On one side, there is the internal world, and on the other, there is the external world. The ideal will be for someone to be aware of what is going on within and to be aware of what is going on without.
Through being this way, they will be able to tune with their needs and feelings, and they will be able to tune into the needs and feelings of others. In other words, they will be in balance.
A Different Reality
However, although this will be the ideal, someone may find that they are rarely in tune with their own needs and feelings. Instead, they could see that they are typically only aware of the needs and feelings of others.
Focusing on what other people want is then going to be the norm, with them having the tendency to neglect themselves. If they were to take a step back and to think about how long they have been this way for, they may find that they have been this way for as long as they can remember.
This likely to be something that just happens, without them needing to think about it. One will then be around others and they will naturally tune into them, with their own needs fading into the background.
At this point, it might not even occur to them that they have needs. The only thing that will be on their mind is the needs of others and doing what they can to fulfil their needs.
By being this way, there is a strong chance that they will be used to receiving a fair amount of approval from others. In general, other people could see them as ‘selfless’; someone who is only too happy to be there for others.
Still, if these people were to take a step back, they might wonder why one comes across as though they are needless. It might be clear that they, like everyone else on this planet, have needs.
A painful Existence
Living in this way is going to mean that while one gives a lot, they are unlikely to receive very much. They will probably be used to running on empty, and this is going to mean that will experience a fair amount of anger and frustration.
It might be hard for them to acknowledge how they feel, though, and they could do just about everything that they can to keep their pain at bay. Pleasing others could be the main way that this takes place, along with consuming certain things.
Ultimately, as their life won’t reflect who they truly are, it is to be expected that they won’t truly be happy with how their life is. The life that they lead will be a reflection of what other people want and what they think they want.
For this to change, they will need to be less focused on what is going on externally and more focused on what is taking place internally. This will give them the chance to tune into their own needs and to go about meeting them.
An Uncomfortable Time
They may find that this is easier said than done, with it being a challenge for them to connect to their own needs. And, even if they can connect to their needs, they might not feel comfortable enough to fulfil them.
This could be a time when they experience a fair amount of fear and anxiety. It will then seem as though something bad will happen if they no longer purely focus on what other people want and start listening to themselves.
A Closer Look
One way of looking at this would be to say that what one is going through is irrational and that they need to just push through what is going on. Another way of looking at it would be to say that their early years were a time in their life when it was safe enough for them to be in their body, to relax and to listen to themselves.
This would have been a time when they had to live on the surface of themselves and to focus on the needs of others. Living in their head would have allowed them to be hyperaware of what was going on externally and to tune into the needs of others, thereby making it easier for them to adapt to their environment.
Back In Time
The two big questions are: why wasn’t it safe for them to just be and why did they need to be hyper-vigilant at this stage of their life? This is likely to illustrate that they were brought up in an abusive environment.
Perhaps they had at least one caregiver who was unpredictable and inconsistent, with them having the inclination to be physically, verbally and/or emotionally abusive. Therefore, being hyperaware of what was going on externally would have been a way for them to try to minimise the amount of harm that was inflicted on them.
This would have been a time when their need to survive was far stronger than their need to have their needs met. To do this, they would have had to disconnect from themselves and to focus purely on what was going on around them.
What they went through would have pushed them to the limit; it would have been as if they were in a war zone. The love, care and nurturance that they needed to be able to grow and develop wouldn’t have been provided.
So, while what took place will be in the past, they will still carry the trauma that they experienced. This will need to be dealt with if they are to settle back down into their own body and to listen to their own needs.
If one can relate to this, and they are ready to change their life, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or healer.
If you feel this has been of value, please leave a comment, like or get in touch. And feel free to share this article, as many others have.
Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
To book your free 15-minute consultation, click here.
That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.
Child Abuse And Neglect - How To Heal From Child Abuse And Neglect