In the final month of the Dream Whisperer community needs survey, we had four winning topics:
- Improving family relationships
- Visioning a good future for myself
- Being more organized, and
- Overcoming internal barriers to receiving love
Is there a thread running through these topics illuminating a pathway forward for our community? One thread I see is a desire for coherence. The Oxford Languages website defines coherence as, “the quality of forming a unified whole.”
Many have come from childhoods where our parents were unable to give us a coherent upbringing. We may have experienced anything from neglect to abuse, and we travel through life seeking something different. We seek to heal the past to feel more whole.
Disorganized early relationships can manifest in feeling states that lead us to be disorganized in our lives. Being imprinted with early disorganized relationships can literally manifest as an unconscious approach to creating disorganization in our adult life. This can manifest on a practical level as being disorganized in our schedule or in how we keep our physical space cluttered with objects and papers we no longer need.
Those early childhood imprints can also cause us to be closed to receiving love. Our child brain did its best to understand hurts and create defence patterns to protect us from further hurt. These child-informed patterns were woven into our development through childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. They are woven into how we see the world in such a deep way, it can be difficult to see these patterns at play as an adult. Living an adult life with emotional defence patterns formed in early life are not only out-dated ways of protecting our heart from hurt, they are unfortunately also barriers to receiving love.
In addition to possibly recovering from childhood challenges, in our society we typically focus on achieving things, such as a career, business goals, building a family, or owning a home. Having a narrow focus can lead to lopsided lives where we overwork, sacrificing health or relationships for career goals. Or on the other hand, perhaps we sacrificed our personal fulfillment through an occupation in order to establish a family.
These various sources of fragmentation and narrow focus have provoked a healthy motivation in many for greater coherence, or “the quality of forming a unified whole.” We desire a wholeness that encompasses our history, our relationships, our communities, our occupation, our gifts, care for our home (Mother Earth), and fulfilment of our human potential.
The good news is, this is very possible.
I would suggest it begins with slowing down and connecting with our humanity. I am an advocate for mindfulness meditation as an effective way to slow down and connect with our human heart. Many find meditation too challenging, and I get that. So in my approach to meditation, it is deeply grounded in gentleness, trauma-informed understanding and compassion.
By developing a softer relationship with ourself, we can bring the lens of compassion to our troubles in life. We can begin to see ourselves through compassionate and wise adult eyes, rather than through the eyes of our early caregivers — the view of ourselves that we learned as children. This is an important shift, that can open us up like a flower.
A flower is a beautiful symbol for coherence, or “the quality of forming a unified whole.” A flower can be a guide for the journey of developing self-compassion. I hope you will allow yourself to contemplate the coherence of a flower you may see on a walk today, and see what gifts may be here for you for developing a more comfortable journey in life that bears greater coherence.