This morning during a group call, one of my students explained that she was feeling incredibly indecisive about releasing the stuff that no longer serves her. We talked about the clothes, toys, and other assorted paraphernalia that came into her home for the first year of her daughter’s life. They haven’t yet decided if there will be another child in their family. So, whether this stuff might be useful again is impossible to know today. Her wedding dress, as they often do in these classes, made its way into our conversation.
She’d almost released it once before but didn’t, and while she’s been in the class, she’s been considering it again. We talked about all of the possible reasons that people cling to wedding dresses — daughter might want it later, it represents her marriage, etc. — and none of the standard reasons really resonated for her. Instead, she realized that one part of her is ready to release it but another part is scared she will regret it.
I could feel that this back and forth battle was something of a theme in her life, so I asked and she confirmed, “It happens all the time.” The image I was seeing was of two people trying to control her, one hers and one belonging to someone else. I explained that there are two forces battling and that the first one is hers. It’s the one that tells her what’s true for her. Yes, it’s okay to release the wedding dress, or change jobs, or let her daughter play and explore the outdoors. Then, the second voice swoops right in and tells her that these things are careless or dangerous, that she will have regret or be unsafe. I asked who the second voice belongs to.
That’s my mother’s voice… the one who always causes me to doubt myself.