Have you ever hit a wall?
You have no idea what to do next. The wall looks blank, empty, a clear slate.
What’s that wall about?
At its base, the wall represents the need for safety. You put up walls to feel safe, safe from the chaos around you, safe from negative emotions you may not want to feel like fear and anger.
No one wants to talk about it, let alone sit with those negative emotions, for any length of time. As such, you deny those fears or repress difficult emotions, in a bid to stay emotionally safe.
The impact on you is disconnection. You disconnect from yourself in order to not feel those emotions. By avoiding those negative emotions, everything stays above the surface.
Thus, the wall remains.
And you’re still blocked.
The Role of Ego
Most counteract the wall with busyness. By focusing on something else – another action or accomplishment – I can prove to myself and others that the wall doesn’t exist.
All I have to do is fool myself and, well, the ego is good at that.
Jungian theory says the ego “wants to be significant, central, and important by itself, apart from anybody else.”
Notice how the ego separates you from your inner being, and, by extension, from others. Disconnection.
The wall created by ego eventually grows bigger, not just taller but wider too. It can surround you if you let it.
Are you safe … by yourself … behind the wall?
The ego tells you you’re separate from the herd because you’re “unique,” yet this belief comes at a price.
The cost is isolation, loneliness, emptiness.
Ironically, it’s when the price gets too high that people are finally ready to face the wall.
Facing the Wall
You face the wall in front of you, first off, by naming it. Identify the root cause. You can’t fix what you don’t identify. Is this about suppressed anger, resentment, fear of abandonment or potential loss?
In Process Coaching, the coach sits with you while you experience the emotion. As a witness, the coach helps you feel connected instead of isolated.
When you surrender to the negative feeling, instead of pushing it away, you release the stuck energy behind the wall.
I’ve learned you can’t push someone to face their wall. You need to want it. While you will likely still feel scared, you’re willing to see things differently. That’s the only attitudinal shift you need to face the wall.
People feel better when they want to feel better.
In coaching I’ve realized that it’s not up to me to tell someone to enter or exit an emotion. My job is to support the person going through it, not to change how they feel about it.
Sometimes you need to marinate in a feeling, or repress, deny or avoid it, before you reach the point where you’re ready to move forward.
Eventually, your need to re-connect returns.
Per Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, you seek the third rung of love and belonging – the home of connection. From there, you begin your climb to self-esteem, self-actualization, and, what Life fully loved readers have discovered recently, self-transcendence.
When you pass through the wall, you move toward self-actualization. As the wall disintegrates, you start expanding again.