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What To Do When Your Mind Gets Stuck in Ugly Images

10 Apr


I am using your CD Heartbreak, Abandonment and Betrayal and am having a struggle. In the CD you call upon our ancestors to help protect us... but my ancestors are the reason I have an abandonment, heartbreak, betrayal issue in the first place... grandfather, father, uncle. They are all dead now and part of my lineage, but very clearly helped to create my initial wounding that has been activated by a present day heartbreak. I feel myself freeze when I hear the word ancestors... can you help in some way with a suggestion?
Thank You,

Hi, Jill.
I'm glad you wrote.  This happens sometimes with listeners who get an image fixed in their heads and feel they can’t get rid of it - usually it’s going to be these scary, unappetizing characters from their past.

But here’s the thing: one really nice feature of guided imagery is that there's a lot of room for you to pick and choose, as you wish.  You are the writer, editor, producer and director of this internal 'movie', Jill.  You call the shots.

If your grandfather, uncle and father were sorry excuses for ancestors, keep on looking and don't let your brain get high-jacked by those three.  

Somewhere in your lineage, you have ancestors worthy of your attention.  What about the women?  What are they, chopped liver?  Look to your foremothers and invoke some strong ones - it doesn't matter if you knew them or not - and go back as far as you need to, til you find a strong, protective presence that wishes you well. Use your imagination to bring forth what you need - it doesn’t have to be literal or factual (although you’d be surprised how easily the mind can nail an accurate image of a person you didn’t know or know about!).
And what about the men on the other side of the family?  Got any good ones to call upon from there?   No doubt there are, but if you feel safer sticking with the women, that will work just fine.  

Please don't assume that the only powerful help you can get has to come from the males.

In cases like this, where your brain wants to go to the ugly characters, it helps to decide in advance who you want to have around you.  Usually that's enough to get the job done.  But if those 3 nasty guys still want to show up, have your chosen ones crowd them out and dispense with them.  Invoke them during the day, to strengthen your invitation to them to make an appearance.  This may sound goofy, but that usually will do it.  

All best wishes,

Belleruth Naparstek

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