the truth before we can re-frame traumatic events in the past.

Action Step

We know pushing away hard feelings only makes problems bigger. So, the next assignment is to determine what hard feeling you want to work on.

Horse Power

Horses always respond to humans honestly. They know no other way to act, unlike human beings. This is why they’re so beneficial in the healing journey. Horses are sometimes referred to as a mirror. That’s because we often see ourselves, as we really are when we’re interacting with horses. They’re like truth tellers. They remind us who we really are. They help us see distortions we may miss. And, sometimes we need to be reminded of the truth within ourselves. This happens best when it’s through a personal experience, instead of words from others.


[i] Albert Ellis and Robert A. Harper, A Guide to Rational Living, Wilshire Book Company, 1997