Inner ecology, time to love yourself

By Sophie Nougué

Since I decided to put joy at the service of each of my decisions and the happiness that their accomplishment would bring me, I am totally available to welcome what life puts in my hands. This state of mind, this state of being, this state of mind to which I now devote a cult relieves me instantly of a major existential tension: what will the future be? Each day that passes provides a thousand and one resources all more pleasing than the other to respond to them.

Living everyday life without giving in to fear, without even worrying about the world that walks backwards, offering oneself the gift of extracting oneself from the tumult is much more than a philosophy, it is a no-brainer, an original need. Since I have fun welcoming with curiosity all the nuggets that life sends me, existence has become a recreation.

Reading these few lines, perhaps some of you think I’m unconscious. I accept that. For those who have the curiosity to continue reading and discover what I will call “an inner ecology”, I hope that the following will please you. Yes, we are all capable of transformation.

Recently I was taking part in a non-violent communication training specifically focused on limiting beliefs. Observing, deconstructing and understanding the implementation of the architecture of this type of thought was a real revelation. I will flesh out my point by starting with a concrete, personal example, an injury that has generated a belief and a network of beliefs. A simple case study to understand the algorithm of our brains;-)

During a hands-on workshop, the trainer asks me if I would give her an example, as spontaneously as possible, without thinking, of a word that was said to me several times, words that touched me when I was a child. To my surprise, my maternal grandmother’s face appears. His accusatory voice, the intensity of his gaze, his pleated forehead hug my chest. I must be eight or nine years old, she reprimands me in front of an aunt: “You’re a tomboy!”! The clarity of remembrance more than forty years later astonishes me. “Missed boy” yes, I heard these words many times during my childhood.

The trainer then asks me to try to get back into the moment of this word. Long before she made this request, my body is already in an emotional flow of rare intensity. I became the tomboy again with tears in his eyes and a knotted throat.

With great gentleness, she invites me to explore the iceberg of this childhood wound. The other trainees are silently sitting in circles around me. This recognition by the group that the speech is powerful allows the exercise to take place in total confidence. On the floor, the trainer drew a marelle of limiting beliefs. Bubbles where the different stages of the process are written. She guides me, a dialogue begins between my injury and the belief it generated: “I am not a good person since I am missing something” immediately relayed by another belief “since I am missed, I will have to earn my place”.

My grandmother’s word, which was never clarified, gave rise to a complex architecture of binary thoughts based on the “too much” or “not enough” of “I must.” The disorder crystallized in my body, reveals forty years later all that my belief has allowed me to achieve, to protect, all that it has brought me and prevented me. This possible injunction to be a full-fledged boy, has both hurt me and given me wings. In this sense belief is supporting, it acts as a marker, an orientation and limiting whenever I agree with it.

The role-playing that takes place during this exercise between who I am and his belief, the steps that lead to its transformation, this transition from oppressive feeling to explosive recognition of joy is deeply liberating. In an hour of workshop, the wound is transformed, I am a woman able to thank her long-deceased grandmother, for all that “the tomboy” has tapped into overcoming the lack to carry his dreams, projects, honor his loyalty to himself, find his unity. The needs of belonging, respect, integrity, coherence convey a gentle warmth in my chest.

Reconciliation takes place around those clumsy words that wanted to protect the little girl, to prevent her from putting herself in danger, to keep her at a distance from the games that my grandmother’s educational stereotypes posed in terms of sex. I also accept the episodes of life in which I validated this belief until self-sabotage. It is in this that a belief becomes limiting, in the legitimacy that our system of values grants it.

And you, what is the belief that you are ready to transform?

Pict/ Sophie Nougué, Pine Forest in Seignosse, Landes, South of France