When we last met you asked me how can you perceive your needs and listen to yourself .
Let me tell you the story of the road map of life:
"Once upon a time there was a child who at birth had nothing more than his family and a nearly empty road map. This map already had some streets and roads on it with beautiful names such as: "The Feelings Road", "The Needs Avenue","The Courage Street","The 'No' Street" etc. Those roads were on the child's map to help it orient itself in life. Each day of his life the child tried the different roads and remembered which road it should take and which one it should avoid in order to get as much love as possible. Because after oxygen, this little child longed most for love. This is why the lack of love and security were particularly painful to it and the little child avoided it at any price. So the kid learned day after day in which streets it was not allowed to go and which were especially helpful to receive as much love and attention as possible. And so the child changed and redraw it's map and when necessary it put STOP signs in front of some streets or built others to large highways. Those highways had names such as "The Performance Hwy", "Be good Hwy", "Take responsibility Hwy", "It's my fault Hwy" or "Do not disturb Hwy". The blocked streets were for example the "Show Emotions Street": Next to the STOP sign of this street the child wrote a note to itself that it is quite bad to show emotions such as sadness, pain, fear or anger. Besides the STOP sign of the "Needs Street" the child noted that the needs of others are more important than its own and that it is his fault if it overwhelmed his beloved ones with its needs. Next to the blocked "Say 'No' Street" the child put a note to itself that it must always be there for others and so on. Day after day the child went about his life and corrected the road map of his life until it eventually became satisfied with it. With this final version of the map the child could gain as much recognition and attention as possible and avoid punishment or the painful lack of love. Once the child decided that the map is correct it never reviewed it again. This map showed it not only the safest paths in life, but also taught the child that if it doesn't perform or achieve at its best it has no particular human value, that it must not show any emotions and weaknesses and that his needs are unimportant. It further though it that entirely depends on the affection and approval of others to fulfill his need for love and well-being. So the child grew up, met others, founded its own family and lived on and in all time it followed that road map."
We are quiet for few minutes. At last you whisper: " My map has many blocked roads as well" your eyes fill with tears "I 'm afraid to remove the STOP signs."
" I can fully understand that" I say "Do you want to redraw this map?" I ask after a short break.
"Is that even possible?" you look at me in disbelief "I've been traveling for so long with this map. I am afraid I won't be able to correct it....it's too late."
"Do you want to redraw the map? " I ask again.
" And what if I remove the obstructions and become vulnerable again?" you persist .
"Do you want to redraw the map?" I repeat myself.
You remain silent for a while.
"Yes!" say you and your voice sounds firm.
"This is the first and very important step," I smile at you. " The next one is ... "
to be continued
© Valeria Petkova