As a clinician, I am required to assign a diagnosis to each client. However, I'm not a fan of these labels and use them simply as a way of 'short-handing' a constellation of experiences that a client describes. Further, the "labels" I might like to assign, are not available in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual V.
For example, there is no Felt-Sense of Wrongness diagnosis.
So much of the suffering described in my office is fundamentally related to a "felt sense" that there is "something wrong with me." This felt belief that "I'm not worthy of belonging and might get found out at any moment so I have to work really, really hard to make sure that I keep my 'wrongness' hidden or at least under control" is what brings people to therapy in hopes that I can help them resolve or eradicate their "wrongness."
What I've learned is that often what's wrong is that we think there's something wrong. But, we don't just think it with our minds, this belief seems to reside in the body as a feeling, an energy or vibration that can be a constant background noise demanding attention and effort to make sure we do something, anything, about this wrongness.
Entire narratives about who we are then get constructed over a lifetime around this felt-sense of wrongness. My body's not right. I talk too much. I don't talk enough. I'm too needy. I'm too difficult. I'm not successful enough. I'm afraid of success. I'm not a good enough mom. I'm not a mom at all. I don't always like being a mom.
So, we seek all kinds of somethings to get rid of our wrongness. We diet, we shop, we self-help, we get therapy, all in hopes that getting rid of the wrongness will help us arrive at….rightness. But, what if it's not about that?
What if you can't get rid of wrongness because it's not really there?
What if the wrongness is just a belief and not a real thing that needs changing?
I believe that, for many people, we became infected with this virus, this felt-sense that there is something unforgivably wrong with us at such an early age that we don't even remember how to feel right, ok, whole.
The work of therapy is about healing wounds, but it's also about teaching the body, the felt-sense, to remember how to feel good and good enough. We don't have to wait until our "wrongness" is eradicated.
We can learn to feel right today.
From here, we have a choice. We do not need to fight wrongness or try to be right. We can't become something we already are.
We can do the deep, intentional work of learning how to feel our fundamental okayness.
For today, what would it be like to notice your well-worn list of self-critiques and ask, what if, just for a few moments, these things are not actually problems?
What if they just are, and only my belief that they are a problem makes them so?
What might it be like, if only for a moment, to feel in my body that I'm actually ok, just like this, just right now? What tension would release? What hardness would soften? How deeply might I breathe?
Give yourself a break today. Consider your exquisite enough-ness just as you are.
As a therapist, mother, daughter, partner, and seeker, I am always on the journey toward a more peaceful, authentic life. I hope to share knowledge, insights, and the ongoing unknowns I find along the path...