Sophie is a young woman that I have worked with for many years. I am always amazed at her commitment to heal at such a young age. Through her dedication, Sophie is learning to love all of her ‘self.’
As with every client, I am always anxious to hear what Sophie noticed through her layer. Her most recent response was simple: “Well... I did notice something,” she began. Her sweet and gentle personality is always complimented with her soft voice. “I noticed I am very quiet.”
Her response did not surprise me. I have always known Sophie to be a quiet personality. When we first began working, she spent a great deal of time alone in her room lacking a direction or purpose. What did surprise me is what followed.
“I also realize that I like being quiet.” That was profound; a sure sign of flowers at work. Sophie was coming to peace with who she is. She then continued, “What bothers me, however, is that I am seeing how often people comment, ‘You are SO quiet!’ It makes me feel like I have a disease.” This comment was extremely important as it brought me back to a very similar childhood experience. (Obviously Sophie is helping me heal at the same time I am helping her!)
I decided to share my memory with Sophie. As a young child, I was VERY tall. I remember clearly how often people had the need to comment, “My God, she is SO tall!” Like Sophie, their comments often made me feel as though I had contracted the “tall” disease. It affected me to the point that I refused to wear any shoes that had any sign of a heel, which limited my choices and my fashion. Comments from others affected who I wanted to be. I did not want the same outcome for Sophie.
Patterns of behavior are often repeated through generations, so it did not surprise me when my youngest daughter, Holly Beth, encountered an identical experience. Holly Beth is tall just like her mom. From the time she was very young, upon entering a room, it seemed that someone always had the need to express the same words I heard so long ago, “My God, your daughter is SO tall!” That “tall disease” feeling came rushing back in!
The difference between my experience and Holly Beth’s, however, is that I wanted to ensure that her beauty did not turn into a disease. I was ready with my reply, “Yes, Holly Beth IS beautiful, isn’t she?” And in that moment, the person who was quick to make tall into something bad changed her mind and turned tall into beautiful. I can’t say for sure if my reply had anything to do with Holly Beth’s fashion choices; however, she was never afraid to wear any shoe no matter how high the heel!
Getting back to Sophie... I realized that other’s comments were affecting her ability to completely embrace this wonderful aspect of herself that she was coming to know. After listening to my story, Sophie continued, “When people say things like that, I don’t know how to respond.”
This is where I could help, “Well, how about responding with the truth.... ‘Yes, I am quiet and I love that about me!’” Sophie felt good about that response. I felt relieved that Sophie would continue to learn to love every aspect of herself, especially her quiet nature.