Someone asked me, in a comment, to explain what I meant by “self-soothing”.
It’s really a combination of affirmations, positive self-talk and telling yourself that what you’re PERCEIVING is not necessarily how it is.
My biggest obstacle was fear of abandonment. When I started to “get better” I was really very raw and could be very crazy. After being in a dysfunctional and abusive marriage, I really had NO IDEA how to behave in a relationship but things got very nuts when my fear of abandonment was triggered. Guys would go out with me and think I was a nice, smart, funny person and things would be going along swimmingly and then something would trigger my abandonment (real or perceived something) and I would turn into Sybil (“break glass, break glass”).
I was trying to work through my issues but I was very raw in the beginning and when something would get touched off or triggered, I would seriously turn into nutty girlfriend with the 75 different personalities, none of which were very attractive.
I could pretty much tell that I was scaring the bee-jeezus out of guys when I was suddenly screaming and running or hiding and drooling. And because of this, some men thought that we couldn’t have a good and healthy relationship (“Well, we could have a healthy relationship if my girlfriend wasn’t INSANE.”)
After a while I realized that talk-therapy and just going through my childhood issues (and being given up by my mother to another mother who was threatening suicide all the time) was not going to get me better as fast as I needed to get better. (it was very necessary but I also needed something else to help kick this thing into high gear).
One thing that UPENDED me in the beginning was that I had no idea who I could trust and who I could not trust. I could not figure out whether I was feeling scared because this person really was going to leave me or my issues were coloring everything. I was hoping that I would just KNOW and I couldn’t know and I didn’t know how to know.
So I started to work on cognitive issues and started to work with affirmations and positive self-talk. I started to build my security that I would be okay no matter what they did. It took the onus off me trying to figure out what THEY were doing. It took the angst out of my reactions to them….was I feeling insecure because he was ready to bolt out the door or was I feeling insecure because everyone BEFORE THEM had bolted out the door…
Once I put the focus on me and started to focus on the fact that I would be okay NO MATTER WHAT THEY DID…I was able to start progressing, REALLY progessing.
Over the years I had come to a series of self-talk and affirmations when I was feeling insecure or possibly abandoned that said I’m alright, I’m okay…no matter what I’ll be okay and if they’ve left then they are not the person for me….(as opposed to “OH MY GOD THEY’VE LEFT ME AND NOW I MUST DIE.”).
It wasn’t just 3 little sentences…I had a whole repetoire of self soothing statements and continually told myself I would be okay no matter what. I also recognized that a hallmark of fear of abandonment is GRIPPING TERROR and that even if I felt the terror, it did not mean I was being abandoned and even if I was abandoned, there was nothing to be afraid of.
Students of the GPYP program and/or the audio lessons know that I recommend affirmations and positive self-talk as well as doing nice things for yourself in a pampering kind of way.
These self-soothing exercises really reinforce and help you to believe you are self-sufficient
when you believe that, you are less dependent on others for your comfort
when you are less dependent on others for your comfort, you are able to choose wiser and healthier.
when you choose wiser and healthier, you are happier and true love becomes possible.
The paradox of all this is that the MORE independent you are and the MORE self-sufficient, the greater the chances of finding someone to share your life.
And that self-sufficiency STARTS with self-soothing.