Healing Starts Where (Self-)Connection Begins

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Practice listening to yourself and meaning-making.

This is a quick article on the topic of self-connection. Here, I will talk about the importance of self-connection, the origins and difficulties of (self-)disconnection, and the cultivation of self-validation and individuality.

The Origins and Results of Disconnection

When we are children, we often are invalidated, mistreated, rejected, frightened, manipulated, confused, and abused in a thousand other ways. To avoid all of that and survive in our toxic and dangerous environment, we learn to adapt to it by disconnecting from it—and, fundamentally, from ourselves. Then we grow up, and those survival and defense mechanisms carry into our adulthood and manifest themselves in the same or similar forms. Except now, being in a completely different habitat, they are not protecting us but hinder our growth and lead to numerous problematic, even unhealthy situations, behaviors, and moods.

Being disconnected from yourself leads to reality distortion, overreaction, unhealthy boundaries, acting out, psychological projection, dangerous situations, dissatisfying relationships, social anxiety, poor self-care, depression, and a myriad of other issues—which, by extension, leads to even more issues. To categorize them for a better understanding, some of the more prevalent examples on a psychological-intellectual level are phenomena like dissociation, splitting, reality distortion; on an emotional level it can be self-hate, depression, helplessness, emotional oversensitivity or numbness, projected anger; and on a physical-behavioral level it’s acting out, (self-)harm, addiction, lack of self-care, (self-)destruction—all of which is interrelated.

The Value of Self-Connection

When we start examining our life, recognizing our feelings and accepting them at face value, building a healthier sense of self-esteem, thinking for ourselves, accepting who we are, self-validating our past experiences, then we develop a stronger bond with ourselves—and, by extension, with reality and with other people. This leads to more awareness, more self-love, more inner peace, less anxiety, more self-confidence, a more accurate estimation of ourselves and others, healthier boundaries, more creativity, more intellectual, emotional, and psychological clarity, and more happiness in general.

The Difficulties of Self-Connection

When we are just starting our healing and growth process, we usually are quite lost, confused, anxious, lonely, and in pain. Since at that time we are severely disconnected from ourselves, we crave for validation from others—because, as of yet, we don’t know how to validate ourselves, or simply don’t connect with our understandings on a psychoemotional level. The problem is that people who are disconnected—which is the vast majority of our population—by definition, are doubtful (or falsely certain) and confused about their thoughts and feelings, therefore are dependent on other people’s beliefs about them and about the world in general. This leads to dependency, tribalism and conformism, mass delusion, lack of true identity, exploitation, manipulation, or even to a physical death.

The most common things people mention they get from me—both from consulting with me, and from my articles and videos—are clarity and validation. I help people make a better sense of the world, be it their internal world or the external universe. I also validate a person’s accurate perception of it which they can't get from themselves. I provide much more, but true clarity and validation are two most popular things people give me as a part of their feedback about my work. I did an enormous amount of self-work to be able to be who I am and help people to the degree I do, so it didn’t just magically happen either.

However, when you need external validation and clarity but people around you are toxic, primitive, or plainly insane, it’s extremely difficult to build your sense of self-connection. It only strengthens your self-doubt and self-erasure. Moreover, even if you decide to seek help you may quickly realize that the dominant majority of the mental health providers themselves are highly unresolved, confused, clueless, mediocre, extremely limited, or simply dangerous. And that’s the realization only if you already have a healthy enough basis to be able to recognize unhealthiness and incompetence. Most people are not so lucky and it takes them years to find somebody who can actually help. Many never find anyone and die lost, confused, scared, and lonely—sometimes without even knowing it. And that’s a dismal actuality.

Learning Self-Validation and Individuality

For the reasons mentioned above, external validation and relying on other people can only get you so far, and sometimes it will only confuse you, mislead you, or foster dependency. If you want to truly heal and realize your full potential your ultimate goal should be a strong sense of self and psychological independence. You may want to work more on building a greater sense of self: learning about logic, argumentation, emotional intelligence, journaling, healthy boundaries, being in solitude, listening to yourself, practicing self-empathy and self-curiosity, conceptualizing reality, making sense of what happened to you and your own past behavior, and developing and applying other tools I call Tools for Self-Archeology. If you haven’t found a good helper yet, it will help you differentiate between excellent and bad ones. And if you have one or not looking for one, it will make the whole growth process easier and more efficient. Again, the ultimate goal is psychoemotional independence, clarity, and a strong sense of identity, which only comes from self-connection and the ability to eventually being able to figure out and validate things for yourself without being confused or intimidated by the world's dysfunction.

These and many other topics are explored in great detail in my upcoming book—more details coming soon—and in my previous articles and videos. You are always welcome to leave your feedback in the comment section below or by other means of your preference.

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