—Put the pieces of yourself back together.
No, I’m not asking you to calm down, or be patient, or to stop acting foolishly. I’m talking about putting Humpty Dumpty back together again—to reclaim the pieces of your personal power that you’ve given to other people over the years.
We grow up learning about Power and Abuse, our personal power and the power wielded by others around us (parents, mates/partners, siblings, friends, schoolmates, etc.) which can be abusive and harmful.
I had a military father who would abusively discipline me by spanking (beat me with his belt or a wood ruler). I also grew up around some neighborhood bullies who would hold me down and slap my stomach to give me a “pink-belly”—they thought that was hilarious.
I know there are many people who can relate to growing up under the influence of parents “with issues” or being subjected to neighborhood or school bullies. The abuse from parents or bullies can be physical, emotional, sexual, even mental abuse, but at any level or form it comes in—the damage done fragments one’s sense of self and this has the effect of leaving pieces of “you,” as it were, all over the place and in the custody of other people.
These fragmented pieces of your psyche are hurt, angry, confused, vengeful, and wounded—they can bear hatred and hold a grudge. And these people who have pieces of you can change your thoughts, emotions, moods and behavior when you think about them (or when in their presence). They throw you off center and wreak havoc on your emotions so you don’t feel like yourself. Thus, the phrase “I feel like I’m falling apart!”
Getting a Hold of Yourself
People who grow up with bullies or abusive parents experience times when they feel weak or powerless—without power to chose what they experience—their safety and autonomy is in the hands of another. The fear, anger, rage, hurt, and shame that they feel will somehow subvert the strength of their personal power—effectively giving pieces of theirself away to the perpetrator. It’s not a conscious giving, but it happens—and a piece of them resides with someone else.
Long term exposure to repeated episodes of fear and trauma inculturates survivors to accept that their power resides with someone else. They become obedient and submissively participate in a one-up/one-down power dynamic. Sometimes this was a necessary thing to endure to survive long enough to escape—or get away when reaching adulthood. In other cases they never get away from the abuse’s influence; it gets implanted in the mind that this other person has control over them. This control can be subtly expressed as simply as influencing their preferences or desires, or overtly expressed as forbidding certain behavior or by banning their pursuits or goals.
Get Your Power Back
Getting your power back is a process of reclaiming the pieces of yourself that are deposited with other people. When you take back your power and autonomy from others it strengthens and emboldens you to feel whole and complete unto yourself.
Negative and abusive experiences are not the only way to feel fragmented and disempowered. There’s another, less obvious, way we give pieces of who we are away to others.
The Shadow Side of Love
As a child growing up your mother was likely the primary source of love and affection you experienced. You learned to get approval from her for something to be OK to do, think, or feel. This would have been overtly taught or expected or implied by your parents and your extended family—its a natural part of family bonding.
As children our sense of what’s OK, authorized, approved, and valued was passed through the filter of our parents. And if they didn’t approve of something—even if you felt different—you capitulated to keep the peace and to remain approved of by them. This phenomena is tied to the sense of love and affection you learned while growing up and is expressed in the patterns of relating that you enact with your spouse/partner or friends.
When your sense of self-approval, or self-esteem is placed externally—”out there” with other people—you depend on what they think of you to make you feel OK, approved, or a “good person.” Doing this is, like the fragmentation caused by abuse, placing “pieces” of yourself in the control of others. By so doing, you let other people decide for you and control you—and live out their standards, desires and directives for your life.
Getting along with people and being a caring and empathetic person is not the same thing as getting your sense of self from other people’s approval or opinions. If you suddenly feel disempowered or less-than when your spouse, parents, or friends disagree with your choice—or you desperately wait for one of them to tell you what to do, feel or think, then you’re not whole unto yourself, you have an externalized, reflected, co-dependent sense of self.
Waking Up, Taking Back Control
Eventually, people who’ve been abused, or have been emotionally captured—needing approval and confirmation from other people important to them—become tired of being a victim and powerless, sensing that something is wrong with this type of “love” (abuse and control). When they wake up to what is going on and want to change their life, there can be a lot of resistance due to ingrained hierarchic relationships and cultural/familial traditions that tie identity to the collective while discounting individual identity—making it subservient to a religious figure, cultural moral codes, or family head pressure to conform to expectations and/or roles.
There is great reward in collecting and reconnecting with the pieces of personal power you have given away.
Get a hold of yourself and put yourself back together again by collecting your personal power and retaining it, becoming whole and autonomous again.
Putting Humpty-Dumpty Back Together Again
It’s possible to collect the pieces of yourself that you’ve given away to others and regain your personal power, autonomy and a sense of wholeness. Click on the download button below to purchase your copy of my report “Putting Yourself Back Together Again” and follow its 8 step process to reclaim your autonomy and personal power.
Sunyata is a gifted healer, life coach and spiritual mentor. With his guidance I have been able to work through past sexual and emotional trauma that was keeping me from… Read more “He’s a kind and gentle soul who can honor your journey”