You are not a burden!
“What I want:” When you apologize, you are expressing both what you don’t want and what you want namely, I don’t want to feel bad; I want to be accepted and to feel like a good person. How do you change “what I don’t want” to, “what I want”?
Sometimes we may feel bad because we are not being what we think we should be. For example, you may have had a shock and someone who is aware of this, empathetically notes that you are not quite yourself but you immediately apologize for not being “yourself” before the person is even able to continue with what they wanted to say! This suggests that while growing up, you could have learned that you should always be 100% functional, no matter what is going on in your life. Or, that you should not burden others by being vulnerable. Or, that you should think of others before yourself. Apologizing seems to make it right again. But actually, nothing has been made right. You assumed you were being chastised – which you were not! Your emotion and your response happened so quickly that you didn’t even notice that you had just made yourself into a bad person.
In such instances, when you fluctuate in functioning, show regard to yourself, and be mindful towards yourself, by reflecting on the frailties of the human condition – shared by all human beings. When you feel that you are a burden by being vulnerable, be caring towards yourself by allowing yourself to be dependent sometimes. Start being a caring person towards yourself. After all, would you attack a friend if they were more scattered than usual as the result of a shock? If they were in a vulnerable state, would you tell them to go away and contact you again when they are strong again? What you want is to settle your body-in-distress and to return to a feeling of well-being again.
Although we might feel uncomfortable showing vulnerability at work, we often show our vulnerability in indirect ways. For example, when we are not as clear-headed as usual or, when distraction, because we are suffering, or ill, or worried, leads us to make mistakes we wouldn’t usually make… At these times we are vulnerable, frail humans. We feel bad because we have not measured up. We can then show regard and kindness towards ourselves for not measuring up, instead of heavy criticism and feeling bad. We could postpone a discussion until our heads are clear again. We could ask a friend or colleague to read through something we’ve written when we feel distracted (this is being dependent without needing to disclose ones vulnerability). Once we start feeling better about ourselves, through kindness to self, and start thinking about what we need (and want) in that moment, our human strength of mind and past experience could lead to many such solutions.
Leslie Zimmermann is a Jungian Analyst trained in the philosophy and psychology of C.G. Jung in Zürich and is based in Johannesburg. She offers a range of services, which she integrates, to meet the needs and aspirations of people. In a word, her work is in the service of wholeness. Wholeness includes both our vulnerabilities and our strengths, becoming conscious of our own unique mix of these, honoring our own unique way of functioning and with this knowledge and confidence, contributing as only we each can in our own way, to this evolving world we find ourselves to be a part of.
Besides having a Diplomate qualification in Analytical psychology, which qualifies me to write about the theory and practice of dream interpretation, I also have an Honours degree in Applied Psychology and a Masters degree in Research psychology, which qualify me to write about theories of human development, personality, abnormal psychology, social psychology, sociology and ethics. Also, theories and knowledge pertaining to sleep and dreams from a perspective of neuropsychological and biological systems.
Leslie specializes in Analytical Psychology, Voice Dialogue, Life Coaching solutions for business executives. Consulting and coaching for family owned and home-based business
For an appointment Leslie Zimmermann can be contacted on:
Mobile: +27 (0)83 384 9812