Client: Feeling really low, like I’ve left myself and I can’t fix the thoughts… feeling almost suicidal. I just want it to stop.
Shawn: Oh, Sweetie. Wish you were here curled up on the bed with me like Winnie. I don’t usually hear you talking about suicide. Do you think maybe you should tell the doctor you are working with? Is there anything I can do?
Client: I don’t know. I’m not truly suicidal. It’s just that I want so badly for the thoughts to stop. Sometimes I feel better and then I just feel awful again. I know I’m beating myself up which I’m so good at. But I just can’t seem to give myself a break. That enforcer is back and is showing me no mercy.
Shawn: The best thing I can think of right now is to not ask the enforcer to be any different at all. Or even have a conversation with it and see if you can put yourself in a little seat or throne of a benevolent caretaker that sort of sits behind you and watches all of this and sees it with love and knows you are OK no matter what. This caretaker can be in your mind. I visualize you sliding back into that little throne where everything is fine. Byron Katie and others I know who understand this dynamic say that that is all it really is, that they are just watching the scene of themselves playing this character who is taking life so seriously. They feel everything through their bodies and yet in the role of the observer it’s not so bad. But don’t be hard on yourself if you can’t do that!
Client: Ok, I can try that. And that allows me to not fight the thoughts too hard, to just let them be what they are.
Shawn: Read Michael Singer’s book, Untethered Soul. It’s about non-duality and he’s the one that uses that seat of consciousness idea; I still couldn’t move myself into those places very well without The Work, but now that you have all these pieces….
The other thing I cannot stress enough is how important it is to access the feelings in your body and not try to resist doing so. Just watch the thoughts that are hating it or resisting it or trying to shut it down with kindness, the thoughts that say you should be someplace different than where you are.
Think of yourself as if you are your mom who’s watching you from the other side, and she is concerned that you’re hurting, but she knows that ultimately this is not who you are and that all is well and that part of what you were doing here is being true to yourself in a place where you know you are enough, no matter what.