I've spent an awful lot of time in the past week and a half exploring and/or wallowing in my sensitive self. It occured to me last night that this is an example of stretching up as a form of handling change. I tend to reside someplace in the confluence of a rational, changeability-oriented self and a sensitive, inner-focused self. Generally, I lean more toward the rational part.
But when change kicks my ass, I dive into the sensitive self aspect, exploring all my feeeeeelings (said with derision in my voice). I know this is healthy, and in theory it's the next step in my development, but I can't help recalling some of what Don Beck said about this meme.
He discussed the sensitive self's need to find peace for the inner self, the never-ending search for deeper and deeper healing. The sensitive self tends to believe that no further growth can occur until the self finds the inner tranquility it craves. In order to achieve this goal, it engages in endless processing. For the inner self, this may mean a lifetime spent in therapy or attending every personal growth workshop that promises to fix the sensitive self's wounds
In relationship with others, it believes that purely through sharing and discussion that solutions will spontaneously emerge -- which is really nothing more than a variation on magical thinking. The focus tends to be on the process rather than the content. As a result, the inner search for meaning, healing, and tranquility becomes a form of group navel gazing.
This is where I have been for the last week, and although there is surely some value in doing this, especially since it is a stretch up for me personally, I'm seeing the risk in spending too much time in this endeavor. I do want to explore the inner drives and and damage that contributed to getting me to where I am now, but I also don't want to become one of those people who feel paralyzed by their wounds and can't see beyond the perpetual exploration of that stuff.
Feeling is all well and good, and it is a step beyond rationalizing, but I want to KNOW, not just think and feel. There are many variables that have gotten me to this place, and many of them are not within me and my narcissistic psyche.
I'm still going to give some energy to working with my sensitive self, and I still want to explore some of my patterns that got me to where I am now, but I also want more. I want to see the bigger picture -- my life can't be reduced to personal interiors.
Making sense out of what appears to be chaotic requires a bigger picture.