Remember those games when you were instructed to give your first response without thinking too much? We’re gonna play. These questions are designed to stir you in some of those deeper internal ways that we tend to avoid or distract from day in and day out. Ready? Here goes …
Who comforts you?
Yes, we never outgrow our need for external soothing. I don’t care how old we get or how good we get at self-soothing, now and again we all need some tenderness from something outside of ourselves. Are you getting yours? Are you getting enough? Part of our self-care plan is the intentional building of our external resources. How are you doing with this one? Life is guaranteed to throw you some curve balls. Hope you got some soft places to land. You just might need them, especially when you least expect it.
Where are your safe spaces?
Do you have places (or folks) where you can let your hair down? Where you can relax. Take a big sigh and let go of the tension you hold in your body. Places where you don’t have to be anything other than who you are – thinking what you are thinking, feeling what you are feeling, being where you have been and looking ahead to where you want to go. In other words, this place gives you the gift of trust and therefore, safety. Got one or a couple of these? If not, you are lacking and need to do something about it.
What would you rather be doing or where would you rather be right at this moment?
Now, I know that sometimes we can’t make this happen. Maybe we can’t afford it. Or maybe we are too wrapped in adult responsibilities and commitments to be doing anything other than what we are doing right now. But the importance of this question lies in the fantasy – the longings and stirrings of unmet needs, wants and desires that loiter in the depth of our hearts. The question points to what might be missing or ignored that at some point, needs our attention. Or it will lead to resentment, acting out, emotional apathy, depression and soul death.
What hurt so bad as a child that you decided to stop feeling?
For most of us, it was not one moment or even one event, but rather a series of injuries that chipped away at our innate emotional spontaneity. But in asking the question and really allowing ourselves to answer it, we can trust that the answer gives way to a well of pain that might encapsulate our signature developmental stories. And these stories are the basis for a deeper understanding of who we are and how our lives have unfolded. And where we might need to revisit to begin or continue our healing.