Believe it or not, this question comes up a lot. When someone’s had a painful childhood, as you have, with sparse support and little emotional nourishment, it’s easy for the mind to slip out of the imagery reverie and get trapped in the cognitive thought, "But I didn’t have anyone like that.." and stay caught there, with emotions of sadness, longing, anger and/or resentment over what was missing or, worse, what was actively awful and abusive.
This is why I took care to build in other options for the mind to focus on with that imagery.. The narrative goes like this: "And perhaps sensing around you.. The presence of those who’ve loved and nurtured you.. Or those who love you now.. Or those who will love you in the future.. Just the ones you want with you.."
A bit later on the narrative continues with more options: "People from your life.. Alive or long gone.. There might be a special animal.. A powerful ancestor.. A guardian angel.. Sweet spirits or magical beings.. Special helpers and healers.. Allies, teachers and guides.."
The fact is, something got you through. It may have been your sensitive, affectionate dog; a special teacher or pastor; a grandparent you visited during the summers; your older sister; an imaginary companion or spiritual figure; or the thought of someone waiting for you in your future. Somehow, you drew nourishment from someone or something, sparse and less than ideal though it may have been. And that is what you want to gently nudge your mind to re-focus on when it gets stuck in that thought, "But I didn’t have anyone like that..” - to something sustaining and supportive.
Now, sometimes, people with an obsessive or ruminating nature have more trouble than most in prying themselves loose from a thought once it starts circulating. If this is the case with you, I’d stop struggling with the Relaxation & Wellness imagery and just go to the General Wellness imagery, which doesn’t have references to loved ones, and might be easier for you to work with.
I hope this helps. Take care and be well!
Conjuring People Who Loved You When There Didn’t Seem to Be Any…
I was given your cd, Chemotherapy which I found to be very helpful in my situation…So since I don''t have cancer I recently purchased your Relaxation & Wellness cd, however, it refers to "people who love you". My childhood was cold and difficult and I have been reluctant to have relationships as an adult missing out on "loving relationships" How can I get past this and enjoy my new cd???
Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award
Latest from Belleruth Naparstek
- Interest in Guided Imagery and Meditation at an All-Time High
- Can Family Caregivers Really Get Help from Telemedicine?
- Can Guided Imagery Prevent MRI Panic in a Severely Claustrophobic Person?
- What Can Help with Severe Post-Election Anxiety?
- Coping with Post-Election Dysphoria; Being Stuck in an MRI Tube; and the Power of Telehealth to Support Family Caregivers...